Putting Public Golf in Good Hands

Forewinds Hospitality takes a different approach to golf management. That means much better food in the clubhouse.


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photograph by Luigi Ciuffetelli
http://www.luigic.com

 

At the first whiff that MBNA might be putting its plush, private and pristine Deerfield Country Club up for sale, Forewinds Hospitality, a golf marketing and management company that debuted in the region with the purchase of Hartefeld National in nearby Avondale, Pennsylvania, was very interested.

“Deerfield fit our model perfectly,” says Forewinds managing director Ron Winarick. “It was a no-brainer for us, primarily because of the magnitude of food and beverage segment that was already there.”

But timing is everything in the golf course industry. By the time MBNA put the facility officially on the market, the state had already stepped in as part of its aggressive greenspace initiative and purchased the course. But the state then hired Forewinds to manage it. The group was delighted.

“We have a golf course that had been meticulously maintained for a year without a single round being played on it,” Winarick says. “Plus, we will be managing a 30,000 square-foot banquet and ballroom that can sit a 350-person event.”

That Winarick and Forewinds are licking their chops over the lavish banquet and restaurant capabilities of Deerfield—something that would have sent shivers of doubt up the spines of golf-only operators—provides insight into just what kind of golf company Forewinds is, and how it may be not only the new kid on the block, but one that may show some old dogs new tricks when it comes to golf course marketing.

“We are a hospitality company with a specialization in golf,” says Winarick, who became general manager of Forewinds as a division of Maryland-based Sawyer Realty in 2005. “What many golf clubs struggle to do well—provide a high level of hospitality—we do with ease, because that is our business. Where many club owners and operators see the food and beverage business as a liability, we don’t.”

Which explains why Deerfield was such an attractive property for Forewinds, whether to own it or to manage it.

“First of all, the state believed it was putting the club in good hands and that we would add the kind of value that would benefit both Delaware and us,” Winarick says. “Secondly, Deerfield is in close proximity to our other area holdings.” (In addition to Hartefeld, Forewinds also owns and operates Mountain Branch Golf Club and its Grille and Pub in Joppa, Maryland.) “Finally, Deerfield is in the heart of a hospitality market that both appreciates and demands the level of service and attention we provide.”

Call it an “urban sense” of hospitality standard set by our state being sandwiched between the likes of Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington. You’ll begin to see why Forewinds has anchored its business in the Delaware Valley.

The Forewinds business model is a simple one: Find a property on the market, then let the market and the property’s history determine what type of golf and hospitality facility it will be.

“We prefer private over public, simply because it’s more predictable,” Winarick explains. “Private facilities are less susceptible to seasonality, weather, trendiness and swings in public tastes. But we are a restaurant-based business, so we have to continue to cater to and open our doors to the public at large.”

Even after Hartefeld National completed its privatization in November, a portion of the dining facility remained open to the public. And while Hartefeld will join Forewinds’ other private facility (Sterling National in Massachusetts), the company’s other recent acquisitions—the aforementioned Mountain Branch, along with Avondale’s Inniscrone Golf Club and another Massachusetts property (Wentworth Hills)—are public. And, of course, Deerfield will remain public as long as the state owns it.

Forewinds’ interest in Deerfield is evidenced by the company’s pumping about $1 million into converting the exterior of the club’s facilities from the well-known gray-and-green-awninged monotony of MBNA to a gleaming white-and-maroon exterior with wide open views of the lushly forested course, courtesy of the hundreds of glistening paned windows that invite the outside in. Jeffrey Robinson, Forewinds’ regional director of sales, can’t wait for the makeover to be complete.

“Deerfield will be at the top of the line in terms of pricing attractiveness and presentation for the area’s event needs,” he says. “Deerfield will be a great community resource and destination in northern Delaware for any and all types of outdoor events, including concerts.”

Robinson acknowledges the tremendous amount of cooperation among state and business community interests to make and keep Deerfield a public facility. “Everybody gave up a little to make this happen,” he says.

At first, state park personnel were uncertain how a golf club, especially a formerly private club, would fit the state park’s philosophy of inclusiveness. But Forewinds was quick to reassure that exclusiveness was not in play.

Helen Haughey, marketing director for the Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation, praises Forewinds for its commitment to keep greens fees affordable ($56 for residents) and keep the club accessible to all, as befitting the state park system. “Forewinds demonstrated an eagerness to work with the state in providing a venue for the kind of programming that is part and parcel of our state park system,” she says.

Perhaps the long-range good news a company like Forewinds brings is a positive and upbeat vision of the future of the golf market. “I think we’re at the bottom of the restructuring of the golf industry now,” says Winarick. “We’re beginning to see some positive upticks in the number of rounds played at existing courses due to the number of courses that had represented an overbuilding in the market now going off line.”

