Examining Delaware's Ties to the Jonestown Massacre

Forty years later, we reflect on the crucial role our state played in the aftermath of the 1978 tragedy.


Published:

Jonestown, located in South American country Guyana, from an aerial view. // Photo courtesy of The Jonestown Institute

 

One by one, Richard Ferris unzipped the disaster pouches shipped from Guyana to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. He measured each decomposing body, determining age, race, gender and shirt size. He cut the lips back to break the jaws and expose teeth for dental records. He removed skin from the tips of fingers to help produce what would suffice for prints. "Determining race was difficult, other than by hair," Ferris recalls. "The bodies had roasted in the sun."

Now 78 and retired, Ferris was one of six embalmers called upon to manage the carnage of the murders and mass suicide orchestrated in a South American jungle by Peoples Temple leader Jim Jones on Nov. 18, 1978. Ferris is the founder of R.A. Ferris & Co., a crematory in West Chester, Pa., where 70 of the 918 bodies were transported in the weeks that followed. It would be the largest single loss of American civilian life in a deliberate act until 9/11.

James Schaeffer-Patton is an investigator with the Delaware Division of Forensic Science. In August 2014, he uncovered the remains of nine abandoned Jonestown victims in a foreclosed Dover funeral home. "Literally, all I knew about Jonestown [before that] was, 'Don’t drink the Kool-Aid,'" he says.

For Jim Jones, government types like Schaeffer-Patton were the enemy. And as Jones' paranoia grew, so did his obsession with vigilance. In the summer of 1977, he fled with almost 1,000 followers to his self-made utopia, which had been under construction since 1975, fulfilling his belief that it's "a church's duty to have a place of protection for its people."

 

Scenes from Jonestown circa 1978.// Photos courtesy of the Jonestown Institute

 

California congressman Leo Ryan's November 1978 arrival in Jonestown, with staff and media in tow, only exacerbated doubts and fears at the compound. Notes were passed from followers looking to return home. Feeling betrayed, Jones snapped. Ryan and four others were gunned down at Guyana's Port Kaituma airstrip as they attempted to leave by plane.

Jones then summoned his followers to meet at a pavilion surrounded by armed guards. He instructed them to bring their children, come forward and drink Kool-Aid laced with cyanide. Instant genocide in the name of revolution.

The bodies of Jones and his followers were transported from Jonestown to Dover. Several, including Jones', were autopsied. The somber process led one medical corpsman to conclude that "heroes go to Andrews, and the dead go to Dover."

In 1978, Dover Air Force Base's Port Mortuary was one of only three spots in the country that had the capability of handling something of this magnitude. The others—Travis Air Force Base and Oakland Army Base—are in California, which was also home to the bulk of the Peoples Temple members. Insiders believe the U.S. government sent the bodies to Delaware to quell hysteria. "It was by design," says Schaeffer-Patton, a New Castle native who now lives in southern Chester County. "If the bodies were brought to the families' backyards, it could've been a security issue, so the federal government put 2,000 miles between them."


Fielding McGehee has close family ties to Jonestown. His wife, Rebecca Moore, lost two sisters—Carolyn and Annie—and a 3-year-old nephew—Carolyn's son, fathered by Jones—in the tragedy. Annie and Jones were the only two with gunshot wounds. McGehee and Moore made multiple trips to Dover, requesting that neither be embalmed before an autopsy.

"At the end of the process [in Guyana], the military requested snow shovels ... to scoop up the remains," says McGehee, who now heads the West Coast-based Jonestown Institute. "[Delaware was] completely petrified that these bodies were ending up in its backyard. They wanted the bodies out of there as soon as possible, and politicians erected all kinds of barriers that contributed to the anxiety, grief and consternation of relatives in California."

Forty years later, Richard Ferris is initially reluctant to recount his role in the aftermath. But his reticence thaws over the course of our conversation. "I had trouble breathing when I got home the first day," he says. "The next day, they issued us gas masks."

