Front-of-the-House Diversity Challenge
The Canned Cocktails Craze
World Premiere at Delaware Theatre Co.
Shining Shine A Light celebrates a decade of musical energy & philanthropy
FEBRUARY 2022 COMPLIMENTARY
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2 FEBRUARY 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
FEB. 23–MAR. 20, 2022 DELAWARETHEATRE.ORG / 302.594.1100
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B E H E R E AS W E C R O W N
THE ATLANTIC 10 CHAMPION!
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FRIDAY, MARCH 4 | QUARTERFINALS
GE T Y O U R TICKETS TODAY!
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Christiana Fashion Center | 302 731 2700 Wilmington | 302 529 8888 waxcenter.com First-time guests only. Valid only for select services. Additional terms may apply. Participation may vary; please visit waxcenter.com for general terms and conditions. European Wax Center locations are individually owned and operated. © 2022 EWC Franchise, LLC. All rights reserved. European Wax Center® is a registered trademark.
2 INSIDE 2
Out & About Magazine Vol. 34 | No. 12
START 9 War on Words 11 Learn 13 FYI 17 Art Loop Wilmington 18 What Readers Are Saying 19 Worth Recognizing
FOCUS 22 Shine A Light Turns 10 27 A Woodstock Flashback
EAT 31 Food For Thought
Published each month by TSN Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact@TSNPub.com Wilmington, DE 19801 Publisher Gerald duPhily • firstname.lastname@example.org Director of Publications Jim Miller • email@example.com Contributing Editor Bob Yearick • firstname.lastname@example.org Creative Director & Production Manager Matthew Loeb, Catalyst Visuals, LLC
PLAY 37 World Premiere at DTC 49 Fill in the Blanks
LISTEN 41 Airing Things Out at WMPH 45 DSO’s J.C. Barker
DRINK 45 The Canned Cocktail Craze
WILMINGTON 50 In the City 52 On the Riverfront
Digital Services Director Michael O’Brian Contributing Designer Blair Lindley, Catalyst Visuals, LLC Contributing Writers Jill Althouse-Wood, Danielle Bouchat-Friedman, Adriana Camacho-Church, JulieAnne Cross, David Ferguson, Mark Fields, Pam George, Lauren Golt, Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald, Ken Mammarella, Matt Morrissette, John Murray, Larry Nagengast, Kevin Noonan, Scott Pruden, Leeann Wallett Contributing Photographers Jim Coarse, Justin Heyes and Joe del Tufo/Moonloop Photography, Butch Comegys, Lindsay duPhily, Matthew Loeb, Matt Urban Special Projects John Holton, Cullen Robinson, Bev Zimmermann
On the cover: Shine A Light concert through the years. Design by Matthew Loeb, Catalyst Visuals Photos by Moonloop Photography
41 EVENTS CALENDAR
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Editorial & advertising info: 302.655.6483 • Fax 302.654.0569 outandaboutnow.com • email@example.com FEBRUARY 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
–– A not-for-profit arts organization ––
Whitney Cummings: Touch Me Tour SAT | FEB 5 | 8PM | $28-$40
Red Hot Chilli Pipers
Comedian, actress, filmmaker, and podcaster – she’ll have you LOL-ing
Powerhouse group celebrates over 20 years of your favorite celtic rock
FRI | FEB 18 | 8PM | $32-$39
FRI | MAR 4 | 8PM | $34-$40
Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy SUN | MAR 6 | 7PM | $29-$39
SUN | MAR 13 | 7PM | $38
Bagpipes with attitude and drums with a scottish accent
SAT | MAR 19 | 8PM | $25
Canada’s reigning couple of Celtic music
Folk music icon and Grand favorite. “Genuine wit…poignant and elegant music”
Your favorite Grateful Dead songs with a bluegrass twist
The Tannahill Weavers
FRI | MAR 25 | 8PM | $20
SAT | APR 2 | 8PM | $35-$90
SAT | APR 2 | 8PM | $23 Described by The NY Times as “one of the most exciting political comics in stand-up today.”
Traditional Celtic music at its best! Filled with fire-driven instrumentals & a good dose of humour.
Two-time Emmy award-winning hip hop violinist
SAT, APRIL 19, 2022 8PM | $38-$47 Copeland Hall
TheGrandWilmington.org 302.652.5577 | 302.888.0200
818 N. Market Street, Wilmington, DE 19801 This program is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.
All tickets subject to box office service charges. Artists, dates, times and programs are subject to change.
8 FEBRUARY 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
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A writer/editor’s slightly snarky and relentless crusade to eliminate grammatical gaffes from our everyday communications
Compiled from the popular column in Out & About Magazine
THE WAR ON WORDS A monthly column in which we attempt, however futilely, to defend the English language against misuse and abuse
MEDIA WATCH Once again, we start with the grammatical vortex that is USA TODAY: •In a review of a popular streaming drama, Gannett’s flagship newspaper published this: “Here’s everything you need to know about You, which first debuted on Netflix back in 2018.” A debut is always the first time. •Marco della Cava scored an incomprehensible double: “Sculpted physics on men and woman alike pop up everywhere.” Yo, Marco, that’s physiques and women. •And our third and final USA TODAY contribution is from reviewer Brian Truitt, who gave us this dangling modifier: “Boldly filmed in black and white, Branagh wrings a heartfelt narrative from a superb cast.” Director Kenneth Branagh was not filmed in black and white, his film Belfast was. •Another reviewer, Lynn Elber of the Associated Press, wrote this about a new Betty White biography: “[Gavin] MacLeod, who died last May at 90, wrote the book’s forward.” It’s amazing how many book reviewers don’t know that a book’s short introductory section is a foreword. Forward, of course, is a directional word that means onward, ahead, or, in a negative sense, presumptuous, brazen. •Reader Debbie Layton submits this from the York (Pa.) Daily Record: “Another founder... inferred that Andrew Jackson's wife was a woman of ‘low repute.’” Says Debbie: “I think it should be ‘implied.’” Yes, it should be. Phony sophisticates often used infer for imply, but their meanings are essentially opposites. Infer means to deduce or draw a conclusion; imply means to suggest or express something indirectly. You infer from what someone else implies. •This online headline missed on the past tense of sink (sank): “The last-minute coal demand that almost sunk the Glasgow summit deal.” •Lester Holt, on NBC Nightly News, spoke of “the accused subject.” Lester should have gone with simply “the accused.” •Scott Lauber in The Philadelphia Inquirer: “The Phillies are bullish on catching prospects Rafael Marchan and Logan O’Hoppe, but want both to play everyday rather than back up workhorse catcher J. T. Realmuto.” Everyday is an adjective meaning something that’s seen or used every day — ordinary or typical. Every day, which is what Lauber meant, is a phrase that simply means “each day.”
Word of the Month
seraphic Pronounced suh-RAF-ik, it’s an adjective meaning like an angel: serene, beautiful, pure, blissful, etc.
By Bob Yearick
•A reader sends this dangler from an outdoor column in The Bemidji (Minn.) Pioneer: “Years ago, while on a late October evening deer hunt in Polk County, a flock of robins landed on the ground adjacent to a nearby wetland.” We weren’t aware that robins went deer hunting. •Another errant introductory phrase surprisingly comes from WDEL’s award-winning reporter Amy Cheri, who recently spoke thusly: “As America’s lowest-lying state, climate change is a threat to Delaware.” Obviously, climate change is not a state. How about, “As America’s lowest-lying state, Delaware is threatened by climate change.”
EMAIL & FACEBOOK: WHERE GOOD GRAMMAR GOES TO DIE Gleanings from just a few days of reading emails and Facebook posts: •Your (you’re) probably over the age of 40 if you understand this. •(From Longwood Gardens, courtesy of a reader): “While your (you’re) here, show your membership card and receive 20% discounts . . .” (Hey, they got one out of two right.) •What time does trick-or-treating start at? (Ending a sentence in a preposition is not always wrong, but here it definitely is.) •Do you make your bed everyday? (Ah, the dreaded everyday/every day problem again.) •Below are a list of open routes in your area. (The subject is the singular below, so the verb should be is.) •Anyone loose their house phone in Springer Woods? (Amazing how many people substitute the adjective loose for the verb lose. Oh, and what is a house phone?) •We know our heart’s are in the right place. (Why the apostrophe?) •A lioness has got a lot more power than the lion like’s to think she has. (Now there’s a new way to abuse the most misused punctuation mark.) LITERALLY OF THE MONTH During State Sen. Kyle Evans Gay’s public meeting at Lucky’s Coffee Shop, a constituent described his conservative group’s attempts to complain at a school board meeting about the teaching of critical race theory: “We come up against a wall — literally a wall — when we try to speak.”
Follow me on Twitter: @thewaronwords
NEED A SPEAKER FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION? Contact me for a fun presentation on grammar: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Buy The War on Words book at the Hockessin Book Shelf (hockessinbookshelf.com) or on Amazon, or email me.
