The National Endowment for the Arts Announces FY 2018 Grants to Support the Arts in Delaware

Three Delaware organizations will receive $729,100 in federal grants

Wilmington, Del. (May 15, 2018) – As the only funder in the country to support arts activities in all 50 states and five U.S. jurisdictions, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced that three Delaware organizations, including the Division of the Arts, will receive $729,100 in federal grants.

“The variety and quality of these projects speaks to the wealth of creativity and diversity in our country,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “From Atlanta, Georgia to Sparks, Nevada, NEA funding reaches thousands of communities, assisting local organizations and providing access to the arts to all.”

The Delaware Division of the Arts will receive a Partnership (State & Regional) grant in the amount of $689,100 to support activities associated with carrying out its NEA-approved State strategic plan.

“Representing 17% of the Division’s budget, NEA funding is critical in supporting arts programming that directly reaches more than 30 communities throughout Delaware, serving more than 1 million youth and adults annually,” says Paul Weagraff, Director of the Delaware Division of the Arts. “This investment in Delaware’s creative sector contributes positively to vibrant communities, comprehensive educational opportunities, and robust economic activity.”

The Delaware Art Museum will receive an Art Works – Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works grant in the amount of $25,000 to support its Bridging Perspectives series of multidisciplinary performances addressing the history of the Civil Rights Movement and contemporary issues related to social justice and equity.

“The NEA and Art Works grants support the arts and its ability to change lives and impact communities,” says Delaware Art Museum Executive Director and CEO, Sam Sweet. “Bridging Perspectives is a new initiative at the Museum reflecting our vision to engage our community, promote conversation, and foster understanding. We are so pleased that this initiative has earned support that will enable the Museum to better serve our community.”

The Grand Opera House will receive an Art Works – Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works grant in the amount of $15,000 to support its sensory-friendly family performances series which welcomes children of all ages with autism or other sensory, social or learning disabilities to experience live entertainment.

“The Grand is proud to continue our new sensory friendly programming thanks to this generous gift from the NEA. Our mission urges us to be accessible to all residents of the Brandywine Valley, and this gift, our second NEA grant in two years, allows us to further develop this valuable and much-needed program, says Mark Fields, executive director of the Grand Opera House.

The full NEA grant descriptions follow:

State and Regional Partnership Agreements
Through partnership agreements, the NEA translates national leadership into local and regional benefit. States and U.S. jurisdictions have their own arts agency that together receive 40 percent of the NEA’s grantmaking funds each year to support their programs and leverage state funding. In addition to these 55 agencies, six regional arts organizations are funded to manage programs across state, national, and international borders and across all arts disciplines.

Art Works II
Art Works is the NEA’s largest category and focuses on funding the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with art, lifelong learning in the arts, and strengthening of communities through the arts.

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Contact: Leeann Wallett, Program Officer, Communications and Marketing
302-577-8280, leeann.wallett@delaware.gov


About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. For more information, visit www.arts.gov.

About the Delaware Division of the Arts
The Delaware Division of the Arts, a branch of the Delaware Department of State, is dedicated to cultivating and supporting the arts to enhance the quality of life for all Delawareans. Together with its advisory body, the Delaware State Arts Council, the Division administers grants and programs that support arts programming, educate the public, increase awareness of the arts, and integrate the arts into all facets of Delaware life. For more information about the Delaware Division of the Arts, visit arts.delaware.gov or call 302-577-8278.


The National Endowment for the Arts Announces Second Round of FY 2017 Grants to Support the Arts

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THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS ANNOUNCES FY 2017 GRANTS TO SUPPORT THE ARTS
Two Delaware organizations will receive over $690,000 in federal grants

Wilmington, Del. (June 16, 2017) – As the only funder in the country to support arts activities in all 50 states and five U.S. jurisdictions, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced that two Delaware organizations, including the Division of the Arts, will receive $691,100 in federal grants as part of the its second round of funding for FY 2017.

“The arts are all around us, enhancing our lives in ways both subtle and obvious, expected and unexpected,” says NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Supporting projects like the ones in Delaware offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”

The Delaware Division of the Arts will receive a Partnership (State & Regional) grant in the amount of $681,100 to support activities associated with carrying out its NEA-approved State strategic plan.

