By Mike Miller Updated March 26, 2022
The arts in Florida include a wide variety of forms that reflect the state’s diverse culture.
In addition to hundreds of private art galleries, Florida has a large variety of museums ranging from fine art to sidewalk art.
From street musicians to symphony orchestras to Broadway musicals in modern performing arts centers, you will find it here.
Folk music is part of the cultural fabric, and the State is home to the annual Florida Folk Festival. Dozens of community theaters add to the entertainment opportunities across the State.
Appleton Museum of Art
College of Central Florida
4333 E Silver Springs Blvd, Ocala, FL 34470. Tel: 954-977-4400. http://appletonmuseum.org/
The Appleton is a stunning example of classical architecture clad in Italian travertine marble. The 81,610-square-foot museum features 30,000 square feet of gallery space devoted to the Appleton’s permanent collections.
Exhibits include examples from America, Asia, Africa, and Islamic nations. The museum features a 250-seat auditorium, an art library, three art studio/classroom spaces and a courtyard café.
Asolo Repertory Theater
5555 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34243. Tel: 941-351-8000. http://www.asolorep.org/
Asolo Repertory Theatre is one of the most recognized cultural organizations in Florida.
It stages up to fifteen productions every season, ranging from new plays to reinterpretations of classical and contemporary works.
This theater is an important part of Sarasota’s arts scene and has a large resident staff of more than 100 artists, craftsmen, and administrators.
It's resident acting company is complemented by award-winning directors, designers, and guest artists who come from all over the world.
Broward Center for the Performing Arts
201 SW 5th Ave, Ft Lauderdale, FL 33312. Tel: 954-462-0222
The Broward is in a park like setting overlooking the New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
It is ranked in the top ten most visited theaters in the world. More than 700,000 patrons enjoy the Center’s more than 700 performances each year.
Among these are Broadway musicals, ballet, operas, concerts, plays, lectures, and workshops. Additional educational events serve more than 150,000 students each year.
Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens
829 Riverside Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32204. Tel: 904-356-6857
The Cummer has one of the finest permanent art collections in Florida, with nearly 5,000 objects.
This art ranges in age from 2100 B.C. through modern times and features several special exhibits such as the Wark Collection of Early Meissen Porcelain.
The museum’s 2.5-acre garden is a historic example of early twentieth century design. Reflecting pools, fountains, arbors, and sculptures complement the majestic Cummer Oak with a canopy of more than 150 feet.
This oak is one of the oldest trees in Jacksonville.
One Dali Boulevard, St. Petersburg, Florida. Tel: 727-823-3767. https://thedali.org/
The Dali is first and foremost an “artist’s museum” built to showcase the art, archives, and biographical events of a single artist: in this case, Salvador Dali.
The museum has been arranged to display the styles, media, timelines, themes and life and work of this unique artist.
Although Dali is most famous for his works of surreal art, visitors come away from this museum with a new appreciation of how talented in all genres of art he truly was.
The breadth of his talent was truly amazing.
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
445 S. Magnolia Ave, Orlando, FL 32801. Tel: 844-513-2014
Dr. Phillips Center is a hub in downtown Orlando for international, national and local artists, as well as a community outreach center for arts education.
The 2-block Center includes the Walt Disney Theater, the Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater, the DeVos Family Room, the Seneff Arts Plaza, and many other spaces set aside for private events.
A school of arts is also in the complex.
From Broadway musicals, ballet, comedy acts, children’s shows, this Center has become a tourist destination that locals also love.
128 East Forsyth St., Jacksonville, FL 32202. Tel: 904-355-5661. http://floridatheatre.com/
The Florida Theatre is a historic movie theater in downtown Jacksonville.
First opened in 1927, it is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
After numerous renovations, Florida Theatre is now a local and regional center for the performing arts.
In addition to 200 cultural and entertainment events each year including ballet, opera, pop, jazz, rock, country, blues, plays, and movies, the building is also home to numerous school graduations and charity events that support local churches, hospitals, and civic groups.
Lake Placid Murals
18 North Oak Street, Lake Placid, FL 33852. Tel: 863-465-4335. http://tourlakeplacid.com/
Downtown Lake Placid has one of the largest outdoor art displays in Florida.
These displays are in the form of murals on building walls that celebrate the history of the area. At last count, there are 47 historic murals in town.
In addition to the murals, the local mural society has added 146 pieces of artwork throughout the town.
In 2013, Lake Placid won the award of "America's Most Interesting Town", in a nation-wide search by Reader's Digest.
Menello Museum of American Art
900 E. Princeton Street, Orlando, FL 32803. Tel: 407-246-4278. https://www.mennellomuseum.org/
The Menello is in Loch Haven Cultural Park and offers visitors green space, lake views, and walking trails.
The museum’s mission is to preserve, display, and interpret the permanent collection of paintings by Earl Cunningham. Mr. Cunningham was a twentieth century American folk artist who painted mostly coastal landscapes of America’s Atlantic Coast.
They also feature continually changing exhibits from other outstanding traditional and contemporary American artists across a broad range of disciplines.
Philharmonic Center for the Arts
5833 Pelican Bay Blvd., Naples, FL 34108. Tel: 239-597-1111
The Philharmonic complex in Naples includes the Baker Museum as well as the performing home of the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra.
The orchestra performs a full schedule each season, and other entertainers are featured as well including musical groups and solo performers.
The museum features a permanent collection of American, European, and Mexican artists. Special exhibitions include some of the most famous artists in the world.
Raymond E. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts
701 Okeechobee Bd,, W. Palm Beach, FL 33401. Tel:561-833-8300. https://www.kravis.org/
The Kravis Center is in downtown West Palm Beach.
It’s large schedule of events include Broadway musicals, famous entertainers, and numerous educational events for the community.
The center is comprised of a performance theater, a black box theater, an amphitheater and an events hall.
In 2016 the Kravis became the first performing arts center in the world to have a custom-designed digital organ
Ringling Museum of Art
5401 Bayshore Road, Sarasota, FL 34243. Tel: 941-359-5700. https://www.ringling.org/
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is the official art museum for the State of Florida.
The huge museum contains 21 galleries of European paintings as well as many pieces of Asian, American, and contemporary art. All told, there are more than 10,000 objects in the museum.
The museum complex includes an art museum, circus museum, the Asolo Repertory Theater, and Ca’da’Zan, the mansion of John and Mabel Ringling.
Wynwood Art District, Miami, Florida Tel: 305-799-3166
Wynwood is an area close to downtown Miami and is one of the world's largest outdoor street art museums.
The walls of the buildings in Wynwood are decorated by constantly changing murals by some of the world's most gifted and famous graffiti writers and street artists.
You can either walk the neighborhood on your own or sign up for a private walking tour led by local artists.
Catch a performance at one of the hundreds of community theaters located all over the state. Attending a live play or visual arts event is a wonderful way to spend some time.
We have created a list of the Florida community theaters of which we are aware. There is always room for more.
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By Mike Miller, Copyright 2009-2023
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