Editorial: Looking ahead to our cultural future

Another season is upon us, and that’s cause for celebration.

As writer Hap Erstein underscores in his report on the state of the arts in eastern Boca Raton and Highland Beach, our cultural leaders are cautiously optimistic in these times of economic strife.

Cautious optimism — that’s a sensible approach.

Find ways to grow, as Florida Atlantic and Lynn universities have done, with new film and performance spaces.

Celebrate the space you’re in, as Caldwell Theatre has done with a new cabaret series the theater hopes will bring in new audiences.

Take a gift and run with it, as Highland Beach’s library has done in updating its gallery and performance space.

Or take stock of what you’ve got, and spruce up your digs, as the Boca Raton Museum of Art is doing in its $400,000 renovation.

As this month’s Season Preview edition of the Palm Beach ArtsPaper shows us, there is much to savor. From art to music, theater to literary events, southern Palm Beach County has it all.

Festival of the Arts Boca, which for several years has brought together internationally renowned musicians and authors, has the potential of being the area’s largest cultural event, when it happens March 5 to 12 in Mizner Park.

And that’s in addition to concerts by Florida Atlantic University’s critically acclaimed Klezmer Company Orchestra and choral ensembles. Patricia Fleitas, director of choral studies at FAU, says it is her mission “to take our FAU choral program across Florida and even outside the United States.”

That’s a nice thought, and it’s a far cry from the southern Palm Beach County of my youth, when FAU had no vocal program to speak of, Caldwell Theatre’s home was in a mall and the Boca Raton Museum of Art was a small space on West Palmetto Park Road.

Making all those changes took vision.

And I’m hoping our cultural leaders have the vision to take their institutions on their next steps into the future, whatever it holds.

— Scott Simmons,

Managing Editor

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