Musical theater workshop, Triple Threat, continuing at Arts Garage in November.
Photo by Arts Garage.
The nonprofit Arts Garage in Delray Beach has consistently presented one of Palm Beach County’s deepest and most diverse arts calendars since opening in 2011.
Marquee musical performances since 2012 include former Jethro Tull progressive rock guitarist Martin Barre, as well as jazz icons in guitarists Stanley Jordan and Jonathan Kreisberg, keyboardists Dr. Lonnie Smith (who died in 2021), Fred Hersch, Lynne Arriale and Cyrus Chestnut, trumpeters Randy Brecker and Bria Skonberg, and percussionist Bobby Thomas Jr.
But while music is the Arts Garage’s frequent emphasis, the venue is about much more. Its year-round calendar includes comedy, poetry, all-arts open mics, all-styles jam sessions, book signings and performance theater.
The music ranges from Latin, blues and rock to hip-hop, tributes and international jazz. Brecker returns Jan. 14 to co-lead a quintet with his wife, saxophonist Ada Rovatti. Jordan is back Feb. 18 in a salute to Jimi Hendrix.
With an average of 250 events annually, the only thing that temporarily slowed the venue’s roll was COVID-19. But Marjorie Waldo, the president and CEO since November 2016, spreads credit for riding out the pandemic.
“Our donors continued to donate,” she says, “and without anyone asking them to. Our patrons continued to support us when they could. Our community stakeholders, the city of Delray Beach and the Community Redevelopment Agency of Delray Beach, stood by us. Our grantors were flexible. Our team kept fighting. Our government provided opportunity for new dollars that we were able to leverage to support ourselves. Amazing.”
The Arts Garage also emphasizes education. In November the venue will present weekly adult classes in tap dancing and acting, plus “Jazz and Java” listening sessions and youth series such as “Triple Threat: Musical Theatre Workshop,” “Future Photographers” and “Hip-Hop Poetics.”
Theatrical performances including drama, comedy and musicals also dot the calendar, as do art exhibits. It’s an overall diversity and depth that Waldo and her team aim for.
“From Grammy Award-winning musicians to emerging visual artists,” she says, “with theater, comedy, volunteering, arts education and open-mic nights in the middle, Arts Garage strives to be a little bit of art to everyone, regardless of their passion. We believe the arts matter. We believe that art blurs the lines that divide us.”
In addition to international artists and performers, the Arts Garage often features area talent. Its website features submission forms for musical acts and visual artists.
The venue features large, round tables with seating for six to eight people, often resulting in patrons meeting fellow arts lovers for the first time. Beer, wine, liquor and snacks are available, and a bring-your-own-food policy for meals has remained popular from Day 1.
Upcoming events include Svetlana & the New York Collective (8 p.m. Nov. 5, $40-$45), Tito Puente Jr. (8 p.m. Nov. 11-12, $50-$55), Nicole Henry (7 p.m. Nov. 13, $45-$50), John Daversa & Tal Cohen (7 p.m. Nov. 20, $35-$40) and One Hit Wonders (7 p.m. Nov. 27, $40-$45).
The Arts Garage is at 94 N.E. 2nd Ave. For further information, call 561-450-6357, or visit artsgarage.org.