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Arts & Culture
Palm Beach County is an ideal location to enjoy the fine arts, with numerous art galleries, music groups, dance companies and theaters. Whether you prefer a gala black-tie night at the opera, an outdoor jazz festival or a trip back in time at a local museum, Palm Beach County has something for everyone.
The area’s arts and cultural organizations include the Royal Poinciana Playhouse, Watson B. Duncan Theater, Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center, Palm Beach Ballet Society and the Florida Philharmonic. Art and history lovers can tour dozens of museums, including the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, Norton Gallery of Art, Loxahatchee Historical Museum and the Jupiter Lighthouse Museum.
Collectively, these cultural institutions make a tremendous contribution to Palm Beach County’s quality of life and offer many fine educational programs for students and adults. Here are some of the region’s arts and cultural activities:
Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum — Big Cypress Indian Reservation, 17 miles north of exit 14, I-75, Alligator Alley, (941) 902-1113. Seminole cultural museum of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Includes a 6,000 foot boardwalk nature trail. Open Tuesday - Sunday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Armory Art Center — 1703 South Lake Avenue, West Palm Beach, Florida 33401, 832-1776. Located in a historic Art Deco former National Guard Armory building and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Robert & Mary Montgomery Armory Art Center offers year round studio art classes for adults and youths, master artists workshops and rotating exhibitions of work by leading regional and nationally recognized artists. Web site at http://www.armoryart.org
Cocoanut Row and Whitehall Way, Palm Beach, 655-2833.
After a career as a founding partner in Standard Oil, Henry Morrison Flagler’s interests turned to developing Florida. Flagler’s Florida East Coast Railway and the luxury hotels he built along the way, linked the entire east coast of Florida from Jacksonville to Key West, establishing Palm Beach as one of the great winter resorts. When it was completed in 1902, Whitehall, Flagler’s Gilded Age estate in Palm Beach, was hailed by the New York Herald as “more magnificent than any other private dwelling in the world.” Today, Whitehall is open to the public as the Flagler Museum. Enjoy viewing the period furnishings and the private railway car on the grounds. Visit the Flagler Museum on the World Wide Web: http://www.flagler.org.
Cornell Museum of Art and History — Delray Beach, 243-7198. Part of the Old School Square Cultural Arts Center, the Museum features major regional, national, international and traveling exhibits in a variety of mediums. Local and state artists are featured through “Inspirations,” the Cornel Museum Guild’s annual show. Additionally, the Delray Beach Historical Society’s extensive collection of memorabilia is on display in the Cornell Archives Room.
Hibel Museum of Art — 701 Lake Avenue, Lake Worth, 655-2410. The Hibel Museum is the world’s only non-profit public museum dedicated to the art of a living American woman. Edna Hibel is famous for her impressionistic and classical paintings, sculptures, graphics, and porcelain art. Admission is free. Please visit our website at http://www.hibel.com/museum.htm
Lighthouse Gallery and School of Art — 373 Tequesta Drive, Tequesta, 746-3101. A center of enlightenment bringing culture to Palm Beach and Martin counties with major monthly exhibitions. An offering of fine art courses for adults, children and visitors; lectures; and renowned Jazz Series; a gallery and art supply store; and an Artbridge outreach program.
Museum of Contemporary Art — 601 Lake Avenue, Lake Worth, 582-0006. The MOCA is housed in a beautiful art deco edifice in the heart of newly-renovated downtown Lake Worth. The Museum will be closed from November 1999 and will re-open in March 2000 following renovations. Please call 582-0006 for exhibit information.
Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens —
4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach, 495-0233.
A beautiful 200-acre park portrays many aspects of Japanese culture. Set in a Japanese garden with a cascading waterfall, the museum features a bonsai collection, lakes teeming with golden koi, a gift store, nature trails and a full-service Japanese restaurant and much, much more.
Norton Gallery and School of Art — 1451 S. Olive Avenue, West Palm Beach, 832-5196, http://www.norton,org. Designated as a major cultural institution by the State of Florida for its high artistic standards and service. It is an exquisite peek at a gem in the cultural life of the Palm Beaches, with its unparalleled collection of European, American, Chinese and Contemporary art. View an ever-changing schedule of special traveling exhibitions. Programs include special exhibitions, films lectures and events for children. Shop in the Museum Store and have lunch in the cafe (seasonal).
