Andi Scurto Artwork Graces Destin Brewery’s Mattie Light
Proceeds Benefits Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation
Destin author and illustrator Andi Scurto, author of The Accidental Adventure of Mattie the Giraffe, now has a beer named after her creation: Destin Brewery’s Mattie Light, a light lager.
Not only that, but 15 percent of all sales of the beer will go to the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation (MKAF), a Destin-based nonprofit arts organization that partners with schools and other community organizations to provide visual and performing arts programs that otherwise would not be available.
To celebrate the new beer, a launch party will be held from 4-7 p.m. Thursday, April 7, at the brewery, 505 Mountain Drive, Unit N, in Destin. The party will feature free appetizers, Mattie the Giraffe merchandise and fun giveaways. Mattie Light will be available for purchase, with 15 percent of proceeds going to MKAF.
“Since I created Mattie in 2015, it’s truly been an awesome, accidental adventure. So many chance things have happened to us,” says author Scurto. “And now she has pedaled herself onto yet another remarkable location — the label of a Destin Brewery light beer. I wondered how to promote this idea of Mattie — a children’s character — being on an adult beverage label. The fact that a portion of each sale benefits philanthropic art programs for kids all sponsored by Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation, completely eases my mind. And a cool sip of Destin’s Brewery’s newest light beer is sure to ease the nerves of any adult these days.”
In addition to the brewery, Mattie Light will be sold at Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation events as well as local stores.
“We at Destin Brewery are super excited about our collaboration with Andi Art and Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation,” says Kristina Laszewski of Destin Brewery. “Being a family-owned business and having an artist and musician in our family we know how important it is to support the arts in our community. We feel privileged to pair up with the talented Andi and an amazing organization like Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation that enlightens our community with incredible talent. Cheers to a collaboration of crafts; beer, art, theater, and music!”
MKAF, which was founded in 1995 on the cultural, educational and spiritual beliefs of Destin matriarch Mattie May Kelly (1912-1992), offers an array of teaching artist residencies, workshops, touring performances, and summer camps designed to address the unique needs of K-12 students, children and adults with special needs, and veteran and active-duty military service members. All outreach art initiatives are made possible by private and corporate gifts, MKAF event income, and grants.
“I love working for the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation because our strong commitment to bringing the arts to people of all abilities and backgrounds in our community,” says Melanie Moore, education director of the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation. “We do this through our innovative ArtsReach programs for K-12 schools, children and adults with special needs, and veterans with visible and invisible injuries. We now implement more than 100 outreach programs a year.”
“The Accidental Adventure of Mattie the Giraffe” is a colorfully illustrated tale of the day that Mattie learns to ride her bicycle. It’s the captivating story about Mattie’s unexpected adventure that makes the perfect winter read for children.
“The memories I have of being read Dr. Seuss and The Berenstain Bears are priceless to me. A good book can be the bridge that bonds us together and that is my wish for Mattie the Giraffe — to be a bit of glue that helps happy memories stick,” says Scurto, who had been working on the book for the past six years.
Written and illustrated by Scurto, Mattie the Giraffe is a beloved character that has developed a whimsical following over the last six years. Scurto’s illustrations not only inspire wonder and curiosity but leave fans asking, “where will Mattie be next?”
Audience participation has been an engaging experience for Scurto, as her fans contribute imaginative travel spots for her protagonist — Mattie. Scurto felt that Mattie’s story of learning to ride a bike, without knowing how she would stop, could inspire courage in her audiences. A surprise ending, combined with over a dozen original watercolor paintings comprise this lighthearted journey of a reticulated giraffe.
Hailing from Destin, Florida by way of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Scurto is of Colombian descent and finds the warm Florida weather much to her liking.
Scurto is a self-taught artist whose art is featured in four different galleries and multiple outdoor areas in the Destin area. For nearly 15 years Scurto has been a professional artist, and she’s spent over 20 years writing creative content for the vacation rental industry. Finally, she’s combined her passions for storytelling and love of illustrating.
Six years in the making, Mattie the Giraffe began as a shy illustration that went on to be the subject of the 20th-anniversary poster for Destin Festival of the Arts and then continued to win multiple awards, culminating in the book. Scurto’s favorite pastimes include bird-watching, attempting to complete the NY Times daily crossword, and of course, riding her bike. This is her first book.