Art and Culture in Ocala, Marion County
In Marion County, arts, culture and festivals are always in season.
Fine Arts for Ocala
An active appreciation of fine arts has been an integral part of the cultural life of Ocala for years. "Fine Arts for Ocala," (FAFO) was founded in 1967 and it promotes visual and performing arts programs for people of all ages. The group’s annual autumn art show, held on the grounds of the Ocala City Hall, downtown, attracts more than 50,000 people during its two days to view and purchase works of art, enjoy entertainment, and an exhibition of the artwork of area school children. FAFO also sponsors a "Symphony Under the Stars," each year which features guest orchestras and conductors.
The Ocala Civic Theatre
Since 1950, Ocala has had its own community theatre which is the second largest in the state. The Ocala Civic Theatre offers live, professional-quality musical and dramatic productions. Each year 44,000 people attended at least one Civic Theatre show. The theatre also has a youth program, a program for seniors, and shows by professional touring companies. They are supported by a enthusiastic volunteer group.
The Ocala Symphony Orchestra
The Ocala Symphony Orchestra is Marion County's premier cultural arts organization. Founded in 1975, the orchestra averages a dozen concerts throughout the year in front of nearly ten thousand area citizens. Its mission is to play the highest caliber music that is performed by skilled musicians under the dynamic leadership of a brilliant and energetic music director - Matthew Wardell. It is driven to reach, entertain and inspire audiences of all ages while serving the broadest group of constituents and to foster excellence in music education through collaborative partnerships with local resources. back to top
The Appleton Museum of Art
The crowning jewel in Marion County's multi-faceted cultural scene is The Appleton Museum of Art, jointly owned by the Florida State University Foundation, and the Central Florida Community College Foundation. Located on East Silver Springs Boulevard and housed in an elegant neo-classical-style building, the museum is a regional landmark and one of the southeast's finest cultural assets. The vast permanent collection includes 18th and 19th century academic art from Europe, Canada and the U.S., Pre-Columbian art, African art, Asian art, and Antiquities. The permanent collection is complemented by three seasons of important traveling exhibitions each year. In 1996 the Edith-Marie Appleton wing added a 22,000 square foot gallery to house traveling exhibitions, making The Appleton one of the largest art museums in Florida.
Truly a community resource, The Appleton is open daily and offers tours, films, concerts, lectures and family programs. The Gift Gallery carries a wide selection of art books and art-related merchandise. For a current exhibition schedule call (352) 236-7100.
For more information about this article, please contact:
Tamara Fleischhaker, 352-629-8051, ext. 102 Tamara@OcalaCEP.com