“Representing 17% of the Division’s budget, NEA funding is critical in supporting arts programming that directly reaches more than 30 communities throughout Delaware, serving more than one million youth and adults annually,” says Paul Weagraff, Director of the Delaware Division of the Arts. “This investment in Delaware’s creative sector contributes positively to vibrant communities, comprehensive educational opportunities, and robust economic activity.”

The Grand Opera House will receive an Art Works – Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works grant in the amount of $10,000 to support its Summer in the Parks series. In partnership with the City of Wilmington, The Grand will present free arts events for children and families in parks throughout the city. Local and regional artists working in dance, music, theater, and visual arts will create and present interactive performances and hands-on arts activities tailored for each neighborhood. Summer in the Parks staff also will work with schools, day camps, community centers, and teen programs to ensure the programming meets the needs of the community.

“We are honored to see The Grand’s Summer in the Parks program recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts. This funding is critical to our work within our community, and is the first time in nine years that The Grand has received a grant from the NEA. At such a pivotal time for the NEA and NEH, The Grand is honored to be a beacon of what this funding can accomplish in our neighborhoods,” says Mark Fields, Executive Director of The Grand Opera House & The Playhouse on Rodney Square.

The full NEA grant descriptions follow:

State and Regional Partnership Agreements
Through partnership agreements, the NEA translates national leadership into local and regional benefit. States and U.S. jurisdictions have their own arts agency that together receive 40 percent of the NEA’s grantmaking funds each year to support their programs and leverage state funding. In addition to these 55 agencies, six regional arts organizations are funded to manage programs across state, national, and international borders and across all arts disciplines.

Art Works II
Art Works is the NEA’s largest category and focuses on funding the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with art, lifelong learning in the arts, and strengthening of communities through the arts.

About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. For more information, visit www.arts.gov.

About the Delaware Division of the Arts
The Delaware Division of the Arts is an agency of the State of Delaware. Together with its advisory body, the Delaware State Arts Council, the Division administers grants and programs that support arts programming, educate the public, increase awareness of the arts, and integrate the arts into all facets of Delaware life. Funding for Division programs is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. For more information about the Delaware Division of the Arts, visit arts.delaware.gov or call 302-577-8278.

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Contact: Leeann Wallett, Program Officer, Communications and Marketing
302-577-8280, leeann.wallett@delaware.gov


National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu Visits Wilmington and Dover to Mark the NEA’s 50th Anniversary

FinalDivArtsLogoHorizColorNATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS CHAIRMAN JANE CHU
VISITS WILMINGTON AND DOVER TO MARK THE NEA’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY

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From left to right: Jeffrey W. Bullock, Secretary of State of Delaware; Carrie Gray, Executive Director of the Wilmington Renaissance Corporation; Senator Chris Coons (D-DE); Jane Chu, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); Mike Purzycki, Democratic candidate for the Office of Mayor of the City of Wilmington; Jack A. Markell, Governor in the Wilmington Creative District, Delaware.

Wilmington, DE – Chairman Chu concluded a day-long visit to the First State as part of the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Her trip included a tour at The Delaware Contemporary, Wilmington Creative District, The Grand Opera House, and the Biggs Museum of American Art.

“Thank you to the Delaware Division of the Arts for a meaningful tour of the state’s cultural community,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “I saw first-hand how the Division is creating experiences that connect people through the arts, instilling beauty in their world, deepening their sense of place and purpose, transforming their communities, and drawing out their own inner creativity. You are proof of why art matters.”

The visit, held on November 1, began with a tour of The Delaware Contemporary led by teaching artist Nanci Hersh and a presentation with the NEA-supported artist-in-residence, Alma Sheppard-Matsuo. Matsuo is working with the Kingswood Community Center on a 4-month printmaking residency engaging youth in the exploration of folktales from diverse cultures.

