Groundbreaking Performance at Governor’s Conference on Tourism

Boca Raton, Florida/September 23, 2014: Rapper Vanilla Ice headlined a groundbreaking collaboration of artists Monday night performing for nearly 1,000 representatives of Florida’s tourism industry at the Boca Raton Resort and Spa.

The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County designed and produced the concert, which included the Palm Beach Symphony and Ballet Palm Beach, to bring attention to the quality and diversity of art and culture in the county.

“The Cultural Council is very engaged in cultural tourism,” said Marilyn Bauer, the Council’s director of marketing and government affairs.” We are leading the nation in innovative marketing programs created to attract this rapidly growing segment of the tourism pie. Our symphony and ballet are extraordinary and Vanilla Ice is extraordinary not only musically, but also in his enthusiastic support of art and culture in the county.”

The program for the Chairman’s Dinner at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism began with the Palm Beach Symphony, founded more than 40 years ago, performing “Concerto in D minor for Two Violins and Orchestra” by Johan Sebastian Bach. They were joined on stage by Ballet Palm Beach who danced to Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings Op 48, II.”

Surprisingly, and to the sounds of snare drum and bass guitar, the ballerinas whipped off their tutus while the symphony transitioned to the well-recognized initial refrain of “Ice Ice Baby.”

Vanilla Ice took the stage while the dancers, now dressed in black tights, broke into original modern dance choreographed by Colleen Smith, artistic director of Ballet Palm Beach, and danced to a version of the rap song arranged by Alfredo Oliva of the Palm Beach Symphony. The audience was on its feet joining in on this once-in-a-lifetime coming together of three distinct art forms.

“We are making art in Palm Beach County,” Bauer said. “The 200 organizations we support are world class. What we have, you can’t find anywhere else.”

All performers are residents of Palm Beach County.

Cultural tourism is a niche within the tourism industry that is defined as travel directed toward experiencing the traditional and contemporary culture, arts, and special character of a destination. According to a recent study by Mandala Research (2013) leisure travelers represent 71 percent of the US adult population – 170 million Americans. Seventy-six percent of all leisure travelers – 130 million – can be defined as cultural travelers.

In Palm Beach County more than 3 million people attended cultural activities accounting for economic impact of $250 million, total spending of $139 million and accounted for almost 6,000 jobs.

Note to Editors: Still photography by Bill Barbosa Photography and Video by Olympusat Entertainment can be found in this DropBox folder:
Cultural Council of Palm Beach County’s Monday Night Concert
Additional video of the performance can be found at


About the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County:
The Cultural Council is the official support agency for arts and culture in 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 arts marketing activities to both visitors and residents. Each year, the Council administers more than $3.5 million in grants, supports arts and cultural education and advocates for arts-friendly legislation. Located in the historic Robert M. Montgomery, Jr. building in downtown Lake Worth, the Council mounts a series of group and solo exhibitions featuring Palm Beach County artists and provides other programming.

About the Palm Beach Symphony:
Founded in 1974, the mission of the Palm Beach Symphony is to engage, educate and entertain the greater community of the Palm Beaches through live performances of inspiring orchestral music. The Symphony performs in a variety of historically important venues including Bethesda-By-The-Sea, Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, Mar-a-Lago and The Society of the Four Arts.

About Ballet Palm Beach:
Ballet Palm Beach reaches thousands of individuals every season. The dance company fulfills its mission of community outreach and education through “Flash Ballet” and partnerships with the Palm Beach County Library System, the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County, and the Kravis Center’s S*T*A*R Series outreach and education program.