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Arts and Culture 

Every year we have a tough time fitting all the galleries, theater companies, museums, classical music performers and dance troupes into this space, and this year is no different. Keep an eye on every day for new events happening in Central Florida and new ways to enjoy your city’s cultural offerings.


Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens
633 Osceola Ave., Winter Park
The former residence of the Czech artist serves as a gallery, and the grounds feature gorgeous lakeside gardens populated by his bronze sculptures.

Anita S. Wooten Gallery
Valencia College East Campus
701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail
Valencia students and faculty display their work in this white-box gallery alongside that of visiting artists.

Art and History Museums – Maitland
231 W. Packwood Ave., Maitland
The cultural complex embraces André Smith’s famed Research Studio, the Victorian-era Waterhouse Residence, and two technological repositories, the Telephone Museum and the Carpentry Shop Museum.

Atlantic Center for the Arts
1414 Art Center Ave., New Smyrna Beach
The residency program draws internationally renowned visual artists, writers and musicians, and concludes with exhibits/performances four times per year.

Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum
656 N. Park Ave., Winter Park
Winter Park’s landmark farmhouse, designed by noted architect James Gamble Rogers in 1932, hosts art, music and talks on historical preservation within its luxurious walls.

Gallery 500
Center for Emerging Media
500 W. Livingston St.
UCF’s satellite gallery located in downtown Orlando often hosts art exhibits of film, photography, painting, illustration and printmaking.

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
445 N. Park Ave., Winter Park
This museum features an astounding collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, including a recently opened wing dedicated to recreating the essence of Laurelton Hall, Tiffany’s Long Island, N.Y., estate.

CityArts Factory
29 S. Orange Ave.
This downtown arts space is the center of Orlando’s Third Thursday art strolls. It hosts shows that change monthly, and it’s home to a number of independent galleries and arts spaces.

Cornell Fine Arts Museum
Rollins College
1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park
Tucked away on the campus of Rollins College, this museum hosts thought-provoking guest exhibitions. It’s also home to a formidable permanent collection.

Crealdé School of Art
600 St. Andrews Blvd., Winter Park
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.
Revolving shows from emerging local artists.

Faith Arts Village Orlando
221 E. Colonial Drive
This ministry of Park Lake Presbyterian Church, housed in an old motel, provides a place where the faith community and local artists can work together.

Flying Horse Editions
500 W. Livingston St.
University of Central Florida’s fine art research facility and nonprofit publisher of limited-edition prints, artist books and multiple-edition art objects.

Gallery Q
The Center Orlando
946 N. Mills Ave.
The brick-and-mortar home of Florida’s Queer Art Collective, Gallery Q displays art by or supporting LGBT artists and issues.

Gallery at Avalon Island
39 S. Magnolia Ave.
The historic building recalls Orlando’s past; the sophisticated exhibits within feature local, national and international artists.

Hannibal Square Heritage Center
642 W. New England Ave., Winter Park
Established in 2007, the gallery presents exhibitions and displays archival photos and historical documents related to the African-American experience in the evolving west Winter Park neighborhood.

The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida
851 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland
The tiny gallery within the Jewish Community Center hosts rotating exhibits that challenge the viewer and speak to the horrors that took place during World War II.

Jai Gallery
47 E. Robinson St.
Contemporary art gallery hopes to encourage a new generation of collectors.

Jeanine Taylor Folk Art
211 E. First St., Sanford
This gallery in downtown Sanford actively promotes visionary folk artists such as Purvis Young and Mary Proctor.

Loft 55 Gallery
55 W. Church St.
Urban art gallery and boutique with a focus on supporting local artists and causes.

Museum of Art DeLand
Main building: 600 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand
Satellite: 100 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand
Smart decisions and passionate board members have led to impressive in-house exhibitions by Florida artists.

Mennello Museum of American Art
900 E. Princeton St.
The space is tiny, but it packs a lot of punch. It’s a showcase for works by folk artist Earl Cunningham and an eclectic mix of traveling exhibitions.

Orange County Regional History Center
65 E. Central Blvd.
This storehouse of archived wonders fills its exhibition spaces with traveling blockbuster exhibitions as well as home-grown collections.

Orlando Museum of Art
2416 N. Mills Ave.
Nestled into Loch Haven Park, OMA displays its impressive private collection and traveling exhibits, but is best known for its 1st Thursday socials.

Redefine Gallery
29 S. Orange St.
A tiny space within the CityArts Factory, Redefine is the area’s most reliable purveyor of cutting-edge graffiti and street art; a room that small requires a choosy curator.

Southeast Museum of Photography
Daytona State College
1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Building 1200, Daytona Beach
Yes, it’s way out there in Daytona, but photography lovers know it’s worth the hourlong drive to the coast to visit this space. Just about every angle of photography gets explored in the expansive institution with multiple galleries of national and international works.

The Terrace Gallery
Orlando City Hall
400 S. Orange Ave.
This gallery showcases some of the city of Orlando’s public art collection, as well as nationally touring and locally curated exhibitions.

