Rebranding the Jefferson Awards Foundation

Sam Beard’s brainchild now in the hands of his daughter Hillary Schafer.



Sam Beard and Hillary Schafer

The spirit to serve can be contagious. When harnessed by strong leadership and a savvy organization, it has the power to reshape lives and communities. 

That is both the message and profile of the Jefferson Awards Foundation, whose international reach springs from a modest headquarters in Wilmington. In annual ceremonies since 1973, the awards have recognized the prominent and the unsung for their contributions to public life, but the foundation’s focus now is more on action than celebration. Its primary mission is to engage young people to build their own projects. “We’ve had a rebranding,” says executive director Hillary Schafer. “It’s about changing lives in a profound way, and we’re ready for scale.”

The nonprofit world has adopted a business mentality, and Schafer is the perfect candidate to lead today’s Jefferson Awards. Armed with an MBA from Columbia, she worked on Wall Street for more than a decade, heading institutional equity sales for global giants UBS and Citigroup. Beyond the corridors of big money, she has extensive hands-on experience in community service. And her father, longtime Wilmington resident Sam Beard, invented the Jefferson Awards.

“He built a culture of service to inspire people,” Schafer says. “He always wanted to do good—it’s in his DNA.”

She shares more than just genetics with him. Tall and energetic, Schafer strides into her father’s office and introduces a visitor. Businesslike but with unmistakable warmth.

Elsewhere in the compact offices, a small portrait of Thomas Jefferson hangs on the wall. “He believed in an informed and involved citizenry,” says Schafer. Large, unopened cardboard boxes cramp the hallway. “We’re growing the business.”

Within three years, the foundation seeks to nearly double its operating budget of $2.8 million (funded by foundations, corporations and individuals), hire full-time communications and development directors, expand its several youth programs by as much as tenfold and add eight major cities to its current presence in Delaware, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Florida and a half-dozen big cities including Chicago and San Francisco. For Delaware, the goals are to boost opportunities for lower-income schools downstate, add to the total of 31 participating high schools and recruit two staffers to join Wilmington native Michele Fidance, who has been running the show solo for seven years.  

There already is muscle behind the Jeffersons. An 11-member Board of Governors includes Wilmington-based LabWare founder Vance Kershner and other high-level business leaders. The 70-member Board of Selectors, which picks each year’s numerous award-winners, consists of luminaries from diverse fields the likes of Whoopi Goldberg and U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell from Kentucky find common ground when it comes to assessing good deeds. 

Scores of radio and television stations nationwide broadcast the Jefferson message and promote local volunteer projects. More than 20 companies and colleges honor employees for Jefferson-like activities; Delaware’s two Jefferson corporate “champions” are AstraZeneca and Christiana Care, while the University of Delaware is a full partner in the motivation and training of high school youth for community service. At this month’s annual leadership conference hosted by the university, UD students will train some 200 Delaware high school students in public speaking, ethical thinking and other leadership skills.

In Delaware alone this past year, 149 youth-generated projects under the auspices of the Jefferson Awards attracted 44,000 volunteers, who contributed 221,000 work hours that affected 804,000 lives, according to foundation figures. “We want to give voice to the best kids’ service projects in the world,” says Schafer. 

One such project involves the planet’s most fundamental compound: water. When Sussex Technical High School senior Emma Rider was 10, she joined her church group for a trip to Kentucky, where the Louisville-based nonprofit WaterStep changed her life. “I was the youngest [on the trip] and just tagged along,” says Emma, now 17. “I got interested in the world water crisis and learned that a child was dying every 10 seconds from unsafe water.”

She also learned that the company’s fundraising efforts included collecting new and used shoes for sale and recycling them, and decided to try that strategy back home. Since then, she has mobilized a small army of helpers to collect 80,000 pairs of shoes, good for three water purification systems in Kenya, where she visited two years ago.

This year, Emma’s personal journey went viral. As a participating Jefferson school, Sussex Tech nominates students for service recognition monthly. Fidance invited Emma to enter Jefferson’s “Lead360” (as in 360 degrees) contest, which challenges young people to broaden their local service projects. From 5,000 contestants, the Jefferson selectors culled 27 finalists (first, second and third in each of nine categories), a number subsequently reduced to five by online voting.

