While most travelers know Orlando for its family-friendly atmosphere and theme park attractions, they should not overlook the area’s rich artistic experiences. From acoustically remarkable spaces featuring ballet and philharmonic orchestra performances to thought-provoking collections and prestigious annual art festivals throughout the destination, Orlando offers a mix of traditional and contemporary artistry. Attracted by the city’s creative inspiration, countless arts organizations call Orlando home, giving life to museums, live theatre, music, dance, art, film and more.
New & Upcoming
- Orlando Fringe opened “Fringe ArtSpace,” a year-round performing arts venue, in downtown Orlando January. The 9,100 square foot space includes two performing theatre spaces: a mainstage with 166 seats and a black box with 40-60 seats. The programing will feature a mix of traditionally programmed theatre and concerts as well as a studio series with weekly, monthly and pop-up events like workshops, classes, readings, performances and artistic explorations.
- Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Orlando will open
Judson’s in fall 2023. The dynamic music room will offer intimate cabaret-style seating
for 150 for live performances. Judson’s joins the acoustically remarkable Steinmetz Hall, which opened in 2022, Walt Disney Theater and Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater as the fourth performance space in the venue.
Museums & Artwork
From Tiffany art glass to artistic murals displayed throughout the Mills 50 district, Central Florida offers incredible opportunities to see some of the finest art from the area and across the globe.
- The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art – located in Winter Park – houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, including the artist and designer’s jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass, leaded-glass lamps and windows. It also has extensive collections of late-19th- and early-20th-century American paintings, graphics and other decorative pieces.
- Situated on the liberal arts campus of Rollins College, the Rollins Museum of Art boasts an extensive collection of works including those of Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Thomas Moran.
- The first Wednesday of the month, staff from the Rollins Museum of Art lead a complimentary virtual tour of The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art on display at The Alfond Inn, a philanthropic boutique hotel located a few blocks from the campus of Rollins College and whose proceeds fund student scholarships.
- The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens holds an art collection focusing primarily on American representational sculpture with more than 200 works by Czech-American sculptor Albin Polasek.
- The Orlando Museum of Art features traveling exhibitions and permanent collections of American and African art, lectures, art appreciation classes and children’s activities.
- Tucked away on the picturesque shore of Lake Formosa in Loch Haven Park, the Mennello Museum of American Art showcases changing exhibitions featuring American art of all genres and time periods, including originally curated and traveling shows.
- CityArts Factory is home to seven unique art galleries, bringing visual and performing arts together in the heart of downtown Orlando. Its spaces, like the Redefine Gallery, feature new exhibits each month and artist discussions twice a month.
- See Art Orlando is a public sculpture community project with eight modern art pieces scattered around downtown Orlando. The city has put together an interactive map featuring these creative landmarks, perfect for a self-guided walking tour.
- Orlando’s artsy Mills 50 district is known for its assortment of brightly colored, professionally illustrated murals that pay homage to various aspects of Orlando living. With almost 50 murals to discover throughout the destination, Mills 50 has more distinctive, large-scale murals than any other city district in the city, along with art boxes and even painted dumpsters and storm drains.
- Conveniently located in the tourism hub of International Drive, the Massimo Art Museum exhibits local artists’ work, proudly showcasing the vibrant artistic culture and stylings of Central Florida.
Around Central Florida
- Located in Eatonville – the nation’s oldest incorporated African-American community – is the Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts celebrating the works of the local author and other artists of African descent. Every year, the museum hosts the Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities, consisting of a three-day, open-air Outdoor Festival of the Arts featuring an art walk, live performances, an international food court and more.
- The Wells’ Built Museum of African American History & Culture features exhibits, artifacts and memorabilia from the period in which Orlando's cultural fabric was defined by African-American artists and performers.
- Originally founded as an art colony in 1937, the Maitland Art Center is a historic gem and one of the few surviving examples of “Mayan Revival” or fantasy architecture in the Southeast. In 2014, the Maitland Art Center became the first National Historic Landmark in the four counties of Central Florida and one of only 44 located in the entire state of Florida.
- The Lake Nona Sculpture Garden, a 50,000-square-foot outdoor space located adjacent to the Lake Nona Wave Hotel, features lush landscaping and a collection of world-renowned sculptures including one of the most recognized in the world, the Charging Bull by Arturo di Modica.
With an array of art galleries across Central Florida displaying unique art pieces by local and international artists, it’s no secret that Orlando offers a glimpse of some of the most noteworthy artistic creations.
- The Garden House Gallery at Central Florida’s botanical garden Leu Gardens offers both rotating and permanent art exhibits that celebrate wildlife, as well as creative outdoor statues. Visitors can enjoy works from Mulford B. Foster, Frank Framer, Chrissie Mervine and several other local artists.
- With two locations inside Grand Bohemian Hotels – one in downtown Orlando and the other in Celebration – the eclectic Grand Bohemian Gallery features a variety of art, including jewelry, glass and sculpture from internationally and locally renowned artists.
- Housed in Orlando’s City Hall, the Terrace Gallery and Mayor’s Gallery displays the true artistic culture in Central Florida. The Terrace Gallery features works from international, national and Floridian renowned artists. The Mayor’s Gallery is a gorgeous circular exhibit rotating quarterly, showcasing art from Central Florida artists.
- Snap! Orlando – a gallery and event venue centrally located in downtown Orlando – features exhibitions with local, national and international artists and partners. Its programming is diverse, inspired and community driven.
- As the largest art gallery in Orlando, the Baterbys Art Gallery is filled with countless paintings in all different styles. Special events and exhibits are frequent and feature the works of various artists such as Picasso and Dali.
