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About

 
The Freeman Stage at Bayside, an open air performing arts venue located near Fenwick Island, DE, first opened in the summer of 2008.  A program of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, the Freeman Stage presents diverse programming in the genres of dance, live music, theatre and children’s programming.  Typically, performances are offered on Thursday nights, Friday nights, Saturday mornings and occasional Saturday nights, Memorial Day through Labor Day.

This program is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

Freeman Stage

Our Mission

Partnering to present memorable performances and provide inspired arts education for all.

Our Core Purpose

Creating opportunities to elevate the human spirit.
 

Our Vision

A vital source of exceptional cultural experiences.
 

Our History

The Joshua M. Freeman Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, was established in 2007 to honor Josh Freeman, the former Chair of the Carl M. Freeman Foundation, after his untimely death in December of 2006. The Joshua M. Freeman Foundation seeks to honor Josh’s passion and commitment to excellence by creating program that he would have been proud of. With The Freeman Stage at Bayside, an outdoor performing arts venue located near Fenwick Island, DE, we act on that mission by providing unique arts experiences to over 40,000 visitors a year.

About Freeman

Michelle Freeman

Michelle D. Freeman, Chairman & President

Michelle DiFebo Freeman is the founding President and Chairman of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation. Michelle has also served as the President and Chairman of the Carl M. Freeman Foundation since 2007 and is the owner and an active board member of the Carl M. Freeman Companies.  She is actively involved with the Landon School in Bethesda, Maryland and is responsible for the management and oversight of the Freeman Family farm, a 500 acre historic property located in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and associated employees.  Michelle is currently serving on the boards of The Washington National Opera, CharityWorks and YouthAIDS.

 

Patti Grimes

Patti Grimes, Executive Director

Patti Grimes manages the team and oversees the programming and performances at The Freeman Stage at Bayside. Prior to joining the Foundation, Patti worked as Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Customer Relations for the Carl M. Freeman Companies. She is an active volunteer in the community serving on Delaware YWCA Advisory Board, Sussex Economic Development Action Committee, Bayside Homeowner’s Association and works for the Adopt-a-Family and Adopt-A-School programs. Patti recently served as President of the Bethany-Fenwick Chamber of Commerce and is a recipient of the prestigious Lighthouse Award. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from James Madison University.

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Molly King, Operations Director

Delaware native Molly King joined the Joshua M Freeman Foundation team in 2013. After graduating from The University of Delaware, Molly discovered her passion for hospitality management. Most recently, Molly worked as a hospitality consultant for Highwater Management and Director of Special Events and Catering for the Matt Haley Restaurant Group. She is a board member of The Next Generation South, a giving circle of the Delaware Community Foundation. Molly currently lives in Lewes.

 

Photo coming soon

Doug Phillips, Marketing & Communications Manager

Doug Phillips serves as the Marketing & Communications Manager to communicate the mission and messages of both the Joshua M. Freeman and Carl M. Freeman Foundations through media relations, publications, and online communications. Doug has extensive professional work experience in sales, marketing and customer service. Doug, a lifetime resident of the Eastern Shore, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Salisbury University, where he majored in Art, with concentrations in Graphic Design & Photography.

 

Photo coming soon

Robin Spangenberg, Operations Manager

Robin Spangenberg serves as the Operations Manager of The Freeman Stage at Bayside; focusing on volunteer management and ensuring that the “Friends of The Freeman Stage” are provided with memories for the ages. Prior to joining the Foundation, he spent over two years with The Atlantic Sands Hotel in Rehoboth as the Beverage Manager and Restaurant Manager of two restaurants. He also gained invaluable experience working at the Woodloch Pines Resort in Pennsylvania for over seven years prior to moving to Sussex County. Robin graduated with High Honors from Wesley College in Dover, Delaware where he majored in American Studies.

 

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Bernadette Dowling, Controller

Bernadette Dowling serves as the Controller for the Foundation. Her role is to oversee the Foundation accounting to ensure that all financial matters are properly recorded and comply with accounting standards. Bernadette has extensive accounting experience in a variety of industries. She has been a resident of Sussex County since 2002 after relocating from Wilmington, Delaware. Bernadette is a graduate of Goldey-Beacom College with a Bachelor of Science degree in the Accounting Honors program.

 

Melissa Rizer

Melissa Rizer, Administrative Associate

Melissa Rizer serves as the Administrative Associate for the Foundation and supports the entire organization. Prior to joining the Foundation, Melissa worked for the Clarion Hotel as Assistant Controller. Melissa brings knowledge and experience in many areas to the Foundation, with over two decades specializing in all facets of reporting, organization and customer service. Melissa currently resides in Delaware with her husband.