Finally, during awards night in Washington, D.C., in June, Emma Rider and her “Quenching Souls” project took the gold. “It took a while for it to register when they called my name,” she says.

On the national level, the ranks of Jefferson honorees have been filled with household names such as Oprah Winfrey, Paul Newman, Colin Powell and Ted Kennedy. The roster includes five Supreme Court justices, seven secretaries of state, astronauts, athletes, entertainers and economists. These individuals were recognized for the public impact of their work, which typically exceeded their normal duties.

That tradition continues. Former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, wounded by a gunshot to the head in 2011 and now a strong voice for gun control, was among those honored in June. Lesser-known winners earned recognition for their work in the fields of cancer research, community medicine and public education.

They all had dedicated countless hours of their own time to their projects.   

As a concept, volunteerism is as American as inalienable rights. Its leading exponent in Colonial times was the irrepressible Benjamin Franklin, whose thinking and activism launched fire departments and public libraries in this country. Jefferson Awards founder Sam Beard qualifies as a modern-day Franklin. “It was always in my nature to fight for the underdog,” he says. “I knew I wanted to work in public service right out of college.”

College was Yale University, from which Beard graduated in 1961. Public service may have been his calling, but at first, he didn’t know exactly where to report. Drawn to political circles, the native New Yorker worked on Mayor Robert Wagner’s staff and was a friend of future Congressman Allard Lowenstein, a civil rights activist who had been a delegate to the 1960 Democratic National Convention and was a vocal opponent of the Vietnam War. Beard’s name eventually came to the attention of then-New York Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, who enlisted him in 1965 to join the effort to rebuild the riot-scarred neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn. 

After that heady experience, Beard began thinking big. In 1969, he proposed an initiative to create jobs in low-income communities through improved financing for small businesses—his National Development Council was sanctioned by President Richard Nixon and expanded during the Carter and Reagan administrations.

“Eventually, every bank in America put aside 100 million [dollars] for the inner cities with government guarantees,” says Beard. “We changed the whole thing in the name of the president of the United States.”

There were more changes to come. During his work with Kennedy, Beard had become acquainted with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. “Sometime in 1971, she asked me what new programs I was thinking about,” Beard recalls. “I said, ‘I think there should be a Nobel Prize for service. If you agree to chair it, I’ll set it up.’”

The next day, Onassis called with a thumbs up. Ohio Sen. Robert Taft Jr., whose brother had worked with Beard at the NDC, soon joined the marquee, and the Jefferson Awards were born the following year. 

Beard has been immersed in the foundation and other public-spirited pursuits ever since. He moved to Wilmington in 1980 after then-Mayor Bill McLaughlin sought his planning expertise and convinced him to help lead the city’s renaissance. In the 1990s, Beard devised a remedy for the anticipated future cash shortfall in Social Security; Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush supported his thinking, but reform was elusive.

In 2005, he turned his energies full time to running the Jefferson Awards. “Now we need to institutionalize,” he says. “And God sent me Hillary.”

She grew up in Manhattan, planted saplings in Bear when she was a youngster and volunteered in soup kitchens and halfway houses during her years at Middlebury College in Vermont. Since last October, Schafer has been at the helm of the Jefferson Awards. “When I quit Wall Street, I didn’t know what to do—I thought I would stay in finance,” she says. “Then [Hurricane] Sandy hit in New York, and I couldn’t stand it that there were kids with no sign of warmth or safety.”

That feeling prompted action. She served meals and provided clothing right in her home to people displaced by the storm. She surveyed the nonprofit landscape and, when the Jefferson board asked her to sign on as executive director, the fit and timing seemed just right. “We want to run this as a world-class business,” says Schafer.

To shine a spotlight on all the future Emma Riders. Visit www.jeffersonawards.org.

 

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May 2016

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Website »

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Month 4: Cochlear Implants Location: John H. Ammon Medical Education Center, Christiana Hospital Campus, 4755 Ogletown-Stanton Road, Newark, Classrooms 4, 5 & 6 To register, call (800)...

Where:
, DE

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Looking to build your social network with fun and competition? Give tennis a try! It’s time to grab a racquet, your sneakers and some tennis balls and head to your local court to be part...

