Election 2012: How Will It Affect Delaware?

Better Times Ahead?: The presidential election could affect the state’s economy.



As Delaware lurches toward Election Day, it is easy to get caught up in the heat of the battle between the two parties.

But after the first Tuesday, we will be left with the question of what a second term for Barack Obama and Joe Biden, or a victory by Mitt Romney and vice presidential running-mate Paul Ryan will mean for the Delaware economy.

Let’s get one thing out of the way. Barring a big surprise, Delaware government will remain under the control of Democrats, with Gov. Jack Markell expected to coast to a second term.

Peering into the future is a risky exercise, and after mulling over an array of possibilities, I turned to James Butkiewicz for his thoughts. Butkiewicz chairs the Department of Economics at the Lerner College of Business and Economics at the University of Delaware.

What follows is a blend of observations on what we might see with Romney in the White House or if Obama hangs on for a second term.

Butkiewicz says Delaware will benefit from the candidate who can do the best job of handling the national economy.

The days when the First State could thrive, regardless of how the overall economy performs, vanished long ago.

“Since 1976, employment growth in Delaware has been slightly faster, but largely mirrored growth in the national economy,” Butkiewicz says.

That has not stopped Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeff Cragg and his running-mate for lieutenant  governor, Sher Valenzuela, from claiming that overspending and over-regulation hold back the economy. Valenzuela spent a brief time in the spotlight with a speech in late August at the Republican National Convention. Cragg and Valenzuela both own businesses.

On the national stage, taking bold steps will be difficult for either Obama or Romney, thanks to the deficit.

“Spending and taxes must be aligned to balance the budget, although each candidate proposes a different approach to restore fiscal health,” Butkiewicz says.

Although details have not been spelled out, Romney and Ryan propose tax cuts for all, with Obama and Biden continuing to propose a tax increase for those with higher incomes.

Spending cuts remain a murky area, with both sides light on specifics. For his part, Romney proposed cutting spending for arts, public broadcasting and Amtrak, the federally owned passenger railroad that employs 1,000 in Delaware, according to an interview in Fortune Magazine.

As a member of the House, Ryan has introduced detailed plans to slash spending, but it is unclear how many of his proposals would be adopted by Romney.

Amtrak has been on the chopping block for decades, as reflected by the $1.5 billion in federal money it receives every year. That amounts to the cost of a couple of major   projects on Interstate 95.

The Obama administration and long-time Amtrak commuter Joe Biden remain strong supporters of the rail system and  will keep pushing a plan to use public and private partnerships to add more high-speed lines around the country. That has led to  criticism of the administration from some Amtrak backers who say the bulk of funding should go to the Northeast Corridor.

One likely victim of the process is the former General Motors plant near Newport that seemed destined to produce the Fisker Atlantic mid-sized hybrid sedan. The U.S. Department of Energy suspended the federal loan to be used to overhaul the plant that last produced a two-seater Pontiac sports car.

Romney has made the Fisker loan into a campaign issue, although the program came out of legislation—signed by President George W. Bush—aimed at encouraging production of fuel-efficient vehicles.

“If the Fisker money is not already dead, it will be,” Butkiewicz says.

A big question mark is the legislative branch. “If Congress remains divided, or if the majorities are from the opposite party, either candidate may have difficulty enacting his desired programs,” Butkiewicz says.

This also holds true for Romney’s vow to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The task will be far more difficult for Romney if Democrats only lose a few seats in the Senate. It would be comparable to the current gridlock we’ve experienced.

You can’t rule out a compromise with Democrats on a budget package that could add to confidence in the business community. Prospects are dimmer for an Obama administration deal with the GOP, although pressure from the business community could build, especially if the economy stalls.

While many believe that Romney prefers to seek deals with the opposition, he is hemmed in by the GOP base that wants no tax or revenue increases. Ryan, a fiscal conservative, could hold the key to bringing conservatives into line on a budget deal.

As for the European debt crisis and recession, Butkiewicz sees the situation holding down economic growth in the United States, but not to the point of affecting decisions by either Obama or Romney to move forward with their economic proposals.