Wilmington Alliance is proud to support small businesses and is looking forward to many more great things in 2022! WilmingtonMADE was designed for promoting small businesses, providing marketing services and encouraging Wilmington residents to shop local. In the last quarter of 2021, services were expanded to include $500 worth of marketing services such as social media support, professional photos and website design and refresh. To learn more or to register a business visit www.wilmingtonmade.com WWW.WILMINGTONALLIANCE.ORG
10 FEBRUARY 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
From Learners to Teachers Wilmington University and Appoquinimink School District find the future of education in their own classrooms.
ccording to the National Education Association, nearly onethird of public school teachers responding to a recent member survey say they plan to leave the teaching profession earlier than they’d anticipated. For those considering becoming teachers, the path to entering the field of teaching after college, or leaving more lucrative jobs to become teachers as a mid-career change, may feel challenging. In an attempt to reduce challenges to entering the teaching profession, the Delaware Department of Education has launched the Teacher Academy, an academic pathway designed to cultivate the state’s future educators by preparing students in 21 high schools for careers in elementary and secondary education. The program offers motivated students an in-depth view of the profession through work-based learning such as job shadowing and mentorship, and enables them to earn college credits toward a teaching degree even before graduation. Appoquinimink School District in Middletown, Delaware, has taken the Teacher Academy concept a step further. Graduates of its “Grow Your Own” initiative, created in partnership with Wilmington University, are able to substitute-teach in Appoquinimink’s schools and, once they have earned a bachelor’s degree, they are guaranteed full-time employment in the district. “This is a life-changing opportunity for students,” says Dr. Matt Burrows, Appoquinimink’s superintendent of schools. “They’re going to graduate from college with the security of a job and a supportive network of teacher and principal mentors.”
Make Your Move in 2022. WilmU works for you. XX FEBRUARY 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
The Teacher Academy and Appoquinimink ’s homegrown initiative also propose a solution to talent loss in the state’s teacher preparation process, says Dr. Robert Rescigno, an assistant vice president of academic affairs at Wilmington University. “Approximately 40 percent of our teacher prep students are coming from out of state,” he says. “There’s nothing bad about that, but we must keep in mind that they will return home once they graduate. Delaware has the resources available to grow our own talent, and the Teacher Academy helps to set students on the path early on.” “Much credit goes to Appoquinimink School District for having a comprehensive plan that brings students together in actual classrooms with teacher-mentors and supervisors,” adds Rescigno. “They discern those who have a calling and who have what it takes to become educators, capitalize on their strengths, and help them to step into the profession.” At a recent meeting of Appoquinimink’s school board, Rescigno presented Angelie Ross-Jimenez, one of the district’s first Teacher Academy graduates, with a full scholarship to Wilmington University’s College of Education. When she graduates with her teaching degree in elementary education, she’ll join more than 3,500 Delaware teachers who earned their bachelor’s or master’s degrees at WilmU, including 11 of the last 14 Teachers of the Year as selected by the state Department of Education. The University has revolutionized teacher preparation with its Year-Long Residency student-teaching program. College of Education bachelor’s and master’s degree students have the option to spend an entire school year as apprentice teachers in select partner schools throughout Delaware.
As with Appoquinimink’s “Grow Your Own” initiative, WilmU’s Year-Long Residency makes Delaware students into Delaware educators, providing them with job opportunities in the schools where they learned to teach. An alternative to the traditional 80-day student-teaching model, WilmU’s Year-Long Residency immerses and integrates teachersin-training into the expectations and execution of the job, while the schools at which they’re working study and cultivate their abilities. “Our Year-Long Residency students are actually working alongside their mentor teachers every single day, sharing all the responsibilities of the classroom,” says assistant professor Tyler Wells, who oversees the program. “Their coursework is embedded into the residency as they plan and deliver instruction, as they observe and influence student development. They attend meet-theteacher night and parent conferences. They take part in in-service days and standardized testing. They’re real teachers.” To John Gray, dean of WilmU’s College of Education, it’s a contribution toward the classrooms of the future. “We have shown that we can help people who want to be teachers to achieve their goals, regardless of their backgrounds or career paths,” he says. “That’s our true mission, and why we’re so committed to it.” To learn more about Wilmington University’s College of Education, please visit the website at wilmu.edu/Education.
Apply now to start March 7:
go.wilmu.edu/2022 WilmU is a registered trademark of Wilmington University. All rights reserved. © Wilmington University 2022
FEBRUARY 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
12 FEBRUARY 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
START Things worth knowing NEW EXHIBITION CELEBRATES DELAWARE WOMEN’S HALL OF FAME
special exhibition featuring 160 members of the Delaware Women’s Hall of Fame continues through March 20 at the Delaware Art Museum. To mark the 40th anniversary of the prestigious award, the Office of Women’s Advancement and Advocacy commissioned Delaware artist Theresa Walton to create portraits of every woman inducted. The exhibition celebrates the tremendous achievement of women from across the state in a variety of professional fields. Portraits of Hall of Fame inductees include former Governor Ruth Ann Minner, U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt-Rochester, Delaware Children’s Theatre founder Marie Swajeski, educators Dr. Jill Biden and Dr. Reba Hollingsworth, and community leader Maria Matos. In conjunction with the exhibit, the Office of Women’s Advancement & Advocacy has also launched a website that features all 160 portraits and accompanying biographical information. Visit Artworkarchive.com/profile/owaa. For exhibition hours at the Delaware Art Museum, visit DelArt.org
WILMINGTON SET TO HOST ATLANTIC 10 WOMEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
ilmington’s Chase Fieldhouse will be the site of the Atlantic 10 Conference Women's Basketball Championship March 2-6. The 2,500-seat arena is the home of the NBA G League Delaware Blue Coats. This marks the first of a three-year commitment for the A-10 tournament at the Chase Fieldhouse and returns the league to hosting its annual championship at a neutral site. “It is a state-of-the-art arena perfectly located geographically for our women's championship,” said Atlantic 10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade. “Partnering with BPG | SPORTS, the City of Wilmington, the 76ers, and the NBA G League is a win-win for all.” The Atlantic 10 Championship format includes all 14 teams playing at the host site. The first round gets underway Wed., March 2, followed by four second-round games on Thursday. The four quarterfinal games will tip-off Friday followed by the semifinal round on Saturday, which will be televised live nationally on CBS Sports Network. The finals will air live on ESPNU on Sunday. The Atlantic 10 has sent 11 different teams to postseason play over the last five completed seasons. The league has also earned eight NCAA Tournament bids, including three at-large selections, and 19 WNIT bids during that timeframe. For tickets, visit Atlantic10.com/sports
DELAWARE RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES NEW EXECUTIVE OFFICERS
At left: Platinum Dining Group's Carl Georigi. At right: Martuscelli Restaurant Group's Giancarlo Martuscelli.
he Delaware Restaurant Association (DRA) has announced a new slate of executive committee officers leading its board of directors led by incoming chair Carl Georigi, founder and CEO of the Platinum Dining Group. Platinum operates a half-dozen restaurants in New Castle County, including Eclipse Bistro, Taverna and Capers & Lemons. Gianmarco Martuscelli of the Martuscelli Restaurant Group (Chesapeake Inn, Klondike Kates, La Casa Pasta) was named vice-chairman. Jeff Gosner, vice president of Grotto Pizza, was named Treasurer. Scott Kammerer, president and CEO of SoDel Concepts, moves to immediate past chair. The DRA Board of Directors is comprised of restaurant operators from business locations throughout the state, as well as industry supplier representatives. There are approximately 2,000 restaurants in Delaware employing more than 53,000 people. FEBRUARY 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 13
Things worth knowing
IT PAYS TO DINE IN DOWNTOWN WILMINGTON
owntown Visions’ dining incentive program, Dine Downtown Deal, is rewarding those who regularly patronize restaurants in the Wilmington Downtown Business Improvement District (WDBID). To benefit, simply save your receipts when dining-in or ordering takeout at a WDBID eatery. Once you have five receipts, take a photo of them and text the photo to (302) 5026003 (include your name, date and dining locations). You will then receive a gift card to the WDBID business of your choice in the amount of 20% of your total meals purchased (before tip). Program expires March 31, 2022. Visit DowntownWilmingtonDE.com
A CELEBRATION OF HANGING IN THERE
MEMBERSHIP HAS ITS PRIVILEGES
laymont’s Hangman Brewing, which had the misfortune of opening at the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, will celebrate its two-year anniversary and “grand reopening” from March 11-13. The three-day celebration will feature live music, food trucks and the sampling of new beer releases. Visit HangmanBrewing.com
14 FEBRUARY 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM | InWilmDE.com
he Delaware Children’s Museum has teamed with the Brandywine Zoo to present a special membership offer. Those who purchase a $199 family membership to DCM will also receive four complimentary passes to the Brandywine Zoo. Visit DelawareChildrensMuseum.org
FEBRUARY 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
Tommy Davidson House of Laffs
Photo by Joe del Tufo
FLAVOR SOUND STAGE LAUGHS
FIND IT ALL HERE:
Friday, Feb. 4 5pm Start A program of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs
RIVERFRONT The Delaware Contemporary 200 South Madison Street 656-6466 • decontemporary.org
Artist/Event: Winter/Spring 2022 Season: Narrative DOWNTOWN Chris White Gallery 701 N. Shipley Street 475-0998
Artist: 10th Anniversary Exhibition with 30 artists City of Wilmington’s Redding Gallery 800 N. French Street 576-2100 • cityfestwilm. com/redding-gallery
Artist: Erica Jones
Christina Cultural Arts Center 705 N. Market Street 652-0101 • ccacde.org
Artist: “Sylone” by Ameerah York-James Gallery at Grace Church 900 N. Washington Street 331-0719
Artist: Harriet Tubman Artwork created by Padua Academy Students, led by their art teacher Jen Mzozek
Blue Streak Gallery (offsite at Piccolina Toscana) 1412 N. Dupont Street 429-0506 (Blue Streak)
The Grand Opera House 818 N. Market Street 658-7897 thegrandwilmington.org
Artist: Paintings by Kathleen Keane
Grand Gallery: “Pursuing Serenity” Craig Hable baby grand Gallery: “Every Image with a Different Lens” by Ray Magnani
