This article originally appeared in PureHoney Magazine. Check them out here.
Still feeling a little, shall we say, isolated? With spring underway and Covid restriction eased, now is a good time for South Floridians to reconnect with their surroundings.
One path back to the kind of local life that became less accessible in the depths of the pandemic is through the arts. Enter, organizations like the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County and one of its newer regional initiatives: a Month of Shows, Arts, Ideas and Culture, a.k.a. MOSAIC.
The taxpayer- and donor-funded Cultural Council has, since the late ’70s, underwritten the creation and presentation of art, entertainment and culture across the county. The Cultural Council has a hand in everything from local Art Walks to Sunfest, and the nonprofit’s five-year-old MOSAIC campaign feels especially welcome and timely now.
MOSAIC is spending May inviting people to get out and explore the cultural riches in their own backyard. To make these sojourns even more appealing, MOSAIC is touting incentives and discounts on everything from art exhibitions to dolphin tours, with favorite destinations including the Flagler Museum, Mounts Botanical Garden and Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum participating.
Alongside visitor gifts and BOGO or two-for-one passes, there will be special programming and attractions throughout the month. Local hotels are also on board, with breaks during May on room rates available to both tourists and neighbors in need of a staycation.
There’s more at work here than just promoting arts and good vibes. The Cultural Council’s communications manager, Hannah Deadman-Arnst, says that MOSAIC is critical today in helping local cultural organizations recoup an estimated $360 million in economic activity lost to the pandemic. The campaign is part of a larger effort to help local cultural tourism thrive. With inflation and rising gas prices cutting into household budgets, Palm Beachers and others might also appreciate the discounts.
The annual event began in 2018 as a way to draw cultural tourists during the summer “shoulder season,” traditionally a slower time of the year with fewer visitors. (MOSAIC is especially promoted in “drive markets” considered reasonably accessible by car, including Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville and Atlanta.)
“Now that we are into 2022, we have people excited to get back out there and experience it fully,” Deadman-Arnst says. “There are more exhibition openings and different new seasons from cultural organizations. It’s feeling busier again.”
MOSAIC is in some ways a product of pure brainstorming: Council staff sit down with local businesses and cultural programmers to come up with workable, win-win promotions. Deadman-Arnst says the Council is seeing repeat participants as well as newcomers, and everyone involved understands they’re doing more than just queuing up discounts.
“It really is a celebration of arts and culture in the destination as a whole,” she says.
This year, MOSAIC is also partnering with Palm Beach County-based illustrator, graphic designer and painter Sam Nagel to produce the celebration’s campaign artwork, called “Colors of Home.” Also available for purchase as a poster, “Colors” practically vibrates with local iconography, not least the adorable pink flamingo pool float that is doing extra duty as a standalone logo on the MOSAIC homepage.
It’s an affectionate rendering of “the many things Palm Beach County has to offer, such as murals, lighthouses and outdoor experiences,” says Deadman-Arnst, who adds, “The campaign artwork is an opportunity to feature a local artist and showcase their work to a larger audience. It’s great for us and great for our local artist community.”