Cost: varies

Where:
Banning Park
201 Middleboro Road
Wilmington, DE  19804
View map »

More information

Asteroids and comets are messengers from space with a significant effect on Earth’s history, and they are likely to influence the future as well. Great Balls of Fire: Comets, Asteroids,...

Cost: Free with admission

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

More information

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

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

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

More information

Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia examines the profound influence of Asia on the arts of the colonial Americas. Featuring some of the most extraordinary objects produced in the...

Cost: Included with admission. Members free. $5-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: DuPont, Glenmede and John L. and Marjorie P. McGraw. Additional support from M&T Bank and Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and tours
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free with Museum Admission.

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


Website »

More information

RAIL EXPLORERS Opens their Delaware Division! Partnering with the Wilmington & Western Railroad and the Delaware State Parks Rail Explorers brings their unique adventure to the...

Cost: Tandem $75 (2P), Quad $125 (4P)

Where:
Rail Explorers Delaware
200 Gun Club Road
Hockessin, NY  12983
View map »


Sponsor: Rail Explorers
Telephone: 302 601 0888
Contact Name: Mary Joy Lu
Website »

More information

Drawing from Hagley’s collection of automotive advertising art, this exhibition features rare marketing materials highlighting everything from Duesenbergs to Datsuns. This exhibition asks “Did...

Cost: Included in regular admission and free for members.

Where:
Hagley Museum & Library
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Hagley Museum & Library
Telephone: (302) 658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
Website »

More information

The islands take over Cinco de Mayo with $5 Margaritas! From May 2 through May 5, celebrate with four tequila-filled-days of fun and over ten flavors of margaritas, including our handcrafted...

Cost: Cost of meal

Where:
Bahama Breeze
500 Center Blvd
Newark, DE  19702
View map »

More information

Geared toward individuals 60 and over. Participants must be able to walk and stand. Walking aids—canes and walkers—are allowed. Wear comfortable clothing and stable shoes. Sneakers...

Where:
Bayhealth Physician Specialty Practice
315 N. Carter Road, Conference Room
Smyrna, DE
View map »

More information

Written by Nell Benjamin (playwright of "Because of Winn Dixie") Directed by Bud Martin The story: London, 1879. The prestigious Explorers Club is in crisis: their acting president...

Where:
Delaware Theatre Company
200 Water St.
Wilmington, DE
View map »

More information

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Dr. Jeremy McInerney, Professor of Classical Studies, University of Pennsylvania, speaks about the Amazons in Greek legend and art. Who were these warrior women and why did they remain a source of...

Cost: $5

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

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Participate in a 2-hour training to learn how you can help improve Delaware’s waterways. Stories from across the nation highlight the importance of residents getting actively involved in...

Cost: Free

Where:
DuPont Environmental Education Center
1400 Delmarva Lane
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Clean Water: Delaware's Clear Choice Campaign
Telephone: 302-239-2334 ext. 13
Contact Name: Michael Bard
Website »

More information

The Rehoboth Beach Film Society and Lewes Public Library present THEEB as May’s film for the Around the World series. THEEB, a coming-of-age adventure will screen at 7 p.m. on Wednesday,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cinema Art Theater
17701 Dartmouth Drive, #2
Lewes, DE  19958
View map »


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

More information

Painfully funny, technically ingenious, and viciously physical, this wild romantic comedy by England’s most popular living playwright, Sir Alan Ayckbourn features convoluted relationships worthy...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Paula Cole has played before audiences all over the world, opening for artists like Peter Gabriel, Melissa Etheridge and Sarah McLachlan, and as part of the Lilith Fair lineup before she began...

Cost: $30

Where:
World Cafe Live at The Queen
500 N Market St
Wilmington , DE
View map »


Sponsor: World Cafe Live at The Queen
Telephone: 302-994-1400
Contact Name: MP Intern

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Free lecture on the advances of minimally invasive surgery and other solutions to prostate cancer. Men and women welcome. Location: John H. Ammon Medical Education Center, Christiana Hospital...

Where:
, DE

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Looking to build your social network with fun and competition? Give tennis a try! It’s time to grab a racquet, your sneakers and some tennis balls and head to your local court to be part...

