Grit & Grace, Inc., is the official folk life production of Walton County. But what does that mean? Well let us give you a brief history of our organization. In 1998, a small group of Walton County residents, after returning from a production of Swamp Gravy in Colquitt, Georgia, became excited about recording the oral history of Walton County and translating it to the stage in the form of a folk-life production. Stories were gathered from local citizens, volunteers became enthusiastic about the prospect, and the stories came to life with music and song. The first production garnered support from local elected officials, the Tourist Development Council, and the South Walton Three Arts Alliance (now the Cultural Arts Alliance). Many individuals and organizations contributed funds. A steering committee was formed, volunteers organized, and the first production of Grit & Grace became a reality in October 2000. The Ark of Damascus church offered the use of its new sanctuary for the first production, which was a sell-out. For the next six years, the production was held at Freeport High School. After that time, the production found its new home at Walton High School. That is until 2019 when for the first time the annual production was held at the Florida Chautauqua Theater in DeFuniak Springs.
Now let us tell you a little about how we work. Grit & Grace, Inc., is more than a production...it's an, experience! We collect stories and legends about the people of Walton County. We secure a playwright to put the stories together, hire a director to direct the show, then audition local actors, singers, and musicians to help bring the stories to life; always keeping in mind that these are true stories about real people... family, friends, neighbors... passed down from generation to generation. Some of the stories may be sad or tragic, some serious, and some humorous. In preparing for each production we gather interested musicians who volunteer to play in the production and/or write the original music. We also hold auditions for various roles. We hold rehearsals to learn the music and the script. Volunteers are enlisted to help with the Front House, staging, advertising, set construction, costuming, and much more. And then the show begins! Our Board of Directors, cast, crew, and volunteers are committed to doing our very best in bringing these stories to life; while preserving the oral history of Walton County.