The impact of federal spending cuts in Delaware may be somewhat limited, due to the lack of federal facilities or companies doing business with the government.

Butkiewicz cites Tax Foundation data that ranks Delaware 44th out of the 50 states in the ratio of federal dollars received to federal taxes paid. In 2004 and 2005, Delaware received 77 cents on each dollar of federal taxes paid.

Dover Air Force Base, the one major federal installation in the state, has survived base realignment and closing decisions and seen continued investments in new buildings. While the investments are a big plus,  the state’s congressional delegation and local officials work hard to retain strong ties with the Air Force.

Regardless of the social issues swirling around the campaign, Butkiewicz says the economy remains the top concern. The marching orders that went out in the 1992 presidential campaign of Bill Clinton—“It’s the economy stupid”—remain true, says Butkiewicz.

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February 2016

Our Winter Group Show features oil paintings by Rosemary Castiglioni, Jim Gears and Mary Ann Weselyk. Still-life paintings with subtle color variations by...

Cost: Free

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Delaware Museum of Natural History
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Hagley Museum
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Cost: Free with Museum Admission

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Penn Museum
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Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
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The Delaware Contemporary
200 S. Madison St.
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Cost: $15–$18

Where:
The Everett Theatre
47 W Main St.
Middletown, DE  19709
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Sponsor: The Everett Theatre
Telephone: 302-540-8561
Contact Name: Chris Everett
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Cost: Free with Museum Admission

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
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Cost: $8

Where:
Metropolitan Community Church
19369 Plantation Rd.
Rehoboth Beach, DE  19971
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Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
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Where:
Smyrna Opera House
7 West South Street
Smyrna, DE  19977
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Cost: $50

Where:
I.A.T.S.E Ballroom
2401 Swanson St.
Philadelphia, PA  19148
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Sponsor: AOI Events & PR
Telephone: 267-562-2179
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Back by popular demand! This Valentine’s Day we bring to you yet again a masquerade affair, welcoming both couples and singles. This event is for everyone no matter the relationship status....

Cost: $50

Where:
I.A.T.S.E Ballroom
2401 Swanson St.
Philadelphia, PA  19148
View map »


Sponsor: AOI Events & PR
Telephone: 267-562-2179
Contact Name: Danielle P. Jeter
Website »

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Cost: Free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free with admission

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Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
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Cost: $13

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Pennsylvania Convention Center
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Cost: Adults $20; seniors $18; students (with ID) $15; children (ages 6–17) $15

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
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Penn Museum
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Hagley Museum
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Cost: FREE

Where:
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital
801 Middleford Road
Seaford, DE  19973
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Telephone: 302-629-6611 x 1010
Contact Name: Nanticoke Pulmonary Rehabilitation

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Cost: Free

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The Station Gallery
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Telephone: 302-654-8638
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Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will host a four-session diabetes educational program, The Diabetes Connection, on February 2, 9, 16, and 23 from 9:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m. The cost of the...

Cost: Call for information.

Where:
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital
801 Middleford Road
Seaford, DE  19973
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Telephone: 302-629-6611x2446
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Explore some of the diverse ways that human beings have understood sex and sexuality, gender and gender diversity in this small but broad new exhibition, presented in conjunction with the 2015-2016...

Cost: Free with Museum Admission.

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Penn Museum
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Cost: $13

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1101 Arch St.
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Penn Museum
3260 South St.
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Cost: Depends on what you purchase

Where:
East Coast Garden Center
30336 Cordrey Rd
Millsboro, DE  19966
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Sponsor: Garden Center
Telephone: 302-945-3489
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Seaford Library & Cultural Center
600 N. Market St Ext
Seaford, DE  19973
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Telephone: 302-629-6224

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Where:
Red Clay Creek Presbyterian Church
500 McKennans Church Rd
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Join us every Tuesday for this fun and educational enrichment activity. Students will learn to draw pictures from a variety of themes, including woodland animals, creatures by the sea, creepy...