Cost: varies

Where:
Banning Park
201 Middleboro Road
Wilmington, DE  19804
View map »

More information

Asteroids and comets are messengers from space with a significant effect on Earth’s history, and they are likely to influence the future as well. Great Balls of Fire: Comets, Asteroids,...

Cost: Free with admission

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

More information

Spring Session: Thursdays from 9:30-12; first day is April 7 Location: Bucktoe Creek Preserve (432 Sharp Road, Avondale, PA 19311) Join TLC for our Drop-In on...

Cost: TLC members Free, Non-members free for first session, $5 for pre-registration

Where:
Bucktoe Creek Preserve
432 Sharp Road
Avondale, PA  19311
View map »


Sponsor: The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County
Telephone: 610-347-0347
Contact Name: Hannah
Website »

More information

Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia examines the profound influence of Asia on the arts of the colonial Americas. Featuring some of the most extraordinary objects produced in the...

Cost: Included with admission. Members free. $5-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: DuPont, Glenmede and John L. and Marjorie P. McGraw. Additional support from M&T Bank and Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and tours
Website »

More information

RAIL EXPLORERS Opens their Delaware Division! Partnering with the Wilmington & Western Railroad and the Delaware State Parks Rail Explorers brings their unique adventure to the...

Cost: Tandem $75 (2P), Quad $125 (4P)

Where:
Rail Explorers Delaware
200 Gun Club Road
Hockessin, NY  12983
View map »


Sponsor: Rail Explorers
Telephone: 302 601 0888
Contact Name: Mary Joy Lu
Website »

More information

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

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

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

More information

Rockford Tower opens for the season during the annual Flower Market, a spring tradition in Rockford Park.  Climb this historic structure and see the Flower Market and the city of Wilmington.  Free.

Cost: Free

Where:
Rockford Park
2000 Lookout Drive
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Telephone: 302-577-7020
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free with Museum Admission.

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


Website »

More information

96th Annual Wilmington Flower Market The 96th Annual Wilmington Flower Market adds an extra evening of festival fun with WFM Rocks the Park on Wednesday from 5-8 p.m....

Cost: Free

Where:
Rockford Park
Wilmington, DE


Sponsor: Wilmington Flower Market
Website »

More information

The Show House will include a Boutique and Garden Shoppe with articles for sale from interior and landscape designers. 14 interior and landscape designers will transform a spacious home situated...

Where:
52 Rolling Rd.
Henlopen Acres, Rehoboth Beach, DE
View map »


Sponsor: Village Improvement Association of Rehoboth Beach

More information

Drawing from Hagley’s collection of automotive advertising art, this exhibition features rare marketing materials highlighting everything from Duesenbergs to Datsuns. This exhibition asks “Did...

Cost: Included in regular admission and free for members.

Where:
Hagley Museum & Library
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Hagley Museum & Library
Telephone: (302) 658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
Website »

More information

The islands take over Cinco de Mayo with $5 Margaritas! From May 2 through May 5, celebrate with four tequila-filled-days of fun and over ten flavors of margaritas, including our handcrafted...

Cost: Cost of meal

Where:
Bahama Breeze
500 Center Blvd
Newark, DE  19702
View map »

More information

Geared toward individuals 60 and over. Participants must be able to walk and stand. Walking aids—canes and walkers—are allowed. Wear comfortable clothing and stable shoes. Sneakers...

Where:
Bayhealth Physician Specialty Practice
315 N. Carter Road, Conference Room
Smyrna, DE
View map »

More information

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Nanticoke Physician Network General & Bariatric Surgery will be hosting bariatric support groups on the first Tuesday and third Thursday of each month from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm at Nanticoke Memorial...

Cost: FREE

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


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

More information

Games, food & fun for the whole family 68– p.m. at Smyrna Wesleyan Church Parking Lot

Cost: Free

Where:
Smyrna Wesleyan Church
433 West Commerce Street
Smyrna, DE  19977
View map »


Sponsor: SWC Family Nite
Telephone: 302-653-8440
Contact Name: Deb Souder
Website »

More information

Patrick McGovern, Scientific Director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Project for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages and Health, and his oft-times collaborator Sam Calagione, Founder and President of...

Cost: $20

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

More information

Written by Nell Benjamin (playwright of "Because of Winn Dixie") Directed by Bud Martin The story: London, 1879. The prestigious Explorers Club is in crisis: their acting president...