BEYOND THE CITY Arden Buzz Ware Village Center 2119 The Highway, Arden 981-4811
Mezzanine Gallery at the Carvel State Building
Artists: “I need a place to hide” A.J. Stalloni
820 N. French Street 577-8278 arts.delaware.gov
COCA Pop-Up Gallery 3829 Kennett Pike 218-4411
Artist: Shari Dierkes: On Display II
Artists: Group Show featuring local artists
Music School of Delaware 4101 N. Washington Street 762-1132 musicschoolofdelaware.org
Artist: Diamond Art Painting by Patricia Kemp WEST END & WEST SIDE Blue Streak Gallery
Next Art Loop Wilmington:
Friday, March 4, 2022
1412 N. Dupont Street 429-0506
Artist: Hearts, Flowers and Things We Love Alida Fish, Nancy Josephson, Roberta Little, Ann Oldach, Doris Peltzman and Lynda Schmid
Most exhibitions listed here continue through January
WHAT READERS ARE SAYING About A Homegrown Hospitality Group By Pam George, December 2021 Visited Park Café last month for a private event. Food was delicious, service was excellent and the atmosphere was relaxing. Will be back very soon for lunch and take-out. Add this place to your must visit list. — Vicenta Carey Agree! Great read! I've been to Tonic and its a cool hip place. You will have to re-try the Kitty house after they remodel and give me your opinion. — Linda Zampini About Replay! By O&A Staff, January 2022 I was a pinball wizard back in the day. Could stay on machine for hours, I racked up so many free games. Beach, skater, surfer life fun. — Diane V Capaldi About Brunch Bunch By O&A Staff, January 2022 The brunch spot list is definitely on point! Thank you for this feature! — Nicole M. Homer About F.Y.I. Things Worth Knowing Highmark Announces $900,000 in Grants By O&A Staff, January 2022 That's nice, but how can an insurance company have so much extra money? Cover more or lower premiums. — Christine Albanese About F.Y.I. Things Worth Knowing Hockessin Bookshelf Changes Hands By O&A Staff, January 2022 I'm so happy to see that the wonderful Hockessin Book Shelf is alive and well, and can't wait to follow the next steps of its journey! — Matty Dalrymple
HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY? SEND US A MESSAGE! email@example.com • OutAndAboutNow.com 18 FEBRUARY 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM | InWilmDE.com
Community Members Who Go Above & Beyond
FOR THE LOVE OF BOOKS Máximo Castellanos, Delaware’s youngest Hispanic author, hopes his books can inspire others to follow their imagination
By Adriana Camacho-Church Máximo Castellanos with his 2021 International Latino Book Awards certificate and medal. Photo by Allison Castellanos
áximo César Castellanos was all smiles when he held a copy of his first published book. He was 7-years-old. “He was so excited to see his name on the cover,” says his mother, Allison.“ ‘I’m going to write another one,’ he said.” Today, the 13-year-old has written, illustrated, and selfpublished eight chapter books for students in Grades 2-6. His books are available in both Spanish and English. He writes his stories in Spanish then translates them to English. As a child he learned to speak and write in Spanish at home and speak and write in English in school. A Delaware native, Castellanos, is the youngest Hispanic author in the state and the first Delawarean to receive a gold medal from the 2021 International Latino Book Awards category of Charlie Ericksen Best Book Written by a Youth. In 1997, actor Edward James Olmos and literacy advocate Kirk Whisler founded the book awards to improve literacy in the U.S. The Georgetown resident won the award for his Spanish edition of Dr. Pren and the Days of His Childhood (Dr. Pren Y Los Dias De Su Infancia). Published in 2020, the book is the first in the Dr. Pren series. A seventh-grade student at the Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic School in Berlin, Md., Castellanos is currently working on the third book in the series.
The stories are about a young man named George who discovers how Dr. Pren and his childhood friends helped save the world. “I hope my books inspire other kids to become readers and writers and to let their imagination run wild,” says Castellanos. "I hope that some of them will become authors too.” Castellanos’s fifth-grade homeroom teacher, Robin Hayes, says the young author is an inspiration to both other youths and to adults. “So many times, we are held back from trying to achieve goals because we fear they may not be possible,” she says. “By following Máximo's example of just trying, we might be surprised at what we are able to accomplish.” When Castellanos sits down to write, he is not concerned whether others will like his story ideas. “If you like your idea it doesn’t matter if others don’t,” he says. “Just write it down and publish your book and hopefully you will find people who will like it.” His ideas are influenced by favorite books such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and The Chronicles of Narnia. And movies including Back to the Future. “Every time my mom took us to the library and I saw a book I liked, I thought I want to publish a book,” he says. ► FEBRUARY 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 19
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FOR THE LOVE OF BOOKS So, at age six, he told his parents continued from previous page he wanted to publish Peter, a story about a boy who escapes from an orphanage and befriends an alien. The two become close friends and have many adventures. “He saw the names of people on book covers and he believed he too could be an author and illustrator,” says his mother. Castellanos’s parents both teach at Delaware Technical Community College in Georgetown. A native of Mexico, his father, Julio teaches science and Spanish, and Allison, a U.S. native, teaches English as a second language. At age 3, their son began to draw story ideas. Castellanos stapled together 20 to 30 pages of drawings based on SpongeBob or Star Wars characters, then told the story to his family. He bounces his ideas off of his brother, Octavio, 11, while his father and his mother help him with editing as well as the publishing and marketing process. It’s been a learning experience, says Allison, who added that editing is the most time consuming. Publishing Máximo’s books is relatively inexpensive. “In self-publishing if you want to save time, pay for services,” says Allison. “If you want to save money, do it yourself.” Castellanos prefers self-publishing to traditional publishing because he gets to work on his books with his parents, has the flexibility to publish in two languages, and can release a book in three to seven months. He uses social media, local newspaper and magazine interviews, book signings at local libraries, and book video promotions (which he creates himself) to market his books. He devotes his weekends to writing and publishing and his weekdays to school and sports. Castellanos holds a Green belt in Isshinryu Karate and plays soccer. “I want to keep writing all of my life,” says Castellanos. “I want to write all the stories I have thought of.”
— Find Castellanos’s books at: amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and Delaware Library Catalog at DLC.lib.de.us View his video promotions visit his author’s page at: Amazon.com/ author/maximocesarcastellanos View two of his short films (one in Spanish the other in English) at: YouTube/G6DuZTn_NPk
LIST YOUR AREA EVENT...
The Queen has served as the host theater for the Shine A Light concert series since its inception in 2012.
22 FEBRUARY 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM | InWilmDE.com
TURNING IT UP TO 11 After a COVID shutdown, scores of area musicians are primed for an epic jam session benefitting a good cause at the 10th Shine A Light concert By Bob Yearick Photos by Joe del Tufo
fter a one-year COVID-induced hiatus, the annual Shine A Light fundraising concert returns to The Queen on Saturday, March 5. The concert has always been a feel-good, rockin’ good time for the audience and perhaps even more so for the musicians, and this year’s event promises to turn it up to 11. The social-distancing nightmare of the past two years has left the performers gig-starved and primed for an epic 10th anniversary show. And, as always, it will be a gathering of a mutual admiration fraternity mixed with a bit of hero worship and marked by peer pressure that results in everyone bringing their A game. It’s a challenging format. More than 60 area musicians collaborate in a mix-and-match arrangement in which they are teamed with members of other bands, each group jumping on and off stage, often after just one number, with changeovers of less than 30 seconds. The result is a rollicking, one-of-a-kind, over-the-top, high-wire act that takes careful planning and hours of rehearsal. Perhaps the key to what has been called “the best party in town” is the spirit of cooperation that pervades those rehearsals and the show itself. ► FEBRUARY 2022
| OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 23
TURNING IT UP TO ELEVEN continued from previous page
Bassist Tony Cappella, who plays in many bands, including Montana Wildaxe and Stone Shakers, is in his third year of managing the Shine A Light concerts.
“The mantra is ‘leave your ego at the door,’” says Tony Cappella, bass player for many area bands, including Vinyl Shockley and Howl Train, and now in his third year as the showrunner. “And everyone is good about that. We’re all there for each other.” And never far from anyone’s mind is the fundraising mission of Shine A Light. When it started, in 2011, the goal was to raise money for the Light Up The Queen Foundation and the restoration of The Queen. But the focus soon shifted to supporting local music education efforts that benefit Wilmington’s youth.
AN ANNUAL SELLOUT
EXCLUSIVELY IN THEATERS
R E S E R V E Y O U R S E AT S AT
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The concert has sold out every year. It raised $95,000 in 2020 — the last show — and its nine-year total, according to Margot Williams, a member of the of foundation’s Community Investment Committee, is $630,000. All of the profits go into the community. None of the musicians make a dime. “The mission has a lot to do with everyone’s enthusiasm,” says Kevin Walsh, guitarist with Stone Shakers, Vinyl Shockley, and The Snap, who has been on stage for the last seven Shine A Light concerts. “What we’re trying to do is give young kids that really don’t have access or the means to get access to become musicians themselves. All of us probably had supportive parents or things like that, but sometimes that’s not the case. And we feel like we’re playing a role in helping out young kids who, you never know, could be the next star out there someday.” “Most of us onstage know how important music has been to our lives,” says Jim Miller, keyboardist for the party band Special Delivery and original rock band Region. “So it feels so rewarding and lifeaffirming to be able to help offer the gift of music education to kids who otherwise might not have those opportunities. We say it all the time, ‘Hopefully some of the kids who we are helping will be playing this show one day.’ We’re helping to build our musical community.” Among the kids being helped is Marley Saunders, a 14-year-old student at St. Mark’s High School who this year was one of three recipients of $1,000 from the Christian Salcedo Music Scholarship Fund. Marley, who has been taking music lessons at the Christina Cultural Arts Center for three years, says the money will cover her next session of lessons and help pay for guitar equipment. She has made a recording with a friend and says she hopes to “eventually” make a career of music. Noting that, like almost everyone else, she has found that last two years stressful, Marley says, “Right now, music is a way to calm down and just be in your own little world, have fun and enjoy yourself.”
