As Delaware's preeminent home for the performing arts, The Grand traditionally welcomes more than 200,000 patrons and visitors each year– all within the beautiful setting of our three venues (Copeland Hall, the baby grand, and The Playhouse on Rodney Square), and through our various outreach initiatives in local parks and schools.
When not faced with a pandemic, we host 300 events per year, including our own performances, community events and the activities of our partners and four resident companies: Delaware Symphony Orchestra, First State Ballet Theatre, OperaDelaware, and The Rock Orchestra. The Grand is the place where the community may experience the arts affordably and inclusively. We present performers from around the world, including Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award winners, acclaimed artists, and rock legends. In recent years, we have welcomed such artists as Pat Matheny, Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi, Patti LaBelle, Lewis Black, Gilberto Santa Rosa, David Sedaris, Crys Matthews, Jane Lynch, The Temptations, and more.
In addition, we offer numerous arts education and outreach programs. Our Stages of Discovery (SoD) educational performances attract school groups and families from Delaware and neighboring states –Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland –serving 25,000 attendees each year. We also celebrated our ninth season of Summer in the Parks last year. The series continued arts programming at the William “Hicks” Anderson Community Center with a 6-week long residency where 48 neighborhood children (ages 6-13) enjoyed free enrollment in a wide variety of art forms including: music production, drumming, cultural arts and crafts, and many forms of personal affirmations. We also continued our tradition of live concerts with 4 evenings featuring local professionals and talented students. Over 240 attendees enjoyed popular and original music in these inviting, outdoor settings.
Furthermore, we continue to invite even more families to The Grand with our sensory-friendly family performances. These shows feature decreased volumes, designated quiet spaces, and relaxed seating. Providing a welcoming, inclusive environment is the goal at each of our sensory-friendly family shows.
The arts in general have profound impact as a shared experience amongst audience members. Increasing accessibility to such programs further reinforces a sense of belonging and strengthens the belief that the arts are for everyone.
For more than 150 years, The Grand Opera House has been delighting the citizens of Wilmington, Delaware, and the greater Brandywine region with the finest live entertainment the country and the world have to offer. In 2015, we assumed operation of The Playhouse on Rodney Square (formerly the DuPont Theatre), adding the best of touring Broadway to our roster. With more than 120 performances a year, our three venues offer the very best entertainment options, something to please every taste. The Grand and Playhouse are more than just the wonderful shows on stage. We provide a wide variety of community engagement programs for children, adults, and adults in the region.
As a non-profit organization that presents the best music, comedy, and dance, The Grand is accountable to you and many others who treasure the organization and its three live performance venues – Copeland Hall, the baby grand, and The Playhouse on Rodney Square – as a center for the arts, and a provider of community education programs. You and the others who love The Grand are “the owners,” and the key to a stronger, more vital Grand is many owners doing their part to maintain this valuable community asset. By joining others who make a gift to The Grand this year, you’ll be doing your part to help preserve these beautiful and intimate facilities for all to enjoy.
You may be aware that The Grand does much more than create great performances in two beautiful, historic theater settings. It also provides education programs such as the Stages of Discovery school matinee series, Summer Explorers for children, and community programming such as Summer in the Parks, social dances, and monthly Art Loop exhibits in the Grand Galleries. Altogether, The Grand introduces meaningful arts experiences to over 35,000 children and families – the next generation of Grand patrons. It also partners with many community organizations to stage more than 400 events annually.
Where the Money GOES
- 25% Keeping the shows you love on our stages
- 21% Preserving and maintaining our historic theaters
- 16% Serving our community with arts education and outreach programs
- 15% Providing the best possible communication and service to our loyal customers
- 15% Ensuring sound financial management and overall stewardship of this community asset
- 8% Fundraising to make all this important work possible