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Arts Spotlight – February 2022

Betsy Price Arts Spotlight, Culture, Division of the Arts, RSS


Each month we feature arts and community-based organizations and their programs and projects funded by the Delaware Division of the Arts in our Arts Spotlight which will be included on our monthly e-newsletter, Arts E-News and online. If you haven’t signed up yet for Arts E-News, please do so here.

Funding for Division of the Arts grants is provided by the Delaware General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts. To view past grants awarded (1999 to present), please visit our Grants Awarded page.

Grant Types: GOS – General Operating Support; PS – Project Support


February 2022

Arden Concert Gild presents Black Opry Revue featuring Roberta Lea, Aaron Vance, Tylar Bryant, Jett Holden, and Lizzie No Live at Arden Gild Hall on Saturday, February 26, 2022 at 8 pm. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $20 for members. Arden Gild Hall is located at 2126 The Highway, Arden, Delware, 19810.

Arden Concert Gild
Arden Concert Gild Proudly Presents The Black Opry Revue

The Arden Concert Gild‘s mission is to offer a diverse, curated, and eclectic mix of musical events to attract audiences who are open to its unique offerings. The next musical event to hit the stage at Arden Gild Hall is the Black Opry Revue on Saturday, February 26, 2022. This concert, presented in conjunction with Black History Month, highlights Black musicians who perform in the blended genres of country, folk, roots, and blues. These musicians have traditionally been under-represented despite their extraordinary musicianship.  The Arden Concert Gild intends to not only serve the musicians who collectively comprise the Black Opry Revue, but to connect their music to a larger audience, one that not only consists of the Arden Concert Gild’s traditional concertgoers but also underrepresented groups not normally in attendance.

To fulfill this goal, the Arden Concert Gild has already started outreach to a diverse set of prospective concertgoers, and it is working to partner with other organizations like the Christina Cultural Arts Center and the Wilmington Office of Cultural Affairs. The Arden Concert Gild is also working with the Arden Craft Museum to see if the Arden Concert Gild can offer a photo exhibit of integration in the Ardens as part of Black History Month.

The Arden Concert Gild brings music to the 160-year-old Gild Hall in Arden, Delaware. The hall is nestled in the woods of the world-renowned art colony and villages, founded under the “Single-Tax” movement in 1900 by sculptor Frank Stephens and architect Will Price. Serving as a venue for performances dating back to its 1910 remodeling, the Gild Hall stage has been graced by Lead Belly, Pete Seeger, and Burl Ives, amongst countless others. The Concert Gild was founded in 1997, producing a handful of shows a year, and has grown since 2002 to include a group of volunteer producers and dozens of show-day volunteers. The Arden Concert Gild is an all-volunteer gild of the Arden Club, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community organization.


Two adult females are sitting in front of three female children, most likely ages 3-4 years old in a colorful classroom. One adult is sitting on the floor on a colorful rug with the three children while the other adult is sitting on a stool. The two adults are holding up one hand and pointing it to it with their other hand, demonstrating how to do something to the students, who are copying the action.

Kingswood Community Center
Early Learner’s Music Program

The Kingswood Community Center Early Learning Academy (ELA) has partnered with the Wilmington Children’s Chorus (WCC) to create a play-based, culturally responsive, and developmentally appropriate music program for early learners. The program serves all children in the ELA (ages 12 months-five years) by providing developmentally appropriate music classes. Children learn to explore themselves, their peers, and the world around them through singing, movement, instrument exploration, and creative self-expression during twice-weekly music classes. The program is designed to support the ELA students in reaching their developmental milestones by incorporating music-based activities tailored to their curriculum. Access to music education in early childhood can have a tremendous influence later in life. Unfortunately, early childhood music classes are costly – often ranging between $20-$50 – which makes them inaccessible for most families in our Riverside community (Riverside has the highest rate of childhood poverty in Wilmington, at over 70%). Enriching the children’s lives with music at such an early age has important cognitive and social benefits, which last beyond these initial classes and will instill a life-long love of music in the community center’s youngest students.

