$90k Grant To City Of Wilmington Will Fund Concert Series
Through the fun and entertainment division, Wilmington, Delaware was one of 15 new recipients of a $90,000 matching grant from the Levitt Foundation. The grant will aid CityFest in producing free outdoor concerts.
Cityfest endorses, supports, sponsors, and produces events and experiences that foster vibrant neighborhoods, downtown and greater Wilmington, which include: Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, Riverfront Blues Festival, Independence Day Freedom Celebration, Caroling on the Square, Urban Artist Exchange, The Art Loop, Arts Work Summer Youth Apprenticeship and many more.
There will be 10 free concerts per year for three years in a new amphitheater at the Urban Artist Exchange at 1500 N. Walnut St.
The Urban Artist Exchange currently contains eight art spaces. An amphitheater with lawn seating for 700-800 people is currently under construction with an early-summer 2023 completion date scheduled. The ampitheater complex is being created on the site of the police department’s former stables.
The Urban Artist Exchange (UAE) is Wilmington’s first major “Creative Placemaking” project. The term Creative Placemaking has been defined as “the use of arts and culture by diverse partners to strategically shape the physical and social character of a place in order to spur economic development, promote enduring social change, and improve the physical environment.” The UAE is located at 1500 Walnut Street in Wilmington’s East Side Historic District, one of the city’s traditional African-American communities.
Phase I of the project involved the conversion of the decades-long abandoned Wilmington Police Department horse stables into eight art-creation and teaching studios, and a group exhibition/gathering area. At right, students from Cityfest’s Youth Apprenticeship Arts Work Program pose next to a mural they created with artist Amir “Amiracle” Campbell. For more details, see video below.Future phases of the UAE are envisioned to include an open-seat amphitheater with an integrated wastewater management system, an outdoor public art exhibition, and environmentally sustainable landscaping.