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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Kentuck Museum Association, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Art Museums, Arts & Culture, Single Organization Support, Visual Arts

Mission: The mission of the Kentuck Museum Association is to nuture artistic expresssion, to educate the public about the creative efforts of artists, to engage the community in the arts and add to the cultural climate and quality of life in West Alabama.

Kentuck is West Alabama's only community arts center and its efforts are focused on bringing a variety of arts programming to the general public through its projects: the Kentuck Art Center in downtown Northport; the Kentuck Festival of the Arts, Art Night, Museum Without Walls, Dickens Downtown, Northport Fine Arts Initiative and Kentuck for Kids Educational Programming.

The Kentuck Art Center:

The Kentuck Art Center is a multidisciplinary center which sponsors visual arts, music and theatre along with other activities and events. Currently at the center are two multi-purpose areas which function primarily as exhibition spaces; the Studio Artist Program; the Gallery Shop and the Association's administrative staff offices.

Exhibitions and Performances

The Kentuck Art Center presents over a dozen visual art exhibitions annually through the Gallery and Museum. The Kentuck Gallery presents the work of emerging artists and the Kentuck Museum hosts individual and group shows from regional and national artists. These exhibits are accompanied by gallery talks and other related events. Through the year, theatre ranging from play readings to fully realized productions is staged indoors and out at the Center; and musical ensembles offer performances of jazz, folk, blues, and more. School groups visit the Center for exhibits, artist studio tours and special activities. Community organizations also use the Center for various functions.

Studio Artist Program

As part of its mission to educate the community about the creative efforts of artists, Kentuck sponsors the Studio Artist Program which currently has six artists in residence at the Center: Steve Davis, metalsmith; Brian Evans, digital art; Lackey Stephens, painting; Celia O'Kelley, jewelry; Ann Betak, painting; and Justin Robinson, painting. These individuals lease studio space from the Center and run their studios independently, some opening for retail hours, others offering classes, and others prefering to use their space primarily for a work area. Artists have their studios open for the public at Art Night and for community, tourism and educational tours.

The Gallery Shop

The Gallery Shop showcases the craftsmanship of Alabama artists in clay, metal, glass, fiber and wood and features books and music by Alabama authors and musicians. The shop also has handcrafted work by southeastern and national artists. The goal of the Gallery Shop is to make handcrafted work available to the community year round and to provide financial support for artists, writers, and musicians.

Community Stories

5 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Being from Canada, I had never heard of the Kentuck Festival until a dear friend invited me to come along because "I think even you might like it." She was a bit off the mark ... I absolutely loved it! The event is a genuine American treasure, and it's clear from this outsider's view that many devoted and hard working volunteers put in hundreds of hours each year to deliver to newcomers and annual attendees alike the type of "wow" that I experienced. Since that initial introduction to Kentuck, I have had the sincere honor and privilege of attending non-festival events presented by the Kentuck Museum Association and, each time, the passion and professionalism of the organization has achieved the sky-high bar that was established on my first visit to the Kentuck Festival. Kudos to everyone involved!

Review from Guidestar


General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I am so very sorry to see the state this organization is in. A couple of years ago the board of directors did what too many other nonprofits have done, they hired one of their own directors as executive director. In speaking with patrons, artists and supporters I have learned that the current leadership is failing and flailing. The entire staff has quit and there is no programming other than the annaul festival. The current leadership is completely changing the rules of the festival this year and has done away with the grandfathered artists that so many folks come to see. There were advertisements for the executive director position in 2013 for a nonprofit professional with 6 years experience in nonprofit management and experience writing grants and the salary was raised appropriately to a range of $60-$70K. They in turn hired one of their own members who did not meet those requirements. This is a very beloved festival in the state of Alabama and it is very sad to see that it is on a careless downhill slope.

Review from Guidestar

1 Kara8

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I had never been to the Kentuck Art Festival, but this weekend I had an opportunity to go and had such a great time. There was so much more to do and see than I had anticipated. The quality of the musical performances and storytellers was just wonderful, and the artists all showcased such lovely work. It was a real treat to spend the weekend perusing the vendors and enjoying the community atmosphere. I will definitely go again!


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Kentuck is a collage of talent, creativity and fun. Walking through the paths and finding the perfect piece of art is a delight. The music, the people, the entire experience is not to be missed.

Suzan B.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Kentuck is a fantastic, magical place--a place where children can be taught about art, and what the imagination can actually do when let loose. The art at Kentuck spans from very fine art to the essence of Southern folk art. The staff, board and volunteers are there, and they far exceed what is normally given. They treat the artist like royalty, and the visitors to this event even better. It is a wonderful place..and the morning after the show, I start looking forward to next year.