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Mattie Kelly Arts Center

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Art Gallery:
Arnie Hart Juried Student Exhbiition

College Production:
NWFSC Arts Out Loud

College Production:
NWFSC Fine and Performing Arts Division Honors Recital

College Production:
Dance Facets 2018

NFSO Presents:
Stars of Tomorrow

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Auditions: The Hunchback of Notre Dame

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2018 NWF Ballet Student Concert

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NFSO Piano Recital - Chloe Zhang

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An Evening with Mike Huckabee - Oct. 6 Benefits Music Programs

Mattie Kelly Arts Center


9/22/2014 - An Evening with MIKE HUCKABEE, October 6 Event Benefits Music Programs, Free of Charge for Students

Northwest Florida State College and the college's Mattie Kelly Arts Center present a special event on Monday, October 6, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. (CST) when former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee appears as a Distinguished Guest Speaker in “An Evening with Mike Huckabee”. All event proceeds benefit the college's music programs. The event also includes music by the NWF State College Jazz Ensemble and a VIP reception with Huckabee.

Mike Huckabee, host of the #1 rated weekend hit “Huckabee” on the Fox News Channel, will speak on “Weapons of Mass Instruction” - why music and the arts are a must for our educational system - and will also host an open topic Q & A session with the audience and play his bass guitar with the college’s Jazz Ensemble in the 1,650 seat mainstage theater of the college’s Mattie Kelly Arts Center. Jeff Carlisi, formerly of the band 38 Special will also appear and perform with the Jazz Ensemble and Huckabee in the music portion of the evening’s program.

The event is free of charge to youth age 18 and younger and free for NWF State College students with student ID. Adult tickets are $15 each, with an option for a $65 VIP event/reception combo ticket. The VIP reception with Mike Huckabee will be held prior to the event starting at 5:30 p.m. The reception is catered by Dockside Café of Niceville and will be held at the Arts Center Galleries, adjacent to the mainstage theater. Tickets are available from the Mattie Kelly Arts Center Box Office by phone, web or in-person at (850) 729-6000 or toll free 1-888-838-ARTS (2787). Box Office Hours are 10:00 am to 4:00 p.m. (CST) or online at

Huckabee, an avid musician since age 11, is a bass guitar player and has spoken nationwide on the value and significance of an education that includes music and the arts, in order to challenge students and build the kind of economy that will help our nation be competitive and thrive in the global economy. He is often featured in the musical segment of his FOX TV show. Huckabee’s parents bought him a $99 guitar when he was 11 years old, and he's played ever since. His band, Capitol Offense, has played with Grand Funk Railroad, Willie Nelson and REO Speedwagon, among others.

Mike Huckabee is heard three times daily across the nation on The Huckabee Report syndicated on almost 600 stations. He is a New York Times Bestselling author of 11 books, and his 12th is set for release in January of 2015. In his campaign for the Republican nomination for President in 2008, he finished second to John McCain. His political action committee, HuckPac has amassed a volunteer team with thousands of activists in all 50 states.

Mike Huckabee was the 44th Governor of Arkansas from 1996 until 2007, becoming one of the longest serving Governors in his state’s history, and only the 4th Republican elected to any statewide office since Reconstruction. He served longer than the other three Republican-elected officials combined. He left a legacy of tax cuts, job creation, the reconstruction of his state’s road system, K-16 education reform, and a nationally heralded and duplicated health initiative that focused on the less expensive approach of prevention than the costly big-government approach of intervention. His administration fought long-standing corruption in the state’s political machine, resulting in numerous indictments and convictions of powerful legislators and other elected officials.

Huckabee had been Lieutenant Governor for 3 years in July 1996 when his predecessor was forced to resign due to felony convictions. He was one of the youngest governors in the country at the time. He was elected to a full four-year term as governor in 1998, attracting the largest percentage of the vote ever received by a Republican gubernatorial nominee in Arkansas, and was re-elected to another four-year term in November 2002.

Governing magazine named him as one of its 'Public Officials of the Year' for 2005, and Time Magazine honored him as one of the five best governors in America. He has been honored by numerous organizations for his commitment to music education. He served as the Chairman of the prestigious National Governors Association, as well as the Education Commission of the States, the Southern Governors Association, and the Interstate Oil and Gas Commission.

His hobbies include hunting, fishing, and music. He was named one of the 25 Most Influential People for Conservation by Outdoor Life magazine, and was named Man of the Year by the American Sportfishing Association in 1997. The former governor and his wife, Janet, live in Florida and still spend part of their time in Arkansas. They have three grown children: John Mark, David and Sarah and four grandchildren.

Ten nationally touring Broadway and Artist shows and three Special Events (including "An Evening with Mike Huckabee") will appear from September 2014 through March 2015 at the fine and performing arts complex located on the Niceville campus of Northwest Florida State College. All national events appear in the center’s magnificent 1,650 seat mainstage theater.

The Mattie Kelly Arts Center is located at 100 College Boulevard, East in Niceville on the main campus of Northwest Florida State College. The center is easily accessible from coastal communities in Destin and Fort Walton Beach via the Mid-Bay Bridge and new connector road or Highway 85.