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CAA Partners With Boys & Girls Club Of The Emerald Coast To Expand Programs

The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of the Emerald Coast to expand its Youth Arts Education program for club members and produce a high-quality mural that will serve as a source of inspiration and education to club visitors and participants. 

The new 20’ x 20’ (approximate) mural installation is near completion and featured on the blue architectural wall at the entrance of the South Walton club on Boys & Girls Club Way near the Coastal Branch Library and South Walton High School. The art work focuses on the theme “Great Futures Start Here” and was created by local artist Morgan Summers. The mural is a new addition to the CAA’s growing Art in Public Spaces program which also includes the nation’s first Underwater Museum of Art and the Watersound® Monarch Art Trail as well as planned installations at the upcoming U.S. Highway 98 Pedestrian Underpass. 

In addition to the mural, the CAA has developed a Youth Arts Education program to be integrated into the programming already offered to K-12 students at Boys & Girls Walton County clubs, including both the South Walton and DeFuniak Springs clubs. A weekly offering for each location is planned and will focus on a curriculum to foster youth creativity with projects like an ‘All About Me’ Self Portrait, a Flutterby Children’s Arts Festival exhibit, recycled material art, Picasso collages and so much more.

“Clubs provide a safe space to allow creative expression for the young people that we serve on a daily basis,” said Shervin Rassa, Chief Executive Officer at Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast. “Partnering with the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County will enhance the implementation of our Arts program, and will help Club Members build skills in the four pillars of “The Arts”: visual, digital, performing, and applied arts. Collectively, we will continue to give young people the opportunity to create, grow, and express themselves.” 

"I have personally experienced the Boys & Girls Club's positive impact on our community, and the addition of a diverse, year-long Arts program will only lead to even better outcomes and more well-rounded students," said CAA Executive Director Jennifer Steele. "Collaboration is key to the success of many of the CAA's programs, and we are proud to work with the Boys & Girls Club of the Emerald Coast team to foster creativity in its Club Members and help cultivate their sense of self through artistic expression and learning."

The CAA is excited to grow its team with the hiring of Elise Gilbert to facilitate the curriculum. In her role as Program Coordinator, Elise will focus on Youth Education through her work at the Boys & Girls Club as well as the CAA’s popular Creative Kids Camps. She will also be focused on community engagement through event volunteer coordination and programming at the Miramar Beach Creative Campus. An artist in her own right, Elise’s work can be seen at The Foster Gallery located at the Miramar Beach Creative Campus at 13370 Emerald Coast Parkway. 

For more information about the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County, call 850-622-5970 or visit

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