An Arts and Culture Hub

Spotlight Date: 
September 27, 2017
Teneka James

Three years ago, the Downtown Development Authority launched the West Palm Beach Arts and Entertainment District (A&E District), and have been great supporters of our event, Dreyfoos in White, ever since. Director of the A&E District, Teneka James, is proud to support the event. “Dreyfoos in white is a must-attend event! For the last two years, since we partnered with the School of the Arts Foundation on Dreyfoos in White, the team enjoys traveling to a new location and supporting Dreyfoos with colleagues, friends and family. The tablescape competition is one of our favorite aspects, people get so creative! We also love that the event provides a sense of connectivity, a sense of family with those at your own table but meeting new people as well.”

In addition to sponsoring Dreyfoos in White (even bringing three tables worth of community members!), the A&E District is one of Dreyfoos’ greatest cheerleaders. They are quick to promote the school’s events on their Twitter and Instagram, and offer our students opportunities to be involved in the community. “Since launching the Arts & Entertainment District three years ago, Dreyfoos has been a supportive partner of our mission and we believe it’s important to showcase our partners and their initiatives however we can. We share information about the school and its performances because we want to keep the community abreast of all arts, culture and entertainment programming that we have right here in downtown West Palm Beach. It is programming such as this that is putting West Palm Beach on the map as an arts and culture hub.”

This past March, the A&E District were integral in helping to facilitate a project in which our talented Visual Art and Digital Media students designed and painted the intersection at Fern Street and Tamarind Avenue.

“The mission of the Dreyfoos School of the Art Foundation is to enhance the art and academic programs at the school and this closely aligns with the West Palm Beach Arts & Entertainment Districts mission. In addition to showing support of the schools’ programs, we also try to partner with the school and its students for any events that are relevant to them. For instance, we worked with Dreyfoos to obtain volunteers to help with the CANVAS Outdoor Museum Show and worked closely with the City of West Palm Beach and Art In Public Places to assist with executing the painting of the intersection located on Tamarind.  Projects like these engage our youth and highlight the arts in our community.”

Teneka and the A&E District believe that supporting Dreyfoos not only benefits our students, but the community as a whole. “Dreyfoos has helped enhance the Arts & Entertainment District and will continue to do so.  We look forward to increasing our collaborations with DSOA and showcasing the arts to community. We hope to see continued growth and look forward to future partnerships with the school and its students. As Dreyfoos students further their education and careers, we hope that they remain in or visit West Palm Beach often to share their talents with the community.”

As for the arts in downtown West Palm Beach, Teneka believes this is only just the beginning, and the Arts and Entertainment District are working hard to foster the growth of arts and culture in our community. With the launch of the official Arts and Entertainment District, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, Teneka says that they will be able to “enhance the appeal of West Palm Beach through creative expression and experiences in various art forms. With the nonprofit status, we will be able to foster more visibility for our partners, such as Dreyfoos, and drive programming through external funding opportunities for better experiences in downtown West Palm Beach. We believe that this will encourage economic development and provide a better quality of life for our residents and visitors.”