ANNUAL BAM FESTIVAL CELEBRATES BOOKS, ART, & MUSIC  IN DOWNTOWN WEST PALM BEACH ON APRIL 15, 2023 

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Free festival for kids and young adults featuring twenty-eight 
award-winning authors & illustrators

West Palm Beach, Fla. (March 24, 2023) The BAM Festival returns on April 15 from 10 am – 3 pm to the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach and the 400 block of Clematis Street with twenty-eight award-winning authors and illustrators. The free, family-friendly festival celebrates books, art, and music with a day filled with author readings, writing workshops, illustrator demonstrations, competitions, street chalk drawing, and more. For more information, visit https://www.bamwpb.org.

BAM is a non-profit organization dedicated to children’s literacy. Its mission is to provide a county-wide literary experience that brings together authors, teachers, students, families, and the community to share their love of books. BAM promotes literacy, encourages fellowship through education, exercises young minds with discussion, and inspires youth to reach high. 

“BAM is a free community event that allows children and young adults to meet and learn from some of the best children’s authors and illustrators in the country,” said Claire Salmon, BAM Director. “The event promotes children’s literacy and a love of reading and writing with authors and illustrators interacting with the attendees through creative activities and workshops.”

A festival highlight is the one-hour workshops facilitated by authors and illustrators. These interactive sessions run from 10 am – 3 pm and provide one-of-a-kind opportunities for all ages. Workshops tailored to young readers include the Illustrator Smackdown, where authors and illustrators compete in a kid-judged, live-action drawing competition. Other workshops are tailored to young adults who want to take their writing to the next level. Themes relevant to our world today include Matters of the Mind, which focuses on mental health, and Finding your Voice which teaches how to use art and language to speak out against injustice. ¡Celebremos! celebrates Latin history and culture. Another workshop titled BAM Flash Fiction Challenge initiates a free writing contest where the winner works with author Steven Kozan to write, edit, and publish a book. 

The festival also features street art. The public is invited to participate in the street art by emailing bam@bamwpb.org. The A. W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts Visual Arts and Digital Media will also present an Artist Market in collaboration with BAM, which includes over 50 students selling their original art to the public. 

2023 guest authors and presenters include Kalynn Bayron, Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond, Pablo Cartaya, Tami Charles, Eric Elfman, Tatiana Gardel, Donna Gephart, Kathleen Glasgow, Joya Goffney, S. Isabelle, Gladys Jose, Fred Koehler, Stephen Kozan, Lily Lamotte, Francie Latour, Sarah McGuire, Jenin Mohammed, Maika and Maritza Moulite, Carmen Oliver, Baptiste Paul, Miranda Paul, Aixa Pérez-Prado, Randi Pink, Jess Redman, Neal Shusterman, Ana Siqueira, Padma Venkatraman.

Sponsors include the Florida Humanities, National Endowment for the Humanities, PNC Foundation, Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches, A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, FP&L, Itto A. Willits Charitable Foundation, Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County Library Association, Palm Beach County Library System, Palm Beach County School District, Florida Department of State – Division of Art and Culture, Palm Beach County, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Foundation, Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County, Rohi’s Readery, Farm Credit, Cloud Software Group, West Palm Beach Library Foundation, and WebAuthor, 

Funding for this program was provided through a grant from Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of Florida Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Participants can pre-register to begin receiving information and updates and view a complete schedule of activities and author/illustrator workshops at bamwpb.org

About BAM Festival of Palm Beach County:

BAM Festival brings together authors, artists, musicians, teachers, students, and the community to share their love of books, art, and music. Founded in 2011, BAM is a non-profit organization dedicated to children’s literacy that has served over 166,000 local youth and families. All proceeds support children’s literacy, fund author visits to schools, provide Title I schools with books, and provide scholarship opportunities for writers. BAM’s mission is to provide a county-wide literary experience that brings together authors, teachers, students, families, and the community to share their love of books which will, in turn, promote literacy, encourage fellowship through education, exercise young minds with discussion, and inspire youth to reach high. Originally titled “April is for Authors,” the event was re-branded as “BAM Festival” in 2018 to include books, art, and music. The festival is free, and the organization provides buses to families from under-served areas. For more information, visit https://www.bamwpb.org.

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Calendar Listing: 

10 am – 3 pm, Saturday, April 15, 2023 – BAM Festival 2023 is a free day-long festival celebrating books, art, and music by bringing award-winning authors and illustrators to interact directly with the community. The festival takes place in downtown West Palm Beach at the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach and the 400 block of Clematis Street. BAM provides a literary experience for all ages to share their love of books with twenty-eight bestselling authors and illustrators. Activities include book signings, author readings, literary workshops, illustrator demonstrations and activities, live music, street chalk drawing, and more. For more information, visit https://www.bamwpb.org.


MEDIA CONTACTS:
Jennifer Sardone-Shiner, JSS Marketing & PR

(561) 891-7278, jssmarketingpr@gmail.com

Additional Information: 

AUTHOR & ILLUSTRATOR WORKSHOP SCHEDULE: 

10:00 AM

Water is Water…Or Is It? With Miranda Paul

Young Readers
Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach- Studio 411

Learn about the different phases of water as Miranda Paul reads her book, Water Is Water, then create your own water cycle in a bottle, in a fun, hands-on experiment.

llustrator Smackdown with Fred Koehler, Gladys Jose, Jenin Mohammed, Aixa Pérez-Prado

Young Readers
Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach- Auditorium

Cheer on some of your favorite authors/illustrators as they compete in a kid-judged, live-action drawing competition where you help decide what masterpieces our experts create. Bonus–learn more about their most recent books and what makes them tick! At the end, get your own bag of drawing utensils and create your art!

