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28th Annual Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation ‘Festival of the Arts’ expands to three days

The Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation’s 28th annual Festival of the Arts will celebrate visual arts, music, theater and food in Destin, Florida from Oct. 27-29. The signature two-day festival held in tents […]

Source: MoonCreek Studios

The Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation’s 28th annual Festival of the Arts will celebrate visual arts, music, theater and food in Destin, Florida from Oct. 27-29.

  • The festival opens Friday evening with the Arty Kick-Off Party at the Henderson Beach Resort featuring live painting by award-winning artist Kathy Schumacher and music by Coconut Radi. Tickets to the party are $75.

The signature two-day festival held in tents at the Dugas Pavilion green will feature over 100 artists from 17 states. Mediums on display range from oil paintings and photography to mixed media, mosaics, sculpture and more. Festival admission is free.

“To enrich this year’s Festival, we’ve added the Arty Kick-Off Party at Henderson Beach Resort on Friday, a VIP Sponsor Loung, and a fun immersive experience for kids with Maxine Orange’s Splatter Studio — we hope you enjoy it all,” said MKAF Festival Producer Deb Nissley. 

  • In celebration of visual arts, artists will compete for over $12,000 in prizes awarded by judges Carrie Ann Baade and Dale Castellucci. Festivalgoers can also vote for the People’s Choice award winner. A collaborative exhibit will showcase both seasoned and local student artists vying for $850 in McIlroy Awards.
  • In a celebration of music and theater, the lineup includes 7 music acts spanning jazz, rock, bluegrass and more. New this year, members of the Stage Crafters Community Theatre will perform live scenes.
  • To highlight culinary arts, the festival will feature food vendors serving up dishes like Latin cuisine, Asian cuisine, Texas BBQ, sweets and more. A beer and wine garden will also be available.

The festival provides interactive fun for all ages, including a hands-on art studio, souvenir tent, and art drawing with donated works by featured artist Roger van Lieshout. Free shuttles from Destin High School and Emerald Coast Centre provide transportation.

Festival proceeds benefit the foundation’s arts education programs serving students, adults and veterans. More information can be found at

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