Delaware Art Museum installation

Installation image of Picturing America (American Art through 1900), 2021. Photograph © Delaware Art Museum. For more information about the artwork, visit delart.org. Artwork left to right: Thomas Wilmer Dewing, Morning; Edwin Howland Blashfield, Vintage Festival; George Henry Boughton, Spring; Mary Lizzie Macomber, An Instrument of Many Strings; Louis Kronberg, Woman in Red Holding Parrot; Kenyon Cox, Study for Tradition; Bacchante and Infant Faun, Frederick William MacMonnies (1863–1937), bronze, 67 x 22 x 22 inches, Private Collection, Delaware, Courtesy of Art Finance Partners, LLC. San Richard Langtry Partington, San Pedro, California; Jasper Francis Cropsey, Hudson River Scene; William Couper, Fair Enid; Jefferson David Chalfant, The Old Violin; William Chadwick, A Girl Reading; Clawson Shakespeare Hammitt, The Amateur Photographer; Thomas Pollock Anshutz, Head of a Woman; Lilla Cabot Perry, Self-Portrait; Portrait of the Artist's Wife, Evangeline Wilbour Blashfield, Edwin Howland Blashfield, (1848–1936), oil on canvas, 64 1/2 × 69 1/4 inches; frame: 73 1/2 × 78 1/4 inches. Private Collection, Delaware, Courtesy of Art Finance Partners, New York.

Delaware artists found out this week how much assistance the state's Division of the Arts will be providing in Fiscal Year '22. 

"The total amount that we're awarding in this round is $2.9 million. That is the largest single round of grants that we award during the Fiscal Year. This represents our largest, general operating support grants to arts organizations, as well as major project grants to community-based organizations throughout the state," said Director Paul Weagraff. "This round of grants represents more than 100 grants to arts organizations and community-based organizations."

Highlights from the distributed grants include: 

  • General Operating Support for sixty one arts organizations.
  • Project Support for twenty three community-based organizations that provide arts programming for children and adults with physical or intellectual disabilities; students whose schools are under-resourced and face multiple barriers, individuals and family members dealing with cancer; and young children and community members from across Delaware.
  • Six Arts Stabilization projects that support capital improvements and repairs to facilities owned by arts organizations.
  • StartUp Support for one emerging arts organization, providing a combination of technical assistance and financial support for this new organization.
  • Fourteen education-based partnerships between Delaware’s schools, arts organizations and artists that provide teacher training and standards-based arts learning experiences for pre K-12 students statewide, in alignment with the Delaware Standards for Learning in the Visual and Performing Arts.

Grants for Fiscal Year '22

Grant Program # Grants Amount Awarded 
General Operating Support 61 

$2,467,700 

Project Support 23 $271,400 
Arts Stabilization $90,000 
StartUp $2,000 
Education Resource  14 $130,700 
TOTAL105 $2,961,800 

A full list of grants provided is available here

"I think people, as they're coming out of their houses, are looking for things to do. And the arts community has been hearing from their patrons that they're eager to get back out and experience the arts in a live format," Weagraff said. "People are eager to get out and see live shows, live concerts, get to the museums and exhibitions."

More importantly, Weagraff said, pouring money into arts programs will help stimulate Delaware's economy coming out of the pandemic as businesses that struggled to survive look to ramp up service and return to normalcy. 

"We never consider the the money that goes into grants to be an expense, but rather an investment," he said. "As the rest of the economy is opening up, restaurants are trying to resurrect their businesses as well, we know that the arts are a huge draw in bringing people into downtown areas, into the communities. The ancillary businesses benefit tremendously from this. The restaurants, the parking lots, the babysitters, all of these various businesses benefit. We know that for every public dollar that's invested in the arts, it returns six- or seven-fold in economic activity within the communities with tax dollars and so on."

So, as the world opens back up, Weagraff wants to see people returning to concerts and museums as much as the public wants to be there themselves. 

"Get out and experience the arts. It's a great opportunity to get refreshed after months of being cooped up with COVID. It supports our arts organizations and supports the local businesses that benefit from the ancillary activity."