FROM OUR PRESIDENT - KELLY NELSON

Late last week we became aware of cuts in the state budget that had the potential to have significant, negative impact on Polk State College, particularly the JD Alexander campus here in Lake Wales and the Lake Wales Arts Center. Thankfully many of you reached out to our legislators and 2.5 million of the 3 million that had been slashed from the budget was restored, allowing the JD Alexander Campus to remain open to serve the needs of students in Lake Wales.  

The Arts Council was notified earlier this week that Polk State College would no longer maintain the Lake Wales Arts Center and would be returning the building back to the Lake Wales Arts Council. We appreciate Polk State College and their generosity to the Arts Council in the past.

The Arts Council has received a great outpouring of concern and support from the Lake Wales community. The love and support of the arts that is found in our city is just one more thing that makes Lake Wales a wonderful place to live.

Stay tuned for ways that you can help the Arts Council continue its mission to make the Arts Center an artistic hub that will enrich the community and foster a love for the arts in future generations.

Who we are, what we do

The Lake Wales Arts Council is an organization dedicated to the programming and preservation of the arts in Lake Wales and surrounding areas. Our mission is to promote, encourage, and celebrate the arts for the enrichment of community life. Our season features a great variety of both the performing and visual arts, including exhibits, concerts, and our signature events such as the annual Arts Festival, Lake Wales Chorale concerts, Make It Magical holiday event downtown, Marilyn Newell Youth Music Festival competition, and other exciting events. Explore our site to learn more about our upcoming 2016-2017 season, or how you could get involved this year and become a partner in the important work of keeping the arts alive in our community. 

What's your favorite Lake Wales Arts Council event?

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People are saying...

The arts are a key component of economic development. The Lake Wales Arts Council regularly hosts events in downtown Lake Wales as well as coordinates and presents exhibits and art related events at other venues around Lake Wales including the Polk State Lake Wales Arts Center. The LWAC fills the cultural gap of the economic development mix and offers an arts amenity to our area, giving people and businesses another reason to want to stay here and invest in Lake Wales. For me personally, being able to stay close to my home and see a concert or an exhibit — rather than having to get in the car and drive to another county — is a very nice option for my family.
— Kevin Kieft, President/CEO Lake Wales Area Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council

Art around town...

The Lake Wales community is proud of its art. The beautiful murals featured around town are but one manifestation of our citizen's interest in and heart for the arts. The huge artwork pieces gracing downtown buildings were coordinated by the Lake Wales Murals and Enhancement Board and were funded primarily by citizens and visitors. For an entire list and description of each mural featured in downtown Lake Wales, click the button below for more information.