Mispillion Art League idea could be a really ‘Big Draw’

DOVER — Some notes and quotes between headlines and deadlines …


One of the joys of community newspaper work is being among the first to learn about new initiatives.

During a visit to Milford Tuesday, it was fun to hear the enthusiasm building around a new Delaware festival — “The Big Draw.”

Rosemary Connelly, an artist who chose to make Milford her home some years ago after a move from Arizona, brought the idea back to Delaware from Spain.

“I was in Barcelona,” said Ms. Connelly. “I travel and sketch, and while there, I saw posters and banners for this. It was going to take place after I went home.”

Even so, her curiosity led her to research the Big Draw — which bills itself as the world’s biggest celebration of drawing. It started in the United Kingdom in 2000, and now boasts 26 participating countries.

Delaware, she said, appears to the first to attempt something statewide.

She pitched the idea at the Mispillion Art League and a month-long series of October classes, workshops and events are now in the planning stages. The idea is that the Big Draw will bring together artists, young and old, beginners and experienced.

Milford, which has built a reputation as a great community for the arts, has a special appeal to artists, said Ms. Connelly.

“The old buildings, the historic nature of some of them, it’s charming,” she said.

But the Big Draw will not be limited to Milford. She said the Mispillion Art League will be partnering with other arts agencies throughout the state.

“We’re really planning to do this up big,” said Ms. Connelly. “The Mispillion Art League is probably going to have the most events, and we’re partnering with other organizations.”

The international theme — “Drawn to life: creativity and well-being” — is perfect for Milford, a city that recently celebrated the opening of the new Bayhealth Sussex campus.

“It is the perfect tie-in with the new hospital,” said Ms. Connelly.

One of the local organizers’ hopes is to get doctor’s offices to put out some crayons and paper as a way to promote the event.

The Mispillion Art League recently launched a Facebook page about the Big Draw.

In an introduction, Ms. Connelly wrote that the theme “is meant to encourage events and conversations around the role of mark making and drawing — in its widest possible interpretation — as a life-enhancing tool not only to help express and navigate the challenges of life around us but also as a tool for healing.”

Drawing is the only universal language, she notes.

“As a non-verbal language, drawing has a power to transmute and evolve, adapting to each maker’s need to find a voice, meaning expression and empowerment are unsurpassable,” Ms. Connelly wrote. “For many it plays a key role in recovery in illness, health challenges, anxiety and times of major upheaval, loss and change. For others it can help them re-connect with a community, combat loneliness and the sense of isolation.”

To keep an eye out for updates and details, follow “The Big Draw Delaware 2019” on Facebook.

If you wish to be involved as an artist or volunteer, contact Ms. Connelly at rosemary@connelly.net.


Some of the Mispillion Art League’s neighbors on Walnut Street have construction projects taking place.

Among them is the renovation at the Riverfront Theater, just across the street. It will include a modern lobby that patrons of Second Street Players will enjoy.

“That’s just a jewel in our community,” said Ms. Connelly.


Congratulations to our own Sharon Harvey.

A few days ago, we had a luncheon to celebrate her 50th anniversary with the Delaware State News.

Joe Smyth, now chairman of the board for Independent Newsmedia (parent of the Delaware State News) hired her back in 1969 to be a proof reader.

Ms. Harvey got her test back with one answer — judgement — marked incorrect.

Mr. Smyth expected it to be judgment — without the ‘e.’

It is one of the preferred spellings newspapers use.

She felt strongly he was wrong and asked him to “look it up.”

He did and found that either spelling could be correct.

She was hired. And it goes without saying that Mr. Smyth used excellent judgment in his decision.

With exception to Mr. Smyth, she is the second longest-serving member of our newspaper.

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