MAJOR MISSION CHANGES
“All of these are worthy programs,” Williams says, “and we believe While the Light Up the Queen Foundation will continue to they can be maintained by other organizations, and we will be happy support the Salcedo scholarship, Williams reports that the pandemic to assist in making that happen.” brought about some major changes in the mission and makeup of the nonprofit. 2022 IS ‘THE BEST OF . . .’ “It gave us the opportunity to do a serious This year’s concert — with the theme “The review of our mission and our effectiveness over Best Of . . .” — is a kind of summing up of the the years,” she says. “Like a lot of organizations, first nine. “It will showcase the best songs of the we were essentially shut down for all programs prior years, although not strictly songs played from March 2020 on. We kept our staff in place in those shows,” says Walsh, who is in charge for as long as we could, which took us to the end of the closely-guarded playlist (which, Cappella of 2020. reveals, comprises 42 songs). “In a normal year, Shine A Light represents Nearly every genre of popular music has approximately 75 percent of our budget. Without been represented during the concerts, especially it, there is no way we could start back up with after the first three years, which exhausted the our traditional programming before the fall of Rolling Stones’ catalog. Following that, Rob 2022. So we looked realistically at how much Grant, who, along with Chip Porter and Ben programming we could effectively offer LeRoy, can take credit for initiating the concerts, using in-house resources, given the size of suggested playing 30-plus songs from a given our annual budget. It became clear that our year. The first year chosen was 1975, and that money would be better spent if we could give Jill Knapp of the duo Hot Breakfast! is in began a tradition of picking one year in rock ‘n’ it to organizations with established, qualified charge of backing vocals. roll history to highlight at each concert. programs that fit our mission.” Says Cappella: “The music evolved, and we Prior to the pandemic, the foundation supported several got into more complex songs, like Steely Dan or even Abba songs, programs, including: Smart Arts, in which groups of elementary-age where the arrangements are a lot more complicated than a Rolling children were brought into The Queen for an introduction to music Stones or Grateful Dead.” and musicians; Boysie Lowery Jazz Residency, a two-week residency By now, says Walsh, “We’re pretty aware of each player’s strength, in jazz composition for selected students; and, in conjunction with and we try to put everyone where they shine.” Warner School, the School Arts Program, which brought musicians Adds Grant: “One thing that was consistent throughout the years into the school to meet and work with students. was a willingness of the musicians to take every song seriously ►
FEBRUARY 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 25
TURNING IT UP TO ELEVEN Jill Knapp and Matt continued from previous page Casarino of the duo Hot Breakfast! got their first invitation just three years ago. A vocal coach and music teacher, Knapp is in charge of background singers for this year’s concert. “It was lovely to be invited and getting to meet some of these people that I had only heard about in Delaware mythical stories, and put faces to the names and stories,” she says. As a music teacher, Knapp says, the mission of providing students with access to musical instruments and lessons “is huge. It’s a major draw for me.” LeRoy, who has been there since the beginning, calls the concert “a wild ride.” “Backstage,” he says, “there’s a nervous energy that’s palpable. And the first band is always solid, always sets a Vocalist Darnell Miller teaches some of the students who received this year's Christian Salcedo Music Scholarship at Christina Cultural Arts Center. high bar. Then everyone else shoots for that.” Says Waters: “It’s the one show I look forward to and do their absolute best to make it perfect. This was as true of every year.” Muskrat Love as it was for Bohemian Rhapsody.” “It’s our people and our night,” adds Miller. “It’s a celebration Participants count it an honor to be part of the show. Some of our area. That’s something I think the audience really responds seem almost star-struck. Randy Waters, a bass player “for five or to because they see the spirit of cooperation and collaboration six bands,” has been playing professionally for three decades, and onstage and, hopefully, they feel part of it.” he’s been performing in Shine A Light since its second year — 2012. “Looking at the lineup, I was shocked I got in,” says Waters. — If you’d like to be a part of the audience for the 10th Shine A Light “At the first meeting, I was blown away. I get to play with Delaware concert, go to lightupthequeen.org/shinealight. legends. It’s been an honor and a privilege.”
26 FEBRUARY 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM | InWilmDE.com
My Woodstock Experience Reflections on working with Woodstock creator Michael Lang, who passed away last month By Jim Miller
ichael Lang was a hero of mine. In 1969, the creator of Woodstock made a vital decision just days before the festival. His production crew informed him of their dilemma: They had the time and resources to build the stage or ticket booths, but not
both. Michael chose to build the stage. Without the ticket booths, the first Woodstock became a free-for-all, overwhelmed with hundreds of thousands of revelers from all over. The enterprise lost millions of dollars, and struggled for more than a decade to recoup its losses through merchandising. But, then, Woodstock also changed the world. Woodstock happened two years before I was born; however, like many of my generation, I grew up on its music and its myth. Never in my life did I think I would be working with the creator of Woodstock But, in the summer of 1999, that’s exactly what happened. Yes. Michael F*cking Lang.” That’s what I told my musician friend, Kenny Vanella. It was mid-July. “Cool,” Kenny replied. “Who’s Michael Lang?” “Michael Lang’s the guy who started Woodstock,” I replied. “I’m supposed to talk to him later this week.” I told Kenny what I’d been careful not to let too many people know: The staff at Out & About would be producing the official program guide for Woodstock 99. Kenny was incredulous. Like most people, he knew Woodstock like he knew Mount Rushmore, but the name Michael Lang was a reach. Kenny was the lead singer of The Vibe, a popular area band that mixed many musical genres into every packed performance
they played. He was enthused about the upcoming version of Woodstock, so we made a pact: We’d go. Why not? I had tickets and backstage passes — a few tokens of my recent good fortune. Three years earlier, the Out & About staff launched a music magazine called Roadtrips, which we produced for a Chicago record label called Aware Records. Will Healy, a former Rainbow Records employee, had been recruited by the label. A Delaware native, Will knew Out & About well and helped pulled the partnership together. The first issue of Roadtrips featured a cover story with newcomer Rob Thomas, whose Matchbox Twenty was just months away from their first hit. On the second cover was a little known band called Train, who had just played an acoustic show at Rainbow Records to about two dozen people. ► FEBRUARY 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 27
THE STONES’ S
Clockwise from lef Ben LeRoy le show’s closer; Ch of Montana Wild Trainor of The Rock and Nancy Mic Ginger do a duet; a Everhart of Scantro
he Shine A Light concert series at The Queen celebrates its 10th show on Saturday, March 5. Starting as a celebration of the music of The Rolling Stones for its first three years, Shine A Light turned a corner in 2015 to highlight the music of the ‘70s. In 2018, the theme switched its focus to the psychedelic ‘60s; and the most recent show, in 2020, rocked out the awesome hits of 1980. This year’s Shine A Light brings together the best of all of those years for one epic night of music. The mission: Raise money for youth music programs in Wilmington’s underserved communities. To get tickets go to: LightUpTheQueen.org/ShineALight All photos by Joe del Tufo / Moonloop Photography
THE ‘70S SHOWS Clockwise from left: Steve Bailey of Grinch; the late Sheik Mugabi of Hollywood & The Band; two other late greats, Christian Salcedo and Keith Moss; Kat Pigliacampi of Kategory 5.
THE ‘60S SHOWS Clockwise from right: The grand finale of ’69 concert; Nancy Micciulla of Ginger; Dan McGowan of Delco Bread; Phil Young of The Cocks.
HE STONES’ SHOWS
ockwise from left: n LeRoy leads the ow’s closer; Chip Porter Montana Wildaxe; Joe ainor of The Rock Orchestra d Nancy Micciulla of nger do a duet; and James erhart of Scantron.
THE 1980 SHOW Clockwise from left: Michael Davis of The Bullets; Nick Bucci on guitar and Francine Hatcher on vocals; Grace Vonderkuhn.
Roadtrips gained momentum quickly. In 1998, it was chosen to be the official tour program for the H.O.R.D.E. Festival, which touched down in more than 40 venues across the country. Then, in 1999, as a seemingly ultimate stroke of good fortune, it was chosen to be the official program of Woodstock 99. Now, nearly 23 years later, I still don’t believe it. My boss, Jerry duPhily, deserves credit. When we started Roadtrips, I was only 25 and, for the most part, a fool on a fool’s journey. But Jerry was supportive of my ideas, and, without that, we never would have ended up working with the guy who gets credit for throwing one of the greatest parties in rock history.
