The Chamber of Southwest Florida’s Leadership Lee County is helping The Heights Foundation in its mission to provide enhanced access to the arts and improved education, training and enrichment programs for residents of Harlem Heights.

“We selected the Community UP Rising campaign as our Class of 2010 project because of the impact that the Harlem Heights Cultural Arts & Community Center will have in the Harlem Heights community,” said Christina Harris Schwinn, a partner at Pavese Law Firm and chair of the Leadership Lee County marketing subcommittee. “The facility will provide space for art programs, adult education, family development, after school programs for children, occupational training, access to health and wellness support and much more. By providing access to these services within the community, we can make a difference in the lives of families in Harlem Heights for generations to come.”

In addition to expressive arts and education, the Center will feature a 250-seat auditorium, a culinary arts training kitchen and a computer learning center. With $500,000 of the $6.5 million capital campaign goal remaining to be raised, members of Leadership Lee County are asking the community to support the building the project.

On Wednesday, June 1 from 4-7 p.m., The Heights Foundation and the Leadership Lee County Class of 2010 will host a celebration with food and live entertainment at The Heights Center located at 15570 Hagie Dr. in Fort Myers to kick-off Community UP Rising and provide the community with more information on how to become involved in supporting the project. 

For more information on the project, view video at: http://www.youtube.com/producerbillrogers#p/u/1/Hd0frYkXwBY. For tickets and more information, visit www.heightsfoundation.org or call 239-482-7706.

Located off Gladiolus Drive and bordered by Summerlin Road and McGregor Blvd., approximately 1,200 children live within the boundaries of Harlem Heights. Most of the residents are economically challenged and many are unemployed.  According to the 2000 census, over one-third (36%) live below the Federal poverty level, a rate that is 100% greater than the Lee County average. The Heights Foundation is a grassroots organization that works to break the cycle of poverty in the Harlem Heights neighborhood.  The Foundation’s mission is to promote family and community development, support education and wellness, and provide the benefits of the cultural and expressive arts. The Foundation is working to build a cultural arts and community center in Harlem Heights.