Dr. Anne E. Bowler
The Sociology of Art and Culture in Collaboration with the Wilmington Archive Project and Creative Vision Factory
This project centered around a collaboration between an advanced undergraduate seminar in the sociology of art and culture, the University’s Wilmington Archive Project (WAP), and Creative Vision Factory (CVF), a community arts organization located in downtown Wilmington that provides studio and exhibition space to individuals on the behavioral health spectrum. During the Fall 2018 semester, the course combined traditional academic content with student research projects centered around the creation of a digital archive of CVF members’ work. Through the generous assistance of both PAC and the Division of Professional & Continuing Studies, two CVF members were enrolled in the class for University credit.
Little Masters Project
The Little Masters Project (LMP) is a community outreach project designed by Master Players Artistic Director and international concert violinist and producer Xiang Gao to benefit the children of under-served communities in the tri-state region. With the increasing crime rate in the city of Wilmington and other neighboring communities reported by the state government and public resources, LMP is designed to protect, inspire and empower the children who live in these communities. LMP will offer these children free instruments and free private music lessons during after-school hours to challenge them, develop their self-esteem and show them the reward and beauty of playing a musical instrument. LMP will also inspire young students by providing them a once-in-a-lifetime performance opportunity to share the stage with world-class musicians and will empower them by using their own music to change other people’s lives at the venues of Master Players community partners. These partners may include (but are not limited to) retirement homes, medical facilities, community centers, schools and libraries.
With the PAC mini-grant, the education program was able to expand its breadth greatly, extending its reach to provide free music lessons, instruments, music theory instruction, and performance opportunities to underserved students and families throughout northern Delaware. As of today, the Little Masters Project has served 42 students (ages 6-18) at 11 schools, representing 4 Delaware school districts and 3 independent/charter schools
Bach in Wilmington
Dr. Stomberg was delighted to share the works by J.S. Bach and new works by Alisa Rose and Mazz Swift with audiences in Wilmington at a variety of venues. In addition to the music, the performances included recorded segments of interviews Dr. Stromberg conducted with members and clients of the venues involved. Interviewees included church members, volunteers, clients of a food pantry, children who have been affected by gun violence, and others. The interviews and music performed by Dr. Stomberg were part of the PAC-funded short documentary film made by ANKOS Films, which has been widely distributed online and has been met with acclaim. At the conclusion of last year’s project, the music was performed as part of the Adult Cello Festival at the Music School of Delaware, as well as part of the HOPE Commission Achievement Center graduation ceremony in July. Among the audience were Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki and other city and state dignitaries.
19 Questions Public Poetry Installation
The 19 Questions Public Poetry Installation involved two community workshops, approximately ten interviews with community leaders, the composition of a collaboratively-authored poem based on those interviews, and the design and production of a 12×18 foot mural of the poem. The culmination of these efforts was the installation and dedication of this mural at Saints Andrew and Matthew Church in Wilmington.
The mural now plays a part in the revitalization of the city, visible to all who travel the busy stretch of Orange Street where it is displayed. It memorializes and commemorates many concepts: the hard work put in by UD students, the value of education, the gun violence that claimed the life of one poet’s best friend, the challenges that lie ahead, and most importantly, nineteen questions that future UD AAP Poets will endeavor to answer as they work to cover all forty-five feet of the church wall with a vibrant, living mural in the coming years.
Beyond the Bars
Students wrote and professionally recorded an original song about the Underground Railroad in Delaware. The song recording was conducted in class with a mobile recording studio where students were able to learn how to use recording equipment and software. They also ﬁlmed a music video to accompany the song. In addition, students participated in a beat-making workshop where they were able to make their own original beat for their song.
Dr. Jame McCray, Kim Schroeder, Ashley SK Davis,
National Water Dance
Delaware Sea Grant collaborated with the UD Dance Minor and Pieces of a Dream to create a Delaware focused performance for the National Water Dance. Students, community members, and dancers came together during workshops to create sections of the dance. At the workshops, participants created movement as they shared stories about their personal connections to water, learned about storm water management in DE, and discussed actions people can take to improve water quality in DE. The dance was performed for the public on the riverfront in Wilmington at the DuPont Environmental Education Center and livestreamed on Facebook.
Day of Remembrance in Pictures and Words
The most significant accomplishment of the project was the assembly of 11 participants familiar with the 1968 occupation of Wilmington (through direct experience, research, or artistic interpretation), the documentation of their stories and responses, and the engagement of the assembled audience. The public gathering was conceived as a complement to the spring 2018 AFRA 205-013 course that explored this history, and the enrolled students were able to observe such a revealing conversation. In addition, University of Delaware faculty, staff, and other students witnessed the responses to this history and were given a new perspective on the complexity of the 1968 occupation and the reality of how historical amnesia can impact understanding. Voices were added to the conversation through a question and answer period at the end of the panel, and the videotaping of the program will help ensure future consideration.