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Palm Beach County Cultural Council

In 1978 Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr., then chairman and president of Photo Electronics Corporation/WPEC TV-12, established the Palm Beach County Council of the Arts, renamed the Palm Beach County Cultural Council (PBCCC) in 1992. The organization provided a vehicle for Dreyfoos and others to assess the county’s artistic needs and to find ways to fund them.

The PBCCC became the county’s advisory agency for cultural development; in 1982 it led the drive for a county tourism tax that funds millions of dollars annually to cultural organizations and individual artists in grants, which the council administers.

During the 1980s and ‘90s, many new venues were built in Palm Beach County with substantial help from private philanthropists. The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach, the result of a 14-year effort led by Dreyfoos and the PBCCC, is one of many buildings named for major benefactors during and since this period. William E. Ray served as president and chief executive officer of the council from 1982-2003; Rena Blades succeeded him in 2004.

The council was also instrumental in passing a $50 million bond issue for culture and recreation in 2002. Now with the most major cultural organizations on the southeast coast, Palm Beach County has become known as Florida’s Cultural Capital, attracting both visitors and residents.

In 2012, the PBCCC moved from its offices in West Palm Beach to its new location in the City of Lake Worth, the Robert M. Montgomery Jr. Building. With assistance from the Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency, the organization obtained and renovated an historic 1940 Art Deco-style building for its new headquarters.

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phone: 561.832.4164  |  fax: 561.832.7965  |  mail: P.O. Box 4364, W.P.B., FL 33402  |  visit: 300 N. Dixie Hwy, W.P.B., FL 33401

© 2009 Historical Society of Palm Beach County  |  all photos courtesy HSPBC unless otherwise noted