BAM Festival Celebrates Books, Art & Music in Downtown West Palm Beach

April 15, 2023

By Press Release March 27, 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

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 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.

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 "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