Making Memories, Filling Hearts and Keeping the Arts Alive and Well in Delmarva

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Patti Grimes, Executive Director, Freeman Arts Pavilion

Earth Wind & Fire. Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra. Train. Black Violin. Shakespeare. Jake Owen. Harry Connick, Jr. What a season! The Freeman Arts Pavilion delivered a wave of diverse entertainment this summer; national recording artists, local artists, tribute bands, performing arts and free family and children’s programming. It was an inspiring, foot-stomping, heart-soaring, hand clapping, musically magical season, all made possible by our generous donors, sponsors, patrons, staff, partners, volunteers and neighbors.

Despite changing health directives, challenging weather conditions, the occasional hurricane and a new venue, we ‘pressed play’ and over 81,000 patrons enjoyed the season with us (a ‘thank you’ to our audience this year for being particularly patient, enthusiastic, supportive and spreading joy). Our Arts in Education program touched the hearts and minds of 28,0000 children, and we can’t wait to start that programming next month, connecting with schools and placing the opportunity to create art in the hands of our children. It’s beyond exciting to know that in our 14th year, and emerging out of an oscillating global pandemic, we have impacted over 100,000 people so far in 2021.

Elevating Human Spirit at the Freeman Arts Pavilion

From Stage to Arts Pavilion

The transition of The Freeman Stage to Freeman Arts Pavilion was a giant leap for our public charity that started January 2021. Although the new physical structure of the Freeman Arts Pavilion is still several years away, everyone got to feel the potential of this incredible new venue as we enjoyed the newly landscaped site. Our pod seating arrangements worked well and kept everyone feeling safe and comfortable.

Our founder and chairwoman, Michelle Freeman, promised to create a charity program to honor the memory of her husband, Josh, after his untimely death in 2006. Josh was passionate about contributing to the performing arts and making high-quality, diverse arts experiences accessible to all. The Joshua M. Freeman Foundation seeks to honor Josh’s passion and commitment to excellence by creating programs he would have been proud of. Like those at the Freeman Arts Pavilion.

What’s new in 2022?

We will be creating a new exit, moving the box office to the new entrance, adding restrooms and beverage stations, and improving the lighting and adding more staff and volunteers — all to enhance the audience experience. We can’t wait to welcome you all.

The Freeman Arts Pavilion is both the continuation of a uniquely American community tradition and the future of the arts in the Delaware coastal communities. And for that we are so grateful. We are also grateful for those who support the arts in our communities and know that our mission is alive and well and serving the residents and guests of Delmarva. Thank you to every single person for their contribution to elevating the human spirit.  We look forward to seeing everyone next year in Season 15! Until then, be sure to visit our website, freemanarts.org to learn more about the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation.