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A guide to the Gainesville art scene

By: Carly Zinderman

Gainesville is more than just a college town. The city is also home to several museums and performing arts theaters with national notoriety. And throughout the year, Gainesville hosts various art festivals and events that draw crowds from near and far.


The Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, located in the University of Florida's Cultural Plaza, features national and international headliners and Broadway performances in addition to dance performances, concerts and lectures that take place throughout the year.

The Hippodrome Theatre has become a must-see destination in downtown Gainesville. For over 40 years, the Hippodrome has been putting on top-notch productions of Broadway plays and musicals in addition to showcasing off-Broadway and regional titles.


Dance Alive National Ballet is a professional ballet company that features award-winning dancers from all points of the globe. In addition to putting on renowned shows like The Nutcracker and others since 1966, DANB is also active in the community, with programs that benefit the elderly and underserved.


One of the largest university-affiliated museums in the country, the Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida includes African, Asian and contemporary art in its permanent collection, in addition to attracting a rotating roster of events and community programs.

Art festivals

Cinema Verde International Environmental Film & Arts Festival shows feature-length and short films that draw attention to environmental concerns and how people can help.

The Kanapaha Botanical Gardens Spring Garden Festival is the region's largest horticultural event, complete with not only plants but also arts and crafts and plenty of food and fun for the whole family.

During the Santa Fe Spring Arts Festival fine artists from all over the country exhibit their works in the beautiful setting of a historic neighborhood.

And the annual Art Festival at Thornebrook, produced by Thornebrook Village and the Gainesville Fine Art Association, attracts fine artists from all over for a two-day celebration including a giant sand sculpture, and activities for the kids.

Gainesville is filled with events and festivals that celebrate all aspects of the arts, from the Downtown Festival & Art Show to the monthly Gainesville Artwalk, in addition to many other celebrations of the arts.

PICTURED: Artwork at the Thomas Center Galleries
PICTURED: The Downtown Festival and Art Show
PICTURED: The Historic Thomas Center Galleries