The arts are alive and thriving in the Palm Beaches. Few areas of Florida enjoy the wealth of cultural opportunities available to residents and visitors of Palm Beach County. Cultural growth is based on genuine interest, cooperation and participation in the development and promotion of the arts and cultural activities in the county. The community strongly encourages an appreciation of the arts through year-round events that include many forms of culture – theaters showcasing plays and musicals, music concerts and professional dance companies, art galleries and museums, historical and preservation organizations, science centers, community festivals, literary organizations and lecture series, libraries, zoos, and all other forms of artistic pursuit.
Arts & Entertainment
Arts and Entertainment venues include the traditional cultural centers. Theaters showcase plays, musicals and ensembles from Shakespeare to Broadway; and music concerts from classical symphonies to rock concerts. Professional dance companies perform classical ballet and modern dance selections. And museums and art galleries display works of some of the world’s greatest masters in permanent collections and rotating exhibits.
Museums & Historic Sites
Cultural museums, historic sites and science centers display the many historical artifacts of Florida’s rich heritage, and entertaining and learning exhibits of its unique natural environment. There a links in the History Section of the Guide.
Palm Beach County has an active social calendar of cultural festivals, art fairs and other events and social activities. Among these festive events are Sunfest, South Florida Fair, several Heritage, Music and Seafood Festivals, Delray Affair, Boca Festival Days and Meet Me Downtown, plus many holiday events – Fourth of July, St Patrick’s Day, Octoberfest, Christmas Boat and City Parades. More information on these festivals can be found under the Festivals & Events section of the Guide.
For information on cultural events throughout the county, the Palm Beach County Council of the Arts has a 24-hour Hotline, which can be reached at 1-800-882-ARTS(2787). For a brochure of their calendar of events, call 561-930-2787 in South County or 561-471-2901 in North County. PB Illustrated Magazine provides a wealth of information on the county. It also provides a listing of the Counsels Calendar for a 2 month period.
Whether you’re headed to a musical performance, an evening at the theater, or a leisurely stroll through an art gallery, Boca Raton’s opportunities for culture and the arts are marvelous. Some of the local activities include the Museum of Art; the Boca Pops; Florida Atlantic University’s fine theater department; the Harid Conservatory; the Caldwell Theater Company; the Boca Ballet; and the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens which include the only museum in the United States dedicated exclusively to the living culture of Japan.
Palm Beach County / South Florida
Palm Beach County is home to a world-class performing arts center, a nationally recognized museum that has nearly tripled in size, dozens of other notable museums and galleries, more than 24 theaters, 12 music and dance companies, one of Florida’s largest outdoor amphitheaters, and several revitalized downtown areas such as West Palm Beach, which is now teaming with art galleries, jazz clubs, another amphitheater and much more. Residents and visitors can enjoy a vast selection of artistic and cultural performances – ballet or modern dance, classical symphonies, jazz or rock concerts, musicals or Shakespearean plays, art exhibits, trade shows, street festivals or the circus.
For large-scale shows, there is the luxurious Kravis Center just one-half hour north in West Palm Beach, and the impressive Broward Center for the Performing Arts just one-half hour to the south in Ft. Lauderdale. The Greater Miami Opera and world-renowned Miami Ballet, along with hundreds of local community-based performing groups, provide quality cultural events throughout the year.
“Large institutions with national visibility, combined with equally dynamic and qualitative smaller organizations, provide a great mix of opportunities. In addition, healthy, visible cultural institutions bring in significant dollars for our area businesses,” according to Christina Orr-Cahall, director of the county’s Norton Museum of Art. The 50-year old Norton Museum was recently expanded and now has 77,000 sq. ft. including 19 galleries, an education wing and classrooms, sculpture gardens, a theater and cafe.
The Kravis Center is home to Ballet Florida, Palm Beach Opera, the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, The Boca Pops, The Miami City Ballet, and the Palm Beach Broadway Series, among others. Some of Palm Beach County’s other major venues are the Pope Theater Company, the Armory Art Center, Clematis Street Shopping and Entertainment District, the Hibel Museum of Art, the Royal Poinciana Playhouse, and the South Florida Fairgrounds.