Winarick is quite bullish on the growth of the golf industry here. “Within 20 miles or so of Hartefeld, there are already 1,200 approved housing starts on the books. We’re growing from the north, the south and from the west as well.”

Other reasons for golf’s positive outlook here include a nearly year-round golf season, and a market that continues to remain solidly mid-priced. 

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February 2019

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GARLAND OF SUCHNESS Karoline Wileczek February 1 - 24, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, February 1, 2019 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop Karoline Wileczek's grid pattern work functions...

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The Wilmington branch of the American Association of University Women is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its sale of used books to fund college scholarships for women and is also preparing for...

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410 Upper Snuff Mill Row
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1219 Vine Street
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Cost: Free

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600 N Market. St
Wilmington , DE  19801
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Telephone: 302-983-5710
Contact Name: Susan Coulby

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Cost: FREE

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200 South Madison Street
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Telephone: 130-265-66466
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Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466

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Cost: FREE

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Telephone: 130-265-66466
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Schedule a private group tour followed by lunch or dinner with a historic, revolutionary war era presentation.* Ideal for conferences, corporate meetings, special interest groups. $25 per...

Cost: $25–$45

Where:
The University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Sponsor: The University and Whist Club
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Cost: Free

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600 N Market. St
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Sponsor: Delaware College of Art and Design
Telephone: 302-983-5710
Contact Name: Susan Coulby

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Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Telephone: 130-265-66466
Website »

More information

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Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466
Website »

More information

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Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466

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Cost: $25–$45

Where:
The University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: The University and Whist Club
Telephone: 302-658-5125
Contact Name: Stacey Inglis
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ORIGINS Rick Rothrock & Stan Smokler January 8 - April 22, 2019 Special Reception: Friday, January 11, 2019  5:30 - 7:30 PM Artist Talk | 6:30 PM The Delaware Contemporary...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
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Telephone: 130-265-66466

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For the month of February, get a full set of Lashes at Premier Spa and Laser Center for just $199.

Cost: $199

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537 Stanton Christiana Rd #210
Newark, DE  19713
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Cost: 0.00

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410 Upper Snuff Mill Row
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Telephone: 302-239-2434
Contact Name: Nicole Schmid
Website »

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Cost: 0

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Asian Arts Initiative
1219 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA  19107
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Telephone: 215-557-0455
Contact Name: Melissa
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Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466
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More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Delaware College of Art and Design
600 N Market. St
Wilmington , DE  19801
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Sponsor: Delaware College of Art and Design
Telephone: 302-983-5710
Contact Name: Susan Coulby

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Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466
Website »

More information

IN BETWEEN THEREShelley Thorstensen November 24, 2018 - March 17, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, December 7 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop For her first solo exhibition in Delaware,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466

More information

Schedule a private group tour followed by lunch or dinner with a historic, revolutionary war era presentation.* Ideal for conferences, corporate meetings, special interest groups. $25 per...

Cost: $25–$45

Where:
The University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: The University and Whist Club
Telephone: 302-658-5125
Contact Name: Stacey Inglis
Website »

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ORIGINS Rick Rothrock & Stan Smokler January 8 - April 22, 2019 Special Reception: Friday, January 11, 2019  5:30 - 7:30 PM Artist Talk | 6:30 PM The Delaware Contemporary...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Telephone: 130-265-66466

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Clearing the mind and learning to think not thinking is Zen awareness. Taking the appropriate action in this moment is Zen. Once you know this in your body, walking, standing, sitting down,...

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For the month of February, get a full set of Lashes at Premier Spa and Laser Center for just $199.

Cost: $199

Where:
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537 Stanton Christiana Rd #210
Newark, DE  19713
View map »

More information

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CCArts Winter class registrations are open   The Center for the Creative Arts presents its Winter 2019 class and workshop offerings. With over 50 classes and workshops there is...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
410 Upper Snuff Mill Row
410 Upper Snuff Mill Row
Hockessin, DE  19736
View map »


Telephone: 302-239-2434
Contact Name: Nicole Schmid
Website »

More information

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Cost: 0

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1219 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA  19107
View map »


Sponsor: Asian Arts Initiative
Telephone: 215-557-0455
Contact Name: Melissa
Website »

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TOTALLY MYTHOLOGICAL Henry Bermudez February 28 - April 25, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, March 1, 2019 5 - 9 PM | during first Friday Art loop 5:30 - 6:30 PM | Panel discussion,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Telephone: 130-265-66466
Website »

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Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466
Website »

More information

IN BETWEEN THEREShelley Thorstensen November 24, 2018 - March 17, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, December 7 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop For her first solo exhibition in Delaware,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Delaware College of Art and Design
600 N Market. St
Wilmington , DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware College of Art and Design
Telephone: 302-983-5710
Contact Name: Susan Coulby

More information

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Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466
Website »

More information

Schedule a private group tour followed by lunch or dinner with a historic, revolutionary war era presentation.* Ideal for conferences, corporate meetings, special interest groups. $25 per...

