Q&A: Delco Arts Week's Eric Carter-Thompson and Jane Valdes-Dapena

The committee members share the inspiration for the inaugural festival, which takes place Sept. 21-28.

Delaware County has no shortage of arts and cultural institutions. To celebrate the wealth and breadth of that talent, Destination Delco and various art centers are launching the inaugural Delco Arts Week. Happening Sept. 21-28, the weeklong event features gallery exhibitions, art loops, studio tours, plein air painters, live music and dance, and workshops at over 25 different venues. For insight into the festivities, we tapped steering committee members Eric Carter-Thompson, executive director of Darlington Arts Center, and Jane Valdes-Dapena, development associate at the Community Arts Center.

MLT: What can attendees expect?

JVD: Basically something for everyone. The Community Arts Center is bookending the week. We have our Fine Arts and Crafts Festival in downtown Swarthmore, which is family-friendly. We’ll also have one of our Friday Night Live concerts at the end of the week. Different performing groups are going to be on State Street in Media for the last Dining Under the Stars of the season.

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MLT: What sort of art will be
on offer?

ECT: It really runs the gamut of all artistic and cultural forms. We have art galleries that will be running throughout the county and arts festivals where music and visual and performing arts come together. There are a few theater performances, and the gardens and arboretum at Chanticleer will be open. It’s a really great week to just celebrate the culture of the county.

MLT: What about workshops?

ECT: Darlington has what we call the Back to School Arts Party. We’re going to have an interactive visual arts project, as well as a concert series. Creative Living Room is having a couple free workshops for the younger generation.

MLT: What will surprise people?

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JVD: I certainly think it’s going to be the breadth and depth of what’s available. I know we have people coming to the arts center all the time saying, “Wow, we didn’t know this was here.”

ECT: Our goal is for the person that lives in Upper Darby to realize there’s something 20 minutes down the road in Swarthmore. You don’t have to go into the city.

Visit delcoarts.org.


Our Best of the Main Line & Western Suburbs Party is July 25!