A CALL FROM THE HEAD HONCHO
It was about a week before Woodstock 99 when I first spoke to Michael Lang about the program guide. The three weeks previous, we corresponded through his team, working long days at a breakneck pace, adjusting to line-ups and schedule changes almost daily. Michael had just received our overnight package of the first proof of the program. At 32 pages, it was a substantial program featuring write-ups of nearly 50 performers along with interviews of the well-known, like Sheryl Crow and George Clinton, as well as the left-of-center, like Guster and The Tragically Hip. The lead for the write-ups summed up the whole endeavor: “Never in history of rock music has there been a concert that showcased such a wide range of big-name talent… Where else could you see Insane Clown Posse playing the same show as Willie Nelson?” Before Michael called, I thought about starting the conversation with how it was an honor to be working with him. But what to say? How to say it? I never had the chance. “Jim?” “Yes, Michael?” “Yes, yes. I have the proofs for the program. You got a pen and some paper? We have some changes for you.” “Some” was a vast understatement. As the call continued, the switch flipped from idol worship to a Code-Red sense of anxiety. When I hung up the phone, the program proof on my desk virtually gasped for breath, bleeding from all the scribbled edits and mark-ups. We had only a few days to make all the requested revisions – some of them major changes and additions. I felt like Wille E. Coyote from the Road Runner cartoons, having just realized I’d sped off a cliff, touching my toes to find no ground beneath me. However, after burning a few tanks of midnight oil over the next two days, we somehow made it happen. The next conversation was a drastic improvement. “We love it!” was how Michael responded to the final proof. He particularly liked the new cover designed by my high-school friend, Holly Wolfe, using the classic “Woodstock van” art of Kil Arens. Finally. I was on Cloud Nine. The job was sent to the printer the next day. That Thursday after work, I loaded my truck with concert and camping gear, then picked up my traveling companions, Kenny, and our trumpetplaying pal, AnDré Mali. A guy who often said little, AnDré was standing in the driveway, oddly dressed in a black suit and white shirt. It was 90-some degrees out and, for some reason, he looked like he was auditioning for the role of “Jules’ Son” in a sequel to Pulp Fiction. In one hand he had a small suitcase and the other a trumpet case. “What’s with AnDré,” I whispered to Kenny as we loaded their gear. “He wants to jam with some of the musicians,” Kenny shrugged, wordlessly admitting to the impossibility. I figured that along the way to Woodstock 99, I had to be the one to gently break it to AnDré that he wasn’t going to get the opportunity to rock out with Rage Against the Machine — or anyone else outside of our campground. The last thing I wanted was to come home to a scolding phone call from Michael Lang or one of his acolytes about how one of the backstage passes ended up in the hands of a naïve horn player who snuck his way onstage during what was then the largest Pay-Per-View music production ever. 30 FEBRUARY 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
MY WOODSTOCK EXPERIENCE continued from page 27
We were able to get in early that Thursday night and set up camp. The Woodstock 99 team had converted an old airfield into modern festival grounds with two main stages serving as bookends to the mile-long runway. The next morning, we woke up to find folks pouring in — with tents set up all around ours. After a promising performance by Jamiroquai shortly after noon, the three of us agreed to split up, as I had a few business details to sort out, and Kenny and AnDré wanted to catch the sights. The heat bore down as the day went on and, after The Roots’ lateafternoon act, I took shelter back at the tent. I woke up about an hour later to Kenny’s elated voice. “Jim!” he hollered through the outside of my tent. “Get up! AnDré is going to be playing with P-Funk!” At first, I thought it was a joke. But as I stumbled out of both my tent and my sense of delirium, I realized Kenny was serious. “What?” The sun had already set, and under the stars we rushed to West Stage while Kenny recounted the story of how they had gone backstage and bumped into Shock G of Digital Underground and some of the members of Parliament/Funkadelic. Shock G and AnDré hit it off, and after an onthe-spot audition, our trumpet-playing companion was inducted. We got there early to get close to the stage. The show kicked off and, sure enough, about 49 minutes in — during an epic rendition of “Flashlight” — AnDré waltzed on stage with his trumpet to join the horn section. He even got the chance to add a jazzy horn solo. It was incredible! Somehow AnDré’s wildest of bets had paid off. Because we all had to work Monday, we opted to leave halfway through Sunday’s schedule. We saw Al Green, Willie Nelson, and Elvis Costello, then split. The ride home was filled with opinions about what shows stood out and which ones fizzled. And, of course, another first-hand account of AnDré’s magic moment. The next morning as I was walked into the Out & About office, a coworker asked how I was doing. “Fine. Why?” “You didn’t hear? There were major fires at the concert last night. Massive destruction!” My heart sank. Hope felt lost. Why did it have to end that way?
I’m not going to pretend to have known Michael Lang. Other than what I’ve read and seen in documentaries, I know very little about who he really was. What I do know is that somehow the same guy who helped birth one of the greatest concerts of all time — if not the greatest — also had a large hand in such a disaster that it became the subject of a 2021 HBO documentary called Woodstock 99: Love, Peace, and Rage. In retrospect, it’s painfully apparent that the Woodstock 99 promoters made some poor decisions. It would be easy to suggest that the Michael Lang who opted to build a stage over ticket booths in 1969 did the exact opposite in 1999. Although I don’t believe that perspective, I don’t have the answers to what exactly went wrong. Maybe they reached too far. Maybe they aimed too high. Maybe they should have foreseen the difference between six-month pregnant Joan Baez opening her 1969 Woodstock set with “Oh! Happy Day!” and Korn performing the heavy-metal rocker “Freak on a Leash” 30 years later. Sure, Michael Lang isn’t responsible for creating the angry musical mood of the late ‘90s. But he did choose to amplify it. And, in my own way, so did I. But the world needs fools and dreamers. We need the Michael Langs who, when faced with the choice, decide to build stages over ticket booths. And, of course, we need the AnDrés who feel pulled to the world’s stage, to play their many parts. We all need music. We all want to feel connected and heard. Deep down we all want to go back to the garden and rage against the dying of the light. Maybe next time, we’ll get it right.
Platinum Dining Group Director of Operations Bryan Jariwala (right) with bartender Demetrius McCary at their Taverna location in North Wilmington. Photo by Butch Comegys
Food for Thought Too often, diversity in the hospitality industry is in the kitchen
By Pam George
hen Bryan Jariwala was 15, he got a job in a Union Street ice cream shop. “I was washing dishes and scooping ice cream,” he recalls. Today, he is the director of operations for Platinum Dining Group, a hospitality company with six New Castle County restaurants. “The inclusiveness of our industry allows, quite frankly, anyone to be successful if they work hard and they want to be successful,” says Jariwala, whose Indian-born parents owned a liquor store near the ice cream shop. The numbers bear him out. According to the National Restaurant Association, nine in 10 restaurant managers started in entry-level positions, and eight in 10 restaurant owners were once entry-level hospitality workers. Restaurants employ more minority managers than any other industry, the association reports. Many owners value the mix. “When you get diverse backgrounds and approaches, you have a better product — it makes us stronger,” says Lee Mikles, co-owner of Grain Craft Kitchen and Bar. ► FEBRUARY 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 31
FOOD FOR THOUGHT continued from previous page
Wit Milburn has had a diverse front-of-the-house staff since he opened, but says he sees himself as an American-owned business. Out & About file photo/Moonloop Photography
Pick-Up Between 2-4pm, Sunday 2/13
Jariwala agrees. “There’s a lot of value in having individuals with different backgrounds. It’s really cool, and you get to learn about their culture and what’s near and dear to them.” But for the most part, a restaurant’s melting pot is in the kitchen. A study by Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, a labor advocacy group, found that the majority of workers receiving the highest pay — typically servers and bartenders — were predominately white. (White men receive a higher salary than women, regardless of their color.) While discrimination undoubtedly exists, the reasons for the disparity aren’t necessarily due to racism, and they’re complex.
A Case for Comfort
Many restaurant owners just want to hire the right person for the job. “Platinum Dining Group hires good people,” agrees Demetrius McCary, a bartender at the company’s Taverna in North Wilmington and Eclipse in Wilmington’s Little Italy. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re black, white, brown or blue. If you’re good at your job, it doesn’t matter.” However, more than a few restaurants maintain that they don’t get many BIPOC (Black, indigenous, people of color) applicants for front-of-the-house jobs. Admittedly, that’s not the case in many mom-and-pop ethnic eateries. “In my experience, a Spanish-speaking person will feel more comfortable working for a Spanish-speaking owner,” says Javier Acuna, president and owner of Hakuna Hospitality Group. Most people want to feel a sense of belonging, which helps if you share the same culture and language. Most of the applicants for jobs at Crystal’s Comfort Food in Middletown are African American teens, says owner Crystal Ashby, who is happy that workers look like the owners. But she knows of at least five minority-owned restaurateurs who put Caucasian employees in the front of the house to appeal to white customers. Torbert Street Social in Wilmington has an increasingly diverse staff, partly due to Willie Anderson, the bartender and general manager. He follows the hiring protocols established by the parent company, Big Fish Restaurant Group. But he also reaches out to friends in the Black and African American community to let them know he’s hiring.
The Right Place
Torbert Street Social is in Wilmington’s downtown district, and location can influence diversity. Similarly, Ubon Thai Kitchen 32 FEBRUARY 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM | InWilmDE.com
& Bar on the Wilmington Riverfront has had a diverse front of the house since it opened, says owner Wit Milburn. He doesn’t know if that’s because minorities own the restaurant. “I just see myself as an American-owned business,” he says. But a restaurant in the affluent suburbs may lack the same representation. That was Anderson’s experience when he worked in Kennett Square eateries. “If a restaurant is located where there is a high volume of minorities, chances are you will see more minorities working for that restaurant,” Acuna says. He added that if only 10% of the residents in an area are Latino or African American, the chances are that less than 10% of the staff of restaurants in that area will be a minority. Dana Herbert, owner of Desserts by Dana, agrees. “If it’s an area that doesn’t have as many minorities, we’ll certainly see that reflected in the staffing — just because there’s a local pool of people that they’re pulling from,” he explains. McCary is an exception to that theory. He lives in Philadelphia. “I don’t have to work for Platinum, but I respect what I do,” he says.
The Right Stuff
The gregarious McCary is also in the right job. The bartender position is one of the most coveted. “You have a lot more freedom, and, generally, the bartender makes a little more money — it’s a job everyone looks forward to getting,” says McCary, who started with Platinum as a busser. Going from busser to bartender takes ambition, regardless of color. “I’m a competitive person,” McCary says.
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Johnson & Wales graduate Dana Herbert says there is a noticeable lack of minorities in college hospitality management programs. Photo courtesy Dana Herbert
Acuna started serving when he was studying engineering. “I knew on the inside that I wanted to work my way up,” Acuna says. But it’s not necessarily easy for people of color. The adage “you need to be twice as good to get half as much” still has legs, says Ashby, who regularly recites it to her four sons. “I want to get them to understand the world we live in.” Few would argue that working in the front of a restaurant requires patience, poise and social skills, making the higherpaying front-of-the-house positions harder to land — regardless of color. “You need to be extroverted,” McCary says. Interviewing for these jobs is rigorous, he adds. ►
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All that can intimidate some applicants, particularly if they speak English as a second language. Those from another culture may feel uncomfortable describing an unfamiliar cuisine to a guest. Consequently, people talk themselves out of applying for higher-paying positions.