Ferris' involvement stemmed from industry relationships with local funeral directors Andrew Nix and Earl Ford, who had the embalming contract for Dover at the time. Neither is alive today, but Nix & Nix Funeral Homes still operates in Philadelphia. Ferris was charged with hiring other trade embalmers during a Thanksgiving morning meeting seven days after Jonestown. Among those, only former Drexel Hill, Pa., resident John Fatz and William Rigby of Media, Pa. are still living. Two others and Nix's son, who embalmed Jones, are deceased.

 

The Evergreen cemetery memorial to Jonestown victims// Photo courtesy of The Jonestown Institute

 

The bodies of Peoples Temple members were in the jungle heat and rain for two days prior to their discovery, and it would be several days before all the victims were collected and delivered back to the United States.

Due to extreme decomposition, traditional arterial embalming wasn't possible. Over a week of eight-hour-plus days, the team worked with an instrument like the one used to drain fluid on a knee. Without a venous system left to pump embalming fluid through, formaldehyde was injected into the extremities. "It's all we could do," says Ferris, who claims that there are State Department photos of the process that he's never been able to locate. "It's not like we were trying to set a Guinness world record or anything, but Elwood and I could do a body in 10 minutes."

Ferris estimates that he and Elwood handled 760 of the 918 bodies. After the formaldehyde injections, each was treated with powdered and gelatinous formaldehyde, wrapped in a new sheet, zipped into a fresh disaster pouch and labeled with the original body tag. Once hermetically sealed in metal caskets, the bodies were moved into a shipping container on the base for transport and storage.

Ferris went to the State Department to argue the case for cremation. "I said, 'You're doing this all backwards—I have a crematory in West Chester. I should be cremating rather than embalming,'" he recalls. "It made perfectly good sense."

Pete du Pont, Delaware's governor at the time, maintained that the bodies couldn't be cremated there because none were state residents and they lacked permits. And there was no cremation chamber in Delaware at the time. Ferris handled 70 cremations in West Chester. "I had to charge extra to also get rid of the metal [caskets]," he says.


The Delaware funeral homes selected to handle the disposition of identified Jonestown bodies were inundated. Pat Edwards was working for Dover Air Force Base as an assistant in civilian personnel at the time. "There's a military saying, 'Just get it done,'" says Edwards of the global recruitment effort she was involved in to secure military and civilian personnel for every job related to Jonestown.

There were people needed for clerical duties, food service, security and more. A tent city went up—"a whole compound that tripled the size of Port Mortuary at the time," says Edwards, who's now in her 47th year at Dover.

Edwards disputes the claims that there was any sort of opposition to the bodies coming to Delaware—and she'll never forget the smell of so many deceased. "The stench stayed here for months, and it was devastating," says Edwards, who's now a 436th Force Support Squadron community readiness consultant for the Airman and Family Readiness Center. "You wouldn't understand mass casualty until you've smelt that smell. It's totally unique."

Bill Torbert Sr. was responsible for Jones' ashes after his cremation in New Jersey. A semi-retired funeral director and former Delaware senator, Torbert kept the remains of the man he refers to as "Jimmy" on his kitchen counter over the 1978-79 holidays. He was awaiting directives from family members to scatter them over water, finally doing so a mile off Bethany Beach. In the process, he also scattered the cremains of seven others who died in Jonestown.

After letting the ashes fly, Tolbert had some trouble with the door of his friend's single-engine Piper. "No, no. It wasn't [Jimmy's spirit]," says Torbert, who kept the location a secret for decades. "I just couldn't get the door closed again."

 

Jim Jones in scenes from Jonestown.// Photos courtesy of The Jonestown Institute

 

While Torbert handled disposition for some 100 victims, others shared in the responsibilities. Four years ago, at Dover's Minus Funeral Home, 38 neatly stacked boxes of unclaimed cremains were discovered. It attracted the attention of the governor's office, which called on forensic investigator James Schaeffer-Patton's unit. Nine of the labeled boxes matched the names on the Jonestown victims list. Schaeffer-Patton theorizes that there may have been more.