Where:
Delaware Theatre Company
200 Water St.
Wilmington, DE
View map »

More information

Dr. Vicki Howard, Hartwick College, will recount the evolution of department stores from prominent locally owned institutions to stores that were part of national chains, and then to today’s...

Cost: Free

Where:
Hagley Museum & Library
Soda House
298 Buck Rd.
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: (302) 658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
Website »

More information

Painfully funny, technically ingenious, and viciously physical, this wild romantic comedy by England’s most popular living playwright, Sir Alan Ayckbourn features convoluted relationships worthy...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Location: Cheer Caregiver Resource Center, 20520 Sand Hill Road, Georgetown Time: 9 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided. To register: Call Kathy Landis at 856-5187 or email...

Where:
, DE

More information

Location: Bayhealth Cancer Center, Milford Memorial Hospital, 21 W. Clarke, Ave., Milford, Lobby Time: 5–7 p.m. To register: Call Harriet Pinkston at 430-5143

Where:
, DE

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Join Kind to Kids Foundation and celebrate five years of helping Delaware children who are victims of child abuse, neglect, poverty and at-risk youth.  Register Now, this event sells out...

Cost: $40 per person or $300 per table of 8

Where:
Hotel DuPont, Gold Ballroom
11th & Market Streets
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Kind to Kids Foundation
Telephone: 302-654-5440
Contact Name: Jeanette De Bright
Website »

More information

The Delaware Division of the Arts Mezzanine Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of photographs by Yaprak Soysal during the month of May. “My Human and I” is an exhibition of...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8283
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

Looking to build your social network with fun and competition? Give tennis a try! It’s time to grab a racquet, your sneakers and some tennis balls and head to your local court to be part...

Cost: varies

Where:
Banning Park
201 Middleboro Road
Wilmington, DE  19804
View map »

More information

New paintings and drawings by Philadelphia artist Ed Bronstein are featured in a solo show. Ed’s new work includes still life paintings, landscapes and city scenes from Delaware and the...

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Asteroids and comets are messengers from space with a significant effect on Earth’s history, and they are likely to influence the future as well. Great Balls of Fire: Comets, Asteroids,...

Cost: Free with admission

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

More information

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

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

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

More information

Rockford Tower opens for the season during the annual Flower Market, a spring tradition in Rockford Park.  Climb this historic structure and see the Flower Market and the city of Wilmington.  Free.

Cost: Free

Where:
Rockford Park
2000 Lookout Drive
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Telephone: 302-577-7020
Website »

More information

The Show House will include a Boutique and Garden Shoppe with articles for sale from interior and landscape designers. 14 interior and landscape designers will transform a spacious home situated...

Where:
52 Rolling Rd.
Henlopen Acres, Rehoboth Beach, DE
View map »


Sponsor: Village Improvement Association of Rehoboth Beach

More information

RAIL EXPLORERS Opens their Delaware Division! Partnering with the Wilmington & Western Railroad and the Delaware State Parks Rail Explorers brings their unique adventure to the...

Cost: Tandem $75 (2P), Quad $125 (4P)

Where:
Rail Explorers Delaware
200 Gun Club Road
Hockessin, NY  12983
View map »


Sponsor: Rail Explorers
Telephone: 302 601 0888
Contact Name: Mary Joy Lu
Website »

More information

Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia examines the profound influence of Asia on the arts of the colonial Americas. Featuring some of the most extraordinary objects produced in the...

Cost: Included with admission. Members free. $5-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: DuPont, Glenmede and John L. and Marjorie P. McGraw. Additional support from M&T Bank and Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and tours
Website »

More information

Drawing from Hagley’s collection of automotive advertising art, this exhibition features rare marketing materials highlighting everything from Duesenbergs to Datsuns. This exhibition asks “Did...

Cost: Included in regular admission and free for members.

Where:
Hagley Museum & Library
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Hagley Museum & Library
Telephone: (302) 658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free with Museum Admission.

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


Website »

More information

96th Annual Wilmington Flower Market The 96th Annual Wilmington Flower Market adds an extra evening of festival fun with WFM Rocks the Park on Wednesday from 5-8 p.m....

