The City of Wilmington Creates Summer in the Parks 2013 Produced by the Grand Opera House

Posted on  05/14/2013 11:50 am

Mayor Dennis P. Williams announces the launch of Summer in the Parks, an eight-week program of free arts and cultural activities in eight parks and public spaces across the City of Wilmington. Summer in the Parks will provide a wide variety of visual and performing arts activities for youth and families right in their own neighborhoods.

The City of Wilmington has engaged The Grand Opera House to facilitate and produce the program. The Grand is working in close partnership with Shawn Allen, Deputy Director for the Department of Parks and Recreation, and Kenny Briscoe, Director for the Division of Cultural Affairs. The program will be based in Prices Run and Haynes (Northeast), Holloway (Eastside), Helen Chambers (West Center City), and Tilton, Kosciusko, and Judy Johnson Parks (Westside). In addition to the parks, cultural activities will also take place at the Elbert-Palmer Elementary School Playground (Southbridge) and some on the grounds of Woodlawn Library.

“This project serves as a symbol of the City’s cultural future,” said Mayor Williams. He believes that it will establish a new model of the City working cooperatively with the arts and cultural community to support and amplify those institutions, investing in the tremendous creative resources they already have on hand. “This partnership will effectively advance our vision of a vibrant and safe community for our own citizens, while creating a destination for visitors from near and far.”

Running from June 25th through August 17th, Summer in the Parks will offer at least eight to ten arts-oriented activities each week. More than 75 events are likely to be scheduled over the course of the eight-week program.

Summer in the Parks accomplishes two vital goals of this administration,” says Mayor Williams. “It provides a creative, enriching opportunity for city youth and their families to experience the arts right in their own neighborhood. It also offers the exceptional arts organizations of the city a unique opportunity to work cooperatively to reach new audiences right in the communities where those audiences live.”

Summer in the Parks will feature the rich visual arts and performing capabilities of many Wilmington arts institutions and individual artists. Programs ranging from popular music, jazz, and Shakespearean theater to folk dance, free-form poetry and painting will showcase the diverse cultural heritages of all Wilmington residents. Each presentation will feature some demonstration or performance, and will also include direct audience participation.

Specific artists and groups, who will be paid a modest stipend to participate, are being engaged, and a comprehensive schedule of programs and activities will be announced in mid-June.

“The Grand Opera House is extremely pleased to be given the opportunity to partner with the City of Wilmington on this creative project in collaboration with our many colleague arts groups and individuals in the community,” said Executive Director, Stephen Bailey. “At a time when all arts organizations, including The Grand, are struggling to remain viable in a down economy, Summer in the Parks gives all of us a wonderful and different way to connect with the community while strengthening our partnerships with one another. Given the scale of the project, it’s a game changer!”