Cost: $10

Where:
Red Clay Creek Presbyterian Church
500 McKennans Church Rd
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Wilmington, DE  19808
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Bayhealth Kent General
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640 S. State St.
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801 Middleford Road
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Sponsor: Nanticoke Physician Network General & Bariatric Surgery
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Our Winter Group Show features oil paintings by Rosemary Castiglioni, Jim Gears and Mary Ann Weselyk. Still-life paintings with subtle color variations by...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
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View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

What was behind the legendary story of King Midas and his golden touch? That is the question to be answered—not with chests full of gold, but with a spectacular array of ancient artifacts,...

Cost: Adults $20; seniors $18; students (with ID) $15; children (ages 6–17) $15

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
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More information

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Cost: Free with Museum Admission.

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: $13

Where:
Pennsylvania Convention Center
1101 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
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More information

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Cost: $0-14

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Hagley Museum
201 Hagley Creek Rd
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Contact Name: Meg Marcozzi
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Cost: Free

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Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
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Cost: FREE

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Penn Museum
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Our Winter Group Show features oil paintings by Rosemary Castiglioni, Jim Gears and Mary Ann Weselyk. Still-life paintings with subtle color variations by...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
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View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

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Cost: free

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1001 Middleford Road
Seaford, DE  19973
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Telephone: 302-629-6611 x 3838
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Cost: Free with Museum Admission.

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
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View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: $13

Where:
Pennsylvania Convention Center
1101 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »

More information

What was behind the legendary story of King Midas and his golden touch? That is the question to be answered—not with chests full of gold, but with a spectacular array of ancient artifacts,...

Cost: Adults $20; seniors $18; students (with ID) $15; children (ages 6–17) $15

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »

More information

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Cost: $0-14

Where:
Hagley Museum
201 Hagley Creek Rd
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View map »


Telephone: 302-658-2400
Contact Name: Meg Marcozzi
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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The Gibby Center for the Arts
51 W Main St.
Middletown, DE  19709
View map »


Sponsor: The Gibby Center for the Arts
Telephone: 302-449-5396
Contact Name: Caroline Zeitler
Website »

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For more information, please contact: Dave Ruffner ​Rehoboth Beach Film Society 107 Truitt Ave. Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971 302-645-9095, ext. 4 administrator@rehobothfilm.com...

Cost: Free

Where:
, DE


Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
Website »

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Cost: FREE

Where:
Seaford Library & Cultural Center
600 N Market St, Ext
Seaford, DE  19973
View map »


Sponsor: Nanticoke Health Services
Telephone: 302-629-6224
Contact Name: Robert Donati
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Cost: Free

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »

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Cost: FREE

Where:
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital
801 Middleford Road
Seaford, DE  19973
View map »


Sponsor: Nanticoke Physician Network General & Bariatric Surgery
Telephone: 302-629-6611 x 8810
Contact Name: Shelly Geis

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Cost: Free

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Copeland Room of Hagley’s library building
298 Buck Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Telephone: 658-2400
Contact Name: Meg Marcozzi
Website »

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Ditch the winter whites for a world of dazzling color at Longwood Gardens, where you can stroll through thousands of orchids in bloom. Kennett Square, www.longwoodgardens.org 

Where:
, DE

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Regional artists Carol Tippit Woolworth, Catherine Drabkin, Pahl Alexander Hluchan, Colleen Randall and Dan Jackson explore the concept of place—physical, emotional and spiritual—in...

Where:
, DE

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Our Winter Group Show features oil paintings by Rosemary Castiglioni, Jim Gears and Mary Ann Weselyk. Still-life paintings with subtle color variations by...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
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Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

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What was behind the legendary story of King Midas and his golden touch? That is the question to be answered—not with chests full of gold, but with a spectacular array of ancient artifacts,...

Cost: Adults $20; seniors $18; students (with ID) $15; children (ages 6–17) $15

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
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The Philly Home Show will inspire your inner HGTV star at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia from Feb. 12–14 and 19–21. The show will feature highly interactive...

