To enrich our communities by sharing the transforming power of music and art, free to all.
When he arrived from Chicago in 1967 to become the choirmaster and organist at St. Paul’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Jacksonville Beach, BFAS founder Jim Johnson found the beaches had very little in the way of classical music offerings.
Jim was determined to change that, and his belief in the power of great music to prositively affect all people led to the founding of Beaches Fine Arts Series in 1972, which has always been free to all people. With the support of the rector at that time, and the underwriting of costs by the church, Jim’s vision became a reality. Sadly, Jim passed away in 2017. But his legacy continues with the annual James D. Johnson Memorial Organ Concert.
Since 1972, Beaches Fine Arts Series has offered people of North Florida the chance to enjoy world-class music and dance in an annual season of performances, all for free. Programming encompasses an eclectic blend of styles from classical to contemporary, jazz to world music and dance, and traditional to avant-garde.
Through the years, BFAS developed a reputation as an organization known for presenting world acclaimed artists in an outstanding acoustic. As a result, American Public Media began recording BFAS concerts for broadcast on the venerable national and international program, Performance Today, on NPR.
Performance Today features live concert recordings that can’t be heard anywhere else, as well as in-studio performances and interviews. It is America’s most popular classical music radio program. The show is broadcast on nearly 300 public radio stations across the country, and reaches approximately 1.4 million listeners each week. BFAS is the only series in North Florida to be recorded regularly each season for broadcast on American Public Media’s “Performance Today” on National Public Radio.