Myra Daniels remembers sitting at the dinner table when she was a little girl and her father asking her, “Now, what do you want to be when you grow up?”
“I think I was four years old,” Daniels recalled. “And I said ‘in charge.’ They all laughed and I didn’t think it was funny. But you know, I have been blessed. And every job that I went into, as soon as I learned it, I got to be in charge. And so I thought that was a title.”
Her mother was an opera singer – young Myra wore ear muffs when her mother practiced – and her father a businessman. She and her late husband both earned major names for themselves in advertising before moving to Marco Island about 35 years ago. Those influences may have presaged her founding of the premier arts venue in Naples in 1982.
The Naples resident says she’s retired, but that hardly describes the schedule she keeps. “I spent a year after retirement soul searching, thinking about traveling, thinking about moving, thinking about writing, having a chance to write. But you know what writing does to you? You work alone. And I’m a people person,” she said.
So Daniels now is involved in other groundbreaking projects: building the only museum to Mother Teresa in the United States, which will be at Ave Maria University; and building a youth center for children in East Naples, in a program she’s undertaking with the Salvation Army. Both are scheduled to be finished within a year.