Cost: $25–$45

Where:
The University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: The University and Whist Club
Telephone: 302-658-5125
Contact Name: Stacey Inglis
Website »

More information

ORIGINS Rick Rothrock & Stan Smokler January 8 - April 22, 2019 Special Reception: Friday, January 11, 2019  5:30 - 7:30 PM Artist Talk | 6:30 PM The Delaware Contemporary...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466

More information

Cost: $35.00

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Pkwy
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Sponsor: Blue Blaze Associates
Telephone: 302-540-4367
Contact Name: Wendy Scott
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Cost: Free

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Cost: 40.00

Where:
Midnight Oil Brewing Company
674 Pencader Drive
Newark, DE  19702
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Contact Name: Rachel
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Vice President and Director of Culinary Operations for SoDel Concepts and featured Chef at The James Beard house four times.   Final menu posted soon!

Cost: $200/person

Where:
The University and Whist Club
805 N. Broom St.
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Telephone: 302-658-5125
Contact Name: Stacey Inglis
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Cost: 5-15

Where:
Gore Recital Hall
Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Road
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: University of Delaware Department of Music
Telephone: 302-831-2577
Contact Name: Megan Everhart
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For the month of February, get a full set of Lashes at Premier Spa and Laser Center for just $199.

Cost: $199

Where:
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537 Stanton Christiana Rd #210
Newark, DE  19713
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

CCArts Winter class registrations are open   The Center for the Creative Arts presents its Winter 2019 class and workshop offerings. With over 50 classes and workshops there is...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
410 Upper Snuff Mill Row
410 Upper Snuff Mill Row
Hockessin, DE  19736
View map »


Telephone: 302-239-2434
Contact Name: Nicole Schmid
Website »

More information

From End Caste Apartheid to Smash Brahminical Patriarchy: The Art of Equality Labs February 25 – April 12, 2019 Curated by Thenmozhi Soundararajan Featuring: Khushboo Gulati | Maari...

Cost: 0

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1219 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA  19107
View map »


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Telephone: 215-557-0455
Contact Name: Melissa
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TOTALLY MYTHOLOGICAL Henry Bermudez February 28 - April 25, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, March 1, 2019 5 - 9 PM | during first Friday Art loop 5:30 - 6:30 PM | Panel discussion,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Telephone: 130-265-66466
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A SENSE OF PLACE 47°-80° N Bethany Springer January 16 - May 12, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, February 1, 2019 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop A Sense of Place 47° - 80°...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Telephone: 130-265-66466
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NEW HEIGHTS Erica Loustau  January 11 - December 11, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, January 11, 2019  7 - 9 PM Seeking to engage the unused space of our atrium lobby, artist...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Telephone: 130-265-66466
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TIME STILLED, MY HAIR NARRATIVE A Draper Experiment by Tia Santana March 1 - April 28, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, March 1 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop The Delaware...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Telephone: 130-265-66466
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Two-time Delaware Division of the Arts Fellowship recipient Ellen Durkan of Iron Maiden Forge, who is both a graduate of and an instructor at Delaware College of Art and Design, will present a solo...

Cost: Free

Where:
Delaware College of Art and Design
600 N Market. St
Wilmington , DE  19801
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Sponsor: Delaware College of Art and Design
Telephone: 302-983-5710
Contact Name: Susan Coulby

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IN BETWEEN THEREShelley Thorstensen November 24, 2018 - March 17, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, December 7 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop For her first solo exhibition in Delaware,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Telephone: 130-265-66466

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Glory of Stories introduces young visitors to art and the Museum through discovery, exploration, and hands-on experiences.Ages 2 and up. Visit delart.org for list of books. ...

Cost: Free to Members, $5 per child and one adult free for Non-Members.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Glory of Stories introduces young visitors to art and the Museum through a story reading followed by an interactive tour of relevant works of art and a studio art project. This program encourages...

Cost: Free to Members, $5 per child and one adult free for Non-Members

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Schedule a private group tour followed by lunch or dinner with a historic, revolutionary war era presentation.* Ideal for conferences, corporate meetings, special interest groups. $25 per...

Cost: $25–$45

Where:
The University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Sponsor: The University and Whist Club
Telephone: 302-658-5125
Contact Name: Stacey Inglis
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ORIGINS Rick Rothrock & Stan Smokler January 8 - April 22, 2019 Special Reception: Friday, January 11, 2019  5:30 - 7:30 PM Artist Talk | 6:30 PM The Delaware Contemporary...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Telephone: 130-265-66466

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This noon-time lunch series on the first Friday of every month pairs an engaging 30-minute discussion about a work of art with a delicious lunch in the Thronson Café. Lunch voucher included...

