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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
Rehoboth Summer Children’s Theatre
Hansel and Gretel Summer Tour
Hansel and Gretel, the newest two-actor adaptation by Steve Seyfried, premieres this summer on a tour of libraries and community centers, July 26 through August 13. Rehoboth Summer Children’s Theatre brings free, professional theatre into every corner of Sussex and Kent Counties. Jared Calhoun and Leah Senseney create all the familiar Brothers Grimm characters – plus a few surprising new ones! This imaginative 45-minute production is designed to delight family audiences of all ages.
The Rehoboth Summer Children’s Theatre returns to action in 2021 for its 40th season. In addition to the performances of Hansel and Gretel this summer, Rehoboth Summer Children’s Theatre will conduct film and theatre camps for ages 8-14. Thanks to the support and funding by the Delaware Division of Arts, the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement, and other state and national organizations, the Rehoboth Summer Children’s Theatre was able to bridge the chasm of 2020 and come back strong to provide programs of enrichment, education, and entertainment for audiences of all ages for the residents and visitors of Lower Delaware.
Since 1982 Rehoboth Summer Children’s Theatre has been an active participant in the artistic and cultural life of the community. The two-actor shows, created by co-founders Elise and Steve Seyfried, are now reaching their third generation of audiences, as adults who attended as children are now bringing their own children (grandchildren should be showing up soon!) Year after year, the libraries and summer camps have eagerly hosted the performances of familiar fairy tales like Cinderella and Peter Pan as well as folk tales from China, Greece, Africa, Ireland, and Italy. Rehoboth Summer Children’s Theatre has also partnered with other community organizations including the Rehoboth Art League, Possum Point Players, and the First State Community Action Agency of Georgetown. Several of these collaborations have resulted in original plays celebrating Delaware history: The Georgetown Hundred, My Name Is Lewes, and The Balancing Act (John Dickinson and the U. S. Constitution). The artistic footprints of the Rehoboth Summer Children’s Theatre can be found in every corner of Sussex and Kent Counties. The imaginative spirit at the center of all Rehoboth Summer Children’s Theatre activities can be found in the hearts of our patrons.
Milford Community Band
Milford Community Concert Band, Smooth Sound Big Band, and Downtown Dixieland Band
The Milford Community Band’s ensembles will hold outdoor, public performances this summer at a variety of locations, including state parks, municipal parks, and libraries. All ensembles of the Milford Community Band are dedicated to delivering high-quality live music to a broad spectrum of people throughout Kent and Sussex Counties. For example, the concert band includes a wide variety of genres in its performances, from pop to Broadway to classical to traditional patriotic. The Smooth Sound Big Band plays jazz, rock ‘n roll, classics from the American Songbook, and swing music from the World War II era. The Dixieland band plays early jazz classics like Bill Bailey and Basin Street Blues.
The Milford Community Band seeks to provide musical performance opportunities for young people, adults, and senior citizens, and to serve the local community by offering musical concerts. Current membership totals about 90 musicians across all ensembles.
Concerts by ensembles of the Milford Community Band typically draw audiences of about 100 people at state, county, and municipal parks and libraries, and 200-300 people for major indoor concerts in the summer and during the holiday season in December. After concerts, many audience members seek out the musicians to express their gratitude for the enjoyment the Milford Community Band’s music has brought them and to congratulate band members on the success of their efforts.
Delaware Shakespeare’s Summer Festival returns to Rockwood Park with three outdoor events over three weeks: Midsummer Mix Tape, Rosalind x 3, and Shakespeare Poetry Slam. The festival will take place from July 16 through August 1. Audiences are invited to picnic in the park while enjoying programs that allow for social distancing among performers and audience members alike.
Midsummer Mix Tape features original songs and scenes from past (and future) productions by Michael Hahn, Liz Filios, Emily Schuman, and Joe Trainer. Rosalind x 3 explores the iconic lead character from As You Like It through three different cultural lenses by three actor/director pairings. Shakespeare Poetry Slam features rhythm and word play as spoken word artists share their Shakespearean-inspired creations. Delaware Shakespeare hopes to serve the full spectrum of humanity with these programs designed to celebrate the joy of reunion.
Inspired by Shakespeare’s creative vision and the broad societal mix of audiences of his era, Delaware Shakespeare (Del Shakes) brings our community together for vibrant theatre and learning experiences. We envision a Delaware where people from all walks of life celebrate and explore their shared humanity through the lens of Shakespearean works. Our core values include Artistic Excellence, Fiscal Responsibility, Diversity, Community, Openness, Respect, and Joy.
The Summer Festival is Del Shakes’ seminal program. In pre-COVID years, it annually drew 3,500 attendees for an experience Delaware Today described as “summer’s must-do event.” While the 2021 performances will have much smaller crowds, the impact of enjoying in-person performances after a year of social isolation will be more acute. As a Del Shakes audience member remarked after a socially-distanced performance last fall, “It’s so good to have a collective experience again.” Del Shakes is glad to provide an opportunity for Delawareans to gather, reflect, and connect.
Cab Calloway School Fund
SMArtSummer, a rigorous summer program for K-12 campers, is an infusion of arts, sciences, and technology. Some of this year’s featured camps include Awesome Anime, The Next Great Content Creator, Zombie Anatomy, Vet Camp, and Theater Skills Intensive. The Cab Calloway School Fund strives to include all members of the community in SMArtSummer. One way it does so is by offering a dance camp called Becoming the Dancer that serves students with cerebral palsy. These students work with a dance instructor and Cab Calloway School of the Arts dance majors, affording the students the opportunity to experience the wonders of dance. At the end of every week, campers participate in a showcase in which they perform their new skills for an audience in the Cab Calloway Theater. For non-performing camps, students exhibit their work in gallery walk.
The Cab Calloway School Fund supports the Cab Calloway School of the Arts and SMArtSummer by providing financial and other assistance to programs, students, and the community at large who have been identified as needing support for arts and/or academic training. The Cab Calloway School Fund gives away approximately $70,000 of scholarships to low-income students and has a robust volunteer staff of 50+ high school students. For many of the fund’s scholarship students, this is their first opportunity to fully immerse themselves into an advanced program where they quickly develop a passion for the arts.
University of Delaware Community Music School
Wind in the Willows summer camp music theatre production
The University of Delaware Community Music School is a summer camp music theatre program serving youth in the Newark area in a non-auditioned setting. Everyone participates in a full music theatre production. This summer, it’s Wind in the Willows, which will either be in person or live-streamed. However, the Community Music School also provides professional experience for University of Delaware’s School of Music college students who are studying to become music educators. The Community Music School hopes that as the graduating music educators move on, they take the terrific, hands-on experience gained at the school and use it to continue making music with kids in ever-increasing areas.
Usually, the summer camp also includes a Backstage camp, where the participating campers build all the sets and handle the costuming for the onstage program, and a youth pit orchestra to augment the onstage program. This year, due to COVID-19, the summer camp is only offering the onstage program.
The University of Delaware Community Music School is the outreach arm of the University of Delaware’s School of Music. It provides additional opportunities for the local community to make music and create professional opportunities for music students to gain experience and practice their craft under supervision.
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: Cab Calloway School Fund, Delaware Shakespeare, Hansel and Gretel, Milford Community Band, Rehoboth Summer Children's Theatre, SMArtSummer, Summer Festival, University of Delaware Community Music School, Wind in the Willows