The first box he examined was labeled "Ruth Atkins," along with her death date (Nov. 18, 1978) and location (Jonestown, Guyana, S.A.). "I went to [then chief forensic investigator] Mike [Price] and said, 'Tell me this isn't what I think it is,'" he recalls. "Mike said, 'No shit!'"

Schaeffer-Patton searched the names of Jonestown's dead on his phone, contacting seven of the nine families. Remains were claimed by four. One person feigned interest, but didn't return additional calls. "I took the hint," says Schaeffer-Patton. "I was told that I might run into that. The stigma is still too strong."

Another family member asked that the ashes be interred—as Atkins' were—with the other unknown or unclaimed victims in the mass-grave memorial at Evergreen Cemetery in Oakland, Calif. Schaeffer-Patton has been invited to the 40th anniversary event at the site on Nov. 18. He's not sure if he will attend.

A memorable breakthrough was the return of Maud Ester Perkins' remains to her husband, Irvin Ray Perkins, in California. "It's an odd call to make blindly," says Schaeffer-Patton. "But I'll never forget what he said: 'I tried for seven years, calling [officials] several times a week, several times a day, and I was always told that someone would get back to me. Here we are 36 years later, and someone finally got back to me. I searched for seven years for my wife and son, who also died that day.'"

Delaware doesn't have strict guidelines for storing or disposing of cremains. Family members from Minus Funeral Home didn't return requests for comment, but Ferris says some places will hold the ashes until they're paid.

"I often wonder if more Delaware funeral homes have more Jonestown ashes," says Schaeffer-Patton. "We definitely, unintentionally ripped open old wounds, but we also provided some closure."


McGehee's Jonestown Institute is a survivor's network that's helped alter the negative stigma associated with the Peoples Temple. Its research has produced what amounts to a Jonestown census—a list of the 918 who died, including 307 victims under the age of 18. Sponsored by San Diego State University, the Jonestown Institute's website has up to 3,000 hits a day. "The site is half the size it will eventually be," says McGehee. "There are still FBI reports and 400 tapes to transcribe."

There are also survivors to find—and engage. Some 87 followers were elsewhere in Guyana on Nov. 18, 1978, and perhaps 55 of them are still living. There were another 1,000 Temple members back in the United States who were cleared and waiting to go to Guyana. Another 3,000 regularly attended services and had membership cards. The Peoples Temple lost 20 percent of its membership in the massacre, then collapsed back home within six weeks, making it a relative hiccup compared to other religious movements or cults—tragedy aside.

Bryan Kravitz never made it to Guyana. He was working with the movement's publications group and operating its direct-mail campaign when Jonestown occurred, though his department's equipment was packed and his group was ready to go.

In October 1971, Kravitz had spent three nights at Benjamin Franklin High School in Philadelphia, where Jones
held a series of rallies, a staple of his recruiting. Kravitz's encounter led to a Friday night departure on a bus to Indianapolis, the geographical genesis of Jones' Temple. Within a week, another bus shuttled him to a service in San Francisco. By Sunday, he was at Peoples Temple headquarters in Redwood Valley, Calif.

Ultimately, Kravitz's work repairing typewriters delayed his departure to Guyana. Now 69, he's the only known Jonestown survivor living in our area. Another, Odell K. Rhodes, was one of 11 members who escaped 30 miles into the jungle the night of the massacre. He lived in Darby and later Conshohocken, passing away in 2014.

 

Scenes from Jonestown circa 1978.// Photos courtesy of The Jonestown Institute

 

"When I was in California, I never felt at home," Kravitz says. "I was the wandering Jew in the desert for 40 years. One thing I've noticed … if you were part of the Temple, so much of your life died."

Kravitz left with the Peoples Temple largely to escape his father, Lenny Kravitz, and his famous Philly business, Lenny's Hot Dogs, a Nathan's of its era. "I figured the Temple would straighten things out—that I'd gain my own integrity," he says.

But then Jones started reminding Kravitz of his father, and it was "more of the same," he says.

