Harmony: An Exhibition of the Arts

Published on February 6th, 2018

As the person tasked with figuring out how art can make downtown West Palm Beach a better place, Teneka James has found it helpful to define the term expansively.

Associate Director of the city’s Downtown Development Authority, James said in a podcast last year not to think of art just as works hanging on museum walls. Art is musical, industrial and even culinary, she told West Palm journalist Bill Newgent in the podcast City Voice, adding, “There are so many different types of forms of art that we’re just not necessarily thinking of.”

One DDA investment in arts programming is Harmony: An Exhibition of the Arts, a free live performance staged once a year, every February, at the Meyer Amphitheater. A pairing of the Palm Beach Symphony with other regional arts presenters, Harmony is a Sunday afternoon outdoor concert that is open to all.

Last year it was the Symphony and Ballet Palm Beach in a trio of dance pieces set to music. The lineup for this year’s performance wasn’t available as of press time, but James tells PureHoney that the Symphony’s performing partner this February 25 will be Dreyfoos School of the Arts.

James is also Director of the West Palm Beach Arts & Entertainment District, created by DDA in 2014 to find, and fund, arts and entertainment. (It also has a nonprofit fundraising arm.) The A&E District counts 20 area organizations as cultural partners, from the Flagler Museum to Palm Beach Dramaworks to the Mendel Public Library — a varied bunch reflecting James’ belief  that art is where you find it.

With help from Art in Public Places and the Knight Foundation, for example, the A&E District brought the interactive, kid-friendly Musical Swings installation to downtown in 2016. More recently the A&E District partnered with local artists Caron Bowman of Street Art Revolution and Craig McInnis to pick locations for new murals and public painting projects.

The curtain coming up on Harmony will be a culmination of performer rehearsals, and of a whole cycle of fundraising and strategizing meant to solidify downtown West Palm as an arts destination.

Harmony: An Exhibition of the Arts, takes place on February 25 at Meyer Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach. downtownwpb.com/events ~ Sean Piccoli

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