From left to right: Paul Weagraff, Director of the Delaware Division of the Arts; David Keller, Interim Executive Director of The Delaware Contemporary; Jane Chu, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); Nanci Hersh, Teaching Artist; Kerin B. Hearn, Officer, Board of Directors of The Delaware Contemporary; Leeann Wallett, Communications and Marketing Officer of the Delaware Division of the Arts; Laura Scanlan, Director of State and Regional Partnerships at the NEA; and Rick Rothrock, Visual Artist at The Delaware Contemporary, Wilmington.
From left to right: Paul Weagraff, Director of the Delaware Division of the Arts; David Keller, Interim Executive Director of The Delaware Contemporary; Jane Chu, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); Nanci Hersh, Teaching Artist; Kerin B. Hearn, Officer, Board of Directors of The Delaware Contemporary; Leeann Wallett, Communications and Marketing Officer of the Delaware Division of the Arts; Laura Scanlan, Director of State and Regional Partnerships at the NEA; and Rick Rothrock, Visual Artist at The Delaware Contemporary, Wilmington.

Next, was a walking tour through the Wilmington Creative District led by Carrie Gray, Executive Director of the Wilmington Renaissance Corporation. The Creative District project received an FY 16 NEA Our Town Grant of $75,000 to support the design of pocket parks and passages in Wilmington. This tour included Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), Governor Jack A. Markell, Secretary of State of Delaware Jeffrey W. Bullock, and Democratic candidate for the Office of Mayor of the City of Wilmington, Mike Purzycki.

Then, Chairman Chu, Senator Coons, and Governor Markell gave remarks during the Town Hall meeting at the baby grand which was attended by over 150 guests. Chairman Chu spoked about the NEA’s 50th anniversary and took questions from the audience to learn more about how the arts play an important role in Delaware’s art community.

From left to right: J. Mack Wathen, Chair of the Delaware State of the Arts Council; Steve Bailey, Managing Director of Programming of The Grand Opera House; Mark Fields, Executive Director of The Grand Opera House; Jane Chu, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); Senator Chris Coons (D-DE); Paul Weagraff, Director of the Division of the Arts; Laura Scanlan, Director of State and Regional Partnerships at the NEA at The Grand Opera House, Wilmington.

From left to right: J. Mack Wathen, Chair of the Delaware State of the Arts Council; Steve Bailey, Managing Director of Programming of The Grand Opera House; Mark Fields, Executive Director of The Grand Opera House; Jane Chu, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); Senator Chris Coons (D-DE); Paul Weagraff, Director of the Division of the Arts; Laura Scanlan, Director of State and Regional Partnerships at the NEA at The Grand Opera House, Wilmington.

Later, Chairman Chu visited the Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover, which included a tour of its galleries and an opportunity for a public meet and greet with the Kent and Sussex County arts communities.

From left to right: Jane Chu, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); Ryan Grover, Curator of the Biggs Museum; Charlie Guerin, Executive Director of the Biggs Museum; Paul Weagraff, Director of the Delaware Division of the Arts; J. Mack Wathen, Chair of the Delaware State of the Arts Council; John Schoonover, Board Member of the Biggs Museum at the Biggs Museum of American Art, Dover.
From left to right: Jane Chu, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); Ryan Grover, Curator of the Biggs Museum; Charlie Guerin, Executive Director of the Biggs Museum; Paul Weagraff, Director of the Delaware Division of the Arts; J. Mack Wathen, Chair of the Delaware State of the Arts Council; John Schoonover, Board Member of the Biggs Museum at the Biggs Museum of American Art, Dover.

About the Delaware Division of the Arts

The Delaware Division of the Arts is an agency of the State of Delaware. Together with its advisory body, the Delaware State Arts Council, the Division administers grants and programs that support arts programming, educate the public, increase awareness of the arts, and integrate the arts into all facets of Delaware life. Funding for Division programs is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. For more information about the Delaware Division of the Arts, visit artsdel.org or call 302-577-8278.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and the agency is celebrating this milestone with events and activities through September 2016.

