Delaware Wine, Food, and Music Festival Returns and gives back to local charities

Sodel Fest

Two area charities have been selected as the beneficiaries for the 6th annual 2021 Southern Delaware Wine, Food & Music Festival, set for Saturday, Sept. 18 at the Independence Clubhouse and grounds in Long Neck, minutes away from the Delaware beaches.

The Developing Artist Collaboration and the Delaware Restaurant Association will enjoy the proceeds of a day of fun and fundraising with food tastings from 20 restaurants from the Culinary Coast, 100 different wines, beers, cocktails and spirits, great music — and a surprise event.

The Developing Artist Collaboration believes art is so much more than paint on paper Artists of any ability or possible medium are capable of building sustainable, meaningful careers.  The Developing Artist Collaboration empowers artists’ careers by giving them the space and tools for creation,  peer connection, and an understanding of the value of their purpose.

The grant from the Southern Delaware Wine, Food & Music Festival will help fund a new educational resource that honors the history of the iconic community of West Rehoboth. In the 1940s, black and brown workers in downtown Rehoboth were sold plots of land in the West Rehoboth area. Working with descendants of those original families and iconic community members, artist Terrance Vann, whose grandparents helped settle West Rehoboth, will paint family portraits of these community members on a long concrete wall.. Each portrait will have a QR code that the viewer can scan to see a video of the history of the family. The work will also include scenes of what West Rehoboth was like back in the 1940s-1960s so viewers can get a sense of what this historic community was like.

The Collaborative is seeking additional funds for the estimated $30,000 for the artist fee for this massive mural project, planned to be open to the public by Memorial Day 2022.

The Delaware Restaurant Association grant will go to DEEats, the association’s non-profit fund providing direct relief grants to struggling restaurant workers.

“We have been humbled by the needs of those in our restaurant community throughout the pandemic,” said Carrie Leishman, president and CEO of the Delaware Restaurant Association. Donations to DEEats during early 2020 paid for groceries, rent, utility bill payments, and other critical necessities — totaling more than $325,000 in direct financial assistance to more than 675 workers.

“While we’re not out of the woods yet, we’ve made a meaningful impact. Because of our community’s generosity, we have been able to provide grants to hundreds of restaurant workers and their families in Sussex County and throughout Delaware. We’ve managed to keep families together and fridges full.”

As a partner with Creative Coastal Connections Corporation, which brings the Southern DE Wine, Food & Music Festival to wine and food lovers every year, “we can continue to support our communities’ restaurant workforce in times of personal crisis,” Leishman said.

“The Southern Delaware Wine, Food & Music Festival is a celebration of the very best of coastal Delaware — our restaurants, breweries, wine merchants, and artists,” said Creative Coastal Connections executive director Stacy LaMotta, who founded the festival in 2015. “And while we provide a great experience for our participants and guests, we have also been able to give more than $125,000 to Sussex charities and nonprofits, and we are very proud to make that impact while having a fun and delicious afternoon.

“We have such a creative, talented community here in coastal Delaware. The chefs, sommeliers, restaurant owners, musicians, businesses, and volunteers who make the festival the premier event that it has become are just awe-inspiring,” LaMotta said.  “We’re expecting another big crowd — and we will all have a great time while giving a much-needed boost to these two deserving programs.”

Sponsors, restaurants, distributors, and musicians will be highlighted on the Southern Delaware Wine, Food and Music website, as well as through television, newspapers, magazines and in other promotional materials. Tickets are available on sodelfest.com For sponsorship information or restaurants, wine/liquor stores or distributors that want to be part of this annual event should contact Stacy LaMotta, 302 245-4262 or at stacy@sodelfest.com.