Cost: Free

Where:
Rockford Park
Wilmington, DE


Sponsor: Wilmington Flower Market
Website »

More information

This year’s Tyler Arboretum Plant Sale offers gardeners the chance to “Take Tyler Home,” with a themed range of plants from Tyler’s meadows, trails, collections, and...

Where:
Tyler Arboretum
515 Painter Road
Media, DE  19063
View map »


Telephone: 610-566-9134
Contact Name: Gary Bloomer
Website »

More information

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Nanticoke Health Services is again joining forces with the Greater Seaford Chamber of Commerce and the City of Seaford to promote women’s health awareness at the 3rd Annual LIVE FOR CHOCOLATE...

Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Seaford
304 High Street
Seaford, DE  19973
View map »


Sponsor: Nanticoke Health Services, Greater Seaford Chamber of Commerce, & the City of Seaford
Website »

More information

The Penn Museum's popular sleepover program, geared to ages 6 to 12 and their families or chaperones, invites guests to an overnight "expedition" of the Museum. The night's...

Cost: $55

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

More information

Join the fun at Friends for Rescue and Pet Care's Quarter Auction in Newark on Friday, May 6, 2016. At least 100 great prizes. Raise your paddles to win a prize for as little as 1, 2,...

Cost: $5 per paddle per attendee

Where:
Aetna Fire Hall
400 Ogletown Rd.
Newark, DE  19711
View map »


Sponsor: Friends for Rescue & Pet Care
Telephone: 302-307-2980
Contact Name: Barbara
Website »

More information

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

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

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Bayhealth Kent General Hospital
640 S. State Street
Private Dining Room #3
Dover, DE  19901
View map »


Telephone: 800-855-2CALLGA
Website »

More information

Painfully funny, technically ingenious, and viciously physical, this wild romantic comedy by England’s most popular living playwright, Sir Alan Ayckbourn features convoluted relationships worthy...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Written by Nell Benjamin (playwright of "Because of Winn Dixie") Directed by Bud Martin The story: London, 1879. The prestigious Explorers Club is in crisis: their acting president...

Where:
Delaware Theatre Company
200 Water St.
Wilmington, DE
View map »

More information

Join our guides though historic Dover and its cemeteries by lantern light this spring. Space is limited; call (302) 739-9194 for reservations. Lantern tours cancelled due to inclement weather will...

Cost: $10 per person

Where:
First State Heritage Park
Johnson Victrola Museum
375 S. New Street
Dover, DE  19901
View map »


Sponsor: First State Heritage Park
Telephone: 302-739-9194
Contact Name: Sarah Zimmerman
Website »

More information

Location: Downtown Seaford Time: 5–9 p.m. Promotes women’s health awareness For more information, visit: www.nanticoke.org/liveforchocolate

Where:
, DE

More information

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Looking to build your social network with fun and competition? Give tennis a try! It’s time to grab a racquet, your sneakers and some tennis balls and head to your local court to be part...

Cost: varies

Where:
Banning Park
201 Middleboro Road
Wilmington, DE  19804
View map »

More information

New paintings and drawings by Philadelphia artist Ed Bronstein are featured in a solo show. Ed’s new work includes still life paintings, landscapes and city scenes from Delaware and the...

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

First Saturdays in the First State   Programs and events on the first Saturday of each month. Sites are open, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., check website for...

Cost: Free

Where:
First State Heritage Park
121 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd N
Dover, DE  19901
View map »


Sponsor: First State Heritage Park
Telephone: 302-739-9194
Contact Name: Sarah Zimmerman
Website »

More information

Dover Days Celebration Held annually since 1933, Dover Days celebrates the Capital of the First State. An annual week-long celebration of Dover Days events takes place on April 30 - May 8;...

Cost: Free

Where:
First State Heritage Park
121 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd N
43 The Green, 25 The Green
Dover, DE  19901
View map »


Sponsor: First State Heritage Park
Telephone: 302-739-9194
Contact Name: Sarah Zimmerman
Website »

More information

First Saturdays in the First State   Programs and events on the first Saturday of each month. Sites are open, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., check website for...

