Special Issues » Annual Manual

The best ways to experience Orlando's vibrant arts scene

by

comment

Considering the massive amount of creative talent required to keep the region’s theme parks cast, costumed, painted and polished to such a high degree of perfection, it’s not at all surprising that there’s a surfeit of artistic talent in this town. Dive in and enjoy.

GALLERIES AND MUSEUMS

Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens

633 Osceola Ave., Winter Park, 407-647-6294, 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, 407-539-2181, 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, 386-427-6975, atlanticcenterforthearts.org

The residency program, which draws internationally renowned visual artists, writers and musicians, also offers public exhibits and performances several times per year.

Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum

656 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-628-8200, casafeliz.us

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.

Casselberry Art House

127 Quail Pond Circle, Casselberry, 407-262-7725, casselberry.org

A midcentury residence the city converted to an experimental gallery set in the lovely environs of Lake Concord Park.

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

445 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-645-5311, 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.

CityArts Factory

29 S. Orange Ave., 407-648-7060, cityartsfactory.com

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

1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park, 407-646-2526, 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 alumni.

Crealdé School of Art

600 St. Andrews Blvd., Winter Park, 407-671-1886, 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, 407-222-1231, 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

500 W. Livingston St., 407-235-3619, flyinghorse.cah.ucf.edu

University of Central Florida's fine art research facility and nonprofit publisher of limited-edition prints and multiple-edition art objects.

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.

Gallery Eola

818 E. Washington St., 407-793-6982, galleryeola.com

New Thornton Park white-box makes up in adventurous curation what it lacks in size.

Hannibal Square Heritage Center

642 W. New England Ave., Winter Park, 407-539-2680, hannibalsquareheritagecenter.org

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.

Henao Contemporary Center  

5601 Edgewater Drive, 407-272-0317, henaocenter.com

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

The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida

851 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland, 407-628-0555, 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.com

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.

Orange County Regional History Center

65 E. Central Blvd., 407-836-8500, thehistorycenter.org

This storehouse of archived wonders fills its exhibition spaces with traveling exhibitions as well as homegrown collections.

Orlando Museum of Art

2416 N. Mills Ave., 407-896-4231, omart.org

Nestled into Loch Haven Park, the newly reinvigorated OMA shows work by major artists as well as homegrown talent.

Redefine Gallery

29 S. Orange Ave., 407-648-7060, 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., 407-286-2185, 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.

The Terrace Gallery

Orlando City Hall, 400 S. Orange Ave., 407-246-4279, 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.

Well's Built Museum

511 W. South St., 407-245-7535, wellsbuilt.org

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

Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts

227 E. Kennedy Blvd., Eatonville, 407-647-3307, facebook.com/zorafestival2016

This little 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

The Abbey

100 S. Eola Drive, 407-704-6261, abbeyorlando.com

A small mixed-use room in an ornate setting – with full bar service – hosts cabaret, comedy, community theater and concerts, as well as the Orlando Ballet Uncorked series.

Athens Theatre

124 N. Florida Ave., DeLand, 386-736-1500, athensdeland.com

DeLand's restored historic theater hosts a resident community theater group, youth theater and concerts.

Bach Festival Society

1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park, 407-646-2182, bachfestivalflorida.org

BFS presents an annual season of classical music, performed by the 160 volunteer members as well as visiting artists.

Bob Carr Theater

401 W. Livingston St., 844-513-2014, drphillipscenter.org

Now operated by the Dr. Phillips Center, this old standby still hosts the Orlando Phil, as well as concerts and comedians.

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

445 S. Magnolia Ave., 844-513-2014, 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.

Footlight Theatre at Parliament House

410 N. Orange Blossom Trail, 407-425-7571, 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.

Garden Theatre

160 W. Plant St., Winter Garden, 407-877-4736, gardentheatre.org

The lovingly restored historic theater in quaint downtown Winter Garden hosts theater, film and family shows.

Improv Orlando

9101 International Drive, 407-480-5233, 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., 407-297-8788, madcowtheatre.com

The established and well-regarded professional Mad Cow Theatre features regular stage productions as well as classes, workshops and socials.

Orlando Ballet

445 S. Magnolia Ave., 844-513-2014, 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., 407-770-0071, 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., 407-896-7365, orlandorep.com

Professional family theater productions have become the domain of Orlando Rep, which also presents shows from its Youth Academy.

Orlando Shakespeare Theater

Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 E. Rollins St., 407-447-1700, orlandoshakes.org

One of the top Shakespeare companies in the country, OST produces a regular season in addition to PlayFest, which showcases new works.

SAK Comedy Lab

29 S. Orange Ave., 407-648-0001, sak.com

Good, clean fun is the hallmark of this troupe that specializes in improvisational comedy shows.

Theater on the Edge

5542 Hansel Ave., theaterontheedge.org

Repertory theater company makes edgy choices of material.

The Venue

511 Virginia Drive, 407-412-6895, thevenueorlando.com

This space is the home of Blue Star and her VarieTease troupe, but also hosts plays, concerts, and cabarets.

The Winter Park Playhouse

711 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park, 407-645-0145, winterparkplayhouse.org

Cabarets, musicals and holiday fare – this little community theater offers a busy theatrical calendar all year round.

THEATER GROUPS AND DANCE COMPANIES

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

Beth Marshall Presents

bethmarshallpresents.wordpress.com

The longtime Fringe Festival producer has formed her own company, producing an ambitious slate of plays and events.

Center for Contemporary Dance

thecenterfordance.org

Home to resident modern dance companies Coby Project, Dawn Branch Works, Mary Love Dance Projects, Moore Dance Project and U-Turn Dance Co.

Central Florida Community Arts

cfcarts.com

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

Emotions Dance Company

emotionsdance.org

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

Jeremy Seghers

facebook.com/whiterabbitorlando

The local producer-director uses immersive staging techniques to create some of the most acclaimed theatrical performances of the past few years.

Opera Del Sol

operadelsol.org

A new group producing irreverent mashups of operatic arias with pop culture, burlesque and current events.

Opera Orlando

operaorlando.org

This rigorous but always fun company stages chamber operas and recitals in collaboration with Orlando Philharmonic and other Florida opera groups.

Phantasmagoria

phantasmagoriaorlando.com

A Victorian steampunk circus troupe offering "macabre and delicious treats and tricks."

Playwrights' Round Table

theprt.com

The mission of the group is to find and nurture new playwrights and give a home to new stage works.

Voci Dance

facebook.com/vocidance

The modern dance company presents theatrical experiences incorporating elaborate set and costume design.