After a successful inaugural summer in 2021, Developing Artist Collaboration’s West Side Creative Market is set to reopen for a second year Monday, May 30.
It’s at the corner of Central Street and Canal Crossing Road in West Rehoboth, and DAC founder Leah Beach said she’s excited to bring back the outdoor marketplace for another summer. There have been some significant improvements to the layout of the market, she said.
“Last year, when it rained or there was any wind, we had to cancel,” said Beach, who doesn’t expect that to be the case this year.
DAC has invested $80,000 in the open-air market to improve the experience of vendors and customers. The primary improvement is a permanent stable-like structure so artists don’t have to worry about tents.
“It’s basically like little individual shops,” said Beach. “Artists will be able to come in and set up their area the way they want.”
Other improvements to the market include a larger footprint to hold more artists, a grassy area in the center to improve the overall vibe and a full-service bar in the middle. All liquor sales will be donation-based, said Beach.
There will be all types of creatives at the market. There were 100 artists that applied and the only real rule, Beach said, is that things are handmade.
“We’ve got some fun ones coming this year,” she said.
In addition to being open on Mondays like last summer, the market will also open every other Wednesday for Sound Bite Wednesdays and every other Friday for Fine Art Fridays.
It’s about creating experiences that will bring in different groups of people, Beach said.
“We’re going to get really funky with it, and there’s always going to be something for the kids,” said Beach.
Hours of operation for all three market nights are 5 to 9 p.m. For more information, go to developingarts.org, call 302-604-2351 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
West Rehoboth Legacy Mural
DAC announced almost a year ago that it was undertaking a mural project on a long, 8-foot-tall cinderblock wall near its home base on the corner of Central and Malloy streets. The mural, according to an August 2021 press release, will be “an innovative educational mural experience to illustrate history and create a public understanding of the importance of West Rehoboth.” Multigenerational West Rehoboth native and nationally renowned artist Terrance Vann is creating the mural.
Beach has been working with Vann, Vann’s dad Antoine Vann, Vann’s grandmother Lucille Hood, West Side New Beginnings’ Brenda Milbourne and Diaz Bonville, and lifelong resident Waynne Paskins.
The collaborative group was wrapping up details of the mural during a recent meeting at West Side New Beginnings. The goal is to bring something vibrant, something that pops off the wall, said Terrance.
The wall will be separated into three segments and will include images of long-forgotten buildings and people who were important to the history of the community; areas of town where only people of color were allowed to go; and depictions of people who are helping shape the community into the future.
Terrance said he hopes the mural serves as a launching point for the longtime residents of West Rehoboth to share their stories so the community can truly be recognized.
This could serve as a great stimulus, he said.
Beach said once the mural is complete, QR codes will be added to different sections of the scenes, which will provide a more detailed verbal history of the images on the wall.
The expectation is to have the mural completed in time for a Juneteenth celebration in June, said Beach.