Contact: Leeann Wallett, Program Officer, Communications and Marketing
302-577-8280, leeann.wallett@delaware.gov

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National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu to Visit Wilmington, Delaware on November 1, 2016

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MEDIA ADVISORY: Thursday, October 27, 2016

Contacts:

Judith Kargbo (NEA), kargboj@arts.gov, 202-682-5528

Leeann Wallett (Delaware Division of Arts), leeann.wallett@delaware.gov, 302-577-8280

Brian Cunningham (Senator Coons), Brian_Cunningham@coons.senate.gov, 302-573- 6345

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu to Visit
Wilmington, Delaware on November 1, 2016

Washington, DC – On November 1, 2016, Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), will join Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) in engaging the Delaware arts community. Chairman Chu will tour The Delaware Contemporary and join Senator Coons in a public Town Hall meeting at the Grand Opera House in Wilmington. Chairman Chu will also tour the Biggs Museum of American Art and participate in a public meet and greet in Dover.

Chairman Chu will tour The Delaware Contemporary, an art museum and dynamic gathering place where art, design, and technology intersect to inspire creativity. She will have the opportunity to learn more about the many programs the museum offers, including its NEA-supported artist-in-residence program.

Then, the Delaware Division of the Arts hosts a Town Hall meeting at The Grand Opera House in Wilmington. Chairman Chu, Senator Coons, and Governor Jack Markell (D-DE) will give remarks. Chairman Chu will speak about the NEA’s 50th anniversary and take questions from the audience, giving her an opportunity to learn more about how the arts play an important role in Delaware’s arts community. Media who wish to attend this event should contact Leeann Wallett with the Delaware Division of the Arts at leeann.wallett@delaware.gov. After the Town Hall meeting, Chairman Chu is available for short one-on-one media interviews. Media should send their request in advance to Judith Kargbo, kargboj@arts.gov.

Later that afternoon, Chairman Chu will visit the Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover, an art museum dedicated to promoting an understanding and appreciation of the fine and decorative arts of Delaware, the Mid-Atlantic Region and the nation from 1700 to the present. Following a tour of the museum, Chairman Chu will participate in a public meet and greet with the Dover arts community. Prior to the meet and greet, Chairman Chu is available for short one-on-one media interviews. Media should send their request in advance to Judith Kargbo, kargboj@arts.gov.

As part of the National Endowment for the Arts’ 50th anniversary celebration, the NEA created a story bank of multimedia content to showcase the impact of the arts. To date, hundreds of people from across the country, including Delaware, have submitted stories about how the arts and the National Endowment for the Arts have impacted their lives. In addition to a video about the arts and culture of Delaware, this section also includes a video from Senator Chris Coons, filmed at The Delaware Contemporary.

Media should contact Judith Kargbo at kargboj@arts.gov if they would like to attend any of the site visits or request an interview with Chairman Chu.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

9:00AM- 10:15AM The Delaware Contemporary Site Visit

Location: 200 S Madison St, Wilmington, DE 19801

Participants:

Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
Paul Weagraff, director, Delaware Division of the Arts
David Keller, interim executive director, The Delaware Contemporary Arts
Kathrine Page, board chair, The Delaware Contemporary Arts
Alma Sheppard-Matsuo, artist-in-residence, The Delaware Contemporary Arts

1:00PM –2:00PM Town Hall Meeting

Location: The Grand Opera House at the baby grand, 818 N Market St, Wilmington, DE 19801

Participants:

Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
Chris Coons, U.S. Senator, State of Delaware
Jack Markell, Governor, State of Delaware
Paul Weagraff, director, Delaware Division of the Arts
Mark Fields, executive director, the Grand Opera House

2:15PM –2:30PM Media Availability

Location: the baby grand, 818 N Market St, Wilmington, DE 19801

Participants:

Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
Chris Coons, U.S. Senator, State of Delaware

3:45PM- 4:10PM Biggs Museum Tour

Location: 406 Federal St, Dover, DE 19901

Participants:

Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
Paul Weagraff, director, Delaware Division of the Arts
Charles Guerin, executive director, Biggs Museum
Ryan Grover, curator, Biggs Museum

4:15PM- 4:30PM Media Availability

Location: Biggs Museum, 406 Federal St, Dover, DE 19901

Participants:

Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts

4:30PM- 5:45PM Public Meet and Greet

Location: Biggs Museum, 406 Federal St, Dover, DE 19901

Participants:

Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
Paul Weagraff, director, Delaware Division of the Arts
Charles Guerin, executive director, Biggs Museum
Ryan Grover, curator, Biggs Museum

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and the agency is celebrating this milestone with events and activities through September 2016.

