Cultural center could be a hit


Now this is an idea with vision.

Recognizing the growing popularity in arts in the community, as well as the absence of a general gathering spot for big groups, representatives of the Carl M. Freeman Foundation hosted a meeting in Ocean View on Monday to discuss the possibility of building the Joshua M. Freeman Center of the Performing Arts in Bayside.

This is an idea that can lay a centerpiece for continued growth in local arts for generations. It would basically serve as a cultural center, where musicians, theater groups, arts organizations or other entities could perform locally with plenty of space for an audience. It could also potentially serve as a place for organizations or businesses to hold meetings — something this area doesn’t currently have.

The arts have exploded in this area over the past few years. Represented at Monday night’s meeting were people from the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, the Lower Delaware Choral Society, the Rehoboth Film Society, the Southeastern Delaware Artists Studio Tour and more. For those of you who have gone to the annual show by the Bethany Beach Watercolor Society, the growth in the club’s membership and the improved quality of work are inspiring.

We are growing — and the cultural element from the big cities is beginning to take root here now.

The meeting Monday night was exploratory — organizers wanted to gauge interest from the community, get input on what the local arts community desires and try to find out the financial realities of such a major project.

Well, we’re hoping this comes to fruition.

The arts community has become a welcome addition to our region. There are more galleries now than ever, the SEDAST event has become more and more popular every year and groups like the Village Players and Possum Point Players have entertained the masses in several performances.

Here’s an opportunity for the community as a whole to embrace one element of change during this region’s growth explosion that can not be faulted. The simple fact of the matter is this could provide a venue for artists to display their talents, audiences to enjoy local talent and for students to come on field trips that have a positive effect on their futures.

This is an idea that is costly, tricky and will be a lot of work to make it a reality. We hope it happens.