He left what remained of the Temple on Jan. 1, 1979. "Life went on," he says. "It had to."

But Kravitz eventually circled back, marrying fellow Temple survivor Kristine (Johnston) Alles. They divorced in 2013. "We were so connected—it was like we both had the same deep cut," he says. "But because of that, we weren't a good match. Now I have a kind woman who listens to me. I needed a really kind person to get through, or it would’ve been the end of me."

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


Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

More information

BEIJING BOOSTER PAINTINGS Peter Wayne Lewis October 4, 2019 to February 26, 2020 VIP Preview Reception:  October 3, 2019 | 5 - 7 PM Public Reception:  October 4,...

Cost: FREE

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


Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

More information

Margo Allman, a distinguished regional artist for over 60 years in painting, drawing, and sculpture, doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon. In her first solo exhibition at The Delaware...

Cost: FREE

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


Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

More information

TRASH TALK: HISTORY IN ASSEMBLAGE Jim Condron June 7 to November 10, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, June 7, 2019 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop Trash Talk: History in Assemblage,...

Cost: FREE

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


Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

More information

July 11, 2019–January 5, 2020, Center Gallery   The hit Broadway musical Hamilton sparked renewed interest in the Founding Father and his relationship with Aaron Burr, whom...

Cost: Members free. $6-$20 per nonmember.

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

By artist No. 223 July 8 - October 31, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, August 2, 2019 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop The Delaware Contemporary presents an exhibition of 40 new works...

Cost: FREE

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


Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

More information

Available Tuesday nights only - Certified Angus cut of prime rib, asparagus, cauliflower mashed potatoes for $30!

Cost: $30

Where:
Market Kitchen & Bar at the Christiana Hilton
100 Continental Dr.
Newark, DE  19713
View map »

More information

The Lighthouse Inc. Church presenta el servicio de la iglesia en espanol.  El servicio de la iglesia en espanol comenzia 14 de merzo de 2019.  Hables espanol?  Entonces este es el...

Cost: free

Where:
The Lighthouse Inc., Church
6 S Railroad Ave
Wyoming, DE  19934-1026
View map »


Sponsor: The Lighthouse Inc.Church
Telephone: 302-697-1472
Contact Name: Christopher Gore

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Art with Purpose, an exhibition of photographs and paintings by Leah Beach, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from October 4-25, 2019. The artist will host a free opening reception on...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mezzanine Gallery
2nd Floor, Carvel Building
820 N. French St.
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8278
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

Philadelphia artist, Monique Sarkessian earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art in 1987. Continuing studies included 18th Century...

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Directly inspired by the Delaware Art Museum’s Pre-Raphaelite and American illustration collections, this commission from Angela Fraleigh presents a contemporary look at gender and identity...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Curated by Deborah Willis, Ph.D., “Posing Beauty in African American Culture explores the contested ways in which African and African American beauty have been represented in historical and...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Mitch Lyons is a well-known and important part of the local art community, who over the past five decades developed a truly innovative form of print-making. Lyons received his undergraduate degree...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

September 10, 2019–January 5, 2020  A 19th-century prosthetics workshop, a jazz club featured in the Green Book, and a Polish-American car dealership are vastly different businesses,...

Cost: $6-$20 per nonmember. Members free.

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

FLANDERS FIELDS: 25 YEARS OF DEPICTING BRITISH TRENCH POETRY Constance Cone October 4, 2019 - January 5, 2020 Opening Reception: Friday, October 4 5 - 9 PM during first Friday Art...

Cost: FREE

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


Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

More information

OTHER PLACES Draper Experiment by Chris Andricola and Jake Foster October 4 - November 30, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, October 4 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop In the spirit of...

Cost: FREE

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


Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

More information

Margo Allman, a distinguished regional artist for over 60 years in painting, drawing, and sculpture, doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon. In her first solo exhibition at The Delaware...

Cost: FREE

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


Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

More information

BEIJING BOOSTER PAINTINGS Peter Wayne Lewis October 4, 2019 to February 26, 2020 VIP Preview Reception:  October 3, 2019 | 5 - 7 PM Public Reception:  October 4,...