The Early Learner’s Music Program is a partnership between Kingswood Community Center (KCC) and the Wilmington Children’s Chorus (WCC). Founded in 1946, Kingswood Community Center, Inc. (KCC) sits in the heart of the Riverside Community located in Northeast Wilmington. KCC’s mission is to enable people in Northeast Wilmington and surrounding communities to achieve their potential for economic, social, and personal well-being. KCC offers programs for the youngest and oldest alike, as it includes an early learning center for 12 months to 5 years of age, before and aftercare, after school programming for school age youth, and a senior center for the elders in the community. In addition to programming, KCC provides resources, opportunities, and events to all ages. The Wilmington Children’s Chorus (WCC) is dedicated to ensuring all children, regardless of their family’s ability to pay, have access to high-quality musical education. The only tuition-free community children’s chorus in the nation, their mission is to empower young people to change their world through music.

The project began in September and will complete a full quantitative analysis at the mid-point (March) and endpoint (August). Qualitatively, KCC staff have seen a tremendous impact on the children in learning the fundamentals of music and literacy, even at a young age. For example, parents have shared with staff that their children are singing more at home and encouraging their siblings to sing along with them, demonstrating increased socialization skills around music. In particular, one mother shared that her three-year-old arranges her stuffed animals in a circle when she gets home from school and sings “hello” songs to each stuffed animal, which mirrors the “hello” songs the children sing to each other when they begin every music class. This demonstrates retention of the songs, understanding of the purpose of the musical activity, and adoption of the classroom culture into her home life.


Children are standing in front of a restaurant counter with plates of food on it listening to an adult man in chef clothes standing behind the counter. Behind the chef is restaurant equipment like a fryer and a range with a flattop grill.

Inner City Cultural League

The Inner City Cultural League, Inc. (ICCL), also known as Sankofa, presents numerous events, programs, and activities throughout the year, some for the local community and others for citizens and visitors throughout the state. African and African-American culture is celebrated through music, art, dance, and theater, tying in everything that helps make for healthy communities, including technology and physical and mental wellness. The Sankofa After School and Summer Program incorporates all of the artistic and cultural activities and is also designed to provide extra school activities such as technology, math, reading, and science. Youth in 3rd through 12th grades are welcome to participate. The ICCL’s signature group is the Sankofa African Dancers and Drummers. Since the 1990s, youth have been learning and performing West African rhythms and movement. Performances are held at most of the ICCL’s annual community events including the African-American Festival, Positively Dover, Sankofa Cultural Arts Center Awards Gala, Kwanzaa, Dover City-Wide Black History Program, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration. Some of these events are hosted in partnership with other organizations. Other performing artists include the ICCL’s string orchestra, steel drums, and guitar group. Every other Friday musicians of all ages and abilities gather to participate in Sankofa’s Open Jam Session.

The mission of the ICCL includes providing opportunities to community members, especially those who may be considered at-risk, to participate in artistic and cultural activities, programs and events, to enhance decision making, forge leadership qualities, and provide a path toward social and economic empowerment.

Over the past two years, ICCL’s community impact has increased. Just prior to 2020, there were approximately 40 families involved in the various programs and activities (excluding community events) offered by the organization (music, dance, art, theater, after/summer school). At the onset of the pandemic, ICCL’s methods and strategies for connecting with families and community members changed. ICCL stepped outside of its normal location and began taking programming to non-typical locations in order to reach those who may not ordinarily seek the organization out. Since July 2021, ICCL has impacted more than 100 families, and well over 250 youth. Large community events, such as the annual African-American Festival, Positively Dover, were canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic. In 2021 the event was held, as in the past, on Legislative Mall in Dover, and attendance, though not at pre-pandemic levels, was approximately 4,000.


Division logoThe projects above are supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes these and other Delaware arts events on

The Division offers a variety of grant programs for individual artists; nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations chartered and based in Delaware; and schools and government entities that support arts activities. View a full list of Division grants on the Grants Overview page.

This podcast appeared first on Delaware Division of the Arts – State of Delaware.

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