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Delaware Art Museum offers expanded literary programming

Delaware Public Media

The Delaware Art Museum is working to become the literary “heart” of Wilmington.


The Museum is expanding on its successful Wilmington Writers Conference.

Lead Museum associate Jessa Mendez says the Delaware Art Museum is now an official independent bookstore, following the closing of Wilmington’s Ninth Street Book Shop.

Mendez says the Museum bookstore offers a variety of books in addition to its usual assortment of gifts and souvenirs. But she notes the bookstore is a little different, because it is a small space connected to the Museum.


“We have merchandise in part, through our collection and our special exhibition. One of the really fun things is interpreting the artwork in literary form," said Mendez. "In addition to catalogs, we’ll have books, non-fiction, fiction and children’s books that tie in some way to the theme of the exhibitions or the overarching themes of our overall collections.”


Mendez notes it now offers more than books interpreting the artwork in literary form.


"We have some local and regional authors like Sarah McBride, Erin Entrada Kelly," said Mendez. "It’s really nice to support them; David Teague is another one. So we carry books from people who are in the area who are doing wonderful things, as well. So that’s what makes us a little bit different.”

Mendez adds the Museum bookstore is an inclusive space and encourages conversations around literature and art. She adds they speak with guests on a daily basis to find out what they want and like, and constantly add new material.


She says the bookstore also hosts a chapter of the Well-Read Black Girl Book Club in partnership with the American Booksellers Association and One Village Alliance. 

Mendez says Chandra Pitts of One Village Alliance hosts monthly gatherings discussing Young Adult books chosen by the Well-Read Black Girl team. The club is also a part of One Village Alliance’s “Girls Can Do Anything!” initiative.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.