The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County
The Cultural Council is the official support agency for arts and culture for Palm Beach County serving non-profit organizations, individual artists and arts districts. The Council promotes the county’s cultural experiences through an integrated program of advertising, public relations and marketing activities to both visitors and residents. Each year, the Council administers more than $3.5 million in grants, supports arts and cultural education, provides capacity building training and advocates for funding and arts-friendly policies. Located in the historic Robert M. Montgomery building in downtown Lake Worth, the Council mounts a series of group and solo exhibitions featuring Palm Beach County artists and provides other programming.
Founded by visionary community leader Alexander W. Dreyfoos in 1978, we administer a portion of local tourist development funds under contract with the county government. Among our many initiatives, we regularly assist organizations of all sizes and professional artists through grant programs, technical support and capacity-building proposals.
As part of the Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council (TDC), the Cultural Council works with its TDC sister agencies — the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Sports Commission and the Film and Television Commission — to promote Palm Beach County as a vibrant tourism destination.
We also, in conjunction with regional and national organizations such as the Florida Cultural Alliance, South Florida Cultural Consortium and Americans for the Arts, disseminate the latest cultural industry activity from Palm Beach County and across the country.
2012 marks the year that the Council has embarked on the most historic and anticipated phase of our award-winning existence. The Montgomery Family donated the Robert M. Montgomery Jr. Building in Downtown Lake Worth to the Council in 2010 to serve as our headquarters. The Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency granted the Council $700,000 as part of its Cultural Renaissance Program to help renovate the historic 1940 art deco building, which includes a visitor center, exhibit/performance space, gift shop and artists’ workspace.
Now cemented in our new headquarters, the Council continues to strive towards excellence in the artistic and philanthropic communities. With a street-level home in the center of Downtown Lake Worth and an innovative strategic plan, we are poised to serve and engage the cultural community more effectively than ever before!
Services to Cultural Organizations, Artists, Members and the General Public
At the heart of the Council’s mission is service to the community. Over the years, the Council has offered critically needed technical assistance, networking opportunities, information sharing and basic assistance. Some of the most stable and ongoing programs include:
Source for National Information
The Council is the local arts agency for this region. We continually gather information from national sources, especially Americans for the Arts, a national arts organization offering advocacy, technical assistance and collegial sharing. The Council stays current on studies produced by a variety of national resources.
The Council's advocacy efforts cover public policy and funding issues locally, state-wide and nationally, speaking on behalf of the cultural industry and its impact on issues and people. "Art and Culture: Part of the Solution" has been a recurring theme with legislators.
The Council often provides speakers and content for area organizations’ meetings.
The Council has three committees that meet monthly: The Cultural Executives Committee is a group of cultural leaders who meet to learn, network and collaborate. The group consists of senior management staff from over 120 non-profit cultural organizations across Palm Beach County. The Cultural Education Committee is a group of youth program coordinators and education departments, encompassing visual art, dance, theatre, music, history and science. They discuss topics relevant to their field, network and learn. The Cultural Marketing Committee are marketing professionals from county arts organizations who meet to collaborate on marketing efforts, network and learn from occasional guest speakers.
Regularly, the Council fields calls and inquiries from organizations and individuals seeking advice, information and counseling. Based on staff resources, these inquiries are addressed and fulfilled.
Development of New Organizations
The Council’s history is rich with examples of involvement in the creation of new organizations. These include the Armory Art Center, The Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. School of the Arts, the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts and the Center for Creative Education.
Recognition and Awards
The Council regularly recognizes outstanding achievements in arts and culture in the county. These include the South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship, the Ubertalli and Fyfe Awards, and since January 2007, the Council has held the Muse Awards, a signature event recognizing the best of the best in arts and culture in our county.
Statistics and Informational Resources
The Council occasionally undertakes research such as the Economic Impact Studies, in which data is gathered from these and similar endeavors and disseminated widely to the community. In addition, organizations (such as chambers of commerce, business groups, government, tourism industry colleagues and others) seek information on arts and culture in this area. We are an important resource for such inquiries.
Over the years the Council has provided many events for the public and members, including lectures and gatherings at the homes of collectors.
The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County is an independent nonprofit membership organization with 501(c)(3) federal tax-exempt status, Florida Registration number CH1489. All contributions are deductible to the full extent of the law.