The Delaplaine Arts Center provides the Frederick region with educational opportunities and experiences in the visual arts through classes, exhibits, and programs.


Everyone deserves art!


Creativity – Art is essential. We are committed to infusing creativity in all that we do, allowing that creativity to inform our activities and operations, and in turn sparking creativity in the many lives that we touch each and every day.

Stewardship – We hold the public trust. We are committed to maintaining the highest standards of financial management and material oversight, including reviewing and providing financial information regularly and caring for our historic facility.

Inclusiveness – Diversity is our strength. We are committed to providing visual arts opportunities and experiences to all, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental ability, financial situation, background, or other circumstance.

Collaboration – As a vibrant, inclusive, and diverse community, we can do more together. We are committed to partnering with other nonprofit organizations, government agencies, businesses, and others to accomplish our mission and to improve the quality of life for all in the community.

Efficiency – Efficiency increases impact. We are committed to increasing the Delaplaine’s efficiency in all areas, including operational and educational, to increase the depth and breadth of our impact on our visitors and the community.

Service – Our community stakeholders deserve the best. We are committed to providing an excellent level of service to our visitors, students, program participants, customers, and others, through our everyday encounters with them in any form.

Promotion – We are ambassadors. We are committed, as a Board and staff, to sharing the Delaplaine’s activities, opportunities, and successes, as well as the importance of the visual arts generally. We encourage our members and friends to do the same.

Assessment – Improvement is a constant process. We are committed to continually self- assess and incorporate outside review processes in order to comprehensively evaluate and expand our activities and programs in order to maximally address the evolving needs of the community.

Integrity – Reputation is everything. We are committed to maintain the highest standards of nonprofit ethics, accountability, and transparency in all areas, and to approach our relationships with honesty and fairness.


Mountain City Mills building

The historic building which houses the Delaplaine’s main galleries and classrooms was an important part of the Frederick County community even before being transformed into a community arts center. The building began as a whiskey rectifying house in the 1850s, and a few years later was converted to a steam flour mill. The mill changed hands a number of times over succeeding years, finally becoming the Mountain City Mill in 1906. That same year, the building sustained the second of the two devastating fires that it suffered during its many years as one of the county’s largest mills.

In 1958, the property was acquired by the Great Southern Printing and Manufacturing Company and for several decades served as a storage facility for the Frederick News-Post, then located just across Carroll Creek. The mill property was donated by the Delaplaine and Randall families to the City of Frederick for use as a visual arts center in 1986. It was leased to the Frederick Art Center Foundation (now The Delaplaine Arts Center, Inc.), which moved into the building in 1993 and established The Delaplaine Arts Center.

In this 1987 Frederick News-Post photo, George Delaplaine, Jr. (center), Bettie Delaplaine (right), and Governor William Donald Schaefer (left) unveil the sign announcing the future home of The Delaplaine Arts Center.

Extensive renovations in 1993 to the structure of the historic Mountain City Mill building and renovation of the interior provided two large galleries and offices on the first floor. Subsequent renovations completed in 1999 added gallery spaces, classrooms, art library, and offices on the second floor, and classrooms and studio space on the third floor. The construction of a new addition that includes an event hall, gallery shop, and classrooms also was completed that year. Mechanical remnants of the building’s time as a mill have been preserved and can still be viewed on the third floor. A 1,000-square-foot event deck was added adjacent to Gardiner Hall overlooking Carroll Creek Park.

Today, the Delaplaine is proud of its part in preserving the community’s rich heritage while adapting this important landmark to serve the community in a new and vital way.

A 1950s era flour sack from the Mountain City Mills was donated by Mike and Marlene Young. The sack is on display at the Delaplaine.

A 1950s era flour sack from the Mountain City Mills was donated by Mike and Marlene Young. The sack is on display at the Delaplaine.


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