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The Arts in Orlando/Orange County

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The following question is being asked as part of an Americans for the Arts study called the "Local Arts Index," and I found it an interesting - What are your thoughts?

Indicator #8: Cultural Reputationand Artistic Reach

Tell me your Top 5 choices for culturalorganizations or artists that best represent the Orange County culturalreputation and artistic reach. What puts Orlando/OrangeCounty on the map – culturally?


There is no rule of thumbhere. It is really about what best represents the ‘push’ of arts – whatis represented nationally or internationally.

The “push” ability refers to howour artists or cultural reputation appears to out-of-town markets. Thisindicator examines if the arts in our community export their product, appealto, or sell to the outside world, either from out-of-town arts consumers in ourcommunity, or via our artists’ touring, or cultural product is known, outsideof the community.


· This may be from national coverage in media, national orinternational renown, a touring artist/org, etc.

May be for-profit or not-for-profit cultural organization, orindividual artist, but must be from/in Orange County

May be from any genre or cultural discipline:

- performing arts (theatre, music, dance),

- visual arts (any medium: painting, sculpture, photography, ceramics, 2D, 3D, etc.),

- literature (poetry, script-/playwriting, authors), media (filmmaking, etc.),

- media (filmmaking, etc.),

- history or science

· ` May be the largest organizations, or a small org with a unique product that has garnered acclaim

Could be in-your-face obvious, or may be unlikely individuals

May be deceased artist or living (example: Memphis community claims Elvis Presley)

Orange County area will be one of100 communities represented in the nation, as the first-area Local Arts Index(LAI) is prepared. Twelve indicators of the area’s cultural health and vitalitywill be reported in 90 Primary data fields (we collect/report), and 30secondary data fields that Americans for the Arts has compiled, from existingsources. This first-time ever local arts index will compare to the NationalArts Index. Findings will be available in the fall of 2011. Recent updates havebeen published for the National Arts Index (summary, one-page, and fullreport) are available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org/go/ArtsIndex.

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Hmm, good topic...

The first one that comes to mind as both a local favorite with a national presence is the Enzian Theater in Maitland. Not only have they hosted the Florida Film Festival for 20 years, they also host annual Jewish, South Asian, local, and kids film festivals.

It's hard to choose, because we have a really good collection of small theater companies (Theatre Downtown, Mad Cow, Orlando Rep, Orlando Shakespeare, etc.) and small/medium museums (OMA, Cornell Fine Arts, Morse, Mennello, Hurston, History Center, Well's Built, Polasek, Science Center - which is pretty big actually).

Lastly, although people might disagree: If we're including big organizations, you can't ignore Disney. They have some very high quality performing arts going on at their parks, from professionals to giving college students their first acting gigs. Definitely the most nationally/internationally recognizable arts venue we have.

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