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
Smyrna Opera House
First State Symphonic Band
The First State Symphonic Band traces its origins back to the early 1950s, when the DuPont Co. employees started a company concert band. Nearly three decades later, the band incorporated under the moniker you recognize today. The Band’s mission is to provide musical educational experiences to our members and to the public through the performance of high-quality concerts, both public and charitable, at venues such as public parks, retirement homes, and churches. To enhance the audiences’ understanding and appreciation of our music, both narrative and written program notes are given at our concerts.
The Smyrna Opera House was originally built in 1870 and was fully restored, reopening in March of 2003, as a community cultural arts center promoting access to the arts in central Delaware. Operated by the non-profit Smyrna-Clayton Heritage Association, the Smyrna Opera House is dedicated to showcasing and developing local creative, visual and performing artists while also offering affordable access to the arts and varied cultural and artistic experiences to people of all ages and backgrounds.
Click here to learn more about the First State Symphony Band Christmas Concert.
City of Newark, DE Parks and Recreation Department
Newark Parks and Recreation Department’s mission is to create a safe and inclusive environment by providing diverse opportunities designed to meet the physical, mental, social and cultural needs of all residents and visitors of Newark. The City of Newark Parks & Recreation Department has been part of the Newark community for over 50 years conducting classes, leagues, programs, and many annual community events throughout the year. Thanks to support from the Delaware Division of the Arts, the events have been able to support local artists and artisans showcasing their talents at the Spring Concert Series, Liberty Day, Community Day and Winterfest.
Each December, on the first Friday of the month, the Parks & Recreation Department hosts Winterfest. This festive holiday event heralds in the season with music and dance, roasted chestnuts, ice carving demonstrations, Santa, and holiday tree lighting on the Academy Building Lawn drawing approximately 2,000 in attendance throughout the two hour event. Beginning in 1995, Winterfest became one of the City of Newark’s Parks and Recreation Department’s newer events and continues to grow to this day. It was started to help celebrate and kick off the Holiday season in downtown Newark with the lighting of the holiday tree and cooperation of the business community and the Downtown Newark Partnership. The Newark Lion’s Club continues to roast chestnuts at the event, which are now generously donated with support from the Kenny Family Foundation. The Special Olympics of Delaware began partnering their Reindeer Run with Winterfest in 2006. As a result an additional 1,000 runners and their families usher in the holiday season at Winterfest.
To learn more about Winterfest, visit: https://www.newarkde.gov/play
Wilmington Children’s Chorus
Wilmington Children’s Chorus Presents: A Soulful Holiday
The Wilmington Children’s Chorus is kicking off the holiday season with a jaw-dropping concert of hip-hop, soul, and R&B seasonal favorites from the 50’s-90’s! 150 children from neighborhoods across the city of Wilmington will come together to perform songs made famous by Mariah Carey, Donny Hathaway, Al Green & Annie Lennox, the Jackson 5, Darlene Love, Stevie Wonder, and more. WCC will bring the house down alongside some of the area’s top instrumentalists, including Luke Abruzzo on guitar, Dennis Fortune on piano, Rob Swanson on bass, and Jonathan Whitney on percussion. The concert will occur at Episcopal Church of Sts. Andrew & Matthew (719 N. Shipley St. Wilmington, DE 19801).
Over 150 children from WCC’s Performing and Neighborhood Choirs have been preparing for this unique holiday concert since the start of the school year. The repertoire has given our young singers the opportunity to explore the progression of Black music. This allows our chorister (52% of whom identify as Black) to connect with their history in a new way. Our students have also been discussing the important allyship between Black and Jewish communities that have contributed to some of the most infamous works of art we continue to love to this day – many of which are featured on this concert program. Studying cultural connections and collaboration through music continues to be one of the strongest teaching tools for our young people. By engaging with art created and made famous by Black and Jewish artists, they connect more deeply with those cultures and shared history.
To learn more about the Wilmington Chrildren’s Chorus, visit: https://www.wilmingtonchildrenschorus.org
The 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 DelawareScene.com.
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.
Related Topics: A Soulful Holiday, Choral Concert, City of Newark, DE Parks and Recreation Department, First State Symphonic Band, Holiday, newark, Smyrna, Smyrna Opera House, Things to Do, Wilmington, Wilmington Children's Chorus, Winterfest