Festival of the Arts Boca Endowment Fund

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Festival of the Arts Boca Endowment Fund (est. 2016)

The Schmidt Family Centre for the Arts, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has been hosting the annual Festival of the Arts Boca each March for the past 15 years. Considered by critics to be “an important and impressive addition to the artistic landscape” – the Festival, held in Boca Raton, Florida, has won numerous awards including: the “Muse Award” from The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, “Best Festival” by Boca Magazine and “Best Cultural Festival of 2014” from Palm Beach Illustrated. The Festival continues its tradition of featuring the finest in classical music, jazz, dance, film and authors and ideas.

Established in 2007, Festival of the Arts Boca was designed to promote the cultural arts and to enrich the quality of life of the residents of Boca Raton, North Broward and Palm Beach County. As conceived by its founders, the Festival is more than just programming. It is a unique way of bringing world class performers, authors, and speakers to Boca Raton, something that would be unattainable but for the special qualities of a serious cultural arts festival in a great wintertime destination. The Festival is unique, because of the venue, the season, the quality and diversity of its cultural offerings, and because of the opportunity it offers for young and old to celebrate the traditions of the great arts, and to be exposed to the incredible diversity of the performing and literary arts at the highest levels.

Since its inaugural year, the Festival has been an unprecedented cultural arts festival, and has been heralded as a resounding success, featuring artists such as Itzhak Perlman, the Russian National Orchestra, Joshua Bell, Lang Lang, Vladimir Jurowski, Sir James and Lady Jeanne Galway, and Pat Metheny. Other artists have included Grammy award winning soprano Renee Fleming, soloists from the American Ballet Theater, pianist/composer Conrad Tao, Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Ballet Hispanico, Time for Three, Arturo Sandoval, Pink Martini and Audra McDonald. The Wizard of Oz, Star Wars, West Side Story, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial and Raiders of the Lost Ark have been performed with live orchestra.

World-renowned speakers over the seven years have included Edward Albee, David Ebershoff, Anna Quindlen, Sir Salman Rushdie, acclaimed historian and Pulitzer Prize winner Doris Kearns Goodwin, David Brooks, Kevin Bleyer, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Barbara McDonald Stewart, David Ignatius, Anna Deavere Smith, Thomas Keneally, General George W. Casey, Jr., Geraldine Brooks, Clive Thompson, Siddartha Mukerjee, Richard Ford, Thomas Friedman, Fareed Zakaria, Jesmyn Ward, Sonia Shah, Jon Meacham, and Richard Haass.

Festival of the Arts Boca is also about cultural arts education – introducing new audiences to great music and exposing young people to leading artists through master classes and open rehearsals. The images are remarkable: Sir James and Lady Jeanne Galway leading the best flute students in the region in a master class; Tiempo Libre “teaching” the history of Latin jazz in words and music; the orchestra of Lynn University performing on stage with Tiempo Libre in the debut of a new composition at the Festival; Itzhak Perlman “doing a little Q & A” with students; and two-time Grammy Award nominee Joey Alexander playing two tunes with the Don Estridge High Tech. Middle School Jazz Band. The Festival continues its commitment to education, offering master classes, school visits, lectures, and open rehearsals each year. In addition, over 1,000 Festival tickets are donated to students and teachers every Festival.

In 2021, Festival of the Arts Boca inaugurated a virtual music competition for young people. It was open to Palm Beach County classical string music students aged 18 and younger and offered cash prizes for the top three competitors. Original plans for a live competition and performance required the Festival to pivot to an all-virtual competition when COVID shut everything down. A total of $10,000 in scholarship prizes were awarded, including a 1st Prize of $5,000 and a performance at a Festival event; 2nd Prize was $3,000 and performance at a sponsor appreciation reception; 3rd Prize was $1,500. Students had to complete an online submission form and upload a 5-15-minute video performance. There was a $25 entrance fee, but this was waived for those who could not afford it. As one of our first prize-winners, Annabella Paolucci, put it, “This opportunity really means the world to me, especially during these strange, difficult times. Thank you to all who have dedicated time and effort to make this competition possible, I am extremely honored and grateful. This prize will be a big help towards my music school tuition.”

The competition will rotate its focus each year between strings, winds & brass, and piano.

Visit the Festival of the Arts Boca website HERE.

If you are considering making a bequest to the Festival of the Arts Boca Endowment Fund of the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties, we recommend the following language:

Bequest Language

I hereby give, devise and bequeath _________ and No/100 dollars ($DOLLARS)… OR
I hereby give, devise and bequeath ____ percent (___%) of my total estate, determined as of the date of my death,…

…to the Festival of the Arts Boca Endowment Fund of the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties, a nonprofit organization located at 700 S. Dixie Highway, Suite 200, West Palm Beach, FL, 33401.

If you would like information about other ways to give, including gifts that provide you with immediate tax deductions, income for the rest of your life and preferential treatment of capital gains taxes, click HERE or call the Foundation at (561) 659-6800.

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