Tom Wagner Calls It a Career

Says the longtime state auditor: "When it's time to go, you know it's time to go."


Published:

Illustration by Tim Foley

 

Tom Wagner didn’t see it coming. The weather was hot and he was worn out after a long trip to Detroit. Things seemed fuzzy. He must have picked up a bug on the plane, he thought. He just had to slough it off, Wagner told himself. Still, he was tired, more tired than he ever remembered feeling. He couldn’t shake it.

Soon a relative called an ambulance and he was taken to the emergency room.

He woke up in a hospital bed with a doctor standing next to him.

Confusion quickly transformed into alarm.

The doctor quietly said, “You may die.”

Things weren’t fuzzy now.

That was Labor Day 2011. R. Thomas Wagner, Delaware’s state auditor for as long as most voters can remember, was suddenly feeling very much alone. The doctors at Kent General told him he was dehydrated from a combination of his high-blood pressure pills and the medicine he took for his Crohn’s disease.

The news was about to get worse.

His kidneys had failed, they said. His kidneys were operating at about 30 percent. He had to undergo emergency dialysis.

They gave him more bad news. His kidneys would not get better. They would slowly decline.

His life would be far different from this point on.

Yet that wasn’t the most vivid memory of that day.

That would come later, when he was alone, and the doctors and nurses were gone. As he lay in the hospital bed, his fears and his doubts turned to panic.

Then something happened. Peace enveloped his whole body. His panic subsided. His nerves calmed. His breath deepened and soothed him. Wagner felt calmer than he had ever felt before or has felt since. This peace was totally unexpected.

As hard as it is to reconcile, that unexpected peace in 2011 would alter Delaware’s political scene in 2018.

Wagner adjusted to his limited kidney function. He went back to work and would go on to run for re-election. But the doctors were right. Slowly his kidneys grew worse. He grew more tired. He felt weaker. The Crohn’s disease flared repeatedly. He began missing work for hospital stays. He passed about 20 kidney stones, including ones that involved surgery. His kidney function dipped to 8 percent. Then, before he had major surgery, he dutifully designated his deputy as the head of the office in his absence. He thought it was a limited, run-of-the-mill temporary act.

Yet these developments would lead to two big headlines in 2018. First, Wagner would surprise most of the state by announcing in February something he had never announced before: I will not seek re-election. Second, his run-of-the-mill designation of power would lead to a controversial dismissal, official hearings, special investigations and a truly wild-card entry into the race to replace Wagner as auditor.

A sizable number of Delawareans did not exist in 1989 when Gov. Mike Castle appointed Tom Wagner, a bank examiner and the former mayor of Camden, to fill the empty post of state auditor. Castle is a Republican. That is important because Wagner is a Republican too. (Among his valued possessions are signed copies of books by Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.) More to the point, for a generation Wagner was the only Republican holding a statewide Delaware office.

Wagner ran on his own for the post in 1990. Then he ran for re-election in 1994. Again in 1998. And, again in 2002. Still again in 2006. Once more in 2010. Finally, he ran again in 2014. Wagner planned to run in 2018 as well, but more on that later. Seven times.

Governors, cabinet members, legislators and Supreme Court justices have come and gone. Yet Tom Wagner kept winning the voters’ approval.

He naturally takes the long view.

The biggest change since becoming auditor way back when? “I had 57 people when I first took office in 1989. Now there are 17. That’s counting me.” It isn’t just a Delaware thing. It is happening across the nation. Governing Magazine reports that auditor offices face cuts first. Arguments that audits provide good returns on investments fall on deaf legislative ears. Pennsylvania’s auditor told Governing he has yet to hear a taxpayer ask for more waste, fraud and abuse in government. Yet the cuts came anyway. Wagner says it is curious that the only other office to face sizable cutbacks is the welfare fraud division.

Still, he says, you work with what you have. The goal is to maximize the talent in the office.

Wagner says that back in 1989, he knew changes had to be made in the auditor’s office because the auditing world was changing. He downsized that 57 number to 42 and used the savings to contract out specialty work. The nature of government auditing went from an amateur endeavor to a certified one.  Delaware soon had to follow national accounting and auditing standards. Federal dollars must be tracked through the system the way the federal government wants them tracked. And Delaware’s annual financial statement of taxes raised and funds spent must strictly follow national certification standards. If they don’t, Delaware’s AAA bond ratings will evaporate.

“What they have really done is controlled my office by just not funding positions for me,” he says. “But I fought back by upgrading the quality of performance. The auditor’s office is the quality of the people. When I took office, there was no one on staff with certification.”

Wagner thinks the greatest overall success of the office was the upgrade.

“By focusing on quality, with these cutbacks, it is to me amazing that we got our constitutional level done … and done well. You get no kudos for that.”