Get Published: The BAM Flash Fiction Challenge with Stephen Kozan

Workshop Miscellaneous
Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach- Hibiscus Room

Enter this free writing contest and come back to BAM 2024 as a published author! Author Stephen Kozan will get you started with a few writing warm-ups to get you on your way to enter the flash fiction challenge. One piece will be selected, and the winner will receive the opportunity to craft a book, edit, and publish it with Mr. Kozan’s own publishing company

Ask Me Anything – Craft and Getting Published with Joya Goffney, Carmen Oliver, Neal Shusterman, Eric Elfman, Donna Gephart, Randi Pink, Lily LaMotte

Workshop Miscellaneous
City Hall- Commission Chambers

“So you want to be an author?” Authors talk about craft, themes, getting published, and achieving your literary dreams.

11:00 AM

Animation Toolbox with Tatiana Gardel

Workshop Miscellaneous
Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach- Studio 411

Have you ever wanted to create your own cartoon or anime? Well, this workshop will help you start that journey! (Age 11+)

Books That Change the World with Padma Venkatraman, Donna Gephart, Francie Latour, Maika and Maritza Moulite, Baptiste Paul 

All Ages
City Hall – Flagler Gallery

These are books that we see on shelves and go, “Finally!” Stories that make us and our experiences feel seen. Stories that make us think. Stories that inform and change minds. Whether in big ways or in the little details, these authors make their characters and their worlds authentic through love and experience.

Ready, Set, Draw! With Fred Koehler, Gladys Jose, Jenin Mohammed

Young Readers
Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach- Auditorium

Each illustrator will walk the audience through how to draw one of their characters while the illustrators that aren’t presenting at the time do their own take on each character in their own style. At the end, everyone shows off their work! Each child will have their own paper and pencil and will follow the directions of the illustrator/author.

Happily Ever After…or Not with S. Isabelle, Kalynn Bayron, Sarah McGuire, Jess Redman, Maritza and Maika Moulite, Chloe Gong

Young Adult
City Hall- Commission Chambers

For much of history, fantasies began with a damsel in distress. These authors will discuss what’s changed, what’s stayed the same, how we’ve pioneered a new standard throughout history, and the work yet to be done.

12:00 PM

Books and Bites with Ana Siqueira, Lily Lamotte, Miranda Paul

Young Readers
Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach- Auditorium

These authors not only love to write about food – they love to eat it as much as you do! Dish about books and decorate a cookie.

You Matter with Tami Charles, Fred Koehler, Aixa Pérez-Prado, Baptiste Paul

Young Readers
Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach- Hibiscus Room

In this panel and activity, you get to tell your own story with words and pictures. With the help of BAM’s treasure trove of found objects and collaging, this is a child-friendly way to explore found art styles and storytelling for kids.

Neurodivergent–Thinking Outside the Box with Neal Shusterman, Pablo Cartaya, Kathleen Glasgow, Donna Gephart, Jess Redman

All Ages
City Hall- Commission Chambers

These authors write about characters that are considered neurodivergent. This panel celebrates our unique ways of thinking and interacting with the world and others.

Finding Your Voice with Maika and Maritza Moulite, Padma Venkatraman, Randi Pink, Nana Bre-Hammond 

Young Adult
City Hall – Flagler Gallery

How to use art and language to speak out against injustice.

1:00 PM

First Annual Picture Book Game with Ana Siqueira, Carmen Oliver, Francie Latour, Miranda Paul 

Young Readers
Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach- Auditorium

In this competition, we play theater-game-style contests about these authors’ books by pulling prompts out of a hat! Listen to them tell inside jokes, do interpretive dances, and share literary secrets to be voted the Crayola King, Queen, or Monarch. Only one can be awarded our crown of crayons! Storytime with Chad and Dad Richardson

The Evolution of AI in Books with Neal Shusterman, Eric Elfman 

All Ages
City Hall – Flagler Gallery

Join these science-fiction and tech-loving authors for a conversation about technology catching up to humanity and the arts in literature, and help them celebrate the launch of their latest book.

Matters of the Mind with Tami Charles, Kathleen Glasgow, Padma Venkatraman, Randi Pink, Nana Brew-Hammond, Joya Goffney

Young Adult
City Hall – Commission Chambers

You’re not alone if you or someone you know has been struggling with mental health. Let these authors and characters shed some light on these internal struggles.

AniMake: An Intro to Animation with Jenin Mohammad

All Ages
Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach- Studio 411

Have you ever wanted to create your own cartoon or anime? Well, this workshop will help you start that journey! (Age 11+) 

2:00 PM

Murder, Mystery, & Mayhem with Kathleen Glasgow, Chloe Gong, Neal Shusterman, S. Isabelle, Maika & Maritza Moulite, Kalynn Bayron 

Young Adult
City Hall- Commission Chamber

As chaotic as it sounds, we’re diving into the dark side of YA books in this wacky whodunnit-style panel.

Truth or Dare with Jess Redman, Sarah McGuire, Tami Charles

Young Readers
Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach- Auditorium

Ever wanted to invite your favorite character to your slumber party? Well, we can’t do that, but at this panel, kids get to ask questions! The consequences if they don’t answer: they must showcase a weird talent! Find out everything you want to know about these writers and their books.

¡Celebremos! With Ana Siqueira, Gladys Jose, Pablo Cartaya, Tatiana Gardel, Aixa Pérez-Prado 

All Ages
City Hall – Flagler Gallery

A Celebration of Latin History and Culture

Climb On! with Baptiste Paul

Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach- Courtyard 

Join author Baptiste Paul for fun; interactive book walk as he reads his story, Climb On!