“The Trial of William Penn”: Historical play to be presented at Dover, Del.’s Old State House on June 1, 2013

Courtroom inside The Old State House.On Saturday, June 1, 2013 at 1 and 3 p.m., The Old State House, located at 25 The Green in Dover, DE 19901, will present “The Trial of William Penn,” a historical play about the future founder of Pennsylvania’s 1670 trial on charges of “fomenting an unlawful and tumultuous assembly” by preaching to a group of Quakers on a London street. Admission to the museum, which will also be open for tours between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-744-5055.

Adapted from “The Tryal of William Penn and William Mead” by Mary DeAngelis and Margo Gulati, the play depicts Penn’s prosecution and the jury that was imprisoned when they would not find him guilty as charged. Issues of religious freedom, the writ of habeas corpus and jury nullification are explored during the course of the 30-minute performance which features the audience serving as members of the jury. As English courts of old were far less civil than the courts in America today, audience members will be asked to join in on the court proceedings with the following cheers: “Hear him, hear him!,” “Let him speak!,” “Our brother speaks the truth!,” “Huzzah!,” and “God save the Magna Carta”; and the following jeers: “Tyranny!,” “Boo!,” “Hiss!,” “It’s unlawful” and “The curse of Cromwell be upon you”!

Actors will include community members David Brown and Mike Cordeiro of Dover and Jim Whisman of New Castle, as well as Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ historic-site interpreters Jackie Collins, Susan Emory, Dennis Fisher, Chris Hall, Gavin Malone, David Price, Thomas Pulmano, Bill Sparke, Bob Vander Decker and Tom Welch.

Completed in 1791, The Old State House is one of the oldest buildings of its kind in the nation. The first floor features an 18th-century-style courtroom that was originally designed for legal proceedings similar to those utilized in the trial of William Penn. The second floor features chambers for the state’s Senate and House of Representatives. The building is situated on Dover’s historic Green, a public area designated by William Penn in 1683 after his arrival in America.


Jim Yurasek
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
Phone:  302-736-7413
E-mail:  Jim.Yurasek@delaware.gov
Web:   http://history.delaware.gov

Ramona Maziarz to display detailed pen and ink drawings in Mezzanine Gallery in May

Ramona Maziarz, a Delaware Individual Artist Fellow in Work on Paper, will present an exhibition titled Fine Lines, in the Delaware Division of the Arts Mezzanine Gallery from May 3-31, 2013. The Gallery, open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., is located in the Carvel State Office Building, 820 N. French Street, Wilmington. There will be a reception to meet the artist on Friday, May 3 from 5-8 p.m. as part of Wilmington’s Art Loop.

This solo exhibition of Ramona Maziarz’s work will showcase a series of detailed pen and ink drawings. Maziarz’s drawings depict scenes of nature, which she likes to observe and ink. The artist explores nature by going on routine walks; along the way gathering different subject matter that resonate with her. Maziarz frequently visits Delaware State Parks for inspiration. She often uses leaves and twigs and other materials many people tend to overlook. The resulting drawings create a layered space full of color and beauty.

Maziarz, a resident of Middletown, has exhibited her work locally and regionally. To read an article about this artist, visit the Division’s Individual Artist Fellowship web publication.

Jessica Stephens to Display Jewelry Inspired by Landscapes in the Mezzanine Gallery in April

Jessica Stephens, Individual Artist Fellow in Crafts, will present an exhibition titled Landscapes, in the Delaware Division of the Arts Mezzanine Gallery from April 5-26, 2013. The Gallery, open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., is located in the Carvel State Office Building, 820 N. French Street, Wilmington. There will be a reception to meet the artist on Friday, April 5 from 5-8 p.m. as part of Wilmington’s Art Loop.

This solo exhibition of Jessica Stephens’ work will showcase a body of work influenced by the architecture of landscapes. Stephens attempts to capture the character of a rock formation or a mountainous silhouette.

The artist experiments with different materials such as coral, sterling silver, copper, and enamel. Relying heavily on line and basic geometric forms, Stephens’ intention is to create abstract and fragmented topographic studies.

A Delaware Individual Artists Fellow in Crafts, Jessica Stephens received her MFA at State University of New York, New Paltz, NY. Stephens has exhibited her work locally, regionally, and nationally.

To read an article about Jessica, visit the Division’s Individual Artist Fellowship web publication.

Delaware State Employee Art Exhibition Winners Announced

Twenty-one talented state employees and their family members, recognized for their works of art as the results of the National Arts Program®: Delaware State Employee Exhibition and Contest II, were announced on Saturday, March 2. Approximately 400 people attended the Opening Reception. Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock and Division of the Arts Director Paul Weagraff presided over the awards ceremony. Jackie J. Szafara, Executive Director of the National Arts Program®, was on hand to congratulate the winners.

In his remarks, Secretary Bullock commended the state employees and families members who contributed to the exhibition and thanked Delaware State University for this important partnership. He noted how this kind of exhibition reinforces the value of the arts and reflects the Governor’s commitment to a rich cultural environment contributing to our quality of life in Delaware.

Mr. Weagraff commented, “This exhibit allows us to see a side of our colleagues that we don’t often have an opportunity to witness in the workplace. It really heightens our awareness of how much of a role the arts play in so many lives.”

Twenty-one awards were announced in five categories – Professional, Intermediate, Amateur, Teen (13-18 years old), and Youth (12 years and under), culminating in one Best in Show. Sixteen cash prizes totaling $2,400 were awarded by the National Arts Program®. A list of winners and Honorable Mentions is below.

