Arts and Culture

Yes, it’s possible to enjoy a refined, cultured lifestyle in Florida outside of Miami, with its contemporary art expos and sophisticated global travelers. In fact, there are scores of opportunities to experience a wide swath of arts and cultural activities in any of our larger cities—Sarasota, Bradenton, Tampa, St. Petersburg—and, of course, in metropolitan Orlando.

The good news is that many of our smaller cities and towns also offer vibrant arts scenes and impressive, historic institutions to explore. Even if you live in a more suburban or rural area and want to participate in a larger arts community, it’s rarely more than a 30-minute drive to visit museums, take tours of historic landmarks, catch live theater, attend music and dance performances, frequent art walks and gallery openings or watch indie films at art house movie theaters.

A glimpse at Central Florida’s arts scene reveals venues like the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, which features world-class shows traveling from Broadway and beyond, or the innovative West Coast Black Theater Troupe of Sarasota. In Bradenton’s Village of the Arts, our largest arts community, residents offer a monthly ArtWalk event that features two days of open studios in a quaint village of restored 1920s and ‘30s cottages. And downtown Orlando features both the Enzian, an independent, community-supported movie theater that hosts the Florida Film Festival, and the groundbreaking Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

Go ahead, get your classy on. No one will notice if you still have sand between your toes.

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