West Palm Beach Arts & Entertainment District Launches Nonprofit Organization

May 12, 2017 – The city center of West Palm Beach – its fast-growing Downtown District, is becoming known as an important arts and cultural hub while the city promotes its newly launched Flagler Financial District. The combination creates a unique type of cultural and intellectual capital, which is essential for a city to thrive, says West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Associate Director, Teneka James. At the relaunch of the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County’s art&culture magazine, published by Palm Beach Media Group, the DDA, an event sponsor, announced the official formation of the Arts & Entertainment District 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Its mission is to enhance the appeal of West Palm Beach as a visitor destination through creative expression and experiences in various art forms.

The Arts & Entertainment District was launched three years ago and encompasses more than 20 distinct and distinguished cultural venues, including two on the island of Palm Beach. The diversity of the partner organizations forms an exciting destination with elements appealing to both residents and visitors.

“Establishing the A&E nonprofit will foster more visibility for our partners and drive programming through external funding opportunities to enhance the Downtown experience,” said James. “As we continue to build strategic partnerships, the A&E District will encourage economic development and enhance quality of life. This has already proven to be the case with several recent A&E District events including the Musical Swings, Harmony, CANVAS Outdoor Museum Show, pop-up performances, and more.”

The community and business leaders that will sit on the Board and oversee the A&E nonprofit 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, founding member of Palm Beach Dramaworks; Toni May, President of MaylMedia; and Gisele Weisman, artist.

To learn more about the Arts & Entertainment District, visit

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