North Palm Beach residents, Donald M. Ephraim and Maxine Marks, on behalf of the Donald M. Ephraim Family Foundation, have made a $250,000 gift to the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County to support the nonprofit’s mission to grow the arts and cultural sector. The donation will fund planning, advocacy, community relations and a capacity building program over the next five years that includes world-class training for cultural organizations and their leaders throughout Palm Beach County. A portion of the gift will also be used to name the north gallery at the Council’s headquarters in downtown Lake Worth and for general operating support. The announcement was made at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Donald M. Ephraim Family Gallery on May 24, which was attended by board members and community leaders.

“Don and Maxine are philanthropists who care about this community and its future,” said board chairman Nathan Slack. “As a fellow board member, Don participated in the Council’s strategic planning process last year, and helped identify the need to strengthen our cultural sector by providing the tools necessary to become sustainable and serve generations to come. We are extremely grateful for his leadership, especially as we celebrate the Council’s 40th Anniversary this year.”

Palm Beach County has one of the largest cultural sectors in the nation, boasting 200 arts, sciences and historic preservation organizations that generate $633 million in economic impact and 14,000 FTE jobs for the county. The sector is also growing in order to keep pace with the population and tourism growth in Florida, with over 25 major facility expansions or renovations valued at almost $450 million planned over the next decade. With state grants declining and other public funding sources limited, the cultural sector is fragile, especially compared to institutions in cities like Chicago, Boston and New York that have grown endowments and other cash reserves over 150 years.

“We love the arts. We want to see these organizations survive, prosper and develop in Palm Beach County,” said Ephraim. “Our county has some of the finest arts and culture programs in the nation and is outstanding for its size and quality. We are fortunate that through the Cultural Council, we can help enhance arts enjoyment for our visitors and residents, as well as our own.”

“PLACES/SPACES: The Architectural Photography of Kim Sargent” is currently on display in the Donald M. Ephraim Family Gallery through July 28. Educators and Artists, featuring works by 41 past and present faculty of the Dreyfoos School of the Arts is in the Main Gallery through August 18.

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