An Appreciation of the Arts Along the Emerald Coast
Destin/Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., March 30, 2015 – Florida’s Emerald Coast (Destin, Ft. Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island) is increasingly becoming a hotbed for patrons of the fine and performing arts. This stretch of paradise has a vibrant arts & entertainment scene, including ballet companies, symphony orchestras, Broadway productions and touring musicians year-round. And a local art nonprofit, the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation (MKAF), celebrates its 20th anniversary this month. Whether you want to gallery hop, take in an arts festival or don a smock and take an art class, you’ll find plenty of opportunities on the Emerald Coast – not to mention inspiration.
Arts-related venues and upcoming productions include the following:
Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation: Since 1995, the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation has been committed to cultivating and nurturing a deep appreciation of the arts along the breathtaking Emerald Coast. MKAF operates the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village, providing a central location to celebrate cultural arts in Destin, Florida. The upcoming 20th Annual “Concerts in the Village” Outdoor Concert Series will take place on Thursday nights from May7 through July 2 and are $10 per adult or free for MKAF members and children under 12. For the 20th anniversary, both the MKAF and the city of Destin are honoring matriarch Mattie Kelly with tributes to all she has done for the local community.
Mattie Kelly Arts Center at Northwest Florida State College: The area’s premier venue for world-class entertainment, featuring indoor and outdoor stages for touring Broadway shows, Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra (NFSO)concerts, many other musical offerings, innovative artistic events and performance art from all genres. This month, the Center showcased “Hamlet” from March 18 to 21. Upcoming NFSO performances include “A Night at the Opera” on Saturday, April 11, when they welcome back German soprano Vera Schoenberg and baritone Robert Honeysucker, along with Korean tenor Won Whi Choi and the Northwest Florida Symphony Chorale, for an unforgettable evening of opera and operetta.
Arts and Design Society: The mission of the Arts and Design Society of Fort Walton Beach, Inc., is to facilitate fine art exhibitions, to conduct art classes which enhance the appreciation of the visual arts, and to further educate fledgling and established artists. Upcoming exhibits include the Van Porter Student Show, March 31-April 10, and the Playground Gem and Mineral Society showcase, April 11-17.
Northwest Florida Ballet: NFB provides world-class ballet performances and training to the community, and reaches thousands of school children through public programs and performances exclusively for students. The company recently performed a production of Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake.”
Sinfonia Gulf Coast: The Emerald Coast’s only fully professional orchestra performs works from the area’s best musicians and features international guest artists. Upcoming concerts include “Disney Pixar in Concert” on Saturday, April 11 at 7:00 PM.
For more information on visiting Destin, Ft. Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island throughout the year, visit www.EmeraldCoasting.com or call 1-800-322-3319.
The Emerald Coast Tourist Development Department promotes the destination through marketing and advertising of the beaches of Destin, Ft. Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island. The TDD oversees the operation of the Emerald Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Emerald Coast Convention Center, the Emerald Coast Film Commission, the Visitors Welcome Center and conservation efforts aimed at improving and protecting the natural environment of Okaloosa County. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/floridasemeraldcoast, Twitter @EmeraldCoastFLA, Pinterest at pinterest.com/emeraldcoastfla, Instagram @EmeraldCoastFLA or visit the official tourism site of the Emerald Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau at EmeraldCoasting.com.