The Cultural Arts Alliance (CAA) is the designated arts agency for Walton County dedicated to supporting the arts through leadership, advocacy, funding, programs and education. We like to think of ourselves as the cultural hub of activities and endeavors in all artistic forms. One of our goals is to provide access to and opportunities for both our locals and visitors to enjoy authentic, unique cultural experiences. There are several ways we strive to foster these possibilities for creative connection.
Founded in May 2016, The Foster Gallery is a professional artist collective led by the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County that features at least a dozen local artists on a seasonally rotating basis, along with special exhibits, including the annual CAA juried show, One Size Fits All, and invitationals throughout the year. Named for the late Susan Foster, 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. Since the gallery opened it’s doors, over 75 artists have exhibited works.
Art in Public Spaces
The former A+Art Program has recently grown into two separate Visual Arts Programs: Special Exhibitions at The Foster Gallery and Art in Public Spaces.
The CAA in partnership with the South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA) and support from the National Endowment for the Arts will join two of South Walton, Florida’s most beloved attractions – the arts and the Gulf of Mexico – with the introduction of The Underwater Museum of Art (UMA), North America’s first underwater permanent sculpture exhibit.
The UMA is the first presentation of the CAA’s Art In Public Spaces Program and will augment SWARA’s mission of creating marine habitat and expanding 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.
Another exciting Art in Public Spaces addition is our #ArtMatters Public Art Exhibition at Hyatt Place, the newest hotel project to break ground in Grand Boulevard’s Town Center. The CAA and Howard Hospitality invited visual artists to submit 2D works to be displayed through the Hyatt Place’s construction phase.
Each of the six winning pieces will soon be printed onto high-quality vinyl and incorporated into the Hyatt Place brand message along the front-facing perimeter fencing of the Hyatt Place site throughout the construction phase. All six of the original works are currently exhibited and for sale at The Foster Gallery, located in Grand Boulevard Town Center.
We launched our new #ArtMatters campaign in 2016, with the creation of our #ArtMatters Blog on the CAA website, an Art in Public Spaces exhibit at the Hyatt Place hotel in Grand Boulevard’s Town Center and a rebranding of our email newsletter. We view #ArtMatters as both a noun and a verb. We believe Art Matters to our community by playing an integral role in establishing a culturally rich and diverse community for work, play and stay. We also view Art Matters as part of our advocacy role for Walton County in keeping local, regional, state and national arts related issues top of mind. Our wish is to find solutions to community challenges through the arts.
The Cultural Arts Alliance offers over 250 affordable art classes each year at the Bayou Arts Center and The Foster Gallery for artists of all ages and skill levels. From after-school and summer programs for kids to Oil, Acrylic, Mixed Media, Basket Weaving and Watercolor classes for adults, the CAA has a class for everyone. In 2015 – 2016, we hosted 1,500 adults and 475 kids in classes, workshops and camps at both the Bayou Arts Center and Foster Gallery. Visit our online class schedule to discover new ways to ignite your creative spark!
We produce several annual events including the 30A Songwriters Festival, the Valentine Tour of Homes, Art Week South Walton which includes the ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival and the Longleaf Writers Conference, the Flutterby Arts Festival, as well as quarterly receptions at The Foster Gallery celebrating the incoming rotation artists and our Winter Social gathering to thank our members and supporters in addition to naming our Volunteer of the Year. In total, 700 artists are involved in these events that are supported by more than 900 volunteers and attended by 15,000 people.
We offer grant funding for artists, arts organizations, teachers and students through the CAA’s ‘Art For All’ Program. Applying is easy, and awards are distributed throughout the year. In 2015-2016, we awarded grants to 160 recipients and impacted 7,500 school-age students. Visit our ‘Art For All‘ page to find out if you are eligible to get your class, project or education funded!