Naturally, anyone in office as long as Wagner has made his share of enemies. He has been accused of staying out of sight until election time and popping up at the last minute with a headline-grabbing audit report. The News Journal editorial writers, for example, repeatedly accused him of “remote control” management. Bloggers on both sides of the political spectrum faulted him with showing favoritism or failing to pursue the bad guys.

Wagner shakes his head. He has heard this before.

“I have always taken the position that my job is the fact finder,” Wagner says softly. “The prosecutor’s job is to prosecute.”

Auditors are limited in what they can do, he adds. Legislators write the laws. They decide whether auditors can run after one case and ignore another. They deal the punishment to offenders, if any. “I find the facts. The prosecutors prosecute. I have never criticized any action taken or not taken by the state attorney general or the U.S. attorney.”

But he does follow tips. One came in 2007. It led him to the Delaware Department of Finance and a slick conspiracy to siphon off escheat payments by department employees. Hundreds of thousands of dollars disappeared. Prosecutors dropped the ball, but he persisted. The conspiracy was broken and the conspirators jailed. The case was a hard one for Wagner. He was a good friend of the father and stepmother of a conspirator.   

Laws dictate much of the auditor’s work. The federal monies must be tracked. The state’s comprehensive financial report certified. Then there are legal mandates that raise eyebrows. The teacher of the year award, for example, must be audited. Why? Someone complained and got the legislature to require an audit.

There is not much discretion in the job. Still, all of the auditor’s work is posted online. Taxpayers are free to examine it. But the language is technical, a sort of auditor-ese that is meant to satisfy standards, not casual reading.

But through all the years and all the audits, did he learn any lessons?

Wagner thinks about the question for a moment. Finally, he says, “I would have taken a much tougher approach on our audit reports. Say we do a report on internal controls of an agency. We would write it up and the state would do nothing about it.

“We can’t continue to have these findings and problems, and then let everyone smile and do nothing.”

He said some smaller programs, especially the outsourced ones, often lose internal control of the money. The weatherization program, for example, was problematic. “We reported that for years, but nothing was ever done about it.” Finally, it developed into a crisis. “Once you lose control of these programs, you don’t know who is getting money and what is being done with it.

“Until this day I still get grief from bloggers who are upset about some of the programs getting money. I followed the rules and delivered the facts. But I should have pushed more. Until you take a tough stance, you can just keep doing the same thing over and over.”

Now, he says, that is a problem for the next auditor.

“My intention was to do another term,” Wagner says of his decision not to run. “Then with my health issues, I started struggling with that decision. Quite frankly, if Ken Simpler had not ran and won, I would have run again no matter what, because you just can’t have one party ruling everything in a state government. That’s just a recipe for disaster.” Republican Ken Simpler’s election as state treasurer “gave me a little bit more flexibility.”

“But after a couple of mornings, when I would do a sort of a ‘look-in-the-mirror’ type of thing, I said to myself, ‘Who are you kidding?’ You sometimes think in your mind, ‘Look at who’s running’ and ‘I can do this job.’ Then you realize you are kidding yourself. There are other people who can do this job.

“I didn’t want to be one of those people who hold on when they shouldn’t hold on. When it’s time to go, you know it’s time to go. And I know it’s time to go.”

He admits he was like a ballplayer reluctant to face the end of his playing days.

“But once I made my decision, I knew it was the right decision. And I haven’t second-guessed it one iota. “

Wagner admits friends have told him that he would win if his name were just on the ballot, that his experience and his name would put him over the top.

“That’s not me. The thought of just saying OK, just laying on my experience and my name on the ballot, wasn’t just feasible for me. It didn’t feel right. If you do something like that, you’re really cheating the taxpayers.”

Wagner does not worry that the “deputy” scandal that erupted into headlines will tarnish his legacy. As his health problems developed and he faced major surgery that would take him out of office for a spell, he wrote a letter passing authority to his deputy, Kathleen Ann Davies. He would later fire Davies for allegedly abusing that power and taking unauthorized actions. Davies disputes the charges. Like all internal government controversies, this one has led to charges, countercharges, hearings, investigations and thick, nicely collated reports that only partisans will read. It also has lapped over into the 2018 election campaign for auditor.

Wagner is looking to his own future. He faces kidney dialysis and, eventually, a kidney transplant. (He has a donor lined up.) His hope is that within a few months, his health and energy will be restored.

He is 63. “That’s relatively young,” he says with a smile. And what will he do? A return to politics? Perhaps. More likely, he thinks, some sort of community work. Rescue dogs? Helping prisoners? Who knows?

For now, one of the state’s most successful political careers is coming to an end. Wagner waves off talk about his legacy and controversies.

“I don’t care if someone thinks I’m the smartest or dumbest person in the world. Just as long as I know that I have my integrity. As long I know it and my friends know it, that’s all that counts.”  

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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
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

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

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

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

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

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
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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
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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
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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
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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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.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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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
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