Our Mission

The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) is a Local Arts Agency that supports the arts through leadership, advocacy, funding, programs and education.

The vision of the CAA is to be the catalyst for Walton County’s growth as a destination for cultural and artistic excellence through which lives are enriched, economy is stimulated and community is strengthened.

Discover how we bring our Mission and Vision to life in our Annual Report.

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Left: CAA & ArtsQuest Founders, Debbie Eberhart with the late Susan Foster and Jan Clarke.

CAA & ArtsQuest Founders, Debbie Eberhart with the late Susan Foster and Jan Clarke.

Our History

In May 1989, a group of artists and volunteers led by Susan Foster, Jan Clarke & Jeff Ellis organized the first Grayton Beach Fine Arts Festival (now ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival). Two years later, Foster and Hilda McDonald coordinated a children’s art festival, eventually called the Flutterby Festival. Both events were designed to showcase local artists and raise money for after-school children’s art classes. Because of the success of these events, it became necessary to form an organization through which grants and scholarships could be awarded, and the Cultural Arts Alliance (CAA) was founded in 1993 as a 501 (c)3. In over two decades, the CAA has grown exponentially, fine-tuning these traditions while adding programs, events and services and growing into a leader in the community with a mission to support the arts through leadership, advocacy, funding, programs and education.

In 2008, the CAA received designation by the County and State as the official Local Arts Agency (LAA) of Walton County and was designated as the administrator of all revenues from the sale of the Florida Arts license plates in Walton County. The CAA headquarters is the Bayou Arts Center where over 200 art classes are offered every year to adults and children. The CAA produces the 30A Songwriters Festival, Valentine Tour of Homes, ArtsQuest, Under the Sea fundraiser for the Underwater Museum of Art, and the Flutterby Festival. Tens of thousands of dollars are awarded annually to teachers, students, artists and arts organizations through the CAA’s Art For All Program, which is funded through grants and net proceeds from events.

The CAA is such an amazing asset to have at our disposal as local Artists. The opportunities they provide are pivotal to furthering our craft both creatively and professionally.

Guided by the Cultural Arts Alliance, Walton County has emerged as THE premier destination in Northwest Florida for world-class artistic events and programs. Their contributions are enormously impactful and are valued by members of our local community and fortunate travelers alike. Our company is grateful for the opportunity to be involved with an organization that is infusing our market with a heightened sense of creative appreciation, which directly inspires additional visitors to explore our area throughout the year.

Richard Olivarez, Ocean Reef Resorts

The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County played an integral part of my growth as an South Walton artist. It was my introduction to our local art community. Through the CAA, I was able to show my work locally in The Foster Gallery, enter CAA sponsored shows, meet other local artists to form valuable alliances and become a local artist, now with my own gallery/studio. Thank you CAA!

Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County has done incredible work for Walton County and our surrounding areas over the past 24 years and it is their commitment to enriching the culture of our community that initially drew Grayton Beer Company to join in those efforts. Their annual events such as the 30A Songwriters Festival and ArtsQuest draw thousands of visitors to our beloved beach side town and enhance our economy. Locally, the grassroots efforts surrounding the education of our children and enrichment of the arts make the CAA an invaluable asset to the expansion of our area’s culture and diversity.

The CAA is a driving force for cultural awareness in Walton county; delivering opportunity, after opportunity for its people (from teachers to students and everyone in between) to know and grow together through focus on the Arts. The CAA is water in the desert for teachers who seek more for their students but, simply, lack the means. My experience with the CAA was absolutely seamless. I asked, I received and as result, my students were able to experience a material, a process and a culture they knew only in passing. Thanks to the CAA’s Teacher Mini-Grant, the 2015/16 fifth grade students of West DeFuniak Elementary were able to grow Art knowledge, Art skills and–more importantly–behaviors of cultural empathy.

Marla Sillivant, Teacher

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