Cultural Neighbors: Enjoying The Arts In Orlando

Many travelers recognize Orlando for its theme park attractions, but the "City Beautiful" also offers a rich cultural heritage that rivals that of far larger cities.  

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The Villages of Citrus Hills is an excellent location for arts and culture enthusiasts. 

In addition to having plenty of great cultural events to choose from right in the community, residents are also just a short drive from the culture-rich cities of Orlando and Tampa. 

We’ve already profiled some of the great options for arts and culture in Tampa, but there are just as many interesting choices to explore in Orlando. 

Whether your passion is ballet, singing, art museums, or the symphony, you can find all types of interesting cultural events and activities happening in Orlando. 

Let’s take a look at some of the more popular spots! 

Orlando Ballet 

 Orlando Ballet performs at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts right in the heart of Orlando. Their seasons typically include a series of four shows, as well as performances of The Nutcracker every holiday season.

 They started in 1974 as a small collection of unpaid dancers and have grown tremendously since then. They recently made the switch to having live music for each and every one of their performances. 

In addition to their performances, Orlando Ballet also operates the Orlando Ballet School and offers a number of arts education and community outreach programs. 

If you are a fan of ballet, their season tickets are an excellent value. 

Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra 

 The music for many of the Orlando Ballet performances is handled by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, but that is not all that this group does throughout the year. 

With multiple events scheduled for just about every month of the year, there is always something exciting happening at either the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre or the Margeson Theater.

Throughout the year, you will find a wide variety of themed performances and some outstanding guests have been known to join the orchestra at times. Tickets for most shows run from $15-$50 and you can almost always get great seats even just a few weeks prior to a show! 

Bach Festival Society of Winter Park 

 Between the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and Orlando Ballet, we’ve got the music and dancing covered, but if you are looking for powerful voices, the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park is the place to find them. 

This auditioned, all-volunteer choir performs a few times each month from October to April. As you might expect, there are significantly more performances during the holiday season. 

The society also holds community outreach concerts during the summer months and celebrates an annual Bach Festival every spring. 

Orlando Museum of Art 

If museums are the place you prefer to enjoy the arts, the Orlando Museum of Art is an excellent place to start. Like most major art museums, there is a lot going on here. 

The museum itself contains 10-12 exhibits, and operates as many as 13 more outside its walls at any given time. They also host tours, training programs, summer camps, and benefits. 

Permanent collections here include African Art, American Art, Ancient Americas Art, and Contemporary Graphics. In addition to those collections, the museum is always hosting a wide variety of traveling exhibits. 

Morse Museum of American Art 

 The Morse Museum focuses exclusively on American Art from the late 19th and early 20th centuries that includes pottery, paintings, graphics, and other pieces. They also have the largest collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s work housed in its very own wing of the museum. 

Tiffany was famous for his glassmaking work, so you will find a great deal of glass windows and blown glass pieces throughout the Morse Museum. 

Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens 

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This wonderful little museum in Winter Park was a gift to local residents from Albin Polasek, who was a prominent American sculptor during the early 1900s. The museum contains more than 200 different pieces created by Polasek and also hosts some traveling exhibits. 

While there is definitely no shortage of small town cultural events in and around Citrus County, it is also nice to know that there are big city experiences like Orlando Ballet, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Bach Festival Society, and some really spectacular art museums all located just over an hour away in Orlando. 

If arts and culture are an important part of your lifestyle, you will certainly not miss a beat with all of the great options located close to the Villages of Citrus Hills.