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Kent County Library director appointed to Delaware State Arts Council

A longtime Kent County library director is appointed to the Delaware State Arts Council.

Hilary Welliver says when she heard the news from Gov. John Carney, she was elated to get the opportunity.

“Woo-hoo…I was so excited," said Welliver. "Umm, I wanted to be on the Arts Council for a very long time and I have to say, it took me completely by surprise.”

Welliver went on to say, "I really really think that the quality of life is as important as anything else in a state; it’s important to the economy and it’s important to the people who live here. And I think that the Arts Council - just as libraries do - but the Arts Council has a huge impact on that quality of life.”

Welliver has been the director of the Kent County Division of Libraries for the past 10 years.

She says this appointment goes hand-in-glove with her library job - since literature is an art form as well as a facet of humanities. She notes that many libraries are venues for the arts.

The Delaware State Arts Council is the advisory body to the Delaware Division of the Arts (DDA). Welliver says she plans to work closely with the Division's newly appointed Director Jessica Ball on arts policy, funding for the arts and other issues relevant to support the arts in Delaware.

Welliver notes there are always things arts communities need to deal with.

“There’s always funding of course," said Welliver. "The arts are never well-funded and are one of the first things to be cut when cuts come around to supply and support further areas. So that’s something you always worry about. You want to see the National Endowment (for the Arts) to be better funded so that it trickles down to the State level and is able to spread across the entire State of Delaware for example.”

Welliver says COVID-19 is challenging arts organizations to find venues that can follow safety protocols and don’t raise concerns about spreading the virus.

She notes that led to increased use of hybrid programming and outdoor performances - and with COVID case numbers rising again, that’s likely to continue.

Welliver hopes she can share skills, meet new audiences and trumpet the good things happening in Delaware’s arts community in Delaware as part of the Arts Council.

Delaware Public Media' s arts coverage is made possible, in part, by support from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

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