Millsboro art league director wins Better Delmarva Award

Deb Doucette, director of the Greater Millsboro Art League, has been awarded the Mountaire Better Delmarva Award.

The monthly award is presented to individuals, businesses, organizations or classrooms “who are going above and beyond to assist others in their community or to improve or protect the environment.”

After being nominated, winners are chosen by a committee at Mountaire. Each winner receives a crystal engraved trophy and is highlighted on a WMDT-TV commercial.

Doucette said she was told the award was for “the good things I’m doing and what art means to the community.”

“You do something because it’s the right thing to do, so you don’t expect somebody to do this. I’m kind of shocked, but honored,” she said.

In recent months, Doucette has been in the news, asking that the $550 monthly rent the art league pays the Town be waived so that much-needed repairs can be made to the aging Town-owned building on Main Street that houses the league. She made the request at the September town council meeting and, at the Oct. 7 meeting, took several supporters with her to talk about, and praise, the art league.

After hearing testimony, the town council agreed to pay for the art league’s propane and electric for one year, then revisit the matter in the fall of 2020.

Town Manager Sheldon Hudson said the cost would roughly equal the monthly rent paid to the Town.

During the public comments portion of the meeting, several art league supporters spoke, including Barbara Harris, a teacher, volunteer and board member at the art league, who read a note written by a Millsboro Middle School student who said at the art league he learned how to draw people, shade and create art by using various styles.

“I also like volunteering there because people are always nice. I hope the art league will continue in the Millsboro area,” he wrote.

Harris said students who take music classes aren’t able to also fit art into their school schedules, so they need the art league for ancillary learning.

The mother of two children who enjoy the art league’s Family Fun Night said they both play clarinet in the school band so cannot take art classes in school.

“This is the only place they can learn new techniques. In the summer, they have gone to camp there. It is very affordable, very convenient. … You really can’t go anywhere for $15 and spend time with the family,” she said, referring to the cost of Family Fun Night.

A man attending the council meeting said visitors will visit downtown Millsboro to admire the new town hall building, but asked what else will draw them.

“Art comes in many forms, and the art league promotes that activity. We’ve got to be careful that we are going to have beautiful pavers and sidewalks, and the people driving through the town are really going to appreciate them, but what about the people who live here?” he asked.


By Susan Canfora
Staff Reporter