After a successful inaugural summer in 2021, Developing Artist Collaboration’s West Side Creative Market is set to reopen for a second year on Monday, May 30.
It’s on the corner of Central Street and Canal Crossing Road in West Rehoboth, and DAC founder Leah Beach said she’s excited to bring the outdoor market back for another summer. There have been significant improvements in the layout of the market, she said.
“Last year, when it rained or was windy, we had to cancel,” said Beach, who doesn’t expect that to be the case this year.
DAC invested $80,000 in the outdoor market to improve the experience for vendors and customers. The main improvement is a permanent stable-like structure so performers don’t have to worry about tents.
“It’s basically like little individual shops,” Beach said. “Artists will be able to enter and set up their space as they wish.”
Other improvements to the market include a larger footprint to accommodate more performers, a grassy area in the center to improve the overall ambience, and a full-service bar in the middle. All alcohol sales will be based on donations, Beach said.
There will be all types of creations on the market. There were 100 artists who applied and the only real rule, Beach said, is that things are done by hand.
“We have some fun ones coming up this year,” she said.
In addition to being open on Mondays like last summer, the market will also be open every other Wednesday for Sound Bite Wednesdays and every other Friday for Fine Art Fridays.
It’s about creating experiences that will appeal to different groups of people, Beach said.
“We’re going to get really funky with this, and there’s always going to be something for the kids,” Beach said.
The opening hours for the three market nights are from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
West Rehoboth Legacy Mural
DAC announced nearly a year ago that it was undertaking a mural project on an 8-foot long cinder block wall near its home base at the corner of Central and Malloy streets. The mural, according to an August 2021 press release, will be “an innovative educational mural experience to illustrate history and impress upon the public the significance of West Rehoboth.” Terrance Vann, a multi-generational artist originally from West Rehoboth and nationally known, creates the mural.
Beach has worked with Vann, Vann’s father Antoine Vann, Vann’s grandmother Lucille Hood, Brenda Milbourne and Diaz Bonville of West Side New Beginnings, and lifelong resident Wayne Paskins.
The collaborative group was summarizing the details of the mural at a recent meeting at West Side New Beginnings. The goal is to bring something dynamic, something that jumps out, Terrance said.
The wall will be separated into three segments and will include images of long-forgotten buildings and people who have played important roles in the community’s history; areas of the city where only people of color were allowed to go; and depictions of people who help shape the community into the future.
Terrance said he hopes the mural will serve as a starting point for longtime West Rehoboth residents to share their stories so the community can truly be recognized.
It could be a great boost, he said.
Beach said that once the mural is complete, QR codes will be added to different sections of the scenes, which will provide a more detailed verbal history of the images on the wall.
The mural is expected to be completed in time for a June 19 celebration in June, Beach said.