Cost: Free

Where:
First State Heritage Park
121 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd N
Dover, DE  19901
View map »


Sponsor: First State Heritage Park
Telephone: 302-739-9194
Contact Name: Sarah Zimmerman
Website »

More information

Asteroids and comets are messengers from space with a significant effect on Earth’s history, and they are likely to influence the future as well. Great Balls of Fire: Comets, Asteroids,...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
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The definition of the word art has changed over time. From the late Middle Ages it referred to a skill acquired through knowledge and practice as well as the objects produced as a result of that...

Cost: Members free. Included with admission, $5-$20.

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
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Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia examines the profound influence of Asia on the arts of the colonial Americas. Featuring some of the most extraordinary objects produced in the...

Cost: Included with admission. Members free. $5-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: DuPont, Glenmede and John L. and Marjorie P. McGraw. Additional support from M&T Bank and Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and tours
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RAIL EXPLORERS Opens their Delaware Division! Partnering with the Wilmington & Western Railroad and the Delaware State Parks Rail Explorers brings their unique adventure to the...

Cost: Tandem $75 (2P), Quad $125 (4P)

Where:
Rail Explorers Delaware
200 Gun Club Road
Hockessin, NY  12983
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Sponsor: Rail Explorers
Telephone: 302 601 0888
Contact Name: Mary Joy Lu
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The Show House will include a Boutique and Garden Shoppe with articles for sale from interior and landscape designers. 14 interior and landscape designers will transform a spacious home situated...

Where:
52 Rolling Rd.
Henlopen Acres, Rehoboth Beach, DE
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Sponsor: Village Improvement Association of Rehoboth Beach

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

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

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
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96th Annual Wilmington Flower Market The 96th Annual Wilmington Flower Market adds an extra evening of festival fun with WFM Rocks the Park on Wednesday from 5-8 p.m....

Cost: Free

Where:
Rockford Park
Wilmington, DE


Sponsor: Wilmington Flower Market
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Drawing from Hagley’s collection of automotive advertising art, this exhibition features rare marketing materials highlighting everything from Duesenbergs to Datsuns. This exhibition asks “Did...

Cost: Included in regular admission and free for members.

Where:
Hagley Museum & Library
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: Hagley Museum & Library
Telephone: (302) 658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
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Rockford Tower opens for the season during the annual Flower Market, a spring tradition in Rockford Park.  Climb this historic structure and see the Flower Market and the city of Wilmington.  Free.

Cost: Free

Where:
Rockford Park
2000 Lookout Drive
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Telephone: 302-577-7020
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Wilmington Garden Day offers an opportunity to stroll through some of the Brandywine Valley’s most enchanting gardens. Join us on this self-guided tour and plan a day that fits your scheduled....

Cost: $30

Where:
Hagley Museum & Library
298 Buck Rd.
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: Wilmington Garden Day
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Explore some of the diverse ways that human beings have understood sex and sexuality, gender and gender diversity in this small but broad new exhibition, presented in conjunction with the 2015-2016...

Cost: Free with Museum Admission.

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
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Come celebrate the great outdoors at Taylors Bridge! Delaware Wild Lands is celebrating our latest conservation success — acquisition of the beautiful 1,250-acre Roberts...

Cost: Free

Where:
Taylors Bridge Roberts Farm
170 Staves Landing Rd
Townsend, DE  19734
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Sponsor: Delaware Wild Lands
Telephone: 302-378-2736
Contact Name: Wendy Scott
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This new walking tour tells remarkable stories of black powder explosions that occurred when Hagley was a gunpowder manufactory and the men and women whose lives were changed as a result. Tour...

Cost: Included in regular admission and free for members.

Where:
Hagley Museum & Library
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Telephone: (302) 658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
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Attend a Free Family and Community Concert May 7, 2016! Immerse yourself in a mystery about the most famous painting in the world as the Delaware Chamber Music Festival presents an animated...

Cost: Free

Where:
Laird Performing Arts Center of the Tatnall School
1501 Barley Mill Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: Delaware Chamber Music Festival
Telephone: 302 442 0572
Contact Name: Kyle Bartlett
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Bill Dixon Yamaha Stunt Rider will be doing his thing on his Yamaha here at Powersports East on Saturday, May 7th at 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.! Come out (FREE ADMISSION) and enjoy the show, while...

