Kent Island Federation of Arts 50th Anniversary Celebration

The Kent Island Federation of Arts is marking its 50th Anniversary in 2013 with an entire year of exhibits, events, gatherings, and celebrations culminating with a Gala celebration the evening of November 9th.

Many people in the area may not know the history of this venerable organization or even that there is a local arts organization that has been in existence for 50 years! KIFA’s main mission is to provide an opportunity for people of all ages to better appreciate the visual arts and to develop their own creative and artistic skills. It all started In the 1960s when a number of artist residents, realizing that there was no place locally where artistic work could be exhibited, formed a group to meet and mount annual shows of their work. The first show was in 1962. By 1972, as a result of the enthusiasm of the original group, the Kent Island Association was formed, with Dorothy Tarr serving as the first president. The Association was officially incorporated as the KENT ISLAND FEDERATION of ARTS (KIFA) in 1979. With 93 members, KIFA opened its first art gallery on Kent Island in an old house across the street from Christ Episcopal Church in Stevensville. Exhibit space was limited to two rooms.

The gallery was moved to its present location at 405 Main St., in Stevensville in 1983, and in 1985 KIFA purchased the lovely victorian style house.

By 1995, with 140 members, and the mortgage paid, KIFA was mounting eleven art exhibits a year with emphasis on art education and service to Queen Anne¹s County. Today’s average membership of over 200 includes artists, artisans, craftspersons and others who love and support the visual arts. KIFA operates with the support of volunteers, especially its Docents who keep their doors open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 1 to 4p.m. KIFA has a newly expanded gift shop featuring beautiful handmade items by its artists.

There are twelve exhibits (all free and open to the public) planned throughout the year beginning with the “Artists’ Challenge: Memories” beginning in January and culminating in the annual Holiday Boutique and Tiny Treasures Show in November and December. Details are at Highlights will be the annual invitational March Student Showcase which is always a hugely popular event for students and families from Kent Island and Grasonville. The 50th Annual Open Judged Art Show which is open to everyone promises to be the best ever. The 17th Annual Photography Show is probably the biggest show of the year and popular with photographers from up and down the East Coast. And the Golden Jubilee Member Show – “Together 50 Years of Art” will bring together many artists who have learned at and supported KIFA throughout the years. In addition to the gallery shows, KIFA will host the 4th Annual Gardens By The Sea event on the weekend of June 8th and 9th. This has become a much anticipated garden tour with many homeowners and gardeners giving generously of their time and gardening skills to showcase their beautiful gardens for visitors. KIFA will also have a members’ picnic celebration in June. Further details to be announced. Membership is only $35 a year.

The year will culminate with a Gala celebration on November 9th, 2013 at the Community Room of the Kent Island Fire Department from 7 to 11 p.m. catered by The Narrows Restaurant. Ticket prices will be $100 which includes an open bar. There will be opportunities to participate in other fundraising events that same evening.

All events are open to the public and the public is encouraged to come and find out what KIFA is all about. For more information contact KIFA at 410-643-7424 or go to