The Delaware Division of the Arts is pleased to present Design Delaware: a Strategic Plan for FY2011–2015. Included below is the adopted plan, as well as the input from a months-long process of individual interviews, focus groups, county-wide meetings with arts organizations, and online surveys. The planning process and findings are summarized in a Power Point presentation that was used at public meetings in February 2010.

Design Delaware: FY2011–2015


DesignDelaware Strategic Plan
The Division of the Arts Strategic Plan was approved by the Delaware State Arts Council at their March 2010 quarterly meeting, for implementation to begin in FY2011.

DesignDelaware Operational Plans
The Operational Plans accompany the Strategic Plan, providing details on the specific activities and outcomes anticipated in carrying out the mission of the agency. The Operational Plans are updated regularly, in response to program evaluation and input from the field.

Background Planning Data


Strategic Planning Process
A Power Point presentation of the planning process, timeframe, logistics, and sources of input.

"Brown Bag" Meetings
Summary notes from three separate county-wide meetings in early 2009 which engaged the new Secretary of State and arts organization representatives in discussions about issues and challenges facing the arts sector.

Individual Interviews
Key themes from more than 50 individual interviews of key decision makers, Division staff, State Arts Council members, arts and community leaders, funders, and patrons of the arts, conducted in late 2008 through summer 2009. (Complete notes are available upon request)

Focus Groups & Online Surveys
A Powerpoint presentation made at the December 2009 State Arts Council meeting. Slides depict findings from six focus groups with statewide representation and five online surveys conducted in fall 2009.

Focus Group Themes

  • Arts Advocacy
  • Arts Education
  • Arts Marketing and Promotion
  • Capacity-building
  • Sustainability
  • Individual Artists

Online Surveys

  • Artists
  • Arts Organizations
  • Community Organizations
  • Educators
  • General Public

Demographic Trends
Major demographic trends facing Delaware. (taken from Delaware Facing Forward: A Look at Delaware’s Demographic Future)

Ensuring a Vibrant Cultural Legacy
Governor Jack A. Markell's position paper on the arts, published during his gubernatorial campaign in late 2008.

Division Grant Award History
A five-year history of state funding for the arts, through Division grants, is presented in this report.

DE Funding & Grantmaking
A comparative analysis, compiled by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, of Delaware funding vis-á-vis other states.

State of the Arts Study: 2008

This longitudinal study, completed in 2007 by the Nonprofit Finance Fund, analyzes 33 Delaware arts organizations, revealing ongoing hardships and a financially precarious position. One conclusion is that with little opportunity to set aside reserves for crucial needs (such as facility repairs, growth, or "rainy days"), organizations risk their very existence in the long-term.

This study, conducted by Slover-Linett Strategies, was commissioned by Arts for Delaware's Future (AFDF) in 2008 and funded by the Longwood Foundation to:

  • Learn how Wilmington arts organizations can best attract new patrons and increase engagement among current patrons
  • Understand the needs, values, and opportunities among Delaware’s arts audiences: both those engaged and those with the potential to participate
  • Uncover the current perceptions of the Wilmington arts “brand” and identify areas of opportunity for strengthening that brand
  • Identify the geographic “catchment area” in which these arts organizations should focus