Palm Beach International Airport — Belvedere at Congress Avenue. An introduction to Palm Beach County’s cultural legacy begins at the Palm Beach International Airport where nearly $425,000 in works of art greet visitors and returning residents. The collection contains more than 30 acquisitions and four donated works. For information, call 471-7420.
Palm Beach Maritime Museum —
4512 Poinsettia Avenue, West Palm Beach, 842-8202.
A 1936 historic Coast Guard Station, boat house, John F. Kennedy presidential command post and atomic bomb shelter. Located on Peanut Island. Embark from Currie Park, 2400 North Flagler Drive.
Society of the Four Arts — Four Arts Plaza, Palm Beach, 655-7226. The Society of the Four Arts is an arts complex at the northeast corner of the Okeechobee (or middle bridge) and the Intracoastal Waterway consisting of several historic buildings. The complex houses an exhibition gallery, an auditorium for concerts, speakers and film programs, as well as, a library, a children’s library, horticultural and sculpture gardens. Notable exhibitions, concert and film programs are open to the public either free or for a nominal fee, from December through mid-April. Libraries and gardens are open throughout the year. For further information on the many entertaining cultural events available at The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, please call (561) 655-7226. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Plenty of free parking is available. For information on libraries and gardens, please call (561) 655-2766.
Dance In the Palm Beaches, dance is considered as much a part of the culture as walks on the shore. Performances draw large crowds from throughout South Florida.
Ballet Florida — 500 Fern Street, West Palm Beach. Call 659-1212 for information, or 659-2000 for the box office. The company has garnered international attention for its distinctive performances of classical and contemporary repertoire and cutting edge world premieres. Artistic Director Marie Hale’s million-dollar production of The Nutcracker is the highlight of the holiday season in the Palm Beaches and according to the Palm Beach Post, “It would be hard to imagine a prettier Nutcracker in all of South Florida, if not the entire country.”
Miami City Ballet — 777 S. Flagler Drive #1801, West Palm Beach, 833-4492. Edward Villella and the Miami City Ballet have been thrilling Palm Beach County audiences since 1986. “The fastest growing and certainly among the most exciting ballet companies in the country” is how the 1997 Kennedy Center Honors described Miami City Ballet. The company will perform five major programs at the Kravis Center each season, including George Balanchines’s The Nutcracker.
Miami City Ballet School — Delray Beach - 233 N.E 2nd Avenue, Delray Beach, 243-0201. Miami City Ballet is proud to offer a Palm Beach County facility for pre-professional training in neoclassical ballet. Classes for children 5 years and older; auditions required for students seven years and older. Call for audition and scholarship information.
Festivals If enjoying festivals is your pleasure, you will never have to wait long for one in the Palm Beaches. They celebrate a variety of themes.
4th on Flagler - Flagler Drive in downtown West Palm Beach, 659-8007. A patriotic salute to Independence Day featuring free children’s activities, a wild wing cook-off, continuous entertainment on three stages and South Florida’s grandest fireworks display.
Octoberfest - 5111 Lantana Road, Lake Worth, 967-6464. Octoberfest 2000 sponsored by the American German Club of the Palm Beaches is scheduled for October 13-15 and 20-22.
South Florida Fair - 9067 Southern Boulevard, 793-0333, http://www.southfloridafair.com. The New South Florida Fair is Palm Beach County’s oldest and largest outdoor event. The 17-day spectacle features North America’s top-rated midway, a new circus, a spectacular nightly laser show, superstar entertainment, a thrilling Sky Ride and a futuristic Expo 2000. The Fair is also home to award-winning livestock and agriculture plus blue ribbon community competitions. Nestled on the Fairgrounds is historic Yesteryear Village. Visit the Fair January 14-30, 2000. Parking is free!
SunFest - Florida’s largest music and art festival on the waterfront. Held annually the first weekend in May on the Intracoastal Waterway in downtown West Palm Beach. More than 300,000 visitors enjoy a juried art show, national entertainment on several stages, arts and crafts booths, fireworks and plenty of food. The festival runs for five days, making it the longest festival in the area. For more information, log onto http://www.sunfest.org
MUSIC One of Palm Beach County’s great musical venues is the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, home to many of the region’s orchestral, ballet and opera companies – as well as special concerts just for kids. Another enjoyable setting for concerts is the Coral Sky Amphitheatre, which showcases the nation’s most popular rock, pop, country and jazz performers. For the latest dance music or traditional jazz, you can visit many area restaurants and nightclubs that feature live performances.