Cost: $12 Members, $14 Non-Members.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
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The Art of Equality Labs - Opening Reception & Panel Discussion First Friday, March 1, 6-8pm Curated by Thenmozhi Soundararajan Featuring: Khushboo Gulati | Maari Zwick-Maitreyi |...

Cost: 0

Where:
Asian Arts Initiative
1219 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA  19107
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Sponsor: Asian Arts Initiative
Telephone: 215-557-0455
Contact Name: Melissa
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The Junior League of Wilmington's fourth annual Women's Leadership Summit is a one-day comprehensive development opportunity for women from throughout the Delaware Valley and beyond who are...

Cost: $65

Where:
Executive Conference Center
205 Executive Drive
Newark, DE  19702
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Sponsor: Junior League of Wilmington
Telephone: 302-652-0544
Contact Name: Jess Chapple
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CCArts Winter class registrations are open   The Center for the Creative Arts presents its Winter 2019 class and workshop offerings. With over 50 classes and workshops there is...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
410 Upper Snuff Mill Row
410 Upper Snuff Mill Row
Hockessin, DE  19736
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Telephone: 302-239-2434
Contact Name: Nicole Schmid
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Sat. March 2: Girl Scouts – Sensational Senses, 9:30am-Noon, Brownies Senses Badge. Daisies welcome too! Explore your senses through interactive games and compare to the awesome senses some of...

Cost: $12 - $5

Where:
Brandywine Zoo
1001 North Park Drive
Wilmington, DE  19802
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Website »

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TOTALLY MYTHOLOGICAL Henry Bermudez February 28 - April 25, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, March 1, 2019 5 - 9 PM | during first Friday Art loop 5:30 - 6:30 PM | Panel discussion,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466
Website »

More information

IN BETWEEN THEREShelley Thorstensen November 24, 2018 - March 17, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, December 7 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop For her first solo exhibition in Delaware,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466

More information

Two-time Delaware Division of the Arts Fellowship recipient Ellen Durkan of Iron Maiden Forge, who is both a graduate of and an instructor at Delaware College of Art and Design, will present a solo...

Cost: Free

Where:
Delaware College of Art and Design
600 N Market. St
Wilmington , DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware College of Art and Design
Telephone: 302-983-5710
Contact Name: Susan Coulby

More information

TIME STILLED, MY HAIR NARRATIVE A Draper Experiment by Tia Santana March 1 - April 28, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, March 1 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop The Delaware...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466
Website »

More information

NEW HEIGHTS Erica Loustau  January 11 - December 11, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, January 11, 2019  7 - 9 PM Seeking to engage the unused space of our atrium lobby, artist...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466
Website »

More information

A SENSE OF PLACE 47°-80° N Bethany Springer January 16 - May 12, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, February 1, 2019 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop A Sense of Place 47° - 80°...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466
Website »

More information

Schedule a private group tour followed by lunch or dinner with a historic, revolutionary war era presentation.* Ideal for conferences, corporate meetings, special interest groups. $25 per...

Cost: $25–$45

Where:
The University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: The University and Whist Club
Telephone: 302-658-5125
Contact Name: Stacey Inglis
Website »

More information

Keeper Talks, 11:30am & 1:30pm, www.brandywinezoo.org (302) 571-7747 Join our keepers for daily talks about the animals here in the Zoo. Topics and animals change daily, so there’s always...

Cost: Adults $ 5, Seniors $4, Kids $3; free for under 3yrs and for members.

Where:
Brandywine Zoo
1001 North Park Drive
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Website »

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ORIGINS Rick Rothrock & Stan Smokler January 8 - April 22, 2019 Special Reception: Friday, January 11, 2019  5:30 - 7:30 PM Artist Talk | 6:30 PM The Delaware Contemporary...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 130-265-66466

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A show that honors the most beloved children's book author of all time.  Puppets, Magic, Storytelling, Rhyme, and Words, Words, Words. 

Cost: Free with Admission

Where:
Delaware Children's Museum
550 Justison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Mahler’s DAS LIED VON DER ERDE ~ The Song of the Earth Saturday, March 2nd, 2019 at 7:30 PM at The Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral This is an exciting co-production with New Orleans’ Opus...

Cost: Tickets purchased in advance cost $25, $30 at the door. Student tickets are $10.

Where:
Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral
23 S 38th St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
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Sponsor: Lyric Fest
Telephone: 215-438-1702
Contact Name: Lyric Fest
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The Rocky Horror Picture Show This interactive movie experience combines film and live performers. The cult-classic is a humorous tribute to the science fiction and horror B movies of the late...

Cost: 9

Where:
Theatre N
235 W. 10th St
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Sponsor: Frankie's Midnight Runners
Telephone: 302-571-4075
Contact Name: Richard
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