Art in the Park

Last year, Boca Raton added an innovative concert hall to its cultural scene—and a new venue for the arts at Mizner Park. Boca Raton’s latest addition was christened as the Count de Hoernle Amphitheater and Concert Green, which squarely brought Boca Raton into the musical and entertainment limelight.

Since it opened in 1990, Mizner Park has revitalized downtown Boca Raton and gained an international reputation for its innovative design and mixed use. The new amphitheater complements the arts component of Mizner Park and is the second phase of the planned Centre for the Ails. Phase I involved constniction of the 44,000-square-foot Boca Raton Museum of Art and sculpture garden. The amphitheater was built during Phase II and Phase III, which is under construction and promises to create a state-of-the-art concert hall, education and administrative facilities and an attached garage.

The mission of the Centre for the Arts is to create a cultural heart for the entire community with facilities that will serve as a social, cultural and educational center for residents of Boca Raton, Palm Beach and Broward counties, providing improved venues and cooperative programming for exhibitions of art, music, dance, theater and film.

The Centre for the Arts has been able to secure top-notch entertainment by partnering with West Palm Beach-based Fantasma Productions. Founded in 1972, Fantasma is the premier independent concert and event promoter in the United States, promoting more than 750 events and concerts annually and more than 250 in Florida alone. The firm promotes shows by entertainers such as Elton John, N Sync, Sarah Brightman, Britney Spears, Ricky Martin. Kenny G, Shania Twain and many more. Since the concert hail opening last year, Fantasma already has brought David Crosby, Meat Loaf, The Pretenders, Norah Jones, Ringo Starr and Tony Bennett to Boca Raton.

The new amphitheater also will allow a substantial increase in the number of free public performances presented each year and will provide local community groups with the opportunity to host fund-raising events and other fee-based performances. For her part, Countess Henrietta de Hoernle hopes that her generous $1 million naming gift will inspire the people in the community to give what they can to help provide a cultural center for all residents of Boca Raton. “It is important to give back to your community, and I feel the people of Boca Raton enjoy the free concerts,” says the Countess. “Children should always be exposed to culture, so I want to be able to schedule the concerts as soon as possible.”

Thanks to the success of cultural locations such as the Count de Hoernle Amphitheater, downtown Boca Raton continues to experience a renaissance. “We’re extremely fortunate to have so many outstanding cultural organizations right here in our city,” says Leon Rubin, chairman of the Boca Raton Cultural Consortium. “The arts help our economy, boost our property values and enrich our lives and our children’s lives in countless ways. Boca Raton is truly one of the best places to enjoy the arts in the entire state.”

The Boca Raton Cultural Consortium represents 20 nonprofit organizations based in or offering programming in the city. The Consortium is committed to raising the public’s awareness of the quality, diversity and impact of arts and cultural programs on the community—and to secure strong support and participation in these events. The group publishes a free monthly calendar of events, “What’s Happening in Boca Raton,” available at the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce. Consortium members include the Boca Ballet Theatre, the Boca Raton Historical Society, the Boca Raton Museum of Art, Caldwell Theatre Company, Centre for the Arts at Mizner Park, the Children’s Museum of Boca Raton, Count de Hoernle Amphitheater, Friends of the Boca Raton Public Library, Florida Atlantic University’s Schmidt College of Arts and Letters and the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra. Additional members include the Harid Conservatory Dance Division. the Conservatory of Music at Lynn University, the Levis Jewish Community Center’s Cultural Arts Division, Little Palm Family Theatre, the Music Guild of Boca Raton, Jan McArt’s Royal Palm Festival Dinner Theatre, Starmaker Family Theatre Company and the Youth Orchestra of Palm Beach County

Other popular cultural destinations in greater Boca Raton include:

The Boca Raton Museum of Art, which recently celebrated the second anniversary of its 44,000-square-foot building by continuing to expand its exhibition, education and collection galleries, and its public meeting and program areas

The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, which opened in 1977 and has been a center for exploring the living culture of Japan in South Florida and recently completed a $3.5 million garden renovation and expansion

The Sports Immortals Museum, featuring the world’s largest sports memorabilia collection once featured at the Smithsonian Institution

The Children’s Museum at Singing Pines, which is housed in a charming frame house that is the city’s second oldest building

The Nathan D. Rosen Museum Gallery, which features a vast array of artwork, including exhibits from artists from around the world, a multimedia juried art show and traveling exhibits of Judaica and general nature

For more information on Boca Raton’s cultural/arts organizations, please visit www.bocaratonchamber.com. .

  Source: Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce, BOCA RATON ANNUAL 2003-2004  

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