The Freeman Arts Pavilion hosted its Arts & Jazz festival in Delaware

Photo courtesy of the Freeman Arts Pavilion

Formerly known as the Freeman Stage in Bayside, this familiar place came back with a new name and brought back a popular festival.

After a hiatus due to the pandemic, the Arts & Jazz festival returned to the Freeman Arts Pavilion on Saturday, September 18. The free fall event, which runs from approximately 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., took place on the property’s lush green lawn.

The Selbyville Performing Arts Hall was once known as the Freeman Stage at Bayside. What’s the new name? A great ambition, that’s what. Plans call for a new facility that will accommodate 4,000 clients, of whom 1,100 will be seated under a blanket.

The Freeman Arts Pavilion is part of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit founded in 2007 in honor of Josh Freeman, former president of the Carl M. Freeman Companies. Freeman died suddenly in 2006.

Patti Grimes, who has been with the foundation since its inception, is the Executive Director of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation and the Carl M. Freeman Foundation. Here, she answers frequently asked questions about the event before it happened.

The Arts & Jazz Festival is now a tradition in the offseason. When did it start?

This season will be the 13th edition of the Arts & Jazz Festival. It’s been a part of every season at the Freeman Arts Pavilion since our inception, with the exception of 2020 due to COVID-19. It is a wonderful celebration of the arts and artistic expression.

How many artists will be present at the event?

We usually have around 20-25 artists participating, and they work in a wide variety of mediums, from painting and photography to structures and jewelry. Artists apply online through the list of events on our website,

The Arts & Jazz Festival, featuring live music and works by various artists, returns to the Freeman Arts Pavilion this month./Photo courtesy of the Freeman Arts Pavilion

How many musicians will perform?

We usually have three artists playing throughout the day. Previous acts have included the Joe Baione Sextet, local musician Melissa Aldana, The Lao Tizer Band, and Jane Bunnett and Maqueque.

Do you present a particular genre of jazz or acts of a specific size?

That’s what’s great about jazz, it’s such a broad genre. We want to offer a diversity of jazz artists, from jazz type to group size.

How many people attend?

We typically see around 1,000 clients throughout the day. This event is laid back and easy going. Guests can enjoy a day of jazz while browsing local artists. It’s the perfect blend of visual and performing arts.

Can visitors buy food and drink?

As with any event at the Freeman Arts Pavilion, concessions will be available for everyone to enjoy. Our canteen will be open to offer food and an assortment of drinks, and we may also have one of the local food trucks that we partner with throughout the season as an additional meal choice.

Willie J. Johnson