Watch children’s eyes light up and big smiles cross their faces when they are students at the Destin School of the Arts at Destin United Methodist Church.

DSOTA was founded in 2016 and is committed to providing a safe, enthusiastic, and inspirational learning environment for student artists of all ages who are striving to learn a new skill, explore different creative art forms, or hone the gift of their talent to enhance the beauty of God's greatest masterpiece.

Classes offered include singing, dancing, art, music, creative writing and more in private or group classes.

Parents can enroll children in music, theatre arts, vocal lessons and more, or adults can benefit by learning a new skill or brushing up on a familiar one. Instructors are ready to work with all ages.

One of the new instructors this fall at DSOTA is Russ Whitten, former pastor at Destin Church of Christ, who joins the Production Team to work with beginning guitar students.

“I am honored and feeling blessed to be a part of the Destin School of the Arts,” Whitten told The Log.

“He is a welcomed addition to Destin School of the Arts, and we are so excited for the beginning guitar students who get to learn from such a talented instructor,” said Keri Klaus, director.

Whitten now preaches every Sunday at the 9:30 a.m. Harbor Worship Service at Brotula’s Seafood House and Steamer and then at the 11:30 a.m. service at The Downtown Church, meeting at Enlightened Studios, 144 Miracle Strip Parkway SE in Fort Walton Beach.

Visit to see information on individual classes and registration. Contact them today for more information at 850-837-2021, ext. 236, or email