Cost: FREE

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


Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

More information

From the dazzling gold of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation robe to the simple sophistication of Princess Margaret’s wedding dress, from the majesty of royal crowns and tiaras to the comfort...

Cost: $6-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
5105 Kennett Pike
Winterthur, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information & Tours
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

TRASH TALK: HISTORY IN ASSEMBLAGE Jim Condron June 7 to November 10, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, June 7, 2019 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop Trash Talk: History in Assemblage,...

Cost: FREE

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


Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

More information

By artist No. 223 July 8 - October 31, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, August 2, 2019 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop The Delaware Contemporary presents an exhibition of 40 new works...

Cost: FREE

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


Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

More information

July 11, 2019–January 5, 2020, Center Gallery   The hit Broadway musical Hamilton sparked renewed interest in the Founding Father and his relationship with Aaron Burr, whom...

Cost: Members free. $6-$20 per nonmember.

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

Every Wednesday from 4PM - 11PM, indulge in 1/2 price bottles of wine! Valid for bottles under $80.

Cost: Prices vary

Where:
Market Kitchen & Bar at the Christiana Hilton
100 Continental Dr.
Newark, DE  19713
View map »

More information

If you are a Blues musician, or a fun loving person and you want to have a great time enjoying great food (Best Of... 2019) adult beverages and if you want to meet awesome people, come and join The...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Reef Seafood & Steak Restaurant
2618 Carpenter Station Road
Wilmington, DE  19810
View map »


Sponsor: 4w5 Blues Jam
Website »

More information

The Lighthouse Inc. Church presenta el servicio de la iglesia en espanol.  El servicio de la iglesia en espanol comenzia 14 de merzo de 2019.  Hables espanol?  Entonces este es el...

Cost: free

Where:
The Lighthouse Inc., Church
6 S Railroad Ave
Wyoming, DE  19934-1026
View map »


Sponsor: The Lighthouse Inc.Church
Telephone: 302-697-1472
Contact Name: Christopher Gore

More information

Please see attached flyer for information about this year's speakers series. We also have graphics for individual speaker events if needed. Events are held on various Wednesday evenings.

Cost: free

Where:
Mitchell Hall
The Green
University of Delaware
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Center for Political Communication
Telephone: 302-831-7771
Contact Name: Nancy Karibjanian
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Art with Purpose, an exhibition of photographs and paintings by Leah Beach, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from October 4-25, 2019. The artist will host a free opening reception on...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mezzanine Gallery
2nd Floor, Carvel Building
820 N. French St.
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8278
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

Philadelphia artist, Monique Sarkessian earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art in 1987. Continuing studies included 18th Century...

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Directly inspired by the Delaware Art Museum’s Pre-Raphaelite and American illustration collections, this commission from Angela Fraleigh presents a contemporary look at gender and identity...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Curated by Deborah Willis, Ph.D., “Posing Beauty in African American Culture explores the contested ways in which African and African American beauty have been represented in historical and...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

September 10, 2019–January 5, 2020  A 19th-century prosthetics workshop, a jazz club featured in the Green Book, and a Polish-American car dealership are vastly different businesses,...

Cost: $6-$20 per nonmember. Members free.

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

TRASH TALK: HISTORY IN ASSEMBLAGE Jim Condron June 7 to November 10, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, June 7, 2019 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop Trash Talk: History in Assemblage,...

Cost: FREE

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


Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

More information

Mitch Lyons is a well-known and important part of the local art community, who over the past five decades developed a truly innovative form of print-making. Lyons received his undergraduate degree...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

FLANDERS FIELDS: 25 YEARS OF DEPICTING BRITISH TRENCH POETRY Constance Cone October 4, 2019 - January 5, 2020 Opening Reception: Friday, October 4 5 - 9 PM during first Friday Art...

Cost: FREE

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


Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

More information

July 11, 2019–January 5, 2020, Center Gallery   The hit Broadway musical Hamilton sparked renewed interest in the Founding Father and his relationship with Aaron Burr, whom...

