MKAF Festival of the Arts Celebrates Art, Music, Food and Fun

Don't miss one of the Southeast's premier art festivals
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Every fall Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation (MKAF) celebrates the cultural arts by hosting the Festival of the Arts. This year’s 26th annual event is free and set for Saturday, Oct. 30 (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) and Sunday, Oct. 31 (10 a.m.- 4 p.m.) at the scenic MKAF Cultural Arts Village in Destin.

One of the Southeast’s premier art festivals, the two-day signature event features art exhibits of nearly 100 juried artists showcasing a diverse palette of artistic styles from oil paintings and fine photography to mixed media, mosaics, sculpture, clay ceramics, jewelry and more.

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“We will have all of the offerings our Festival fans look forward to each year, but with more new artists joining some of our longtime artists — all showcasing beautiful, new original works of art accompanied by live music, makes the Festival a fresh, new experience all over again,” says Festival producer Deb Nissley.

Art lovers of all ages will be able to watch artists create works during live art demonstrations, browse art from nearly 100 established artists along with dozens of emerging artists, and get hands-on in the interactive children’s art station. Beyond the visual arts, the Festival will feature two days of continual live music and a sampling of the local culinary arts scene. Entertaining street performers, lively art drawings and the sale of colorful keepsake souvenirs — all create a family-friendly festival feel.

How Best to Art Fest

Free Parking/Shuttle — Park for free Destin High School located adjacent to the Cultural Arts Village or at Emerald Coast Centre (near Beall’s Department Store), and ride the free continuous shuttle to the main entrance.

Get the Guide — A complimentary Festival Guide, containing a roster of all artists, a map of the Festival site, the entertainment lineup, a list of food & beverage vendors and other helpful hints on how to navigate the Festival, is available at the entrance.

Vote! — On Saturday, Festivalgoers are invited to vote for the “People’s Choice” Artist Award by casting a ballot located at the Main Festival entrance.

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Buy Festival Merchandise — This year’s official Festival merchandise features the whimsical artwork of Freeport artist Estelle Grengs (look for her at Booth No. 1.) Signed and numbered poster prints and souvenir t-shirts featuring Greng’s fantastical artwork will be available for sale in the Souvenir Tent.

Win Art! — Be sure to visit the Art Drawing Tent and enter the charity benefit drawing for chances to win a range of original artwork generously donated by the Festival artists. The drawing will take place on Sunday, Oct. 31 at 3 p.m.

Lend a Hand — Sign up to volunteer.

For more information, visit or call (850) 650-2226.                                                                                                                               

Categories: Events