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Kitchen employees, meanwhile, don’t need to worry about minding their Ps and Qs in front of paying customers. “The personality in the back of the house is totally different,” Acuna says. Although rare, some employees move from the kitchen to the dining room. One such employee with Hakuna Hospitality is now in a high-level position. But when Acuna has asked some if they’d like to try serving or receive management training, they balk; they’d rather stay in their comfort zone. At Taverna, one kitchen cook moved to a server position. But he bucked the norm. “I’ve worked with a lot of people in the kitchen, and they don’t necessarily want to be in the front of the house,” Jariwala says. “You have to want to talk to people.” Even in the front of the house, he’s seen bussers prefer to stay in a lowerpaying job because they don’t want to interact with guests.
Bartender and general manager Willie Anderson makes it a priority to have a diverse staff at Torbert Street Social. Photo courtesy Big Fish Restaurant Group
Changing with the Times
So how does the industry increase diversity in the front of the house? Start young. Children need role models. “My husband and I own a business, and we’re teaching our children about it,” Ashby says. “The culture we came from, the schooling we came from — they didn’t teach that.” Having parents in the hospitality industry can be a plus. “If your father is a manager of a very successful restaurant, maybe your kids will take a serious look at being a restaurant manager,” Herbert says. “He is providing for his family, and it can be lucrative. When I was coming up and in school, I didn’t think of it as an option; I didn’t know anybody who was a manager.” Mentorship isn’t limited to parenting. Ashby wants her teenage employees to look back on their time with Crystal’s Comfort Food and consider it among the best experiences of their lives. Herbert, who graduated from the University of Delaware’s hotel, restaurant and institutional management program before getting a culinary degree from Johnson & Wales University, says there aren’t as many people of color in college hospitality management programs as there are white students. Increased training in management and front-of-the-house skills in a pre-college setting or vocational program can help. Instead, many initiatives for low-income students or adults emphasize culinary skills. There are exceptions. For instance, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s ProStart program teaches culinary techniques and management skills to high school students. Everyone, regardless of color, should have access to the same job opportunities, Acuna maintains. Those openings have increased since the pandemic altered the industry’s landscape. Nationally, industry employment is down 3.1 million from expected levels. Seemingly every eatery is looking for help. Before the pandemic, front-of-the-house positions at popular restaurants didn’t turn over as frequently as kitchen jobs. That’s changed at some establishments, which might be more willing to hire people without the requisite skillset and train them. “This is the time to move up,” Acuna says. “This is the time to seize your opportunity. If ever there was a time in your life where you could do better, it’s now, because the opportunities are out there for anybody willing to work hard and learn.” FEBRUARY 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 35
Worlds Upon Worlds The world premiere of Other World at Delaware Theatre Company unites award-winning global talents By Jim Miller
elaware Theatre Company is unveiling something extraordinary this month, and as an international effort p brought forth by some of the top names in theater, music, choreography and film, it will be arriving in a very big way. Starting February 23, the world premiere of the musical Other World explores both the virtual and emotional connections of online gaming, while chronicling the adventures of friends Sri and Lorraine, who are mysteriously uploaded into the land of Sri’s favorite game.
The creators of Other World say the theme is a first for the world of theater. “I hadn’t seen a cool musical about gaming,” says Hunter Bell, one of the show’s founding creators. “I hadn’t seen that world. And I was like, ‘Why is online gaming a billiondollar industry? And why has that not permeated into the theatrical world?’” Bell, a Tony-nominated playwright, points out that live theater has reimagined other elements of pop-culture — movies, television, comic books — but Other World is the first musical to interpret online gaming. To bring the high-tech production to stage, showrunners employed top artists from around the planet. “In creating a world, you really want to be collaborating with people who are experts in visual storytelling and oral storytelling,” says Other World director Adrienne Campbell-Holt. “And the team of designers on this show is really top-notch.” Campbell-Holt isn’t exaggerating when she speaks of the
puppeteers from NYC’s AchesonWalsh Studios, the same minds who impressively brought four-legged friends to life in the Tony Award-winning play Warhorse; or when she talks about New Zealand’s Weta Workshop, the Oscar Award-winning art directors who help bring stunning visuals to blockbuster films like Avatar and The Lord of the Rings. “I feel very lucky to be a part of this show,” says CampbellHolt, herself a recipient of the Lucille Lortel Visionary Director Award. “I'm just so excited that in terms of design and storytelling, this is innovative in every way.” Regarding her initial discovery that she would be working with Weta Workshop, Campbell-Holt adds, “Oh, [I was] so excited… this is, I believe, their first foray into live theater.” Another acclaimed contributor that the Other World team can boast is multi-talented choreographer Karla Puno Garcia, who performed for four years in the Broadway blockbuster Hamilton: An American Musical, then worked again with that show’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, as a choreographer on last year’s critically acclaimed Netflix hit, Tick, Tick… Boom! ► FEBRUARY 2022
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WORLDS UPON WORLDS continued from previous page For Puno Garcia, one of the appealing aspects of this production is the freedom given to each of the creators in terms of helping shape the overall story. “We’re all creating this world together,” Puno Garcia says. “I think that movement can beautifully tell this story and bring these characters to life. So, I’m really grateful to be a part of this team that allows me to do that. “The team has embraced movement, and how we can really use [movement] as a strong vehicle for showing these characters in their different lights and their different perspectives.”
Something Old, Something New
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Campbell-Holt uses the term “primitive future” to describe the essence of Other World. Some of the artists have interpreted this juxtaposition as an open window from which they can pull elements from the past — even their personal heritage or experiences — and reinterpret them in the more futuristic setting of the online-gaming landscape of Other World. In choreographing the gaming fight sequences, Puno Garcia explored specific elements of her Filipino ancestry. Although not a fight choreographer, she was excited to have a chance to do that for the musical’s online-game action pieces. So, during the pandemic, she learned martial arts. “My parents are Filipino, and my dad would talk about Filipino martial arts a lot,” Puno Garcia says. “And it just clicked: This is an opportunity for me to bring what resonates with me, what comes naturally, and what I’m what I’m interested in — because it’s innately in me. “I’m not putting a stamp that says [these characters are] Filipino martial artists. But my dance vocabulary in some of the fight scenes is colored with the training that I had over the past year in Filipino martial arts. “Filipino martial arts are very prevalent in a lot of films. You can see [that style] and be like, ‘Oh, I recognize that.’” For Puno Garcia, the experience was gratifying because, based on her experiences, not every theater production allows as much creative freedom and input as Other World has. “It’s another reflection of the team and how welcoming they are to bringing yourself to the work,” the choreographer says. Musician Ann McNamee feels similarly about the amount of freedom and artistic support: “[Everyone at] Delaware Theatre Company, they’ve just given us all the latitude in a wonderful way,” she says. McNamee drew from her Polish roots when developing certain parts of the score to Other World. In early conversation revolving around the idea of “primitive future,” she recalled a “primitive and ancient Polish folk mode” she learned about years ago when studying for her PhD at Yale. “The Polish scale is called the Podhalean mode, from the foothills of the Tatras in the south of Poland, where half my family came from.” McNamee says. “I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, 20 years ago, I worked on the scale that was sharp four and
DELIVERING DEPENDABLE DESIGN FOR MORE THAN The creative force behind the musical Other World includes (clockwise from bottom-left corner): choreographer Karla Puno Garcia; musicians and lyricists Jeff Bowen and Ann McNamee; writer Hunter Bell; and director Adrienne Campbell-Holt. Photo provided.
flat seven. We should incorporate this unusual primitive scale.’ “Never dreamt in a million years something so obscure would make it into a musical theatre piece!” In developing the music for the show, McNamee worked closely with co-composer and co-lyricist Jeff Bowen, who shared his appreciation for the productions “open source” approach to development. “There has been this sort of constant sense of ‘Let’s try it, let’s go for it, let’s give it a shot,’ which is not [typical],” Bowen says. “Usually, you’re much more confined when you’re creating commercial art. But we’ve had the encouragement from all of the departments to just go for it.” When asked to describe the show in one word, Bowen chooses the word “boundless.” “I’m speaking as a creator,” Bowen explains, “and I don't know if that’s what the audience will interpret: a sense of adventure that seems infinite in scope.”
Genesis of the World
Although Bowen doesn’t mention drawing from his family’s ancestry when exploring the concept of “primitive future,” he did dig deeply into his own history for the production. At the center of Other World is the story of how Sri and Lorraine try to save the world of a MMO [massive multiplayer online-game] from being shut down by its corporate overlords. The plots mirrors Bowen’s personal experiences playing a popular online game called City of Heroes, developed by Cryptic Studios in 2004 then unceremoniously shut down by the game’s publisher NCSoft in 2012. “I had invested all this time and met this great community online,” Bowen admits. “And I didn’t know these people faceto-face. I’d never been with them. I played this hero called Arctic Prince — who was basically a superhero who had weather powers — and flew around on adventures with these people from all over the planet who I was gaming with. “Then, out of nowhere, the company that managed the site said, ‘We’re shutting the game down.’ And I went through a whole myriad of new feelings. I was so confused and angry. ►
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— The world premiere of Other World runs from February 23 to March 30 at Delaware Theatre Company. For tickets and more information visit DelawareTheatre.org.
