Delaware Public Media

Arts Playlist: Freeman Stage seeks to keep its summer spirit alive

May 15, 2020

Like many arts and performance venues, the Freeman Stage in Selbyville is feeling the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. 

 

It's 2020 concert season this summer is currently on hold.

 

 


Freeman Stage was scheduled to announce the lineup for its 13th season in March - but hit the pause button because of the pandemic.

Patti Grimes is the executive director of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation. She says everyone is asking them what the new normal will be for the venue.

 

“Here’s what we can say - here’s what we know - our commitment to this community is to be a vessel that can provide arts. So once we know what the guidelines are going to be, then we are committed to figuring out how we can program a season,” Grimes said.

Grimes says despite the inability to host live music at its open-air venue, the Freeman Stage continues to bring the arts to its audience via social media.

They’ve started a series called “The Stage is Yours” on their Facebook page where local artists can submit short video performances.

 

Meantime, Grimes says while everypne continues to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, there is some good news.

She says the Foundation has a $25 million plan in the works to bring a bigger venue adjacent to their current location.

 

“We’ve run out of space," said Grimes. "And this new facility will provide the opportunity for us to grow our arts programming and for the ever-growing population in Sussex County and Worcester County (MD), really within a 45-minute drive - to come and still have a great informal outdoor arts experience.”

Grimes says the new venue will probably take five years to build and the Foundation needs to raise funds through a capital campaign to do the job.

She says the completed new venue will have 4,400 seats, including 1,000 fixed seats under cover with an open-air terrace and lawn.

 

Since the Freeman Stage launched in 2008, great artists such as the Indigo Girls, Gladys Knight and many others have sung to sell-out crowds.