With internationally renowned theme parks based right here, it's no surprise that, Orlando is a city with active visual and performing arts communities – it takes a lot of creative work to make all that magic, and our theaters and galleries showcase this homegrown talent. Though most museums are open at present, the pandemic has most of our theater spaces closed, with season openings pushed back until, optimistically, later in the year. Proving the maxim that it's the people, not the spaces, that make up a scene, local performers are practicing their craft online with Zoom and Facebook readings, plays, comedy shows and even some classical music events, but it might take some time to reach the level of activity we enjoyed in 2019.
GALLERIES AND MUSEUMS
Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens
633 Osceola Ave., Winter Park, polasek.org
The Czech artist's former residence is now a gallery, surrounded by gorgeous lakeside gardens full of his bronze sculptures.
Art and History Museums – Maitland
231 W. Packwood Ave., Maitland, artandhistory.org
The cultural complex includes the Maitland Art Center (a National Historic Landmark), the Germaine Marvel multi-use space, the Victorian-era Waterhouse Residence, the Telephone Museum and the Carpentry Shop Museum.
Atlantic Center for the Arts
1414 Art Center Ave., New Smyrna Beach, atlanticcenterforthearts.org
The residency program here, which draws internationally renowned visual artists, writers and musicians, is the main focus, but the Center also offers public exhibits and performances.
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
445 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, morsemuseum.org
This museum features an astounding collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, including a wing dedicated to recreating the essence of Laurelton Hall, Tiffany's Long Island estate.
- Photo by Christopher Keith Garcia
- Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
39 S. Magnolia Ave., downtownartsdistrict.com
The Downtown Arts District is centered in the venerable Rogers-Kiene Building. The historic building recalls Orlando's past; the rotating exhibits within feature local, national and international artists.
Cornell Fine Arts Museum
1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park, rollins.edu/cfam
Tucked away on the campus of Rollins College, this museum continues to acquire cutting edge works of contemporary art for its Alfond Collection, donated by a pair of alumni.
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 ever-changing gallery shows.
Faith Arts Village Orlando
221 E. Colonial Drive, faithartsvillage.com
This ministry of Park Lake Presbyterian Church, housed in an old motel, provides individual artists studios and hosts a monthly art market.
Flying Horse Editions
UCF Center for Emerging Media, flyinghorse.cah.ucf.edu
University of Central Florida's fine art research facility and nonprofit publisher of limited-edition prints, artist books and multiple-edition art objects is a hidden gem of UCF's expansion into Downtown Orlando.
Hannibal Square Heritage Center
642 W. New England Ave., Winter Park, hannibalsquareheritagecenter.org
Established in 2007, the gallery presents exhibitions and displays archival photos and historical documents related to the Black experience in the evolving west Winter Park neighborhood.
The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida
851 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland, holocaustedu.org
The tiny gallery within the Jewish Community Center hosts rotating exhibits that challenge the viewer.
The Mennello Museum of American Art
900 E. Princeton St., 407-246-4278, mennellomuseum.org
The space is small, 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.
1650 N. Mills Ave., millsgalleryorlando.com
Small, adventurous gallery space located in the Gallery at Mills Park apartment building has hosted exhibitions by William Burroughs and local Kieran Castaño alike.
Orange County Regional History Center
65 E. Central Blvd., thehistorycenter.org
This storehouse of archived wonders fills its exhibition spaces with traveling exhibitions as well as homegrown collections and pieces.
Orlando Museum of Art
2416 N. Mills Ave., omart.org
Nestled into Loch Haven Park, the reinvigorated OMA shows work by major artists as well as homegrown talent.
420 E. Church St., snaporlando.com
Slick photography-centric gallery hosts some of the best art parties in town.
The Terrace Gallery
Orlando City Hall, 400 S. Orange Ave., cityoforlando.net/arts
This gallery showcases some of the city of Orlando's public art collection, as well as nationally touring and locally curated exhibitions.
Wells' Built Museum
511 W. South St., wellsbuilt.org
Housed in a historic hotel, Wells' Built is a trove of African American artifacts of Orlando from the era of segregation. A necessary visit.
Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts 344 E. Kennedy Blvd., Eatonville, zoranealehurstonmuseum.com
This gallery is devoted to African American history and culture, and features the often-challenging work of contemporary artists of African descent.
THEATERS AND PERFORMING ARTS GROUPS
124 N. Florida Ave., DeLand, athensdeland.com
DeLand's restored historic theater hosts a resident community theater group, youth theater and concerts.
Bach Festival Society of Winter Park
1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park, bachfestivalflorida.org
BFS presents an annual season of classical music, performed by more than 100 volunteer members as well as visiting artists.
Bob Carr Theater
401 W. Livingston St., drphillipscenter.org
Operated by the Dr. Phillips Center, this old standby still hosts the Orlando Phil, as well as concerts and comedians.
Central Florida Community Arts
250 SW Ivanhoe Blvd., cfcarts.com This very inclusive musical arts organization believes every artist of every age should have a cultural platform to connect and perform.
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
445 S. Magnolia Ave., drphillipscenter.org
The beautiful, airy glass-and-steel cultural facility downtown offers multi-use spaces and theaters hosting touring Broadway productions, comics, dance, live music and local theater.
160 W. Plant St., Winter Garden, gardentheatre.org
The lovingly restored historic theater in quaint downtown Winter Garden hosts theater, film and family shows.
The Improv Orlando
9101 International Drive, theimprovorlando.com
Touring and local stand-ups, magicians and sketch comedy troupes perform while patrons enjoy dinner and drinks.
Mad Cow Theatre
54 W. Church St., madcowtheatre.com
The established and well-regarded professional Mad Cow Theatre features regular stage productions as well as classes, workshops and socials.
This rigorous but always fun company stages chamber operas and recitals in collaboration with Orlando Philharmonic and other Florida opera groups.
600 N. Lake Formosa Drive, orlandoballet.org
Orlando's professional ballet company performs regularly at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, while its school teaches and nurtures the next generation of ballet stars.
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 Repertory Theatre
1001 E. Princeton St., orlandorep.com
Professional family theater productions have become the domain of Orlando Rep, which also presents shows from its Youth Academy.
Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 E. Rollins St., orlandoshakes.org
One of the top Shakespeare companies in the country, the Shakes produces a regular season in addition to PlayFest, which showcases new works.
A Victorian steampunk circus troupe offering "macabre and delicious Halloween treats and tricks."
Playwrights' Round Table
The mission of the group is to find and nurture new playwrights and give a home to new stage works.
SAK Comedy Lab
29 S. Orange Ave., sak.com
Good, clean fun is the hallmark of the troupe that specializes in improvisational comedy shows.
Theater on the Edge
5542 Hansel Ave., theaterontheedge.org
Repertory theater company makes edgy choices of material and dives deep into the human condition.
Theater West End
115 W. First St., Sanford, theaterwestend.com
Professional theater in Sanford's historic downtown stages musicals and repertory plays.
The Winter Park Playhouse
711 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park, winterparkplayhouse.org
Cabarets, musicals and holiday fare – this little community theater offers a busy theatrical calendar all year round.