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Helen Zientek, a retired library media specialist, and Sue Slone, a retired elementary school principal, create an event for students to interact with their favorite authors

The organization rebranded to "BAM! Festival," for Books, Art, and Music, and moved downtown where the A and M in BAM! Festival were born.

Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, BAM! Festival goes completely virtual, providing a safe and accessible program for anyone in the country who registered to attend.

To celebrate its fifth year, the organizers decided to create the April is for Authors Foundation Inc, and filed the paperwork to be a 501(c)(3) entity.

BAM! Festival returns as an in-person event, with covid protocols in place, and a virtual option for our main panels.

BAM ! Festival 2023 partners once again with Dreyfoos School of the Arts to present an artist's market, in addition to the BAM! Festival Panels, Live Music, and Street Artists.


BAM! Festival’s mission is to provide a county-wide literary experience that brings together authors, teachers, students, families, and the community to share their love of books which will in turn promote literacy, encourage fellowship through education, exercise young minds with discussion, and inspire youth to reach high.


  • Lisa Butler, Interim President

  • Helen Zientek, Founder

  • Chet Zientek, Treasurer

  • Teresa Rodrigues, Secretary & Director

  • Craig Marasco, Director

  • Jennifer McQuown, Director

  • Alexandra Ayala

  • Patrice Cover

  • Caren Hackman

  • Harvey Oyer III

  • Stacie Ramey

  • Claire Salmon


BAM! Festival TEAM

  • Lisa Butler, Hotel Coordinator

  • Monica Ladd, Logistics Committee

  • Elizabeth MacEwan, Coordinator

  • Jennifer McQuown, Event Coordinator

  • Rebecca Radic, Authors Committee

  • Claire Salmon, Art Director

  • Debbie Tanner, Volunteer Coordinator

  • Helen Zientek, Logistics Team

  • Emily Hightower, Marketing Director, Website Editor

Website art and graphics by Claire Salmon

Website by Plumer Production Group.


Original Website Design & Concept by Jeremy Mattocks

Our Policies


BAM! Festival Inc. has a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY for harassment of any kind, including but not limited to: stalking, intimidation, offensive verbal comments, physical assault and/or battery, harassing or non-consensual photography or recording, sustained disruption of programs (panels, signings, meet-ups, and other events), bathroom policing, inappropriate physical contact, unwelcome physical attention, in relation to, but not limited to: race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, gender presentation, sexual orientation, age, body size, disability, appearance, religion, citizenship, pregnancy.

If a person engages in harassing behavior, the BAM! Festival Team will take prompt action in any form they deem appropriate, including expulsion from the festival. Our policy applies to EVERYONE at the festival. Exhibitors, Attendees, Authors, Speakers, Guests, Press, Staff, Volunteers, and Security are all subject to our anti-harassment policy. This applies in the public venues as well as all festival staff spaces, green rooms, parties, and VIP events.

Anyone can report harassment. If someone’s behavior has made you uncomfortable, or if you witness the same happening to someone else, you should immediately contact BAM! Festival Inc. directly. You may also come to the Youth Services Desk, 3rd Floor, at the Mandel Library (561) 868-7703) to report an incident. If necessary, we will contact local law enforcement, provide escort, offer a safe place, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to make sure they feel safe for the rest of BAM! Festival.

Remember: Respect others space and face. If you would like to take a picture with or of another fan or an author or other participant, always ask first. Common sense and kindness are always the rule.



BAM! Festival, Inc. is committed to maintaining and establishing welcoming environments at each of our events by supporting our community’s multiple learning styles, diverse cultural, and professional backgrounds while focusing on each participant’s functional needs during BAM! Festival, Inc. events.

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