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Palm Beach  Society News  Pages 1 
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Black Tie International:
Palm Beach County Cultural Council Grand Opening Week
for New Home in The Robert M. Montgomery Building in Lake Worth

Mary Montgomery with Rena Blades

Mary Montgomery with Rena Blades


Palm Beach County Cultural Council Announces Grand Opening Week for New Home in the
Robert M. Montgomery Building in Lake Worth

January 18-23, 2012

Rena Blades, Chief Executive Officer of the Palm Beach County Cultural Council, the official arts agency that serves non-profit cultural organizations and professional artists throughout the county, today announced the schedule for Grand Opening Week at the Council’s new home in downtown Lake Worth.

Just two weeks ago, the Palm Beach County Cultural Council moved into the historic Robert M. Montgomery, Jr.
at 601 Lake Avenue. It first opened in 1940 as the Lake Worth Theater and later housed three different art museums, but has been closed to the public since 2005.

When the Montgomery Family donated the classic building
to the Cultural Council in January 2010, it was the largest single donation in the Council's
33-year history. 

Named after the late Robert M. Montgomery, Jr.,
a prominent attorney and philanthropist, the 
building was renovated with assistance from the Lake
Worth Community Redevelopment Agency
 (CRA), which committed $700,000 for the project. The CRA’s grant is part
 of its larger Cultural Renaissance Program that focuses on redevelopment through the establishment of
artists, cultural centers and institutes within Lake Worth, expanding the economic base and improving the investment image of the area.

Scheduled to open to the public on Thursday, January 19,
the newly renovated Robert M. Montgomery, Jr. Building will serve as the Cultural Council’s headquarters. The building’s 11,000 square feet will include galleries for community exhibitions, Artist Resource Center, tourism
services, education and training facilities and
meeting space.

Palm Beach County Cultural Council

Grand Opening Week

January 18, Wednesday – 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Donors Dedication & Tour

By invitation only.

January 19, Thursday – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Opening Day

+ 10 a.m. – Ribbon Cutting with the Lake Worth city officials, CRA and Chamber of Commerce.

+  11 a.m. – Public Tours throughout the day

January 21, Saturday – 1 to 3 p.m.

Thank You Reception & Tours

For the Builders and Laborers & Their Families

By invitation only.

January 23, Monday – 5 to 7:30 p.m.

Welcoming Reception & Tours

For Cultural Council Members & Member Organizations

By invitation only.

“It is critically important for the umbrella organization for art and culture in Palm Beach County to have a hub,” said Cultural Council Board Chairman Michael J. Bracci. “The building will help people understand the importance of art and culture to our quality of life. It provides a place for the cultural community as well as our residents and visitors to gather and find information. It is also vitally important to the strategic goals of the Cultural Council. We couldn’t be more pleased.”

“The icing on the cake is that we are continuing in the footsteps of other visionaries who saw that this building could be a place for art. From its origins as a movie theater, to J. Patrick Lannan’s repurposing it for his collection, to its years as Palm Beach Community College’s Museum of Contemporary Art and the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art under Robert and Mary Montgomery’s leadership, this building has a remarkable past,” added Rena Blades. “We feel incredibly blessed with that history, and also an awesome sense of responsibility to continue such an impressive legacy of arts programming and visibility.”

To date, the Cultural Council has spent more than $1.5 to renovate the building.  In addition to the original donations
by the Montgomery Family and the Lake Worth CRA, major supporters of this project include Irene & James Karp, the Lawrence A. Sanders Foundation, the Estate of Nancy
Grayson, Alex & Renate Dreyfoos, The Roe Green
Foundation and Berton E. & Sallie G. Korman. Additional donors include Northern Trust Bank of Florida, Bruce A. Beal & Francis V. Cunningham, Jean S. & Frederic A. Sharf, Mrs. Cil Draime and Herbert & Diane Hoffman.

Quote from Mary Montgomery

When She Donated the Building to the Cultural Council:

“I am extremely proud to make this gift in honor of Bob’s memory, and the legacy he built in the legal, cultural and philanthropic communities. Giving this historic building to the Cultural Council will strengthen Bob’s vision of a healthy cultural foundation developing better students, better citizens and a better community.”  (1/9/10)

About the Palm Beach County Cultural Council:

The Cultural Council is Palm Beach County's official arts agency and serves non-profit cultural organizations and professional artists throughout the county.  The Cultural Council's responsibilities include marketing the county's cultural experiences to visitors and residents, administering grants to organizations and artists, expanding arts and cultural education opportunities, advocating for funding and arts-friendly policies, and serving cultural organizations and artists through capacity building training and exposure to funders and audiences. For more information, please visit


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