Culture Attracts

   If you think beautiful beaches are the only tourism draw to Palm Beach County, think again. In fact, the area’s amazing cultural institutions are fast becoming one of the top reasons tourists visit our slice of paradise.

   In 2012, South Florida’s arts and cultural institutions alone had a $1.5 billion total economic impact, according to the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs. For Floridians, these institutions support an unparalleled quality of life and help promote a vibrant and creative state. For tourists, they represent new arts experiences that encompass a distinct voice—one that is Floridian in its tone, competitive in its talents and global in its themes.

Print ad from the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County.

    With this thinking in mind, the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County has unveiled a new marketing campaign highlighting the county’s eclectic cultural attractions. “In these new advertisements, we are speaking directly to the 76-percent of leisure travelers—130 million tourists—who are interested in cultural tourism,” Marilyn Bauer, director of marketing for the Cultural Council, said in a statement. “In addition to our famous beaches and golf courses, there is an abundance of world-class art and culture for travelers to experience in Palm Beach County.”

   Featuring a pop-art style and Andy Warhol-esque color palette, these print and video ads warp typical beach scenes in promotion of cultural attractions. Images of tanned beach bunnies are emblazoned with cheeky slogans including “Vacation doesn’t have to be vacuous;” “Just because we’re beautiful doesn’t mean we’re not smart;” and “You’ll catch us hanging at the beach and in galleries.”

   The impact of these advertisements could be far-reaching. Through September, print and digital ads will run in such national titles as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Boston Globe. In addition, television spots will air in Latin America, as well as in South America and Europe thanks in part to a partnership with Discover America.

   But what exactly does the county have to boast about? In one succinct answer, a lot. Check out these facts by the numbers about Palm Beach County culture, provided by the Cultural Council:

  • 200: Arts and cultural institutions in the county. This includes 72 historical sites, 48 performing arts, music and dance organizations, 22 nature attractions, 20 arts venues and museums, and nine children’s attractions.
  • 42,000: Offerings these institutions provide each year.
  • 4 million: Annual audience attendance.
  • 6,000: Amount of full-time jobs supported by these events and organizations.
  • 35: Arts festivals held each year, including such mainstays as the Palm Beach International Film Festival, the Festival of the Arts Boca and the Sunfest music festival.
  • 3.6 million: Dollars of grants awarded by the Cultural Council to sustain local art and build audience.

   And if the goal is to build audience, then the Cultural Council could not have picked a better year to introduce this initiative. In the first half of 2015 alone, Palm Beach County will host world premieres, remarkable repertoire theater productions and a gaggle of innovative arts exhibitions. And these offerings are not just for tourists—Palm Beachers are encouraged to take advantage of the world-class arts events taking place in their own backyard. If they happen to recommend it to their northern brethren, then the more the merrier.

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