ELKTON — With wines to sip and foods to sample, attendees of An Artful Tasting from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, at The Palette & The Page will be raising money for a Cecil College fine arts scholarship.
Patti Paulus, co-owner of the gallery at 120 East Main Street in Elkton, said the biannual fundraiser was the brainchild of State Line Liquors owner John Murray.
The Palette & The Page owners wanted to endow a fine arts scholarship at Cecil College, and Murray suggested hosting beer and wine tastings to fund it. Murray selects which beers or wines will be featured and donates them to the event, according to Paulus.
Held once in the fall and again in the spring, An Artful Tasting has been welcoming community members in since 2017 for an evening of tasting local alcoholic beverages and foods while also raising funds for the scholarship.
Paulus said they need to raise at least $10,000 before the community college can begin awarding the scholarship since the actual scholarship will be funded by the interest accrued from that $10,000 base. So far, the gallery has raised nearly $5,000 through the tastings, other events, and signature chocolates and soaps where $1 from each sale goes to the scholarship.
“We’re sort of cobbling together a lot of things,” Paulus said.
The Oct. 18 event’s list of California wines includes La Crema Chardonnay, La Crema Pinot Noir, True Myth Cabernet Sauvignon, Murphy Goode Pinot Grigio and A Sparkling “Surprise.” The menu will also feature salted caramels from North East Chocolates, as well as dishes made with ARGOS olive oil and Plan Bee Apiary’s honey, according to Paulus.
Paulus said The Palette & The Page is asking for attendees to make a minimum donation of $20, which is tax deductible and can be paid at the door with a check made out to the Cecil College Fine Arts Scholarship.
Attendees will then get four drink tickets, which they can either use to sample four different wines, four of the same if they have a favorite, or any mixture they choose, according to Paulus.
Although the exact criteria that applicants will have to meet for the scholarship are still being formulated, Paulus said the scholarship will likely require a portfolio review.
“I think it’s a good learning opportunity for them to have to put together a portfolio or to have a body of work to show somebody to say ‘This is what I’m doing and this is what I’m pursuing,’” she said. “Hopefully it won’t scare anybody off because some people get afraid of doing that. But if you want to be an artist, you have to put yourself out there.”
Paulus hopes the scholarship will continue to stand long after she and her colleagues are gone.
“For us, it feels like our legacy,” she said. “We’re not going to be here forever … But 100 years from now, there will be that scholarship.”
Once the scholarship is fully endowed, Paulus is looking forward to getting to support artists during their collegiate journeys — especially those who need help the most.
“There are students in the past and maybe some now that have lived out of their cars, that have no support at home,” she said. “There are kids that are working two jobs and going to school full time, so if it can just be a little bit — even if it’s a little bit, even if it’s $250 a semester — that would make it so great.”
By furthering opportunities for fine arts education, Paulus said her gallery hopes that the next generation will shape their community for the better.
“Education is really important to the community, and often people lose sight of that,” she said. “We need an educated populace to create a better world and to create a better community, so if we can help somebody with their education that would be really nice.”