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CAA Celebrates Arts & Humanities Month

Activate your imagination as we celebrate National Arts & Humanities month this October! Join the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County for a collaboration of events and activities presented in diverse formats and various venues throughout South Walton.

The calendar is full of virtual and onsite offerings, including the ArtsQuest virtual exhibit, a CAA Member Artist exhibit, Con-scious Expressions: An Insider’s Perspective, an Art on Demand episode called ‘The Nation’s First Underwater Museum of Art: From Design to Deployment’, a reveal of the CAA’s Art in Public Spaces Billboard project, the Foster Gallery Fall Rotation, Emerald Coast Theatre Company events, a CAA Membership drive, and more! For complete details on each event, visit

“While it was disappointing to have to postpone our beloved Art Month in May due to the pandemic, we know we are one of many organizations forced to evolve and change the way we provide services and programs to our community,” said CAA Executive Director Jennifer Steele. “Participating in National Arts & Humanities month through virtual and safe in-person environments allows us to continue to celebrate our traditional events like ArtsQuest, introduce new programming, and also be a part of a national Arts community when connection is needed more than ever. We hope this format will draw more members and artists to the CAA as we enter our recovery phase and reimagine the future of the organization and the role art plays in all our lives.”

National Arts & Humanities Month was established in 1993 by Americans for the Arts and is celebrated every October in the United States. It was initiated to encourage Americans to explore new facets of the arts and humanities in their lives, and to begin a lifelong habit of participation in the arts and humanities.

National Arts & Humanities Month Activities include:

Art in Public Spaces Billboard Project The CAA is pleased to partner with Visit South Walton and Lamar Outdoor Advertising to expand our Art in Public Spaces program to include a special billboard art exhibition. The exhibit features original artwork by Walton County artists, including Visit South Walton’s 2020 Artist of the Year Doug Foltz, Francisco Adaro, Jose David Cantu, Linda Kernick, Bailey Miller, Melanie Moore, Edward Nickerson, Nanette Ream, Sarah Riley, Allison Wickey and Jamie Zimchek. The artwork will be displayed on billboards throughout Walton, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa counties. The purpose of the project is for art to share messages of joy, unity, encouragement and healing, to beautify highways with original artwork, provide exposure and income to Walton County artists, and to promote South Walton as a creatively rich community where art thrives.

“Art is an integral part of South Walton’s identity, with local artists finding inspiration in the area’s natural beauty,” says David Demarest of the Walton County TDC. “We’re excited to help share the works of these artists, including our 2020 Artist of the Year Doug Foltz, and we hope that perhaps seeing these creations will help remind residents and visitors of the artistic creativity and natural beauty that work hand in hand to make South Walton special.”

Image 1: Allison Wickey, The Fit Soul Image 2: Bailey Miller, Moon Over Western Lake Image 3: 2020 Visit South Walton Artist of the Year Doug Foltz, Refuge Image 4: Edward Nickerson, Western Lake Image 5: Francisco Adaro, Portrait Of Us All Image 6: Jamie Zimchek, We Are All Made Of Stars Image 7: Jose David Cantu, Fall Sunrise on Choctawhatchee Bay Image 8: Linda Kernick, Calm Image 9: Nanette Ream, Reflections at Topsail Image 10: Melanie Moore, Oasis Image 11: Sarah Riley, Be The Magic

ArtsQuest The 32nd annual ArtsQuest is going virtual! ArtsQuest provides an opportunity to view and purchase original art from artists from around the country, including ArtsQuest poster artwork from 2020 featuring artist Michael McCarty. Sponsors include Visit South Walton, Grand Boulevard Town Center, Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and Emerald Coast Magazine.

CAA Artist Member Exhibition The annual Betty & Johnny Main CAA Member Artist exhibit, which usually takes place at ArtsQuest, will be featured in-person in the Emerald Coast Theatre Company’s lobby October 6th through December 20th and on the CAA’s website beginning October 15th. All works are available for purchase, and awards will be given for Best in Show and Awards of Merit.

Con-scious Expressions: An Inside Perspective Through a new partnership with Restorative Justice volunteers Libby Fisher and Erica Averion and the Walton Correctional Institution (WCI), the CAA is proud to introduce a very special exhibition titled “Con-scious Expressions: An Inside Perspective” featuring original work created by residents of three dorms within WCI.

The title of the exhibit was submitted by WCI resident Michael George who states, “I chose this title because I truly believe that our prisons house many talented men and women. However, most of the media coverage of prisons and prisoners will never show that. Many of us are just broken individuals who made a poor choice in a moment of weakness. Our art creations are conscious expressions of our joy, pain, despair, and hope. The exhibit will hopefully give those who see it a glimpse of our humanity as well as an appreciation of our creativity.”

