Arts Spotlight – September 2021

Betsy Price Culture, Police & Fire


Each month we feature a handful of 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


September 2021

3 different pairs of ballet dancers in costume performing on a stage with text that says First State Ballet Theatre Outdoors at Bellevue State Park Freeman Stage and Loblolly Acres

First State Ballet Theatre
First State Ballet Theatre Outdoors

First State Ballet Theatre, Delaware’s professional ballet company, is bringing ballet back!  They are welcoming everyone to join them for First State Ballet Theatre Outdoors, a series of three, free outdoor performances across the First State to help celebrate their return to the stage.  The performance dates and locations are:

  • Sunday, September 5 at 6 pm at Bellevue State Park, Wilmington
  • Thursday, September 9 at 7 pm at Freeman Arts Pavilion, Selbyville
  • Sunday, September 12 at 4 pm at Loblolly Acres, Woodside

All three events are “bring your own chair,” and if you plan to attend the free performance at the Freeman Arts Pavilion, you must reserve your seats.

Performing outdoors is not new to the First State Ballet Theatre.  It has been performing at the Freeman Arts Pavilion for many years, with its audience growing to over 600 attendees since its first performance there.  This will be the First State Ballet Theatre’s first time performing at Bellevue State Park and Loblolly Acres, where it hopes to start the same tradition that has been welcomed at the Freeman Arts Pavilion over the years.

First State Ballet Theatre’s mission is:

  • Boldly bringing ballet to Delaware
  • Enrich our community with live professional performances
  • Inspire and educate dancers and audiences of the future
  • Connect local youth with a creative, inclusive movement experience

mural painted onto a red brick wall of adults and children enjoying the outdoors by playing reading biking etc on green grass in the foreground and yellow grass with flowers in the background all under a tree that reaches up and whose top branches become four hands of differing skin tones surrounding a bright yellow smiling sun

Town of Laurel
One Laurel Mural

The One Laurel Mural is a mural painting that was designed by Laurel High School student Lily Hearn. The idea behind the One Laurel Mural project, undertaken and completed by the One Laurel Committee, began when the Pride and Ownership Subcommittee wanted to paint a mural at the 1921 Dunbar School, now owned by the town of Laurel. This school holds a lot of history and means a great deal in Laurel, as it was used for the African American community prior to desegregation. The Subcommittee reached out to the Laurel High School art teacher, Dana Paternoster, gave her a brief description of One Laurel and the project, and asked for students to submit artwork for the mural. There were three projects submitted and voted on by the community. Lily Hearn’s project won. The painting of the mural took place on August 28th, 2021, and was completed by many members of the community. Lily Hearn, Dana Paternoster, and Michael Morris, a local artist originally from Laurel, provided guidance and assistance during the painting process.

The One Laurel Committee is a diverse group of individuals working together to bring their community of Laurel together through various activities, such as basketball tournaments, mural painting, Open Mic Nights, and food give-aways. The group’s purpose is to form a stronger bond within their community and bring a very diversified community together as one, hence the name One Laurel. The One Laurel Mural project was designed with the idea of bringing the entire community together to implement the project and paint the mural. The mural itself was designed to show a diversified community as one, which is the committee’s ultimate goal.

Seaford Community Concert Association logo

Seaford Community Concert Association
Seaford Community Concerts – 73rd Concert Season 2021-2022

The 73rd Seaford Community Concert Season will consist of six diverse musical entertainment groups beginning on September 27, 2021, at 7:30 pm with The Diamonds’ new program, Let’s Rock Broadway, where they will be performing songs from Broadway musicals such as Jersey Boys, Grease, Mamma Mia, and Motown. The second performance will take place on October 5, 2021, at 7:30 p.m. and features Bridge & Wolak, a globe-trotting music and comedy duo merging traditional instruments with 21st-century technology. Their program features selections from composers such as Handel, Bach, and Gershwin as well as a few surprises. They are known for their deft virtuosity and endless wit. On October 18, 2021, at 7:30 p.m. patrons can enjoy the group Black Market Trust. Featuring intricate harmonies and a dash of Rat Pack-style comedy, they will be performing songs from the Great American Songbook with their cohesive stylish sound. The season continues with the Holy Rocka Rollaz on March 8, 2022, at 7:30 p.m., who will take patrons on an authentic trip back to the ’50s. Performing on vintage instruments, their program is early American Rock ‘N Roll by artists such as Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Bill Haley & The Comets, and many more. Next, Mark Kingswood, a modern-day English crooner, will take the stage on April 9, 2022, at 3 p.m.  He and his four-piece band perform original compositions but also more traditional songs of the genre using his own special flair.  The last concert of the 73rd Seaford Community Concert season will take place on April 28, 2022, at 7:30 p.m., featuring M5 Mexican Brass, Latin America’s most successful brass quintet with international recognition. They perform a combination of virtuosic chamber music in all styles with inborn showmanship and intimate Latin American charm. The show is filled with high-class music-making and humor.

The Seaford Community Concert Association is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization whose mission is to bring top-quality performers to the Seaford area at a very affordable cost to its members.  On February 3, 1949, a small group of people in Seaford got together to start a live theater program to bring the arts to the city of Seaford.  They formed to become a board of directors and thus started the Seaford Community Concert Association.  Today’s board of directors, now numbering 18 people, continues to strive to meet the first board’s original goal of bringing the arts to Seaford.  As of 2020, the Seaford Community Association’s patron base had grown to 925 patrons.

The Seaford Community Concert Association provides professional performers to a deprived area of little to no other entertainment. The performers draw approximately 925 patrons for each production. All performers meet and greet the audiences after each show providing pictures and autographs. In addition to the six productions this year, the group Bridge & Wolak will be providing an education outreach program to the local school children the day after their performance.

Woman lookinWomaA woman is looking at the camera while holding a paintbrush, pausing her painting for the picture. She is sitting at a table in an Easterseals facility center.Easterseals Delaware & Maryland’s Eastern Shore
Dover, Georgetown, New Castle, and Newark

The Easterseals Artfulness Program works with adults with special needs who attend Easterseals day programs across the state to bring them meaningful art workshops taught by local artists. Easterseals partnered with the following Delaware and Pennsylvania arts organizations to help facilitate these workshops:

  • Art-Reach
  • The Biggs Museum of American Art
  • The Rehoboth Art League

It is important for Easterseals adults to have access to these types of projects to support their sense of individuality, creativity, and independence.  Easterseals adults who have participated in Artfulness have made connections with the local artists who teach workshops and look forward to maintaining those connections and creating new ones. Over the last three years, Easterseals has served over 1,000 participants, holding over 35 different workshops where participants used clay, paints, and other mediums to create their pieces. During an art show at he Biggs Museum, one of the Easterseals clients, who has autism and is stringently rooted in his routines, was clearly overjoyed to be a part of the show. His family stated that the difference in his routine was no issue because he was so excited to be there and to be expressing himself through art. One of the stories that stuck with staff and community members who attended the art show was this participant’s family saying, “Your work being hung in a museum is incredible and something that I can say has never happened with my art.”  The beaming pride from this participant upon hearing that statement was palpable.

Easterseals is a disability services and advocacy organization that focuses on aiding individuals with disabilities and their support systems to have a fulfilling role in their community. Easterseals offers day programs for adults with acquired and intellectual disabilities, therapy services for all ages, supported employment opportunities, caregiver resources, and respite activities.


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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