About the Delaware Division of the Arts

The Delaware Division of the Arts, a branch of the Delaware Department of State, is dedicated to cultivating and supporting the arts to enhance the quality of life for all Delawareans. Together with its advisory body, the Delaware State Arts Council, the Division administers grants and programs that support arts programming, educate the public, increase awareness of the arts, and integrate the arts into all facets of Delaware life. For more information about the Delaware Division of the Arts, visit artsdel.org or call 302-577-8278.


Governor Jack A. Markell to Present Awards in the Arts

The AwardGovernor Jack A. Markell will honor the recipients of the 2014 Governor’s Awards for the Arts at a presentation starting at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, October 6, 2014 at The Grand Opera House in Wilmington, Delaware. The event, co-chaired by First Lady Carla Markell and Delaware State Arts Council Chair Lise Monty, will include videos celebrating the work of the winners, as well as performances by two young professional Delaware musicians: 2014 Emerging Artist Fellow Matthew Smith (guitar) and 15-year-old Pyerce Lateef Oates (piano). The event is free and open to the public. RSVP required: delarts@delaware.gov or 302-577-8278.

“I’m thrilled to join with the Delaware State Arts Council in recognizing the outstanding work of these eight Delaware artists and arts organizations,” said Governor Markell. “Through their art as well as their leadership, education, innovation and advocacy they have had a significant and profound impact on the artistic and cultural life of Delaware.”

The awards are being created by Milford, Delaware artist Michael Quattrociocchi, an award-winning wood craft artisan. “Treasure Box” is an Asian design made of wood with applied panels on front and back. The front and back panels are made of spalted maple in a “Landscape” design reminiscent of the Delaware shore. Landscapes may be a shoreline with fog, marshland scene, or estuary.

Individuals Award Winners (alphabetical order):

David Amado
leader

Music Director of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra (DSO) since 2002, David Amado is a gifted artist with degrees in piano performance, instrumental conducting, and orchestral conducting from The Juilliard School and Indiana University. He has guest conducted throughout the world, including with the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Orquesta Sinfonica de Xalapa, among others.

Now in his 12th season with the DSO, Amado has expanded the capacity and reputation of the orchestra, reinvigorated the musicians, and provided leadership and oversight for the DSO’s first CD recording in 2010 (which debuted at number 11 on the Billboard classical charts and earned a nomination for a Latin Grammy Award). His commitment to collaboration and new ventures has been especially noteworthy. He created and nurtured partnerships with many of the state’s premiere arts organizations including Delaware Art Museum, Delaware Shakespeare Festival, Delaware Theatre Company, First State Ballet Theatre, Freeman Stage at Bayside, The Grand Opera House, Music School of Delaware, OperaDelaware, University of Delaware School of Music, and World Café Live at The Queen.

As a committed music educator, Amado has visited, made music and lectured at many of the state’s public and private schools. Leading the DSO through challenging times, Maestro Amado has utilized his uncompromising musical excellence to open dialogues, create partnerships and expand what music can do in and for our state.

Sharon Baker
independent filmmaker

Filling a blank canvas, an empty stage, and for the last 30 years, the viewfinder of a camera, Sharon Baker’s narrative and documentary storytelling has established her as an award-winning, working artist. Her films, television programs and screenplays have been recognized in esteemed festivals that include New York, Columbus, Hollywood, and Heartland. Drawing inspiration from Delaware history, Baker’s work has aired on American Public Television, PBS, The History Channel, Nickelodeon, BRAVO, and National Geographic. Her work as a writer, director, and producer has earned her prestigious national awards and nine regional EMMY’s.

Baker is co-founder of TELEDUCTION, Inc., founder of the non-profit Serviam Media, Inc. and its Hearts and Minds Film Initiative, and creator of the online portal ContentDelaware.org, a video storytelling project for Delaware. Baker’s Hearts and Minds Film Festival promotes socially-focused, independent filmmaking. Her Media Mentors program trains underserved youth in the art and craft of digital storytelling.