- From paintings to blown glass to wooden carvings, the Ocean Blue Galleries in Winter Park offers a wide variety of gorgeous pieces. Featuring works from local artists as well as big names like legendary children’s author and cartoonist Dr. Seuss, this museum strives to connect each visitor with their “Dream Piece of Art.”
Around Central Florida
- As part of a multi-site arts clearinghouse, the Art Gallery at the Osceola Center for the Arts celebrates arts and culture through its several rotating exhibits. It displays the works of many artists and artist groups from around Central Florida, and hosts Florida Mosaic: A Festival of the Arts every year to make art come alive to the community.
- Located on the University of Central Florida’s campus, the UCF Art Gallery displays works by various artists from around the world, including the university’s undergraduate art students. The gallery hosts exhibitions and programming that examine cultural and social contexts and support contemporary art practices.
From improv comedy shows to philharmonic orchestra concerts, Orlando’s vast variety of performing arts venues offer something for every taste and style.
- Every evening at sunset, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando hosts Musica della Notte. This free concert features traditional opera, as well as popera, a subgenre of pop music performed in operatic style.
- The Improv Comedy Theater & Restaurant has been the career launching pad for dozens of the familiar faces of television and film for 40 years.
- Located in the heart of downtown Orlando, the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is home for Broadway productions and Orlando Ballet among other performances. The arts center has three performance theaters – including Steinmetz Hall, an acoustically remarkable space that opened in 2022 – a 300-seat community theater, outdoor plaza and banquet room.
- The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra performs a musical variety - from classical pieces to philharmonic covers of pop songs. The company even performs “Symphony Storytime,” a series that combines classical music and stories for young children.
- With Orlando Ballet, arts enthusiasts can experience Central Florida’s only fully professional ballet company with more than 30 national and international dancers under the artistic direction of world-renowned ballet stars.
- As a partner of UCF, Orlando Shakes produces classic, contemporary, and children’s plays. Brining unforgettable entertainment to Central Florida with memorable performances featuring some of the most classic plays and musicals.
- The Orlando Family Stage provides family-oriented performances based on classic and contemporary literature appropriate for children, families and educators.
- The Timucua Arts Foundation is a multi-faceted arts and education institution, presenting concerts and festivals, operating in the unique and intimate Timucua venue, and delivering education and wellness programming to people of all ages.
- The Plaza LIVE Theatre is one of Orlando’s premier live concert venues, offering a wide range of concerts, comedians and cultural events.
- Located in downtown Orlando with nightly improv comedy shows, SAK Comedy Club is a professional ensemble of actors that entertain audiences with a unique brand of live improvised comedy.
- Mad Cow Theatre is one of Orlando’s most respected professional theatre companies, with a passion for both classic and contemporary plays and musicals.
- The Orlando Gay Chorus is a nonprofit arts and humanitarian performing arts organization dedicated to providing inspiration and culture to individuals and amplifying the voices of the LGBTQ community in Central Florida.
- Located just off of Park Avenue in Winter Park, the Winter Park Playhouse hosts several productions throughout the year with the hopes of inspiring the community with theatre.
- The longest continuously operating theater in Florida and named to the National Register or Historic Places, the Annie Russell Theatre stages a season of musicals and plays featuring student performers.
- Bach Festival Society of Winter Park is Central Florida’s oldest operating performing arts organization. Since its inception, the Society has brought world-class talent to Central Florida and hosts a variety of educational and community outreach programs to encourage participation in music at all levels.
Around Central Florida
- The Garden Theatre in historic downtown Winter Garden presents 4-7 events each week, including live plays, concerts, movies and more.
- Enzian is Central Florida’s only full-time alternative cinema. A single-screen cinema café offering mostly independent & foreign films, Enzian exists to entertain, inspire, educate, and connect the community through film.
- Based on the stylistic trainings of European theater conservatories, Theater On the Edge provides quality stories that explore the struggles of the human condition and create thought-provoking conversation
- Theatre UCF, University of Central Florida’s student theatre, presents year-round performances and outreach in cooperation with community partners.
- The Orlando International Fringe Festival, the longest running Fringe theatre festival in the United States, will be held in Loch Haven Park on May 16-29.The 14-day festival will be an immersive cultural experience featuring hundreds of ticketed theatrical performances from local, national and international artists, plus a free outdoor music festival.
- The 64th Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, held March 17-19, is one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most prestigious outdoor art festivals. The festival debuted in March 1960 as a community project to bring local artists and art lovers together. Today, the festival is produced by an all-volunteer board and draws more than 250,000 visitors each year.
- The Annual Winter Park Autumn Art Festival, held on the second weekend in October each year, is the only juried fine art festival exclusively featuring Florida artists. The free and family-friendly community-oriented sidewalk show presents quality visual art and live entertainment.
About Visit Orlando
Visit Orlando is The Official Tourism Association® for Orlando, the most visited destination in the United States, Theme Park Capital of the World® and No. 1 meeting destination in the country. A not-for-profit trade association that brands, markets and sells the Orlando destination globally, we represent more than 1,500 member companies comprising every segment of Central Florida’s tourism community.
Visit Orlando connects consumers and business groups with all facets of Orlando’s travel community, whether for a vacation or meeting. Home to seven of the world’s top theme parks — as well as refreshing water parks, activities to connect with nature, vibrant neighborhoods, a dynamic dining scene with Michelin recognized restaurants, and a robust calendar of entertainment and sports events — Orlando is a diverse, welcoming and inclusive community for all travelers. Find more information at VisitOrlando.com or OrlandoMeeting.com.
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