 

Michelle Freeman

Michelle D. Freeman, Chairman & President

Michelle DiFebo Freeman is the founding President and Chairman of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation. Michelle has also served as the President and Chairman of the Carl M. Freeman Foundation since 2007 and is the owner and an active board member of the Carl M. Freeman Companies.  She is actively involved with the Landon School in Bethesda, Maryland and is responsible for the management and oversight of the Freeman Family farm, a 500 acre historic property located in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and associated employees.  Michelle is currently serving on the boards of The Washington National Opera, CharityWorks and YouthAIDS.

Photo coming soon

Christine Shreve

Christine Shreve is President of Realty Investment Company, Inc., a family office serving four generations of an entrepreneurial family in the Washington, D.C. area.  From 1992 through 2006 she was a principal of Shreve Bowersox, P.C. a Rockville, MD financial services firm which she co-founded to serve high wealth individuals and growing/emerging businesses.  She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Virginia Tech in 1979, and is a CPA in the State of Maryland. Chris is a native of Washington, D.C. and is involved with several other charitable foundations. She has worked with the Freeman Family, their businesses and the Foundation since 1997, and has served on the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation Board of Directors since 2007.

Photo coming soon

Stephen Huttler

Steve Huttler is the Executive Vice Chair of the international law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman and serves as a partner in the firm’s real estate group. He is a member of the firm’s Executive Team and Board of Directors. As Executive Vice Chair, he has principal responsibility for the firm’s finances and operations, and works closely with the Chair on all aspects of firm leadership and management. He received his J.D., from Georgetown University Law Center in 1974, his B.A. from Syracuse University in 1971 and attended Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich. Steve has served on the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation Board of Directors since 2007 and owns a home in Selbyville, DE.

Sara Carlson

Sara Chase Carlson

Lives in Ocean View, DE. Sara comes from a philanthropic background and giving was a learned behavior from early on. Sara’s interest in the performing arts began as a child. Both parents were avid classical music lovers, and Sara’s mother volunteered extensively with arts organizations in the Washington area, including the National Symphony Orchestra. Sara’s daughter, Leigh, continued the family tradition with a childhood interest in opera. In 2007, Leigh graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in classical vocal performance and is continuing her studies in Washington DC. In 2005, Sara and her father established a scholarship fund at Worcester Preparatory School, Leigh’s former high school, for students who are gifted both academically and in the area of the performing arts. Sara is a longtime supporter of the Kennedy Center, Metropolitan Opera, and various local arts organizations, believing the performing arts to be an essential part of our society. In addition to her philanthropic efforts, Sara is an artist agent for several painters, and is also partner in a land development company in the Washington area.

Drexel Davison

Drexel Davison

Owner of Bad Hair Day?, a full service beauty and body shop in Downtown Rehoboth Beach, Delaware since 1993.  Drexel has served on the Beebe Foundation Annual Gala’s Board for over 10 years, is President of the Board for Main Street Rehoboth, served on the FACES Advisory Board, and participates with the Children’s Beach House and Extreme Makeover as well as many other organizations and projects in Sussex County. Mr. Davison lives in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

Matt Haley

Matthew Haley

Matt is an entrepreneur who has established a number of award-winning restaurants in the Delaware shore area. He is active in non-profit work, including the Celebrity Chef’s Beach Brunch for Meals on Wheels, the Rehoboth Summer Children’s Theater, and is President of the Board of La Esperanza Community Center. His new Global Delaware Fund provides support to an orphanage in Nepal and recently produced a documentary, “Hands of Harvest.” Mr. Haley lives in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

Jose Somalo

Virginia Esteban Somalo

Jose Somalo & Virginia Esteban-Somalo

Jose and Virgina are both Board members and are publishers of HOY en Delaware Newspaper. They are owners of this Hispanic newspaper covering the entire state of Delaware on a monthly basis since 1996.

The Somalo’s are very involved in the community and have a lengthy list of service and awards.  A few include: José Martí Awards 2011 (less than 30,000): Gold-Photography, Silver-Ad & Design, Bronze-Editorial; Community Service Award 2004 by Latin American Community Center (Wilmington, DE).

In addition to serving on the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation, Jose and Virginia are involved in many other community organizations: National Association of Hispanic Publications, Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Georgetown Chamber of Commerce, Festival Hispano Planning Committee, La Red Health Center, El Centro Cultral. Jose & Virginia reside in Georgetown, Delaware.

Cathy Davies Harmon

Cathy Davies-Harmon

Cathy is a Senior Wealth Advisor Morgan Stanley and has a 25 year career as a financial investment consultant.  Cathy is a graduate of Lehigh University, MBA Finance and  has received numerous distinctions and awards in her career including: President’s Club, Investment Consultant Honor and Barron’s Winner’s Circle, Top Women Advisors 2008, 2007. Cathy has deep roots in supporting the community as she is the Pop Warner Vice President, serves on the Worcester Preparatory School Board of Trustees and is a Jefferson Award Trustee. Cathy lives in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.