24 places to enjoy the visual and performing arts in Orlando

24 places to enjoy the visual and performing arts in Orlando
Photo by Rob Bartlett


Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens

633 Osceola Ave., Winter Park, polasek.org

Former artist residence is now a gallery, surrounded by gorgeous lakeside gardens full of bronze sculptures.

Art and History Museums – Maitland

231 W. Packwood Ave., Maitland, artandhistory.org

The cultural complex includes the Maitland Art Center, a gorgeous Mayan-style artists residence that is a National Historic Landmark.

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

445 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, morsemuseum.org

This museum features an astounding collection of stained glass windows, lamps and more by Louis Comfort Tiffany.

CityArts Factory

29 S. Orange Ave., cityartsfactory.com

This downtown arts space is home to a number of independent galleries and arts spaces.

Cornell Fine Arts Museum

1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park, rollins.edu/cfam

Tucked away on the campus of Rollins College, this museum recently received a major gift of contemporary art, the Alfond Collection, from a pair of alums.

Crealdé School of Art

600 St. Andrews Blvd., Winter Park, crealde.org

The school, set in lakeside bungalows with a sculpture garden, is known for creative classes as well as gallery shows.

The Falcon

819 E. Washington St., facebook.com/thefalconbar

Revolving shows from emerging local artists, specializing in lowbrow, street and graffiti art.

Faith Arts Village Orlando

221 E. Colonial Drive, faithartsvillage.com

An old motel provides individual artists' studios and hosts a monthly art market.

Gallery at Avalon Island

39 S. Magnolia Ave., avalongallery.org

The historic building recalls Orlando's past; the sophisticated exhibits within feature local, national and international artists.

Henao Contemporary Center

5601 Edgewater Drive, henaocenter.com

Roomy new visual arts facility in a lesser-known part of town also hosts music, spoken word, dance and other art events.

The Mennello Museum of American Art

900 E. Princeton St., mennellomuseum.org

The space is small, but it packs a lot of punch with works by folk artist Earl Cunningham and an eclectic mix of traveling exhibitions. The outdoor sculpture garden is one of the best deals in Orlando: beautiful and free.

Orlando Museum of Art

2416 N. Mills Ave., omart.org

Nestled into Loch Haven Park, the newly reinvigorated OMA shows work by major artists as well as homegrown talent. Do not miss the annual Florida Prize in Contemporary Art show.

Redefine Art Gallery

29 S. Orange Ave., redefinegallery.com

A tiny space within CityArts, Redefine is the area's most reliable purveyor of cutting-edge graffiti and street art.

Snap Space and Snap Downtown

1013 E. Colonial Drive and 420 E. Church St., snaporlando.com

Slick photography-centric galleries – one in Mills 50 in the historic Cameo Theatre and one east of downtown in the 420 East building – host the best art parties in town.

Wells' Built Museum

511 W. South St., wellsbuilt.org

Housed in a historic hotel, Wells' Built is a trove of local African-American artifacts.


Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

445 S. Magnolia Ave., drphillipscenter.org

Brand-new and beautiful, downtown's airy glass-and-steel cultural facility offers various multi-use spaces and theaters hosting touring Broadway productions, comics, dance and local theater.


8747 International Drive, ilovedrip.org

Dance troupe is known for flinging colored liquids and powders about the stage and on each other. Good clean (well ...) fun.

Footlight Theatre at the Parliament House

410 N. Orange Blossom Trail, parliamenthouse.com

The legendary gay resort is home to this small theater, which thrills audiences with drag delights and original comedies, musicals and guest productions.

Improv Orlando

9101 International Drive, theimprovorlando.com

Touring and local stand-up comedians get up here to make with the funny.

Mad Cow Theatre

54 W. Church St., madcowtheatre.com

The established and well-regarded Mad Cow Theatre features regular stage productions, classes and workshops as well as an annual cabaret festival.

Orlando Ballet

445 S. Magnolia Ave., orlandoballet.org

Orlando's professional ballet company has settled gracefully into its new home at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra

425 N. Bumby Ave., orlandophil.org

Wider fare than just classical music keeps the only professional orchestra in action: pops, film scores, opera and distinguished guest artists.

Orlando Shakespeare Theater

Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 E. Rollins St., orlandoshakes.org

One of the top Shakespeare companies in the country, OST produces a regular season of the Bard's works, as well as challenging classics and the annual PlayFest, which showcases new works.

The Venue

511 Virginia Drive, thevenueorlando.com

Theater and performance space is the home of Blue Star and her VarieTease troupe, but also hosts plays, concerts, dance performances and cabarets.

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