art&culture magazine spring/summer 2016 v10i3

Page 79

a&c Spring 2016_Inside Culture.qxp_Layout 1 6/2/16 8:52 AM Page 77

C U LT U R A L C O U N C I L N E W S CEC Lunch Meeting Focuses on Economic Impact At a luncheon held at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach earlier this year, Surale Phillips, president of Decision Support Partners, and Randy Cohen, vice president of research and policy at Americans for the Arts, presented information regarding the economic impact of cultural tourism in Palm Beach County to the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County’s Cultural Executives Committee earlier. Their analysis provided compelling evidence that cultural attendees contribute significantly to the economic vitality of the community. “With more than 200 cultural organizations, Palm Beach County is Florida’s Cultural Capital, attracting cultural tourists from around the state and around the world and playing a more vital role than ever in the lives of residents,” said Rena Blades, president & CEO of the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County. Keeping our cultural institutions viable, active and attractive to tourists plays a critical role in Palm Beach County’s economic welfare.” Phillips and Cohen said that cultural tourists are frequent visitors to Palm Beach County and that 85 percent anticipate visiting the area again. Availability of arts and cultural opportunities is of major importance to these visitors, they said, with the vast majority of non-resident attendees having considered Palm Beach County’s arts and cultural opportunities when deciding to make their trip. Many tourists visit Palm Beach County specifically to experience its arts and cultural opportunities. The Elegant Harp, one of just a few harp duos in the world, provided entertainment for the lunchtime gathering. With their unique fun and upbeat style, AnnaLisa and Esther Underhay shattered more than a few preconceived ideas about harps and harpists. The mother-daughter act has been performing together professionally for nearly 20 years. They have toured in Japan, India, on luxury cruise lines around the world and throughout in Florida but are always happy to come home to The Palm Beaches.

Randy Cohen, vice president of research and policy at Americans for the Arts, and Surale Phillips, president of Decision Support Partners

The Elegant Harp


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