Cost: $13

Where:
Pennsylvania Convention Center
1101 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
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Explore some of the diverse ways that human beings have understood sex and sexuality, gender and gender diversity in this small but broad new exhibition, presented in conjunction with the 2015-2016...

Cost: Free with Museum Admission.

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
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Website »

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Two-hour guided tours are offered at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Guests will visit Eleutherian Mills Residence, the first du Pont family home built in America; the First Office...

Cost: $0-14

Where:
Hagley Museum
201 Hagley Creek Rd
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Telephone: 302-658-2400
Contact Name: Meg Marcozzi
Website »

More information

For more information, please contact: Dave Ruffner ​Rehoboth Beach Film Society 107 Truitt Ave. Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971 302-645-9095, ext. 4 administrator@rehobothfilm.com...

Cost: Free

Where:
, DE


Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
Website »

More information

This art exhibit features fine art works and three dimensional pieces that embrace the subject “red.” Artist are free to use their imagination and creativity, so works will include...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Gibby Center for the Arts
51 W Main St.
Middletown, DE  19709
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Sponsor: The Gibby Center for the Arts
Telephone: 302-449-5396
Contact Name: Caroline Zeitler
Website »

More information

Meeting every Friday, Bayhealth Kent General Hospital, 640 s. State Street, Dover, 7:30 pm., Private Dining Room #3 in the basement. For those who have, or think they may have a gambling problem....

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Bayhealth Kent General Hospital
640 S. State Street
Private Dining Room #3
Dover, DE  19901
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Telephone: 800-855-2CALLGA
Website »

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A spoiled orphan girl is sent to live with her uncle on the Yorkshire moors and discovers renewed life, for herself and her sickly cousin, in bringing her dead aunt’s secret garden back to...

Cost: $15–$18

Where:
The Secret Garden
47 W Main St.
Middletown, DE  19709
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Sponsor: The Everett Theatre
Telephone: 302-540-8561
Contact Name: Chris Everett
Website »

More information

Freud’s Last Session centers on a hypothetical meeting between legendary psychoanalyst Dr. Sigmund Freud and young, rising Oxford Don, C.S. Lewis, to his home in London on the day England...

Cost: $18 online, $20 at the door

Where:
Bootless Stageworks
1301 N Broom Street
Wilmington , DE  19806
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Sponsor: Bootless Stageworks
Telephone: 302-887-9300
Contact Name: Rosanne DellAversano
Website »

More information

Regional artists Carol Tippit Woolworth, Catherine Drabkin, Pahl Alexander Hluchan, Colleen Randall and Dan Jackson explore the concept of place—physical, emotional and spiritual—in...

Where:
, DE

More information

Ditch the winter whites for a world of dazzling color at Longwood Gardens, where you can stroll through thousands of orchids in bloom. Kennett Square, www.longwoodgardens.org 

Where:
, DE

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Pup-Purr-i...A little bit of everythng for pet lovers The PAWS for People 7th Annual Winter Conference is designed for pet enthusiasts, owners and all those who love animals.  Cost of admission...

Cost: $45 through 2.6; $50 after 2.6

Where:
Nemours A. I. du Pont Hospital for Children
1600 Rockland Road
Wilmington, DE  19803
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Sponsor: PAWS for People
Telephone: 302-351-5622
Contact Name: Clarice Ritchie
Website »

More information

Our Winter Group Show features oil paintings by Rosemary Castiglioni, Jim Gears and Mary Ann Weselyk. Still-life paintings with subtle color variations by...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

The Philly Home Show will inspire your inner HGTV star at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia from Feb. 12–14 and 19–21. The show will feature highly interactive...

Cost: $13

Where:
Pennsylvania Convention Center
1101 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »

More information

What was behind the legendary story of King Midas and his golden touch? That is the question to be answered—not with chests full of gold, but with a spectacular array of ancient artifacts,...

