As it stands, school curriculums in the U.S. have shifted heavily towards standardized testing and the common core subjects of reading and math—but what about the arts? The simple creative activities and modes of exploration cultivated by the arts form the building blocks of child development, leading to healthy social interactions now and later in life.

As a direct result, in 2016, the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County began its Arts in My Backyard (AIMBY) program to bring arts and culture to children and families. The program brings the community, arts educators and arts-related programming to the Council headquarters in Downtown Lake Worth Beach. The program also pairs arts educators and their programs with designated schools and afterschool programs in Palm Beach County.

The program provides opportunities for youth and families to engage with the visual and performing arts, along with providing exposure for partner cultural organizations to the education community.

AIMBY is the Council’s signature arts education program and comprises five branches: Outreach, Field Trips, Afterschool, Early Learners and Family Saturdays.

Funded by Celia Lipton Farris and Victor W. Farris Foundation, The Batchelor Foundation, Christine and Bob Stiller and Jim and Irene Karp

Family Saturdays

The Council invites families to discover the arts together as they connect and create memories while acquiring new skills through visual art, dance and theater.

AIMBY Family Saturdays is a free program presented by various arts and cultural organizations in Palm Beach County. Each monthly event is hosted at the Council’s headquarters.

One Saturday each month | 10 – 11:30 a.m.

Early Learners

AIMBY Early Learners is an art-exposure program designed for parents and caregivers who have children between the ages of birth to 6 in search of arts activities and cultural experiences for their children outside of the home.

The program comprises arts-related workshops that center on the sensorimotor and language development (literacy) stages in early childhood. Each workshop has a focus, but each one is designed to encourage curiosity and creativity, independence and social relationships, and positive family interactions.

Each class series is designed for a specific age range and runs for seven weeks during the summer. All classes are free to attend, but space is limited, so advance registration is required.

Field Trips

AIMBY Field Trips is an art-exposure program that provides an interactive, guided tour of the Council’s galleries, followed by an arts session. These tours spark creativity and help students develop observational skills and visual literacy. After the tour, students engage in an exciting hands-on workshop.

This program is appropriate for children 18 months to 18 years who are interested in visual arts as a form of artistic expression.

Guided group tours can be scheduled based on availability.


AIMBY Afterschool is a program that seeks to bring arts and cultural experiences to Lake Worth Beach students through exposure to the arts. Students who are members of local afterschool programs are invited to engage through instruction, interaction and practice at their afterschool site.

This program enacts a 8 to 10-week session that pairs a cultural organization with a Lake Worth Beach afterschool program.

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AIMBY Afterschool started in August 2016, when the afterschool programs of Highland Elementary and Adopt-A-Family of the Palm Beaches were invited to sessions of visual arts instruction provided by Resource Depot.

Since then, the Council has partnered with a variety of different cultural organizations including Palm Beach Opera, the School of Ballet Arts and Digital Vibez. Partnering afterschool programs thus far have been North Grade Elementary, South Grade Elementary, Guatemalan-Maya Center and For the Children.

Past Examples

  • Creative Reuse | Fall 2017
    Afterschool Programs: Highland Elementary and South Grade Elementary
    Cultural Organization: Resource Depot
  • Opera: Our Story | Winter 2018
    Afterschool Programs: Adopt-A-Family of the Palm Beach and North Grade Elementary
    Cultural Organization: Palm Beach Opera
  • Digital Expressions | Spring 2018
    Afterschool Programs: For the Children and Sacred Heart Catholic School
    Cultural Organization: Digital Vibez

Schools/Teachers can contact Ericka Squire to learn more: (561) 472-3347 or via email


AIMBY Outreach supports authentic experiences that engage and empower students in the form of a seasonal, four-week arts-integrated session that seeks to bring the arts to the Council’s “backyard” for Lantana, a neighboring city. The program, which started in August 2016 at Lantana Elementary School, brings cultural organizations and programming to students. At each session’s conclusion, the students travel to the participating cultural organization for a guided tour/presentation and arts-related activity.

Within the classroom, AIMBY Outreach provides students with multiple modes of learning and understanding by coupling an art discipline with a core academic subject.

The program is currently the art-integrated residency program for the 3rd grade level at Lantana Elementary.

Past Examples

  • Arts-Integration: Space Studies | Fall 2017
    Lantana Elementary, 3rd Grade
    w/ South Florida Science Center & Aquarium
  • Arts-Integration: Ecosystems | Winter 2018
    Lantana Elementary, 3rd Grade
    w/ Palm Beach Zoo
  • Arts-Integration: Flowering and Non-Flowering Plants | Spring 2018
    Lantana Elementary, 3rd Grade
    w/ Mounts Botanical Garden

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