Cost: Members free. $6-$20 per nonmember.

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

By artist No. 223 July 8 - October 31, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, August 2, 2019 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop The Delaware Contemporary presents an exhibition of 40 new works...

Cost: FREE

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


Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

More information

BEIJING BOOSTER PAINTINGS Peter Wayne Lewis October 4, 2019 to February 26, 2020 VIP Preview Reception:  October 3, 2019 | 5 - 7 PM Public Reception:  October 4,...

Cost: FREE

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


Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

More information

Margo Allman, a distinguished regional artist for over 60 years in painting, drawing, and sculpture, doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon. In her first solo exhibition at The Delaware...

Cost: FREE

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


Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

More information

OTHER PLACES Draper Experiment by Chris Andricola and Jake Foster October 4 - November 30, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, October 4 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop In the spirit of...

Cost: FREE

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


Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
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

From the dazzling gold of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation robe to the simple sophistication of Princess Margaret’s wedding dress, from the majesty of royal crowns and tiaras to the comfort...

Cost: $6-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
5105 Kennett Pike
Winterthur, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information & Tours
Website »

More information

Fashion Show & Luncheon 

Cost: $38.00

Where:
The Pines Restaurant
Baltimore Avenue
Rehoboth Beach, DE  19971
View map »


Sponsor: Harry K Fiundation
Telephone: 301-807-2304
Contact Name: Robyn
Website »

More information

For $20 on Thursdays from 4PM - 11PM, indulge in our crab cake sandwich & a local beer on tap. Signature crab cake topped w/ lettuce, tomato, power veggie slaw, served on a toasted brioche...

Cost: $20

Where:
Market Kitchen & Bar at the Christiana Hilton
100 Continental Dr.
Newark, DE  19713
View map »

More information

Interested in a book club with a passion for art-inspired literature? Visit delart.org for details. October 24:Becoming by Michelle Obama  

Cost: Free

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Whether your perfect tailgate is high-end picnicking at the derby or grilling in the parking lot at a sporting event, this is for you! The Ultimate Tailgate will feature the best of our area...

Cost: $55

Where:
The Grove at Delaware Park
777 Delaware Park Blvd
Wilmington, DE  19804
View map »


Sponsor: Meals on Wheels
Telephone: 302-656-3257
Contact Name: Cameron Hayden
Website »

More information

The Lighthouse Inc. Church presenta el servicio de la iglesia en espanol.  El servicio de la iglesia en espanol comenzia 14 de merzo de 2019.  Hables espanol?  Entonces este es el...

Cost: free

Where:
The Lighthouse Inc., Church
6 S Railroad Ave
Wyoming, DE  19934-1026
View map »


Sponsor: The Lighthouse Inc.Church
Telephone: 302-697-1472
Contact Name: Christopher Gore

More information

Join us for a night with Raye Jones Avery, one of Wilmington’s true talents, as she performs her original songs as well as R&B, Blues, Jazz, and Broadway standards.

Cost: $30 Members, $35 Non-Members, $25 Students.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Art with Purpose, an exhibition of photographs and paintings by Leah Beach, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from October 4-25, 2019. The artist will host a free opening reception on...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mezzanine Gallery
2nd Floor, Carvel Building
820 N. French St.
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8278
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

Philadelphia artist, Monique Sarkessian earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art in 1987. Continuing studies included 18th Century...

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

OTHER PLACES Draper Experiment by Chris Andricola and Jake Foster October 4 - November 30, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, October 4 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop In the spirit of...

Cost: FREE

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


Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

More information

Curated by Deborah Willis, Ph.D., “Posing Beauty in African American Culture explores the contested ways in which African and African American beauty have been represented in historical and...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

FLANDERS FIELDS: 25 YEARS OF DEPICTING BRITISH TRENCH POETRY Constance Cone October 4, 2019 - January 5, 2020 Opening Reception: Friday, October 4 5 - 9 PM during first Friday Art...

