The tribute is scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. on Aug. 4, at Shawnee State University's Vern Riffe Center for the Arts.
The evening will feature musical entertainment, hors d'oeuvres and beverages, as well as remarks by representatives of community organizations in celebration of Mrs. Kahl's years of philanthropic support for the arts in Portsmouth.
Among the guests will be Kahl's niece, Carol Sue Edwards, husband, Tom, and daughter, Heather, from Louisville, Ky.
Tall hand-blown European art glass vases in a rainbow of colors will highlight table decorations for the festive occasion in tune with the observance of the Portsmouth Area Arts Council's 35th anniversary theme, Years of Coloring the Community with the Arts.”
Each unique glass piece, created by village artisans from the Carpathian Mountain region of Hungary, Romania and parts of the Ukraine, will be for sale at the end of the program.
All proceeds from the special fundraiser will be designated for the Alma Kahl Outreach Program, benefiting theater performances and arts presentations which are sent out to schools and other sites throughout Portsmouth and Scioto County by the Portsmouth Area Arts Council as part of its mission of “coloring kids' lives with the arts.”
Admission to the festive event is $50 per person and attire is “black tie optional.” Reservations may be made by telephoning PAAC Executive Director DeLynn Coppoletti at 351-3642 by July 27.
Kahl (then Miss Alma Fraser) was crowned Miss West Virginia University at a special university-sponsored dance in 1936.
Later that year, she was chosen as one of the five most beaufiful co-eds of the year by then-famous artist James Montgomery Flaff.
Kahl, who came to Portsmouth with her husband, attorney Cyrus P. Kahl, in 1950, has been involved in supporting Portsmouth's arts activities for more than 50 years.
She served as a volunteer and later chairwoman of Community Concerts Association membership campaigns for many years and continued as a board member when that organization evolved into the Southern Ohio Performing Arts Association.
She fondly recalls Portsmouth's good connection with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and pre-concert picnics sponsored by the local concert board when the CSO came to town.
Kahl also traces her arts involvement back to 1968 when a group of arts enthusiasts - led by Janet and Bob Fuller, who later helped to establish the Portsmouth Area Arts Council - planned an arts extravaganza entitled “A Town and Its Artists.”
Hosted at the Elks City Club, the group brought together all kinds of artists who were born and raised in Portsmouth for a large exhibition, performances and parties that lasted for a week.
The success of the endeavor, along with the enthusiasm and excitement it created, motivated a major arts movement in Portsmouth and led to the creation of the Portsmouth Area Arts Council in 1970.
The PAAC went on to present other art exhibitions, Boneyfiddle Fairs aimed at historic preservation efforts, Ohio Arts Council artist residencies in the schools, and live performing arts programs for children and families. Mrs. Kahl still is a member of the Portsmouth Area Arts Council Board.
Kahl has been a volunteer at Southern Ohio Museum, helping to host many social events, and she serves as a member of the museum's Permanent Collection Committee. Her generosity to Shawnee State Uni-versity made possible the state-of-the-art Kahl Theatre, a blackbox facility for student and faculty productions.
Enjoyment of the arts and history has prompted many travels for Kahl, who has visited 61 countries. Highlights of her travels inlude a trip with husband and an Ohio Bar Association delegation to London, where they had tea at Buckingham Palace with Queen Elizabeth II in 1957.
She still hopes to plan a trip to Croatia and to see Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, France someday. Closer at hand, she often accompanies the SSU Presidents Club on theater trips to Columbus.