Two-hundred-eight employees of Delaware state agencies and their immediate family members submitted artwork for the 2013 exhibition and contest. The participating artists came from across the state (over half from Kent County) and represented 74 state agencies and 85 were returning participants.

The exhibition will be on view on in the Arts Center/Gallery at Delaware State University through March 20. Hours for viewing are Monday through Friday from 9:30 am – 3:00 pm with special hours between March 8 and 15. Visit www.artsdel.org for details.

Judges for the contest were Jennifer Gunther, Director Arts Center/Gallery, Delaware State University; Ryan Grover, Curator, Biggs Museum of American Art; Pat Staby, artist; and Steve Rogers, artist. At their discretion, the judges awarded five Honorable Mention ribbons.

The Delaware Division of the Arts is proud to be the local sponsor of The National Arts Program®, an organization established in 1982 to identify, showcase, and reward the visual artistic talent in America. The National Arts Program® currently sponsors 82 annual programs, encompassing more than 450 cities and counties within 38 states.

The award winning artwork can be viewed on Flickr. To view a complete set of all 208 art works, visit the Division’s Facebook page or view the artwork on Flickr. The image with the most likes on Facebook on March 21 will be named the “People’s Choice.”

BEST IN SHOW ($300):
Robert Palandrani
Artist Category: Professional

1st Place ($300)
Diane Laird

2nd Place ($200)
Cristen Hess

3rd Place ($100)
Mindi Schultze

Honorable Mention
Shari Dierkes

1st Place ($300)
Kaitlyn Malloy

2nd Place ($200)
Mary Wagner

3rd Place ($100)
Melanie Ferrin

Honorable Mention
Ron Wilson

1st Place ($300)
Christopher Portante

2nd Place ($200)
Denise Powell

3rd Place ($100)
Christopher Jones

Honorable Mention
Lisa Lindsay

TEEN CATEGORY (13-18 years old):
1st Place ($75)
Casey Williams

2nd Place ($50)
Valerie Limmina

3rd Place ($25)
Grace Coury

Honorable Mention
Maylene Ferrin

YOUTH CATEGORY (12 years & under):
1st Place ($75)
Thomas Krumrine

2nd Place ($50)
Carson Mears

3rd Place ($25)
Myles Pleasanton

Honorable Mention
Ben Horenstein

March for the Arts in Education Month: Empowering Youth through the Arts

Highlighting the importance of the arts in every child’s education, Governor Jack Markell introduces Empowering Youth through the Arts, a series of videos that document outstanding arts programs being offered in arts organizations and cultural centers across the state.

“There is something unique about the creative arts process that empowers children to realize their potential in whatever they choose to pursue in life,” Governor Markell said. “Youth involvement in the arts stimulates, strengthens, and develops the imagination and critical thinking skills. The arts motivate and engage children in learning and help level the field for learning across socio-economic boundaries.”

Each of the programs featured in the videos is supported in part through Delaware Division of the Arts grants. These programs demonstrate the vital role that Delaware arts organizations and community centers play in providing arts experiences that complement and enhance what students receive during the school day.

To watch the other four videos, visit the Official YouTube Page for the State of Delaware at http://www.youtube.com/DelawareGovernment and select the “Empowering Youth through the Arts” playlist. Or click here to go directly to the playlist: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCUOs10-0UsgVHugiFn3GbuF7KYqOfHDf

For more on the importance of arts in education, visit the Division’s arts education resources and links at: http://www.artsdel.org/ArtsEducation/aiepublications.shtml

Video: Christina Cultural Arts Center: Arts for All
Christina Cultural Arts Center Inc. (CCAC) is a premier community school of the arts with a mission to make affordable arts, education, multicultural, and live performance programs accessible to children, teens, and adults in a safe, family-centered environment. Programs encourage creative expression and lifelong learning; promote healthy lifestyles; build academic/social skills; support artists, and advocate for arts in schools representing lower socio-economic populations.

Video: El Centro Cultural: ¡Viva Arts!
El Centro Cultural partners with First State Community Action Agency’s La Casita after-school program to provide art education, art supplies, and bilingual teachers for a one-week summer arts camp to teach children about traditional music, dance, and art focusing on Mexico and Guatemala, and to prepare the students for presentations at Festival Hispano in Millsboro.

Video: Inner City Cultural League: Dancing and Dreaming
Founded in 1971 by Dover City Councilman Reuben Salters, The Inner City Cultural League, Inc. fulfills a need in the central Delaware community. The mission of the Inner City Cultural League, Inc. is to provide relevant cultural programs that will positively impact and improve the lives of less advantaged families–especially community youth–through the performing and visual arts that will awaken the genius within, ignite the human spirit, and create an awareness of the value of the arts in social, economic, and educational development.

Video: Rehoboth Art League: Have Art, Will Travel
In the early years of the Rehoboth Art League, founder Louise Chambers Corkran arranged for artists to work with disadvantaged children through the Children’s Beach House in Lewes. Today, in partnership with many organizations, the Rehoboth Art League sends artists throughout Sussex County to leverage the arts to enhance the quality of life for many. A special focus is working with children and elderly adults who do not have the resources to travel or take RAL classes. For many, this experience opens up a new world of opportunity for creative expression.

About March for the Arts in Education
Ten years ago, former Senator Dorinda A. Connor authored Senate Bill No. 116, designating the month of March as March for Arts in Education Month. Senator Conner envisioned a month devoted to celebrating arts education throughout the state–recognizing the critical role that the arts play in providing a well-rounded education for Delaware’s youth.