“This art exhibit was born organically from friendships among South Walton women. CAA Executive Director Jennifer Steele mentioned to CAA board member Mimi Gavigan her goal to create a jail/prison art outreach program,” said Restorative Justice volunteer Libby Fisher.

“Mimi knew of the volunteer work that Erica and I were doing, and so we met, brainstormed and developed the idea of the art exhibit. The administration at Walton Correctional Institute – the Florida state prison in DeFuniak Springs – was enthusiastic and supportive. We hope to show the public the talent and humanity of people in prison.”

The exhibit can be viewed in Emerald Coast Theatre Company’s lobby October 6th through December 20th and on the CAA’s website beginning October 22nd through Spring 2021.

The Foster Gallery Fall Rotation The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) is proud to announce the 15 local artists who were recently chosen to exhibit their original work in The Foster Gallery’s 2020 Fall Rotation.

The selected artists are Melody Bogle, Gayle Campbell, Andrea Chipser, Donnelle Clark, Skip Deems, Kim Eifrid, Sandra Horne, Iva Jazayeri, Linda Kernick, Betsy Latham, Jason Lindblad, William Polley, Mary Redmann, Kathleen Schumacher and Jenna Varney.

The gallery is also pleased to feature hand-crafted jewelry from local artisans Hardwear Merry and The Salty Sparrow. All artists are members of the Cultural Arts Alliance and each will exhibit and sell their work in their own section of the gallery.

Founded in May 2016, The Foster Gallery is an artist collective led by the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County that features at least a dozen artists on a seasonally rotating basis, along with special exhibits and invitationals throughout the year. Named for the late Susan Foster, a founder of the Cultural Arts Alliance and one of the area’s first professional artists and gallery owners, The Foster Gallery also symbolizes the support the CAA strives to provide for artists in our community.

The Foster Gallery at Grand Boulevard is located at 585 Grand Blvd., Ste. N102 in Miramar Beach and is open daily, 12 p.m. until 7 p.m.

Emerald Coast Theatre Company October Events Emerald Coast Theatre Company (ECTC) continues its eighth annual season on the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast in October with four distinctly different productions that offer something for all ages. The first offering of the season on ECTC’s Professional Theatre Mainstage is First Date. The book for this musical comedy is by Austin Winsberg with music and lyrics by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner.

Professional Theatre Second Stage is a new ECTC offering this year. As the name suggests, ECTC’s Second Stage, is an additional, intimate performance space located separately from the Mainstage that will showcase musical cabaret acts, as well as small bands, solo musicians and performing artists.

Save the date for Cabaret on the Boulevard. On Tuesday, Oct. 13 come mix, mingle, and enjoy live musical selections performed by talented members of the First Date cast.

The Oct. 20 Cabaret on the Boolevard will feature spine-chilling selections from “spooky” Broadway shows such as Wicked, The Addams Family, Beetlejuice and others.

Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) is ECTC’s series that showcases professional adult actors performing select theater pieces designed to engage young audiences. The second offering of the season in the TYA series is DoT and Ziggy, a play by Linda Hartzell and Mark Perry. Performance dates are Oct. 23, 24, 30 and 31 at 9 a.m. This production is intended for children ages 6 months to 5 years.

Discover more details and reserve tickets to all ECTC offerings online at

Art on Demand | The Nation’s First Underwater Museum of Art From Design to Deployment In celebration of Arts & Humanities month we’re premiering a special Art on Demand episode that gives a behind-the-scenes look at the Underwater Museum of Art (UMA), the nation’s first underwater museum located in South Walton off the coast of Grayton Beach, FL. The UMA launched in 2018 as a collaborative project of the CAA and the South Walton Artificial Reef Association. The museum has been recognized as one of TIME magazine’s 2018 100 World’s Greatest Places as well as one of National Geographic’s Best Trips 2019. The 2021 UMA installation will be the third deployment and includes work by seven artists bringing the sculpture exhibition total to 25.

Art on Demand is a virtual series launched by the Cultural Arts Alliance (CAA) in April 2020 in response to the Governor’s stay-at-home order as a way to offer opportunities for connection and creativity. Art on Demand events consist of artist workshops and studio tours, mixology sessions for at-home cocktails, floral design workshops, architecture and landscape tours, virtual fitness and wellness sessions, visual art demos and classes, wine tastings and education and more. The CAA was fortunate to partner with Alys Beach, The 30A Company and Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs to produce 24 episodes airing between June and October. All previous Art on Demand episodes are viewable on the CAA’s website.

For more information on all CAA events and programming, visit