The BAM Festival will return as an in-person event on Saturday, April 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with 39 national award-winning authors and illustrators.
The festival takes place in downtown West Palm Beach at the Mandel Public Library and the 400 block of Clematis Street. The event is free and open to the public, and celebrates books, art and music through interactive activities, including book signings, author readings, writing workshops, illustrator demonstrations and activities, writing and drawing competitions, live music, street chalk drawing and more.
“BAM is bigger and better than ever this year with almost 40 bestselling authors, illustrators and musicians. The festival gives children and young adults a chance to meet, learn and be inspired by their favorite authors and illustrators,” BAM President Claire Salmon said. “It is truly a unique experience that can inspire children to read, write and explore the next level for those aspiring to be authors and artists.”
An event highlight is the author and illustrator panels that take place at the Mandel Public Library from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and include author story times and a variety of panels and workshops that will inspire and ignite the imagination. A total of 34 panels are available for students in grades K through 5, middle schoolers and young adults. For a complete schedule of activities and author/illustrator panels, visit www.bamwpb.org.
Panelists and presenters include: Audrey Ades, Alexandra Alessandri, Valerie Bolling, Vanessa Brantley-Newton, Yangsook Choi, Christina Diaz Gonzalez, Antwan Eady, Robert Forbes, Van G. Garrett, Lauren Gibaldi, Shannon Hitchcock, Kim Johnson, Adib Khorram, Stephen Kozan, David LaRochelle, Jarrett Lerner, Lynne Marie, Ed Masessa, Kwame Mbalia, Juana Medina, Jenin Mohammed, G. Neri, Kerry O’Malley Cerra, Claribel A. Ortega, Linda Sue Park, Akshaya Raman, Stacie Ramey, Jess Redman, Debbie Reed Fischer, Shauna Reynolds, Chad & Dad Richardson, Rob Sanders, Neal Shusterman, Eric Smith, Dana Swift, Danette Vigilante, Sherri Winston, Mike Wohnoutka and Ashley Woodfolk.
Participants can pre-register at www.bamwpb.org/signup to begin receiving information and updates and a chance to win prizes and giveaways that could include a meet-and-greet with their favorite author/illustrator, BAM merchandise, book swag, signed books and posters, and more. For those who cannot make it in person, one panel per hour will be streamed on YouTube. Links will be sent out the day of the event to those who register.
Sponsors include the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement Trust Fund, the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County, the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches, Webauthor, Publix, the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach, the Itto A. Willits Charitable Foundation, the Arts & Entertainment District of West Palm Beach, the Belle Glade Rotary, the Palm Beach County Library System, Discover the Palm Beaches, the City of West Palm Beach, the West Palm Beach Library Foundation and Palm Beach County.
The 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 nonprofit organization dedicated to children’s literacy that has served more than 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. Its mission is to introduce children and young adults to the authors of the books they love and read.
Originally titled “April is for Authors,” the event was re-branded “BAM Festival” in 2018 to include not only books, but art and music. The festival is free to the public, and the organization provides buses to families from underserved areas. For more information, visit, www.bamwpb.org.