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Arts Playlist: The Art Society at Loblolly Acres

Loblolly Acres.jpg
Loblolly Acres
The farmhouse at Loblolly Acres in Kenty County.

Loblolly Acres, an event venue nestled in Kent County, is starting its own nonprofit called The Art Society at Loblolly Acres.

Together, Cheryl Epps – owner of Loblolly Acres, an Epps family-run farm since 1964 – and Angela Zielen – a Professional Dancer with First State Ballet Theatre and Director of Event Management at Loblolly Acres – hope their new arts nonprofit can both make a difference in the community and attract artists from all walks of life.

On this week’s edition of Arts Playlist, Delaware Public Media’s Kyle McKinnon caught up with Epps and Zielen to talk about their nonprofit and the importance of arts to a community.

Loblolly Acres' Cheryl Epps and Angela Zielen talk about the arts and their new arts nonprofit with Delaware Public Media’s Kyle McKinnon

A rural event venue south of Dover in Kent County is hoping to make a difference in the community and attract different types of art to the area.

Loblolly Acres is a family farm 7 miles south of Dover that used to have Christmas trees, pumpkins, and conduct school tours.

Now, the venue is a big barn with a gigantic stage, and the plan is to bring big events to that stage.

A new nonprofit – the Art Society at Loblolly Acres – hopes being at a farm surrounded by other farms can attract people to fun artistic events while getting away from the buzz of the city.

The venue has already hosted the First State Ballet, and the owner of Loblolly Acres, Cheryl Epps, says more events are scheduled.

"This year we're doing two more concerts with local bands as well as the ballet is returning, and the Chesapeake Brass Band is returning. We've only been open a year so we're very new. The people in Kent County don't have a lot of the arts available to them. They have to travel up or down the state, and I think it's really fun that we have this opportunity to bring it to them. They seem to be exceedingly receptive," said Epps.

Angela Zielen is a professional dancer with the First State Ballet Theatre and Director of Event Management at Loblolly Acres. She says the ballet performing there has created excitement for more events.

"We had the ballet come out for the first time and ever since then people are like 'what else are you doing?' I think that's what really just kept the ball rolling because everybody kept asking what's next like what else is coming," said Zielen.

With their venue in the middle of the state, they’re optimistic they can be a boon to central Delaware with a regional reach. Upcoming events include a car show on May 20th, and a summer concert series.

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Kyle McKinnon is a producer for The Green with a passion for storytelling and connecting with people.
Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.