Cost: Free

Where:
PowerSports East
620 Pulaski HWY (Route 40)
Bear, DE  19701
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Sponsor: Powersports East
Telephone: 302-322-4120
Contact Name: Lynn Fasten
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What better way to celebrate mom than enjoying "An Afternoon Paris"? You will be painting, sipping, enjoying Parisian treats on the patio of Cardinal Hollow Winery. Saturday, May...

Cost: $30 - $60

Where:
Cardinal Hollow Winery
1830 West Point Pike
Lansdale, PA  19486
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Sponsor: Creative Paint Events
Telephone: 267-312-8339
Contact Name: Charisse
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Whole Foods Market invites the community to savor, celebrate, and connect this May. What: Every Whole Foods Market location in the Philadelphia area and its suburbs will be hosting a free...

Where:
, DE

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Stop by to see the Wilmington State Parks’ Naturalist at White Clay Creek State Park’s Creek Fest!   Join Delaware State Parks, White Clay Wild and Scenic Program, National Park Service, Suez...

Cost: Free with paid park admission

Where:
White Clay Creek State Park
880 New London Road
Newark, DE  19711
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Telephone: 302-577-7020
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Mispillion River Brewing will be hosting its second annual fundraiser, Short ‘N Stout, for the National Criminal Enforcement Association in honor of Patrolman Chad E. Spicer. The Short...

Cost: $25 in advance, $35 at the door

Where:
Mispillion River Brewing
255 Mullet Run St.
Milford, DE  19963
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Sponsor: Mispillion River Brewing
Telephone: (302) 491-6623
Contact Name: Lauren Bigelow
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Written by Nell Benjamin (playwright of "Because of Winn Dixie") Directed by Bud Martin The story: London, 1879. The prestigious Explorers Club is in crisis: their acting president...

Where:
Delaware Theatre Company
200 Water St.
Wilmington, DE
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Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
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Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
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Capital Ringers, community handbell ensemble, presents spring shows, “Bach to Rock!” Featuring music from Bach and Mozart to contemporary artists, the Capital Ringers 2016 Spring Concert Tour...

Cost: Freewill/Donations

Where:
Limestone Presbyterian Church
Wilmington, DE


Telephone: 302-632-3106
Contact Name: Linda Simms
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The Penn Museum's popular sleepover program, geared to ages 6 to 12 and their families or chaperones, invites guests to an overnight "expedition" of the Museum. The night's...

Cost: $55

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
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Capital Ringers, community handbell ensemble, presents spring shows, “Bach to Rock!” Featuring music from Bach and Mozart to contemporary artists, the Capital Ringers 2016 Spring Concert Tour...

Cost: $15pp/$25per family

Where:
The Smyrna Opera House
Smyrna, DE


Telephone: 302-632-3106
Contact Name: Linda Simms
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Painfully funny, technically ingenious, and viciously physical, this wild romantic comedy by England’s most popular living playwright, Sir Alan Ayckbourn features convoluted relationships worthy...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

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Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

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Formed in 1992, Splintered Sunlight quickly became the most popular Grateful Dead Tribute band in the Philadelphia area, gaining praise from Dead Heads and Non Heads alike. Since that time,...

Cost: $12-15

Where:
World Cafe Live at The Queen
500 N Market St
Wilmington, DE
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Sponsor: World Cafe Life
Telephone: 302-994-1400
Contact Name: MP Intern
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Written by Nell Benjamin (playwright of "Because of Winn Dixie") Directed by Bud Martin The story: London, 1879. The prestigious Explorers Club is in crisis: their acting president...

Where:
Delaware Theatre Company
200 Water St.
Wilmington, DE
View map »

More information

Formed in 1992, Splintered Sunlight quickly became the most popular Grateful Dead Tribute band in the Philadelphia area, gaining praise from Dead Heads and Non Heads alike. Since that time,...

Cost: $12-15

Where:
World Cafe Live at The Queen
500 N Market St
Wilmington, DE
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Telephone: 302-994-1400
Contact Name: MP Intern

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Location: Tubman Garrett Park, Rosa Parks Drive, Wilmington Time: Registration: 7:30 a.m. Race start: 8:45 a.m. Fee: $25 (until the Thursday before the race at noon) $30 after and day of...

Where:
, DE

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