Baker has filmed documentaries in Africa, China, Central America, Europe, and throughout the United States. Most importantly to her, she continues to create stories throughout her home state, helping to raise visibility and support for the arts in Delaware.

Xiang Gao
innovator

Recognized as one of the world’s most successful concert violinists and multifaceted musicians from China, Xiang Gao’s musical integrity and virtuoso technique have gained accolades from audiences and reviewers around the globe. He has performed solo with more than 100 symphony orchestras worldwide and for many world leaders. Gao is a founding member of the “China Magpie” ensemble of YoYo Ma’s Silk Road Project and “6ixwire,” a Delaware-based crossover duet with erhu (Chinese violin) soloist Cathy Yang.

Gao has notably contributed to the arts in Delaware by creating and directing the fastest-growing, unconventional concert series in the state, The University of Delaware Master Players Concert Series (MPCS), as well as creating original music productions to promote cultural understanding and exchange while changing the way live music is experienced. He recently finished composing music for “Campus Chatter: the new musical” that will open in 2015.

A two-time Delaware Division of the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship winner, Gao has performed countless times as a volunteer musician on behalf of MPCS at Delaware hospitals, senior centers, libraries, and inner-city schools, making music accessible to children and community members who might not normally be able to attend a concert.

Eunice LaFate
advocate

Eunice LaFate has infused Folk Art into everything she touches, and has used the art form to improve the lives of the people and communities she works with. Originally from Jamaica, LaFate’s creative vision finds its origin in the colors and tones of the island’s people, landscapes, and culture. An accomplished self-taught artist who has been painting for more than 20 years, her work is in the permanent collections of the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas, as well as the Blue Ball Barn Museum in Wilmington, Delaware.

As a speaker for the Delaware Humanities Forum, board member of Creative Vision Factory, and advocate for the Folk Art form, LaFate has encouraged participation in the creation of art by children and adults across the state, including bank employees, Job Corp students and people with disabilities. A recent highlight of LaFate’s work was her 20-Year Folk Art Retrospective Exhibition at the Blue Ball Barn Museum, complemented with the release of her documentary “ARTS AS PREVENTION” in the fall of 2013.

A social visionary, LaFate uses her canvas to address issues that affect the community and state – children and adults. She received an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Delaware Division of the Arts in 2004.

Evelyn Swensson
lifetime achievement


Peggy Amsterdam Outstanding Achievement Award

This award was created in honor of Peggy Amsterdam, Director of the Delaware Division of the Arts from 1993-2000. Before her untimely passing in 2009, Peggy was a pillar in the arts world – recognized regionally and nationally for her leadership and vision, for expanding people’s access to the arts, and for supporting excellence in artistic expression.

Evelyn Swensson has been a powerful musical force in Delaware for 58 years: 13 years in Seaford and Dover, and 45 years in Wilmington. During her illustrious career she has been a conductor, composer, performer, lecturer, and educator.

As Director of Music at Mt. Olivet Church in Seaford, she organized a chorus of 120 singers to present free choral concerts. She conducted the Dover Choral Society, and in Wilmington, she was Director of Music at Aldersgate United Methodist Church (1969-2002). Swensson performed as a soloist with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, OperaDelaware, The Brandywiners, and Ardensingers, and after completing a Master of Music degree from West Chester University in 1972, she was the first woman to conduct all four of these organizations.

As Music Director for OperaDelaware’s Family Opera Theater (1974-2007), Swensson composed 12 musicals based on award-winning books in the school curriculum. A speaker/performer for the Delaware Humanities Forum, she has written and is still performing one-woman shows that illuminate the lives of women of historical importance.

Swensson has won many awards including Distinguished Alumna Awards from Harpeth Hall/Ward Belmont School in Tennessee, Hollins University in Virginia, and West Chester University in Pennsylvania. Her memoir, NOTES: My Life with Music, has recently been published.

Billie Travalini
educator

Billie Travalini is an internationally-recognized, award-winning writer and educator, and the force behind many educational and literary ventures throughout the state. A concern for the individual voice – both literary and literal – is at the core of this native Delawarean’s work and life.

