Arts and Culture

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Get Inspired with Ocala/Marion County’s Arts and Culture

Surrounded by a natural wonderland and picturesque landscapes, inspiration isn’t hard to find in Ocala/Marion County, making the area an ideal and renowned center for a vibrant arts and culture community. From museums filled with worldly treasures to riveting theater productions and plenty of live performances across a symphony of genres, the County’s rich offerings promise delights for every taste.

Museum lovers have reason to rejoice in Ocala/Marion County. The College of Central Florida’s Appleton Museum of Art is a stunning, 81,000+ square foot travertine marble museum situated on a lush 44-acre property in Ocala. The museum houses five permanent art collections comprised of some 18,000 pieces of art and artifacts spanning five continents. It also boasts a two-story exhibition hall for traveling exhibits and the work of Florida artists. With educational and art programs for children and adults, the Appleton Museum of Art is one of the South’s leading art museums, making a visit to this celebrated attraction a must any time of year.

To enjoy the mild Florida weather as you get your fill of the arts in the great outdoors, take a gallop around Ocala/Marion County to enjoy the equine art of Horse Fever, a fundraising program for the arts started in the early 2000s by the Marion Cultural Alliance. Benefactors sponsor artists to create near life-size horses that are eventually auctioned to benefit the arts in Marion County. Artists have created more than 70 horses through the years, with sculptures located throughout the County. See how many you can find as you explore more of the Horse Capital of the World™.

For theater aficionados, the Ocala Civic Theatre, one of the largest community theatres in the state, produces upwards of twelve full-staged, professional quality performances every season. The volunteer-based organization serves more than 50,000 guests from Marion County and surrounding areas, with upcoming feature productions include The Kitchen Witches, Blood Brothers, The Fox on the Fairway and Sister Act. This flourishing theatre is located in the Appleton Cultural Center.

Symphony enthusiasts will be excited to hear that this is a landmark 40th anniversary season for the Ocala Symphony Orchestra. They will celebrate in a stellar way as they perform in their much-anticipated new home, the Reilly Arts Center. This now-renovated, 80-year-old building once served as the City Auditorium. Tickets are now on sale.

For contemporary tastes, the Orange Blossom Opry is sure to please a wide range of musical preferences. The music at Orange Blossom Opry runs the gamut from traditional to new country, bluegrass, rock and show tunes. They also serve up a special order of humor to add some variety to the lineup. Located in the south Marion County community of Weirsdale, this venue offers up big name talent that the entire family can enjoy. In 2016, the Orange Blossom Opry will also welcome Sawyer Brown, Lorrie Morgan and Ricky Skaggs.

Whether you’re looking to admire masterpieces from around the world, take in a magical performance of a classic play or listen to your favorite tunes performed live, Ocala/Marion County can make it happen. Plan an arts and culture filled itinerary, book accommodations and learn more about the destination at OcalaMarion.com.