Cost: FREE

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


Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

More information

Mitch Lyons is a well-known and important part of the local art community, who over the past five decades developed a truly innovative form of print-making. Lyons received his undergraduate degree...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Directly inspired by the Delaware Art Museum’s Pre-Raphaelite and American illustration collections, this commission from Angela Fraleigh presents a contemporary look at gender and identity...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Margo Allman, a distinguished regional artist for over 60 years in painting, drawing, and sculpture, doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon. In her first solo exhibition at The Delaware...

Cost: FREE

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


Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
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

July 11, 2019–January 5, 2020, Center Gallery   The hit Broadway musical Hamilton sparked renewed interest in the Founding Father and his relationship with Aaron Burr, whom...

Cost: Members free. $6-$20 per nonmember.

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

September 10, 2019–January 5, 2020  A 19th-century prosthetics workshop, a jazz club featured in the Green Book, and a Polish-American car dealership are vastly different businesses,...

Cost: $6-$20 per nonmember. Members free.

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

From the dazzling gold of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation robe to the simple sophistication of Princess Margaret’s wedding dress, from the majesty of royal crowns and tiaras to the comfort...

Cost: $6-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
5105 Kennett Pike
Winterthur, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information & Tours
Website »

More information

BEIJING BOOSTER PAINTINGS Peter Wayne Lewis October 4, 2019 to February 26, 2020 VIP Preview Reception:  October 3, 2019 | 5 - 7 PM Public Reception:  October 4,...

Cost: FREE

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


Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

More information

TRASH TALK: HISTORY IN ASSEMBLAGE Jim Condron June 7 to November 10, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, June 7, 2019 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop Trash Talk: History in Assemblage,...

Cost: FREE

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


Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

More information

By artist No. 223 July 8 - October 31, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, August 2, 2019 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop The Delaware Contemporary presents an exhibition of 40 new works...

Cost: FREE

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


Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

More information

Costumes encouraged! Enjoy a spooky story, a ghostly peek at art, and witchy art making with your grownup. Please, no weapons or large props in the Museum.Family Friendly.  

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

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Glory of Stories introduces young visitors to the Museum through a story, interactive tour, and art making. Ages 2+. Family friendly.

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

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Take a stroll with us as we wander around the park, telling stories of the supernatural, and using our special equipment to find some….extra guests. Dress warmly, for you never know when you...

Cost: $10 per person

Where:
Bellevue State Park
800 Carr Road
Wilmington , DE  19809
View map »

More information

The Lighthouse Inc. Church presenta el servicio de la iglesia en espanol.  El servicio de la iglesia en espanol comenzia 14 de merzo de 2019.  Hables espanol?  Entonces este es el...

Cost: free

Where:
The Lighthouse Inc., Church
6 S Railroad Ave
Wyoming, DE  19934-1026
View map »


Sponsor: The Lighthouse Inc.Church
Telephone: 302-697-1472
Contact Name: Christopher Gore

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Philadelphia artist, Monique Sarkessian earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art in 1987. Continuing studies included 18th Century...

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

65 million years ago, dinosaurs roamed the earth. Travel back in time to see their world as they knew it, and be the dinosaur. Drawing on today’s modern technology and tested and...

Cost: $9 ages 3-59, $8 seniors, $3 ages 1-2, free for under 12 months and DMNH members

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


Telephone: 302-384-3694
Website »

More information

FLANDERS FIELDS: 25 YEARS OF DEPICTING BRITISH TRENCH POETRY Constance Cone October 4, 2019 - January 5, 2020 Opening Reception: Friday, October 4 5 - 9 PM during first Friday Art...

Cost: FREE

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


Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

More information

Mitch Lyons is a well-known and important part of the local art community, who over the past five decades developed a truly innovative form of print-making. Lyons received his undergraduate degree...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

September 10, 2019–January 5, 2020  A 19th-century prosthetics workshop, a jazz club featured in the Green Book, and a Polish-American car dealership are vastly different businesses,...

Cost: $6-$20 per nonmember. Members free.