As the volunteer coordinator of numerous writing conferences, including co-founder and coordinator of the Lewes Creative Writers’ Conference, now in its seventh year, Travalini has organized numerous inspirational professional development opportunities for her colleagues and the public. She conceived and produced two anthologies of Delaware poetry and prose – On the Mason Dixon Line (University of Delaware Press, 2008) and No Place Like Here (Doll’s Eye Press, 2012) – volunteering her time to showcase work from dozens of established and emerging Delaware writers.

Travalini has spent years teaching students served by Delaware’s Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families, where she uses creative writing to inspire critical thinking. Determined to share the students work with a wider audience, she gathered the students’ poems, stories, and works of art in Teaching Troubled Youth: a Practical Pedagogical Approach, an award-winning book with an important message on the human condition. The recipient of two Individual Artist Fellowships from the Delaware Division of the Arts, Travalini was recognized in 2005 for poetry and in 2007 for fiction.

Organization Award Winners (alphabetical order):

Joshua M. Freeman Foundation
presenting

The Joshua M. Freeman Foundation aims to create opportunities to elevate the human spirit through the arts, for residents of Sussex County and the surrounding area, by partnering to present memorable performances and provide inspired arts education for all.

The first season of arts programming at The Freeman Stage at Bayside (2008) began with 28 performances, all free to the public, serving more than 14,000 attendees. From that small start, The Freeman Stage has grown to presenting 50 performances each summer with annual attendance reaching more than 40,000. All art genres — full symphonic orchestras, pop and rock bands, country singers, jazz musicians, ballet and modern dance, opera, and theater — are represented in the season’s programming.

The Freeman Stage features regular appearances by established Delaware arts groups such as First State Ballet Theatre, OperaDelaware and Clear Space Theatre Company, as well as internationally-acclaimed guest artists. The Saturday morning children’s series runs for 12 weeks throughout the summer with programs including puppetry, children’s theater, dance, music, storytelling, painting lessons, juggling, and more. During the year, the Foundation also presents more than 20 performances for Sussex County school children at Delaware Technical Community College and area schools, all at no charge.

The Foundation has earned numerous grants and awards, including the 2013 Southern Delaware Tourism Award and Delaware Today’s “2012 Best Bandstand in Delaware” award.

VSA Delaware
inclusion

Since its incorporation as a non-profit arts organization over 25 years ago, VSA Delaware (VSADE) has worked diligently to support artistic opportunities for individuals with disabilities throughout the state. By providing a unique link between the arts, disability and education communities, VSADE (formerly known as Very Special Arts) recognizes the need for children and adults with disabilities to be provided with opportunities to participate and achieve in the areas of performing and visual arts.

Using an established artist residency model to facilitate integrated arts education programming for students and adults with disabilities, VSADE provides cross-curricular learning with the arts as educational tools. The annual “Celebration of Creativity” traveling multimedia art exhibit celebrates the work of all visual arts residency participants. VSADE’s Arts Administration Internships and Performing Arts Residency programs provide opportunities for transitional-age students to develop relevant employment skills, as well as communication and interpersonal competency. Delaware schools recognize VSADE as a leader in providing accessible integrated programming to students with disabilities.

Partnering with more than 40 Delaware schools, districts and organizations, VSADE has worked diligently to develop dialogue about accessibility, cultural access and universal design, so that Delaware arts organizations may improve their accessibility and outreach to diverse audiences.

History and Coordination of the Awards
Governor Russell W. Peterson began the tradition of honoring Delaware artists in 1970. Since then, Delaware has paid tribute to 40 distinguished individuals and organizations that have had a profound and lasting impact on the state’s artistic and cultural life. This marks the 11th celebration since 1970.

The 2014 Governor’s Awards for the Arts are coordinated by the Delaware Division of the Arts in conjunction with the Delaware State Arts Council and the Governor’s office. Award recipients were selected from a pool of candidates solicited during an extensive nominating process.

For a list of the previous award winners, visit our website.

The Delaware Division of the Arts is an agency of the State of Delaware. Together with its advisory body, the Delaware State Arts Council, the Division administers grants and programs that support artists and arts organizations, educate the public, increase awareness of the arts, and integrate the arts into all facets of Delaware life. Funding for Division programs is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware State Legislature, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.