Welcome To West Rehoboth
The History of West Rehoboth spans generations, but its story is widely unknown to both visitors and locals. This community has roots in the late 19th century as a place where free Blacks, searching for new homes, purchased plots of land along what would become Route 1.
The purpose of this project is to create a creative educational experience that helps tell these stories and create a public understanding of the importance of West Rehoboth.
Meet Our Partners
DAC’s role in this incredible project is to give a platform to raise the voices of West Rehoboth. The key to the validity of this project is our Community Partners Committee made up of descendants of original founding families and current residents of West Rehoboth.
West Side New Beginnings Children and Youth Program is a cornerstone of the West Rehoboth Community. Incorporated in 1992, their mission is to provide the children and families of this Historic Black Community with empowerment through youth programs, education, community events, and beyond.
Our Partners Tell The Story
The incredible Brenda Milbourne and Diaz Bonville, who are the backbone of New Beginnings, are our Community Liaisons for this project. Our partnership with West Side New Beginnings is one we treasure dearly. We will continue to assist them with Creative Services and specialized programming for kids once The Mural is complete.
We have also been so lucky to have the iconic Wayne Paskins, a respected expert of West Rehoboth, as another leading partner on our project.
If you or someone you know has roots in this community, our Partner Committee is ever growing and the more experts we have on this project the better!
Meet The Historian
In 2019, Antoine Vann, along with his son, Terrance Vann, put on an exhibition at the Rehoboth Museum about their family and the largely unknown history of West Rehoboth. This is what inspired this entire project, so we knew Antoine was the perfect Historian and Terrance would be the perfect Mural Artist.
Antoine has been spearheaded the collection of verbal histories and will continue to help us build our archives of historical artifacts to be featured on our website. Antoine has also brought on his father Clyde Vann and Antoine's Grandmother--the family matriarch--Lucille Hood, as part of our Partners Committee to contribute to this important project.
The Vann family, Brenda Milbourne, and Wayne Paskins have been able to engage with numerous community members to ensure their stories are told, celebrated, and preserved.
Meet The Visionary
Terrance Vann, award-winning muralist, illustrator, musician, and fine artist, has deep roots in West Rehoboth. A descendent of two of the earliest families in West Rehoboth, Burton-Vann and Hood, Terrance grew up spending a lot of time visiting his family who still call the community home. His father, Antoine Vann, and him have a passion for telling the stories of West Rehoboth.
He was the obvious choice when it came to finding somebody who could effectively tackle this massive project. His style of "Neo-Afro Surrealism" fuses with contemporary street art culture to create amazing compositions full of feeling.
But The Work Continues
A Digital Counterpart
The Mural will undoubtedly inspire viewers to want to dig deeper into the rich past of West Rehoboth. Our goal is to create a website where they can do so. This website will be a hub for stories and images from the past and present.
This project brings awareness to the importance of the preservation of this community advocates for improved infrastructure and historical markers that currently lack in West Rehoboth.
We hope to inspire more families to come forward to be part of this project as the mural is completed. We also aim to create more projects to honor communities of color in neighboring communities in the future.
Continued Work In This Community
We continue to partner with West Side New Beginnings to assist them with their Mission. We are utilizing our creative resources to provide them with new marketing materials (brochures, updated logos, & a website) so that they can focus on the important work they do. We also have plans for a Mural on the side of their Community Center Building, Creative programming for youth and afterschool groups, and more.
We are also spearheading a Beautification and Public Art Initiative along the re-routed Breakwater Trail that runs through West Rehoboth and right past the Mural. In addition to landscaping, we plan to add signage that gives information to the thousands of locals and tourists that utilize the trail year round. We hope to provide an experience that makes those coming through stop and educate themselves.
This project would not be possible without the support of West Side New Beginnings, Sussex County Council, Delaware Community Foundation and the Henlopen Station Condominium Association.
This project was also made possible with the support of hundreds of individual donors and dedicated volunteers.