Arts nonprofit supports artists and community during quarantine

May 10, 2020

The Developing Artist Collaboration has a model of community development through empowering the careers of individual artists by giving them resources, space and peer connection.

It encourages artists to engage in initiatives that give back to the organization and the general community in a meaningful and sustainable way.

Dirty Hands DIY is the income-generating program of the DAC where the community comes to the DIY Station in West Rehoboth or at local events to create do-it-yourself projects assisted by staff artists. The projects are easy to do for ages 7 and older and yield beautiful, one-of-a-kind useful items like home decor, candles, plant art, body scrubs, pet supplies and bottle openers.

When the quarantine started Dirty Hands could no longer sell projects at the DIY Station, and all of the DIY mobile events that were planned had to be canceled. Plans evolved to sell projects for people to make at home instead. To date, Dirty Hands DIY has sold nearly 400 DIY at home projects to buyers in 27 states and Australia.

With the income Dirty Hands has generated the DAC is dedicated to transitioning the careers of artists to a professional online presence. The DAC is offering career development services like finance and legal help, artwork digitalization, content creation, brand development, website development, social media and press support. It is offering these services for free, but is asking artists to pay it forward by volunteering their time with Dirty Hands’ programming as well as beautification and eventually, after quarantine, partnerships with the at-risk community. The DAC is offering its services to all creators, even outside of visual artists who require these services for their art to survive this transition.

Dirty Hands DIY at Home has a range of projects available for all ages. The Mother’s Day Box which is the newest project for recipients to create a candle, body scrub, indigo-dyed tea towels and a distressed picture frame either for mom or with mom. The Mother’s Day box is  $40 and the other projects range from $25-$35 with $6 flat rate shipping anywhere in the U.S. Buyers also can easily pick up free from the pick up box at the Rehoboth studio.

“Local small businesses and restaurants have always been there for us, so now we want to be there for them,” says Leah Beach, executive director and founder of the DAC. “We partner with incredible local businesses to offer DIY projects with their brand to their customer base. So far we have partnered with Crooked Hammock Brewery and Big Chill Surf Cantina. We are so excited for our next partnership which is with Dogfish Head Craft Brewery to create a bottle opener with their branding to reach their fan base at home.” The DAC organizers are eager for more local businesses to partner with to offer branded DIY projects that are easily delivered to their customer base.

“As a way to give back to our community during these tough times we will be giving Treat Yourself Kits to Beebe Healthcare and Bayhealth staff, nurses and doctors,” said Beach. “We want to create something special to remind our local heroes to take care of themselves while they are working so hard to keep us healthy and safe.” The kits will have a homemade lavender vanilla body scrub and handmade soy candle. The DAC will be giving a kit for every DIY project sold during quarantine and anticipate to deliver 250 kits to both hospitals by the end of the month.

“Our goal is to grow Dirty Hands to sell projects nationwide so we can expand our services to support more artists' careers. Our DIY projects are a fantastic and affordable option for people of all ages to get creative,” said Beach. “This is a tough time for artists, but innovation and change are how the artists’ careers are going to not only survive but thrive through these uncertain times.”

For artists who want more information about services, go to or email For more information about or to make a purchase from Dirty Hands, go to

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