Nonprofit forms to enhance West Palm as Arts/Entertainment destination

Teneka James

The more than 20 galleries, museums, performing arts groups and other cultural organizations that comprise the city’s Arts and Entertainment District have formed a nonprofit to help seek grants and put more muscle in marketing efforts, to turn West Palm Beach into more of an arts destination for residents and visitors.

The Downtown Development Authority created the A&E 501(c)3 to focus on arts within two-miles of the downtown core, expanding beyond the DDA’s own reach to enhance the appeal of West Palm Beach as a visitor destination through creative expression and experiences in various art forms.

DDA Associate Director Teneka James, 39, will lead the group while remaining with the DDA, where she has worked for 10 years.

The Arts & Entertainment District was launched three years ago. Its cultural partners include Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, Armory Art Center, Bruce Helander Studio, Eaton Fine Art, Flagler Museum, Habatat Galleries, Historical Society of Palm Beach County, Legacy Fine Art Gallery, Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach, Multilingual Language and Cultural Society, Nicole Henry Fine Art, Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach Atlantic University, Palm Beach Dramaworks, Palm Beach Opera, Palm Beach Pops, Palm Beach Symphony, Palm Beach Photographic Centre, Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, SunFest, Society of the Four Arts, and Uptown Art.

James said the nonprofit is researching to identify grants for which it may be eligible to fund its operations. The plan is to add to what the organizations already are doing individually, increase the district’s visibility and drive more programming to enhance the downtown experience, she said.

The nonprofits board members will include Upendo Shabazz, the DDA’s Board Chairman and Regional Vice President for Allegany Franciscan Ministries; Raphael Clemente, DDA’s Executive Director; Greg Dillard, owner of Grapeseeker – Advertising, Design and Motion Graphics; Bill Hayes, Producing Artistic Director/CEO of Palm Beach Dramaworks; Toni May, President of MaylMedia; and Gisele Weisman, artist.

To learn more about the Arts & Entertainment District, visit

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s