Cost: Adults $20; seniors $18; students (with ID) $15; children (ages 6–17) $15

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »

More information

Guests can explore three floors of exhibitions in the Visitor Center, stroll along the river through dozens of historic structures from the Industrial Revolution, and explore the gardens and...

Cost: $0-14

Where:
Hagley Museum
201 Hagley Creek Rd
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-658-2400
Contact Name: Meg Marcozzi
Website »

More information

Explore some of the diverse ways that human beings have understood sex and sexuality, gender and gender diversity in this small but broad new exhibition, presented in conjunction with the 2015-2016...

Cost: Free with Museum Admission.

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »


Website »

More information

Create and innovate at Hagley! Enjoy a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness in celebration of the Maker movement. It will feature demonstrations from area...

Cost: $0-14

Where:
Hagley Museum
201 Hagley Creek Rd
2
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-658-2400
Contact Name: Meg Marcozzi
Website »

More information

For more information, please contact: Dave Ruffner ​Rehoboth Beach Film Society 107 Truitt Ave. Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971 302-645-9095, ext. 4 administrator@rehobothfilm.com...

Cost: Free

Where:
, DE


Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
Website »

More information

This art exhibit features fine art works and three dimensional pieces that embrace the subject “red.” Artist are free to use their imagination and creativity, so works will include...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Gibby Center for the Arts
51 W Main St.
Middletown, DE  19709
View map »


Sponsor: The Gibby Center for the Arts
Telephone: 302-449-5396
Contact Name: Caroline Zeitler
Website »

More information

Hailed by The New York Times as "a young piano visionary" and "one of the leading figures in the current renaissance of performer-composers," pianist Michael Brown, a 2015 Avery...

Cost: $30. Free for ages 10-18 & accompanying adult. $10 for students 18 & older.

Where:
Bethel United Methodist Church Hall
Fourth & Market Streets
Lewes, DE  19958
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Sponsor: Coastal Concerts, Inc.
Telephone: 888-212-6458
Contact Name: Edna Ellett
Website »

More information

The St. Elizabeth High School Alumni Association is hosting an art exhibition and auction on Saturday, February 20, 2016. The event will be held in the newly refurbished Grant Hall...

Where:
Grant Hall at St. Elizabeth Church
809 S Broom St.
Wilmington, DE
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Featuring Diane Monroe, jazz violinist in "What Is This Thing Called Freedom? The Transforming and Timeless Songs of Protest." Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016 at 7:30 p.m....

Cost: Free

Where:
Trinity Episcopal Church
1108 N. Adams Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Jackson ImmunoResearch
Telephone: 302-652-8605
Website »

More information

A spoiled orphan girl is sent to live with her uncle on the Yorkshire moors and discovers renewed life, for herself and her sickly cousin, in bringing her dead aunt’s secret garden back to...

Cost: $15–$18

Where:
The Secret Garden
47 W Main St.
Middletown, DE  19709
View map »


Sponsor: The Everett Theatre
Telephone: 302-540-8561
Contact Name: Chris Everett
Website »

More information

Freud’s Last Session centers on a hypothetical meeting between legendary psychoanalyst Dr. Sigmund Freud and young, rising Oxford Don, C.S. Lewis, to his home in London on the day England...

Cost: $18 online, $20 at the door

Where:
Bootless Stageworks
1301 N Broom Street
Wilmington , DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: Bootless Stageworks
Telephone: 302-887-9300
Contact Name: Rosanne DellAversano
Website »

More information

Direct from TAO’s successful, sold-out, world-premiere run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, this brand-new production, "TAO: Seventeen Samurai," stops at The Playhouse on its...

Cost: $33–$39

Where:
The Playhouse
1007 N. Market Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

Ditch the winter whites for a world of dazzling color at Longwood Gardens, where you can stroll through thousands of orchids in bloom. Kennett Square, www.longwoodgardens.org 

Where:
, DE

More information

Regional artists Carol Tippit Woolworth, Catherine Drabkin, Pahl Alexander Hluchan, Colleen Randall and Dan Jackson explore the concept of place—physical, emotional and spiritual—in...

Where:
, DE

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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