Survey shows 47 Palm Beach County cultural organizations contributed over $11.8 million in educational programming during the 2016-2017 school year

The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County recently released its first-ever 2018 Palm Beach County Arts and Cultural Education Survey to shed light on the powerful impact of arts education in The Palm Beaches.

Conducted by Surale Phillips of Decision Support Partners and commissioned by the Cultural Council, the survey collected information from 47 Palm Beach County nonprofit cultural organizations about their PreK-12 educational activities during the 2016-17 school year.

Last week, the Council hosted Palm Beach County superintendent Dr. Donald E. Fennoy, who addressed the survey’s results before a group of educators and leaders of cultural organizations. He also discussed how the community can help underserved children participate in arts opportunities and the importance of arts funding.

“The Palm Beach County School District has 180 schools, 167,000 students and 650 fine arts teachers,” said Dr. Fennoy. “It is proven that kids who focus on arts and academics are outperforming kids who solely focus on academics.”

According to the survey, together 47 cultural organizations:

  • Provided more than 430,000 educational experiences to students (over 32,000 hours)
  • Served 90 percent of district schools and nearly 300 other county learning locations
  • Contributed more than $11.8 million in educational programming to schools
  • Tracked over 53,000 volunteer hours
  • Administered over 17,600 professional development experiences to teachers

“People need to know the arts are important,” said Dr. Fennoy. “We’ve got to find ways to attract the best possible teachers to work with our kids to help them reach their fullest potential. We haven’t increased the funding that schools receive for things like instruments in over 20 years. We have the support of the community – now we need the support of the district.”

Dave Lawrence, the Council’s president & CEO, agrees.

“There is no doubt that arts education significantly impacts Palm Beach County students,” he said. “Each student’s success in life is affected by their involvement with the arts. These numbers provide ample evidence that the arts are important for students now and for generations to come. That’s why the Council will – alongside our community – continue to champion, engage and grow the arts here in Palm Beach County.”

For more information on the 2018 Palm Beach County Arts and Cultural Education Survey, visit



Hannah Deadman-Arnst
Phone: (561) 471-1602