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continued from previous page “I realized I had spent so much time investing in the creation of this character and meeting people via this avatar that I was playing online. And it seemed incomprehensible that that could all just go away.” Bell gained second-hand experience of online gaming from Bowen, his longtime friend. This experience eventually sowed the seeds for Other World, he admits. “I had watched Jeff play games, and I would sit kind of in the backseat while he was driving the game,” Bell says. “And I was like, ‘This is fascinating.’ “Connecting with people online… it’s much more in the zeitgeist now, of course, because of the pandemic — how we connect virtually. But this was prepandemic, [and Jeff was] connecting with gamers — folks he did not know. I was fascinated by people making connections, creating identities, and having a life experience online through an avatar creation, to say nothing to the connection of the chosen family.” Campbell-Holt believes these aspects of connection and chosen family are what power the soul of Other World. The two themes were evident even behind the scenes when the creative team first adapted to the pandemic back in 2020. “Hunter said on the first day of rehearsal, ‘It feels sort of appropriate that we’re meeting virtually for our first rehearsal,’” the director says. “This is a show about virtual connection. And obviously, we’ve all gotten much more fluent in connecting virtually over Zoom and the like during the pandemic. “The stories that that [Other World] brings together, it’s the intersection of so many different perspectives, because the gaming community is so diverse. Our show really aims to put an incredible variety of those characters on stage.”
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WMPH gives Mount Pleasant students on-air experience while preparing them for potential careers in media. Photos courtesy Brandywine School District
Airing Things Out Mount Pleasant High’s WMPH 91.7 puts students in the drive-time seat By Ken Mammarella
ozens of Mount Pleasant High School students share their favorite songs and their most important concerns in an old-style but in-the-moment form: on the radio, specifically Super 91.7 WMPH. About 50 students who take radio journalism classes or belong to the WMPH Radio Club are also learning about potential media careers. “I love music so much, particularly classic rock,” said Vannah, a sophomore interviewed during a club meeting, pointing out her ELO T-shirt. “And I wanted to be part of the radio business.” She already has a weekly show named after the Traveling Wilburys.
“I thought it would be fun,” said Lucas, a freshman. “I wanted to share some of my favorites,” which for his “I Was Born in the Wrong Generation” show means songs more than 10 years old. “I was curious,” said Nana, another freshman. “And I jump into things I’m curious about. It’s cool.” Student are identified only with first names for WMPH programs, for their protection, explained Paul Wishengrad, the radio station manager and a career and technology education teacher at the North Wilmington school. That’s why their surnames are largely not used in this article. ►
FEBRUARY 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 41
WMPH, owned by the Brandywine School District, broadcasts locally at 91.7 FM and streams to the world at www.wmph.net and via the Simple Radio app. Its format has changed multiple times since it began in 1969 as Delaware’s first high school radio station, and its operation hasn’t been continuous, including a year dark during renovation a decade ago. It now features classic rock, alternative rock, R&B, pop, jazz and community affairs, along with programming from National Public Radio. Students develop the programming, with the help of Wishengrad, an advisory board and an audience request list that goes from Aaliyah to ZZ Top. Its schedule includes almost 20 programs. The biggest chunk is just labeled “WMPH music with halfpasts.” Half-pasts refer to the students’ journalism, segments usually running a few minutes long and scheduled around half-past the hour. The next-largest commitment is to NPR on weekdays, for its “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered” and “Marketplace.” There is also mentoring from and interning with Delaware Public Media, an NPR member station, plus “The Green,” a show on “the First State of mind.” “Student Voices,” which mixes student journalism with music, runs six days a week. Two “Black History Audio Research Projects” are every weeknight. Black history last year became a year-round part of the lineup. “I guess it seemed antiquated, old-fashioned to restrict these kids’ research projects — these sincere, serious music tributes,
42 FEBRUARY 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
AIRING THINGS OUT essays and studies about Black continued from previous page innovators and influencers — to ONLY the shortest and coldest month of the year!” Wishengrad said, referring to Black History Month. Mark Rogers’ “Hometown Heroes,” a show that for more than 20 years has featured conversations with local musicians and their music, runs twice a week. WMPH also broadcasts live from school sporting events, with video on its YouTube channel. Listeners can stream some content on demand. WMPH’s podcast homepage lists a dozen podcasts, including Senior Sage
Station manager Paul Wishengrad (center) teaches three levels of radio journalism and says WMPH is empowering students to be successful in college.
ww Duarte’s reporting on volunteering in an age of COVID-19, a podcast that won first place in the Delaware Press Association High School Communications Contest and the followup contest run by the National Federation of Press Women. More podcasts are organized on pages labeled BSD Playlist (named for the school district), Public Affairs Shows, Student Music Shows, Green Knights Radio Sports, the Great Thanksgiving Listen (reminiscing inspired by StoryCorps), WMPH Club and the Carline Conversation, Wishengrad (known as Paul Lewis when he was at B101.1 and WJBR) teaches three levels of radio journalism, progressing from personal essays and opinion pieces to researched and balanced reporting. “They’re first learning to communicate and find their voice,” he said. “Everybody is a broadcaster, but not everyone is a journalist.” That’s why students learn the importance of who, what, where, when and why. They also learn to understand their audience, as exemplified in “The Carline Show,” which airs at 3:15 p.m. weekdays “while you’re waitin’ in that carline, Mom,” its webpage explains. Their journalism is largely about “all kinds of things that are important to them,” Wishengrad said, noting that the school dress code is always a hot-button issue. And the skills will help no matter careers students pursue. “We’re empowering kids to be successful in college, where they’re more rigorous about reading and writing,” Wishengrad said. He believes the station is part of the reason that Mount Pleasant is Delaware’s top general public high school, with U.S. News & World Report ranking only charter and themed high schools above it. (Only one other Delaware high school has a radio station: McKean’s EDge Radio, WMHS 88.1 FM.) “Radio is still an important factor in today’s mix of media” said Mike Rossi, a WMPH board member and veteran Delaware broadcaster who is now an onair personality at WJBR. “Audio production is important for emerging technologies, podcasts and radio journalism.” WMPH “is laying the foundation for students’ careers,” he said. And he should know. He’s a WMPH alumnus.
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Mixing It Up
Canned cocktails appear here to stay as many consumers see them as an easy and less-filling alternative to beer By Kevin Noonan
t’s hard to imagine an old, classic movie where Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn are in a restaurant, order cocktails and sit back as their waiter hands them a couple of cans. But this is the 21st Century and times — and tastes — have changed. Ready-to-drink cocktails are the fastest growing alcohol product in the country right now, and beverage companies and industry experts are predicting even more growth in the future. That doesn’t mean canned cocktails are taking over the world. According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, canned cocktails make up just a little more than three percent of liquor sales in this country. But their popularity and growth are
undeniable: Bank of America Securities, which analyses markets nationwide, forecasts the sale of canned cocktails will reach $3 billion to $4 billion over the next few years. And that growth was phenomenal in the last year or so. John Leyh, craft and specialty brand manager at NKS Distributors in New Castle, says his company sold an astounding 482 percent more canned cocktails in 2021 than it did in 2020. “I don’t have a crystal ball and there’s really no way to say what the future holds, in terms of market growth of canned cocktails,” Leyh says. “But I don’t think there’s any question that canned cocktails are becoming more and more popular and they’re here to stay.” ►
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Kelly's Logan House general manager Joe Mujica says the Dewey Crush is the first canned cocktail to become popular among their regulars.
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“RTD (ready-to-drink) canned cocktails will continue to grow,” says Victor Mattai, craft beer manager at Breakthru Beverage Group. “It’s a relatively small category, so there’s a lot of room to grow that segment.” A big reason for that phenomenal growth the past year — perhaps the biggest reason — was the Covid-19 pandemic. Because so many bars and restaurants were closed when the pandemic began, and because people were hesitant to leave the comfort and security of their own homes even when businesses were open, canned cocktails gave them their favorite mixed drink without the hassles and risk of mixing with strangers. Not only can canned cocktails be consumed at home, the complexity of some cocktails makes them more convenient. Different drinks take different ingredients and it’s a lot easier to have, say, a four-pack of canned margaritas in your refrigerator than to keep tequila and (depending on your favorite recipe) lime juice, triple sec, Cointreau, agave syrup or orange liqueur stored in your liquor cabinet. Another reason for the growth of canned cocktails is many consumers are getting tired of heavier drinks such as craft beer. That fatigue has been largely responsible for the dramatic increase in the sales of alcoholic seltzers, hard teas and hard ciders as people seek alternatives. Canned cocktails are now one of those alternatives. “Craft beers really took off in the early 2000s,” says Joe Mujica, the general manager of Kelly’s Logan House in Wilmington’s Trolley Square neighborhood. “But now we find other things are becoming more popular as more product becomes available. And canned cocktails are really starting to carve out their niche in the marketplace. “For a lot of people, it’s become an alternative to beer,” Mujica adds. “Young people, especially, seem to like having different alternatives and they tend to be more interested in trying new things. Canned cocktails are stronger than beer and some people find them more refreshing.” Count Bob Kucerak, a “30-something” from Brandywine Hundred, among those people. He was recently at Branmar Liquors off Marsh Road, and instead of getting his usual 12-pack of beer, he was buying two four-packs of canned cocktails from one of the leading producers of them, Cutwater Spirits. On this day, his choices were Vodka Smash and Tequila Margarita. “Sometimes you just get tired of beer and want something different,” he says. “In the past, I’d get an [alcoholic] seltzer or
tea, but [canned cocktails] give you more bang for your buck, so to speak. They’re lighter and less filling than beer, but you still feel like you’re drinking a real drink, a real cocktail.” Mujica says the first canned cocktail to become popular at Kelly’s Logan House was Dewey Crush, an orange-flavored vodka drink (it also comes in ruby red grapefruit and watermelon). “It took us about a week to realize that we had something special there,” he says. “I think name recognition had something to do with it — everyone knows about Dewey Beach and places like The Starboard — but that only gets you so far. People keep buying it and other canned cocktails because they like the taste and the convenience. You can take a canned cocktail to the pool or the golf course or the beach, any place where you can’t have glass.” Even though everyone is getting in on the act, Leyh says breweries have a big advantage over distilleries when it comes to producing and marketing canned cocktails. Breweries already have the capabilities to can their product, since they already do so with beers, whereas distilleries have to refit their factories since most of their traditional product comes in either glass or plastic bottles. As for the bars and restaurants that serve canned cocktails, it costs those establishments more to sell them compared to mixing the drinks themselves, but as Leyh puts it, those places will settle “for a fast nickel rather than a slow dime.” And the reason for that is something that has been dragging down many businesses — staffing shortages. “That’s been especially prevalent in restaurants,” Leyh said. “Bar managers are saying that they’d rather sell [canned cocktails]. It might cost me a little more, but getting the speed and the consistency is more important. If I’m short-staffed, I want to get the drinks to the customers as quickly as possible because you don’t want people standing four-deep at a bar waiting for you to mix their drink with all of the different ingredients that go into it. “Instead, serving a canned cocktail, with all of that preparation already done, gets the drinks out more quickly and, in the long run, is more profitable for them, even if it does cost more up front.”
