The Show Goes On

Senior editor Maria Hess chats about Delaware's arts scene.


(page 1 of 2)

Goodbye, Peggy

The loss of my friend and former Delaware Division of the Arts director Peggy Amsterdam devastated me, and I know, many others. Peggy was a tireless arts leader in Delaware before becoming president of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance in 2000. She died of cancer two weeks ago. She was 60.

Peggy did more than support me when we first met in the early '90s, when I was a local TV arts reporter. She taught me why the arts mattered, and where we’d be without them. We developed a friendship and worked on several projects. I hesitate to say that we became colleagues, because I was never in her league. She was supremely knowledgeable about the arts, and I never stopped learning from her.

My fondest memory of our time together was a crazy, three-day writing session. Peggy invited me to co-write with her an inaugural show for then-Governor Tom Carper. We did the script, cast the players, and had a great time celebrating artists in Delaware. The show, held at The Grand, was a success, but it was all Peggy’s doing. My name went on the script, but I can assure you the best ideas came from Peggy.

After the show, Peggy gave me a vase made by a local artist. The vase is displayed prominently on my piano. It’s not so much that it’s a beautiful piece, which, of course, it is.  I’ve just always felt honored that the great Peggy Amsterdam gave it to me.

Peggy was kind, funny, optimistic, generous and encouraging. She was the most passionate and articulate arts ambassador I have ever known.

Page 2: On to the Arts

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