Mars Music Amphitheatre - South Florida Fairgrounds, 795-8883. Coral Sky Amphitheatre is a state-of-the-art outdoor concert facility. With a capacity of nearly 19,000, Coral Sky is specifically designed for musical presentations and attracts the biggest names and brightest stars to more than 30 events each year. Located in suburban West Palm Beach at the South Florida Fairgrounds, the award-winning amphitheatre features nearly 7,000 reserved seats under a covered pavilion, and a lush, festival lawn with room for nearly 12,000 more. Spread a blanket or rent a lawn chair and experience a truly unique open-air concert under the stars.
Florida Philharmonic Orchestra - 3401 NW 9th Avenue, Ft. Lauderdale, 800-226-1812. Offering a wide range of music from classical to pops in Boca Raton and West Palm Beach.
Masterworks Chorus of the Palm Beaches 615-8343. A nonprofit community chorus that performs major choral works. Auditions are open to the public.
Palm Beach Opera - 415 S. Olive Avenue, West Palm Beach, 833-7888. Now in its 37th year, the company is poised for another prolific schedule featuring four world-class productions with five performances each, along with an annual gala concert. All under the baton of Maestro Anton Guadagno, the company’s artistic director and principal conductor and are presented at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. Palm Beach Opera’s Educational Outreach Program provides knowledge and understanding of opera to children through a comprehensive outreach program and features a summer camp, apprentice program and vocal competition.
The Greater Palm Beach Symphony - 235 Sunrise Avenue, Palm Beach. In their 26th season, the symphony will perform eight classical concerts at the Rosarian Academy, the Norton Museum of Art and the Royal Poinciana Playhouse. Please call 655-2657 for a brochure.
Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts — 701 Okeechobee Boulevard, West Palm Beach, 833-8300. Located in downtown West Palm Beach, the Kravis Center is one of the most elegant theatres in the nation. This 8-year-old architectural masterpiece features a stunning lobby complete with a grand marble staircase. The 3 venue, $67 million facility, which includes the largest stage in Florida, is home to the county’s many regional arts groups including Ballet Florida, the Palm Beach Opera, the Miami City Ballet, The Palm Beach Broadway Series, the Florida Philharmonic and the Palm Beach Pops. Jan McArt’s Festival Theatre at the Royal Palm Dinner Theatre Centre — 303 Southeast Mizner Boulevard, Boca Raton, 392-3755. Award-winning year-round professional dinner theatre that features Broadway productions. Reservations Required.
Royal Poinciana Playhouse — 70 Royal Poinciana Plaza, Palm Beach, 659-3310. Located in the heart of Palm Beach, the creation of the Royal Poinciana Playhouse is considered to be one of the most significant achievements in Palm Beach’s cultural community. Built by business entrepreneur Frank Hale in 1957, the Royal Poinciana Playhouse has a long and prestigious tradition of presenting the best in Broadway touring and pre-Broadway shows. Its classic Regency Style interior boasts rich, lipstick-red carpet, plush seats, gold-highlighted walls and crystal chandeliers which all enhance the audience’s theatrical experience. The Playhouse seats 878 people, providing excellent sight lines. There’s, literally, not a bad seat in the house.
Updated Oct 4, 2002
palm beach is one of the safest towns to visit in florida. the residents of palm beach are very wealthy and the town has an excellent police department. as a result palm beach is virtually crime free. the only problem for the tourist is limited parking. most of the parking spaces in the town of palm beach are permit only. if you park in one of these spaces you risk a $ 35 fine. you can park for free on royal poinciana way and worth ave. has metered parking if you can find a space.
Updated Mar 7, 2010
The Palm Beach population is normally 10.000 but it rises to 30.000 during the high season.
But on the Sunday morning, this population is still in bed and nobody is roaming by the streat and the shops wait 10AM to open , if they are open.
It is impressive to stroll in the town : it is like to visit a movie studio, above all because each building is clean and recently painted.
Written Mar 31, 2006
Favorite thing: SPORTS AND RECREATION
Written Oct 4, 2002