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photo: James 'Ray' Rhodes, Executive DirectorGreetings and Universal salutations! “What's on the inside?” This is a question I can vividly remember asking Dr. Tabibi (my Physics Professor) when I was prompted to 'extend the lesson' during one of my undergraduate class meetings while at Hampton University. Dr. Tabibi was using the 'glass half full or empty' analogy with one of his lessons while attempting to get the class to grasp the concepts he was teaching concerning the weight of certain liquids. You see, although the liquid was clear, it wasn't quite clear what the liquid was.

As our Christina Cultural Arts Center village continues on this voyage to our next round of accomplishments and achievements, our journeys have propelled us through yet another impactful and exciting summer where I am inspired to continue raising and answering the question of “What's on the inside?,” knowing that ultimately, internal fruits will be revealed for all to see. Throughout the course of my day, no matter which direction I turn, I am constantly reminded of what's on the inside of our dedicated faculty, staff, students, and other stakeholders who support our mission. Fresh off the heels of launching our inaugural 'H. Raye Jones Avery Summer Arts Intensive,' we witnessed fifteen amazing students come together for three weeks of instruction in dance and music which culminated in a showcase performed by the multi-talented students. We also shared in the joys of witnessing (5) of our Future Entrepreneur interns announce their college choices and we welcomed Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester and Senator Carper for visits detailing the proposed use of the $4.5M in ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) capital funding we received and for which they along with Senator Coons were tireless advocates.

In the fall, we will be expanding our 'HeArt Under the Hoodie' program to the halls of A.I. DuPont Middle School and working on establishing a collaboration with Cab Calloway School of the Arts. All of this while strengthening our current collaboration with Kuumba Academy and the many other partners operating in the arts and education spaces. On September 16th, we are partnering with The Grand Opera House to bring this year's version of 'Soul of the City' while acknowledging the 50-year anniversary of Hip Hop, and on September 30th, we will be presenting the incomparable Christie Dashiell live at Christina. Also, in the coming weeks, we will be having a ribbon cutting and grand opening of our new Tech Center, a multi-dimensional space that will allow us to continue to close the digital divide experienced by black and brown students while providing vital access to this critical need. All of this will be surrounded by our anticipated purchase of a new facility for growth and expansion with the use of the aforementioned ARPA funding.

What's on the inside? In most instances, what's on the inside tells a different story than what's on the surface. It reveals the true spirit, heart, and soul of any subject, liquid, or matter. We invite everyone to come and explore what we are doing by scheduling a tour to see the ongoing and pending upgrades and meet our dynamic faculty. What's on the inside? We invite everyone to enroll in one of our School of the Arts classes in music, dance, and drama and connect with phenomenal teachers and other musical, dance, and drama scholars. What's on the inside? We still have seats available in our Early Childhood Education Academy for 3-5-year-old preschool scholars where they will be aggressively put on track to be kindergarten ready.

What's on the inside? An unrelenting HOPE that continues to drive us; deep-rooted KNOWLEDGE that fuels our paths; a persistent and piercing PASSION that resonates in all that we do and voices of sound and soulful INSPIRATION from our past that motivate us to continue empowering underserved communities through arts education.

Enjoy the upcoming fall season and all that awaits!!

James "Ray" Rhodes, Executive Director

As we continue to navigate the many health and social challenges associated with COVID-19, our number-one priority is the health and safety of ALL who enter our facility. Without healthy supporters, our mission is severely compromised.

In this regard, Christina Cultural Arts Center is highly encouraging everyone to wear masks upon entering the facility but it is no longer mandatory. Wearing a mask provides a greater level of protection that assists in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other potential viruses. In addition to this policy, we are highly encouraging staff to be tested regularly for COVID-19.

Please direct any questions or concerns to my attention at 302.652.0101.

Be safe, be well!

James "Ray" Rhodes, Executive Director

Delaware Division of the Arts Delaware Division of the Arts Delaware Division of the Arts DDA

Delaware Division of the Arts

This organization 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