The West Palm Beach Library Foundation received a grant from the West Palm Beach Arts & Entertainment District (A&E) to help continue the popular art programming at the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach. The A&E District in partnership with the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority (DDA) will provide $18,200 to fund classes, lectures and demonstrations that cover a variety of art forms throughout April 2018. All art classes at the library are free and open to the public, and include all materials necessary such as paints, canvases, brushes, pastels, clay, crafting items, etc. Patrons can learn any number of things such as painting like an impressionist, making clay jewelry, African-American art and artists, and much more.
The art classes and lectures at the Mandel Public Library are some of its major contributions to the A&E District. Classes are offered during the day and in the evening, seven days a week, and attract people from all over the area to Downtown West Palm Beach. Lisa Hathaway, assistant director at the Mandel Public Library, states, “Our library classes are superior. They bring in even more people from outside our city limits to the downtown. Instructors for our art classes are artists who have exhibited, won awards, or taught art previously – typically all three.”
The library, much like art-incubator organizations in other communities, provides an introduction to various art forms, and students often go on to attend classes at the Armory Art Center and patronize art museums and other arts and entertainment venues in the A&E District. The grant will allow the library to continue offering hands-on art classes (with supplies) and art lectures at no cost to residents and visitors to Downtown West Palm Beach. For a complete schedule of classes and programs, visit: wpbcitylibrary.org
In addition to attracting numerous visitors to its art classes, the library has also seen a significant number of people coming downtown to borrow materials. As of June 2017, 41% of cardholders lived outside the city limits, 43,937 of its 106,852 total cardholders. Cardholders living outside of West Palm Beach also account for 40% of the items currently checked out. The Mandel Public Library contributes to a vibrant downtown that provides social and cultural opportunities for residents and visitors.
Much of the library’s robust and engaging programming is made possible with the support of the West Palm Beach Library Foundation and its generous donors. For more than a decade, the West Palm Beach Library Foundation has raised critical funds necessary to create and expand free community program, enhance services and grow its collections.