UCF Gallery
University of Central Florida, Visual Arts Building
12400 Aquarius Agora Drive
It’s tough to get to, buried in campus gridlock and it doesn’t always keep a very busy calendar, but its faculty and student shows feature innovative modern works.

Well’s Built Museum
511 W. South St.
Housed in a historic hotel near the erstwhile South Street Casino (the only hotel nearby that would rent rooms to the casino’s “chitlin circuit” performers), Well’s Built is a trove of African-American artifacts.

Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts
227 E. Kennedy Blvd., Eatonville
This little gallery is devoted to African-American history and culture and features the work of artists of African descent. It’s celebrating 20 years of operation in Eatonville, the oldest African-American incorporated municipality in the United States.


The Abbey
100 S. Eola Drive
A small mixed-use room in an ornate setting (with full bar service!) hosts cabaret, comedy, community theater and concerts.

Annie Russell Theatre
Rollins College
1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park
Red velvet curtains, plush cinema seats and the ghost of the namesake actress accentuate the dramatic at this theater, which presents both student and visiting-artist productions.

Athens Theatre
124 N. Florida Ave., DeLand
DeLand’s restored historic theater hosts a resident community theater group, youth theater and concerts.

Bach Festival Society
1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park
Choral and orchestral group presents an annual season of music performed by 160 volunteer members alongside international visiting artists.

Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre
401 W. Livingston St.
This old standby is home to all manner of popular performances, from concerts to touring Broadway shows.

Breakthrough Theatre
421 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park
Non-equity community theater features dance, theater and musical events.

Footlight Theatre at Parliament House
410 N. Orange Blossom Trail
The legendary gay resort is home to this theater, which thrills audiences with drag delights and original comedies, musicals and guest productions.

Garden Theatre
160 W. Plant St., Winter Garden
The historic theater in quaint downtown Winter Garden hosts film, theater and family shows.

Improv Orlando
9101 International Drive
Touring and local stand-ups, magicians and sketch comedy troupes perform while patrons enjoy dinner and drinks.

Mad Cow Theatre
54 W. Church St.
The established and well-regarded Mad Cow Theatre features regular stage productions as well as classes, workshops and socials.

Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra
812 E. Rollins St.
More than just classical music keeps our professional orchestra in action: pops, film scores, opera and distinguished guest artists. The Phil recently purchased its own venue, so anticipate more chamber works.

Orlando Repertory Theatre
1001 E. Princeton St.
Professionally produced family theater is the specialty of the Rep.

Orlando Shakespeare Theater
812 E. Rollins St.
One of the top Shakespeare companies in the country, OST produces a regular season as well as PlayFest, showcasing new works.

SAK Comedy Lab
29 S. Orange Ave.
Good, clean fun is the hallmark of the best-known local improvisational troupe.

Theatre Downtown
2113 N. Orange Ave.
This cozy professional theater produces both classics and new works.

The Venue
511 Virginia Drive
This space is the home of Blue Starr and Varietease, but also hosts plays, concerts, dance performances and cabarets.

The Winter Park Playhouse
711 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park
Cabarets, musicals and holiday fare – this cozy theater keeps busy all year round.


Some vital performing arts groups around town that don’t have a fixed address.

Beth Marshall Presents
The longtime Fringe Festival producer presents an ambitious slate of plays and events.

Center for Contemporary Dance
Home to several resident modern dance companies.

Central Florida Community Arts
This very inclusive musical arts organization believes every artist of every age should have a cultural platform to connect and perform.

Emotions Dance Company
A contemporary dance company that seeks to engage social and environmental issues.

Empty Spaces Theater Co.
John DiDonna and Seth Kubersky lead a group known for producing challenging, edgy works.

Florida Opera Theatre
FOT stages chamber operas and recitals in collaboration with Orlando Philharmonic and other Florida opera groups.

Howlers Theatre
This young company presents out-of-the-box productions like an interactive, gender-swapped version of The Tempest.

Jester Theater Co.
The Jester producers are dedicated to “comedy in all its forms.”

Orlando Ballet
Orlando’s professional ballet company lost its longtime Ivanhoe Village home, but continues to rule the stage at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre.

A Victorian steampunk circus troupe offering “macabre and delicious Halloween treats and tricks.”

Playwrights’ Round Table
The mission of the writers group is to find and nurture new playwrights and their works and give a home to new stage works.

Voci Dance
The modern dance company specializes in presenting theatrical experiences incorporating puppets, original music and elaborate set and costume design.

Wanzie Presents
Impresario Michael Wanzie presents camp classics at the Parliament House resort, as well as producing his own works around town.

There’s a place for us … right?

Downtown’s Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts was approved in 2007 as part of a package of venues (the new Amway Center and the remodeled Citrus Bowl being the other two “cultural attractions”), and is meant to replace and improve upon the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre. The Carr has notoriously bad sound and an awkward no-center-aisle layout, whereas DPAC promises to be a performers’ paradise with all mod cons. Seven years later, we are waiting for Phase 1 to open, which will comprise a 2,800-seat theater for touring Broadway productions and a 300-seat black-box theater. Phase 2 promises an acoustically balanced space appropriate for chamber music and opera (and possibly ballet), but no firm date has been set for opening.

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