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Cousin Curtiss To Headline 'Dine + Dive' Fundraiser For The UMA

The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) is excited to announce 30A Songwriters Festival favorite Cousin Curtiss will headline the “Dine + Dive” fundraiser for the Underwater Museum of Art. The event will take place on Wednesday, May 1, 6:00 - 9:00 PM, in Grand Boulevard’s Town Center and is the official kick-off party for Art Month Walton County, a month-long celebration of the Arts that includes many diverse cultural events throughout the month of May.


The CAA and South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA) are pleased to expand the former “Under the Sea” event to an immersive fusion of fine art, food, wine, and marine conservation igniting all of the senses featuring scores of incredible wines to sample, more than a dozen restaurant tasting stations with special food menu items from some of South Walton’s most popular restaurants and celebrated Chefs, along with a cash bar offering signature cocktails and beer.


Event headliner Cousin Curtiss brings to the stage a fiery dynamic rarely seen by a solo act and now partnered up with the equally enigmatic and soulfully driven electric guitar prowess of Harrison B, these two road warriors are on a mission to electrify audiences everywhere with their two-man full-band sound. Think, "blues at bluegrass speeds." Imagine, "rock americana with a soulful drip." Experience rapid fire acoustic guitar, incendiary harmonica, fiercely energized solos, all driven by a thunderous kick drum.



In addition to continuous live music, “Dine + Dive” party-goers will have an opportunity to meet UMA artists from current and previous installations as well as receive an exclusive preview of several of the original works created for the 2024 installation before the sculptures are deployed to the UMA site over the summer. Tickets for this awe-inspiring experience are on sale now at CulturalArtsAlliance.com/upcoming-events for $100 per person in advance and $125 per person day of the event, if available.  


The “Dine + Dive '' event is produced by the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County with support from Visit South Walton, Grand Boulevard Town Center, SWARA, and Word of Mouth Restaurant Group. A few event and sculpture sponsorships are still available, and those interested can contact Gabby Callaway at Gabby@culturalartsalliance.com for more details.


Funds raised from “Dine + Dive'' ticket sales and sponsorships will benefit the sixth deployment of sculptures into the Underwater Museum of Art (UMA), a collaborative project with the South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA) and the nation’s first permanent dedicated sculpture museum, recognized as one of TIME magazine’s 2018 100 World’s Greatest Places as well as one of National Geographic’s Best Trips 2019 and a 2023 CODA Award winner. 


The UMA is a project of the CAA’s 'Art in Public Spaces' program created in partnership with SWARA with the purpose to create marine habitat and expand fishery populations while providing enhanced creative, cultural, economic and educational opportunities for the benefit, education and enjoyment of residents, students and visitors in South Walton. 


The 2024 UMA installation will include the following pieces of sculpture: Reef Goddess by Raine Bedsole (Santa Rosa Beach, FL), Deep Sea Three by Matthew Gemmell and David Showalter (Baltimore, MD), Sea How We Flow by Elise Gilbert (Santa Rosa Beach, FL), Poseidon’s Throne by Nathan Hoffman (Highlandville, MO), Bubby Barnacles by Donna Conklin King (East Orange, NJ), Sunken Spores by Ashley Rivers (Gulfport, FL), and Ring My Bell by Bradley Touchstone (Santa Rosa Beach, FL). 


Select sculptures will be on display at the fundraiser and throughout the weekend during the 36th annual ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival in Grand Boulevard’s Town Center May 4th and 5th and will then be transferred to Orange Beach, AL to be prepared for their deployment into the Gulf this summer to expand the museum as they join the previously deployed 40 sculptures. The UMA site is located less than one mile off the coast of Grayton Beach State Park in a one-acre permit patch of seabed. 


The UMA project is produced with support from Visit South Walton, Florida Arts and Culture, Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, Laurel Machine & Foundry, Seagrove Village Market Café, St. Joe Community Foundation, Touchstone Architecture and the Ellis Family. For more information, visit UMAFL.org or CulturalArtsAlliance.com.

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