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Arts Playlist: Delaware's new Division of the Arts director

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Delaware Division of the Arts
Delaware Div. of the Arts director Jessica Ball

The Delaware Division of the Arts has a new director.

Jessica Ball recently replaced longtime director Paul Weagraff.

And in this week’s Arts Playlist, Ball joins Delaware Public Media’s Kelli Steele to discuss her plans for the Division of the Arts.

Delaware Public Media's Kelli Steele interviews new Delaware Div. of the Arts Director Jessica Ball

Jessica Ball knows she has big shows to fill, taking the reins of Delaware’s Division of the Arts from longtime director Paul Weagraff, who retired this past summer after 15 years with the organization.

Ball says oneif her top priorities is getting organizations - shuttered during the pandemic - back to full strength.

“Now as we look to resuming some programming indoors and resuming delivering arts in more traditional ways, I think helping organizations - one - sort of building capacity to get staff hired back to get that expertise back in the buildings,” Ball said

Ball adds that this is also a time of great opportunity - including pursuing new ways to deliver the arts to Delaware communities. She notes that many arts organizations thrived during the pandemic by taking their work to communities and reaching new audiences that way.

Ball says she is optimistic that recovery from the pandemic is possible

“I think working with organizations to help make sure they’re prepared to deliver hybrid programming moving forward and they’re prepared to internalize the lessons that we’ve all learned throughout the pandemic; and internalize the way that we’ve operated and the opportunities that we've come across,” said Ball.

Ball served as the Executive Director of the Delaware Arts Alliance since 2018. She is also Delaware State Captain for Americans for the Arts’ State Arts Action Network and volunteers on the Delaware Fund for Women’s Young Founders Committee and the Delaware Mill Summit Planning Committee.

Ball holds dual master’s degrees in Historic Preservation and Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design and a Bachelor of Architecture from Florida International University.

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.