Summer break may be ending, sending us back to lesson plans and exam schedules, but that doesn’t mean that the local arts and culture activity is taking a break. The city’s burgeoning arts and culture scene has been a point of pride for Orlando residents for quite some time, and it shows no signs of slowing down. There are lots of ways to enjoy, participate, and support the talented and innovative artists and organizations that call our town home.
Orlando Museum of Art
Some of the best things about the artistic and cultural landscape in Orlando are its presence in communities, its engagement of neighborhood venues and the exposure it offers to local artists. There are any number of recurring shows held throughout the year at local venues both big and small. The Orlando Museum of Art (OMA) does its part on select 1st Thursdays, hosting space for local artists, musicians, restaurants and overall offering a gateway into the city’s arts and culture milieu (the 2022-2023 schedule is currently forthcoming).
The Thorton Park Wine Walk and CityArts
When OMA takes a break, other neighborhoods continue the Thursday tradition. The Thorton Park Wine Walk occurs every 2nd Thursday of the month, where for $10 you can stroll the district, wine in hand, and enjoy craft vendors, art exhibits, live performances, and other fun goings-on (pets are also welcome!). CityArts also offers a 3rd Thursday Gallery Hop with rotating artists, food trucks, and makers markets, and its location on Magnolia Avenue downtown makes it a great spot for popping in during bar crawls.
Thursdays aren’t the only day for artistic interests – plenty of other venues around town hold shows on the weekend. Bazaar Botanica is hosted on 3rd Sundays in Ivanhoe Village, and Hourglass Brewing in Longwood holds monthly themed art shows challenging artists to bring their best work (vendor sign up for these shows can be found on their respective websites and Facebook pages).
Dr. Phillips Center of Performing Arts
Of course, if you aren’t already an artist, there are programs available to help broaden your creative horizons. Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts offers classes throughout the year for both students going back to school who wish to include some more artistic endeavors in their routine and for those still on break through August. Musical theater, drama, and community outreach incentives are all available for those interested in how to expand their cultural horizons right here in their hometown.
ArtReach Orlando, a non-profit organization that partners with Orange County Public Schools, also hosts multiple programs for local youth, and Orlando Museum of Art offers adult programs from instructional painting classes to yoga among the masterpieces. It’s wonderful to see Orlando doing so much to make itself a center for arts and culture, and the involvement of locals makes it that much more special.