303 W 8th St., Wilmington, DE 19801
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CONGRATULATIONS TO DANNY KATZ — LAST MONTH’S WINNER!
WIN A $50 GIFT CARD TO PIZZA BY ELIZABETHS!
Fill in the You know the drill: (1) Ask your friends to help “fill in the blanks” for the missing words needed below. (2) Once completed, read aloud and watch hilarity ensue. (3) Got a funny one? Take a photo and send it to us at Contact@OutAndAboutNow.com. Best one wins a $50 Gift Card to Pizza By Elizabeths (One entry per person; must be 21 or older to enter). Have fun!
VALENTINE’S DINNER “Hey, Honey! It’s me!” “Oh, (
), it’s so (
first name of friend
morning. I’m having a really (
“Well, I’m sorry to hear that, (
) to hear your voice on the phone this
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silly term of affection
reservations for two tonight at Chez (
last name of another friend
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How did you score at table there for Valentine’s Day?” “Turns out, my ( to (
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silly term of affection
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We’ll take it home and eat it together — if you know what I mean…” “Oh boy! Now you’re (
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FEBRUARY 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
THE CITY CITY ARPA FUNDS TO AID NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION
ilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki last month announced plans for an anticipated $50M residential redevelopment and stabilization plan—the most ambitious housing and neighborhood plan in the City’s history. The Mayor said the effort will include investments in new construction, full rehabilitation of existing homes, façade, systems and roof improvements for current homeowners, and the demolition of dilapidated and vacant properties. Mayor Purzycki said the first phase of neighborhood redevelopment—totaling approximately $30M—will begin on the City’s historic east side in an area bounded by Walnut to Church Sts. and from 4th St. to 11th St. The Mayor said the City is engaging with the community as it moves forward because it’s important to listen to concerns and heed advice regarding improving the quality of life. Mayor Purzycki said the physical improvements to east side neighborhoods will also include 290 new and brighter streetlights to improve public safety thanks to a partnership with Delmarva Power. The Mayor said while additional crime reduction strategies will be announced soon, his Administration continues to believe that rebuilding neighborhoods can be equally effective in reducing violence. Mayor Purzycki said the ambitious east side effort requires not only a tremendous amount of resources, but unprecedented partnerships with key organizations such as the Wilm. Housing Authority, the Dela. State Housing Authority, the Central Baptist CDC, the Wilm. Neighborhood Conservancy Land Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Woodlawn Trustees, the New Castle Co. Vo-Tech School District, and Delmarva Power. The Mayor said in addition to the millions of dollars that will be spent over the next few years to stabilize and rebuild
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neighborhoods on the east side, he expects a total of $50M dollars to be invested city wide. He noted that the Administration and City Council have committed another $4M to fund workforce development by providing skills training and employment internships as well as an additional $5M community investment to assist nonprofits in restoring programming for individuals, children and families, and to launch community-based efforts to curb gun violence. The total neighborhood appropriations announced are the largest amount of funding ever committed by Wilmington to its neighborhoods and, more importantly, to the people who live in City neighborhoods. Mayor Purzycki said the east side neighborhood enhancements will be anchored by a new, statefunded, state-of-the-art Bancroft School with classes and programming for students in K-8, along with new athletic fields and after-hours programming. Gov. Carney, the Mayor said, is to be commended for his commitment to education and to students, parents, teachers, and administrators. East Side – before and after.
A SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT TO OUT & ABOUT MAGAZINE
Mayor Purzycki offered specific details regarding the east side neighborhood plans: • The City has an agreement with the Woodlawn Trustees to build 20 new houses and rehabilitate 60 homes currently owned by the Trustees. • The City has an agreement with Central Baptist CDC to fund completion of the rehabilitation of 10 houses on the east side. • tThe Wilmington Housing Authority has agreed to fully rehab 22 of their properties on the east side. • The City has an agreement with Habitat for Humanity to improve the exteriors of up to 100 properties owned by residents to include roofs, trim, windows, and doors at no cost to homeowners; Habitat also has agreed to build 20 new houses for home ownership along Bennett St. • The Wilmington Land Bank and the City will improve 10 houses currently in inventory for sale for under market value, ensuring that homeowners will have immediate equity in their homes.
East Side – before and after.
The new Bancroft School (rendering).
A SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT TO OUT & ABOUT MAGAZINE
• The City has demolished 31 dilapidated houses and will demolish and rebuild 12 more houses to be offered for sale at prices far under cost. • The City will engage the owners of the several hundred vacant properties to either improve or sell the properties so they can be converted to productive living units; the City will use every tool available to encourage positive decision making by landlord investors. • Holloway Park, an otherwise beautiful park with mature trees, unfortunately is plagued with illegal drug activity due in large measure to poor lighting; the City will erect new lighting throughout the park to ensure that this beautiful public place will be welcoming to our young people and seniors alike. • The City will ensure that minority contractors and City residents are hired to do the neighborhood work on the east side and throughout Wilmington. • To assist our youth with career opportunities, the City has signed a groundbreaking memorandum of understanding with the New Castle Co. Vo-Tech School District to teach the construction trades to 25 or more young people from local neighborhoods and pay them for on-the-job internships while they learn both in the classroom and the work site. • The City has sponsored a unique drone and virtual reality (VR) school for 20 of students who live in Wilmington; drone classes are underway and VR classes begin in March.
Wilmington is receiving $55.6M in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds over a two-year budgeting period. The Administration and City Council say their shared goal is for ARPA funds to be deployed throughout the City to help resolve some of our most pressing needs. These include neighborhood revitalization, reducing gun violence, improving education, increasing access to capital for budding entrepreneurs, training City residents for employment, and stabilizing the government’s financial condition.
FEBRUARY 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
SUPPORT OUR COMMUNITY! AUTUMN ON THE RIVERFRONT!
Get out, enjoy nature, and dine from some of your favorite restaurants! The Riverfront is a perfect venue to enjoy the outdoors and walk our 1.75 mile Riverwalk along the beautiful Christina River! Additionally, the DuPont Environmental Education Center is now open to the public. DEEC’s nature trails, including the eight-mile Jack A. Markell Trail continues to be fully operational! Get out and enjoy some quality time in nature!
DCM is open on the Riverfront Tuesday-Thursday: 10am-3pm Friday: 10am-8pm ($5 admission from 5-8pm) Saturday-Sunday: 10am-5pm Admission: $12
Membership for the entire family is just $119 for the year
(302) 654-2340 52 FEBRUARY 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
25th Anniversary In 1995, the Riverfront Development Corporation of Delaware was created to oversee the growth and restoration of the public and private land surrounding the Christina River. Formally home to shipbuilding and industrial centers, the land had become deserted and largely unusable. Thus, RDC began the process of rehabbing the landscape and working with local and regional developers to revitalize the area. Now, celebrating our 25th anniversary, Riverfront Wilmington has become one of the area’s most vibrant and exciting destinations to live, play, and work. Once a largely abandoned shipyard, the riverfront is now teeming with residences, hotels, restaurants and indoor and outdoor attractions. As we enter our 26th year — and look beyond — the Riverfront Development Corporation is thrilled to continue the expansion of the Riverfront area as we move to the east side of the river. We can’t wait to celebrate everything Riverfront Wilmington has to offer with you all year long!
MON-FRI: 9AM-6PM SAT: 9AM-4PM Stop in and enjoy fresh produce, salads, sandwiches, coffee, pizza, sushi, Mexican,Thai cuisine and much more!
The Riverfront Market
RIVERFRONT RESTAURANTS ARE OPEN
for in-house indoor and outdoor dining
Banks’ Seafood Kitchen & Raw Bar Big Fish Grill
Ciro Food & Drink
River Rock Kitchen
Taco Grande - NEW!
at the Riverfront Market!
The Juice Joint
Pachamama Peruvian Rotisserie Serena’s Soulfood
Drop Squad Kitchen
Timothy’s on the Riverfront
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
Dine-in or carry out NOW OPEN
FEBRUARY 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
Visit our website for Winter hours, pricing, and safety protocols!
PURCHASE A ONE-YEAR $119 MEMBERSHIP FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY, YOU WILL RECEIVE 4 FREE PASSES TO THE BRANDYWINE ZOO. 54 FEBRUARY 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
Top Songs from the Past 9 Shows — 1968, 1969, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1980 & ROLLING STONES
M a rc h 5 , 2 0 2 2 @ 8 p m
Get Tickets at
THE QUEEN, WILMINGTON, DE
Proceeds Support Local Music Education Programs
ALL DAY HAZE