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
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By artist No. 223 July 8 - October 31, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, August 2, 2019 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop The Delaware Contemporary presents an exhibition of 40 new works...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
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July 11, 2019–January 5, 2020, Center Gallery   The hit Broadway musical Hamilton sparked renewed interest in the Founding Father and his relationship with Aaron Burr, whom...

Cost: Members free. $6-$20 per nonmember.

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

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Directly inspired by the Delaware Art Museum’s Pre-Raphaelite and American illustration collections, this commission from Angela Fraleigh presents a contemporary look at gender and identity...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
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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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BEIJING BOOSTER PAINTINGS Peter Wayne Lewis October 4, 2019 to February 26, 2020 VIP Preview Reception:  October 3, 2019 | 5 - 7 PM Public Reception:  October 4,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

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Curated by Deborah Willis, Ph.D., “Posing Beauty in African American Culture explores the contested ways in which African and African American beauty have been represented in historical and...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
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TRASH TALK: HISTORY IN ASSEMBLAGE Jim Condron June 7 to November 10, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, June 7, 2019 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop Trash Talk: History in Assemblage,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

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Margo Allman, a distinguished regional artist for over 60 years in painting, drawing, and sculpture, doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon. In her first solo exhibition at The Delaware...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

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OTHER PLACES Draper Experiment by Chris Andricola and Jake Foster October 4 - November 30, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, October 4 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop In the spirit of...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Sponsor: The Delaware Contemporary
Telephone: 302-656-6466
Contact Name: Tatiana Michels
Website »

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From the dazzling gold of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation robe to the simple sophistication of Princess Margaret’s wedding dress, from the majesty of royal crowns and tiaras to the comfort...

Cost: $6-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
5105 Kennett Pike
Winterthur, DE  19807
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Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information & Tours
Website »

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Ready for a scary-good time?! Trick or Treat for wine and seasonal snacks at Chaddsford's wildly popular, adults-only Halloween program! This year, we've expanded the program and...

Cost: Advanced tickets purchased online are $25/person.

Where:
Chaddsford Winery
632 Baltimore Pike
Chadds Ford, PA  19317
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Telephone: 610-388-6221

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SAT & SUN  Keeper Talks, 11:30am and 1:30pm; Learn about our animal friends from the keepers who care for them. Included in zoo admission, www.brandywinezoo.org, (302) 571-7747. Admission:...

Cost: Admission: Adults $7, Seniors $5, Kids $5; free for under 3yrs and for members

Where:
Brandywine Zoo
1001 North Park Drive
Wilmington, DE  19802
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Telephone: 302-571-7747
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Join artists John Baker and Andrew Snyder as they demonstrate the clay monoprint technique pioneered by Mitch Lyons.  Image:Untitled, 1980s. Mitch Lyons (1938–2018). Clay monoprint,...

Cost: $10 Members, $25 Non-Members.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Website »

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.Enjoy a Guide-led tour of the special exhibition Posing Beauty in African American Culture.  Image: Susan Taylor, as Model,c. 1970s. Ken Ramsay (1935–2008). Gelatin...

Cost: Free for Members, Free with admission for Non-Members.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Website »

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The Lighthouse Inc. Church presenta el servicio de la iglesia en espanol.  El servicio de la iglesia en espanol comenzia 14 de merzo de 2019.  Hables espanol?  Entonces este es el...

Cost: free

Where:
The Lighthouse Inc., Church
6 S Railroad Ave
Wyoming, DE  19934-1026
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Sponsor: The Lighthouse Inc.Church
Telephone: 302-697-1472
Contact Name: Christopher Gore

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The Lighthouse Inc., Church would like to place the following public service announcement. The Lighthouse Inc., Church will be featuring a new youtube presentation by Sis. Ijeoma Mbonu, titled,...

Cost: free

Where:
The Lighthouse Inc, Church
6 South Railroad Avenue
Wyoming, DE  19934
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Sponsor: The Lighthouse Inc., Church
Telephone: (302) 632-4679
Contact Name: Christopher Gore
Website »

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