DREAMS of Wilmington Provides Youth Development through Quality Arts Education

Published 05/08/19


DREAMS of Wilmington provides youth development through first class arts education to over 800 kids annually.

From dance to drawing, music to murals, poetry to pottery and more, a special after-school program in Wilmington provides a multi-disciplinary arts education to all its students. This special program holds a 100% matriculation rate with a majority of their students continuing on to post-secondary arts programs.

"DREAMS is a magic place and it's an exceptional place. If you can get your child involved in it you will know the difference and they will surely feel the difference. Nothing but good comes out of DREAMS."

Laura McLean
Teaching Artist, DREAMS of Wilmington


The Approach

How can we provide every child with first-class arts education? That question sparked Tracy Wilkes to establish DREAMS of Wilmington. When far too often families lack the resources to access the arts this multi-disciplinary program makes arts education accessible across painting, dance, photography, filmmaking, drama and more.

Over 30 teaching artists provide kids ages 8-17 years old with more than 60 arts classes weekly throughout three counties at public housing sites, city recreation centers and as part of after-school and out-of-school programs.

As a result of the powerful combination of programs, real world experience, visiting artists, and research-based curricula participants come out feeling stronger as a human being, with a greater sense of self-esteem and important interpersonal skills thus positioning them to achieve things that may seem impossible.


Since 1996 DREAMS of Wilmington has created a culture of confidence through first-class arts education. Over 800 young people participate in the program each year with 100% of participants graduating high school and 99% continuing on to secondary education or the military. While the program's impact can be seen in numerous ways, the majority of participants report growth as an artist, higher self-esteem and increased confidence as a result of the program.

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About the Organization

Founded in 1996, DREAMS of Wilmington, Inc. is a nationally award-winning nonprofit dedicated to building creative, committed citizens, one child at a time, through providing youth in need with high-quality, free-of-charge programming in the literary, visual, multimedia and performing arts.

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