Arts and culture guide for Lakeland

From comedy shows and Broadway tours to local organizations supporting Lakeland’s arts community, we’ve rounded up 19 places to get your arts and culture fix around Swan City.

theater

Lakelanders get their moment in the spotlight in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” | Photo by @lakelandcommunitytheatre

Table of Contents

To us, all of Lakeland is a work of art. But if a stage or museum is more your scene, we’ve got you covered with a list of places where you can enjoy, participate in, or support the local arts community.

For those with a flair for the dramatic

  • Lakeland Community Theatre | See a hit musical or play put on by your Lakeland neighbors of all ages.
  • Polk Theatre | Film fans can catch a classic flick on the silver screen at this historic theater in the heart of downtown.
  • RP Funding Center | This is Lakeland’s hub for Broadway tours, comedy shows, and dance performances.
  • Swan City Improv | Get a little comedic relief from this group that comes up with its scenes on the spot using audience suggestions.
  • Florida Dance Theatre | Watch top dancers in performances from Polk County’s only professional dance company.
Add a heading - 2022-07-15T140617.760

Grab a drink before a performance from a Lakeland musician. | Photo by @unionhallevents

For those who hit all the right notes

  • Lakeland Symphony Orchestra | Enjoy an immersive performance at various Polk County venues when you attend symphonic concerts and an annual opera.
  • Union Hall | Catch local music acts at this venue or take the stage yourself with salsa + line dancing lessons on select nights.
  • Hillcrest Coffee | Grab a latte and hear the latest tunes from local singer-songwriters on Thursday nights at this coffeehouse.
mayfaire

Fine art by Lake Morton — what more could you ask for? | Photo by Gregory Mills

For the visual learners

  • Polk Museum of Art | Catch the latest exhibit, listen to an art history lecture, or take a tour with the curator to learn more about the art in this museum.
  • Mayfaire by-the-Lake | Stroll around Lake Morton to enjoy paintings, photography, and handcrafted goods in this annual outdoor springtime art festival.
  • Art Crawl | Emerging contemporary artists can show their work at this art festival taking place Nov. 5 at Swan Brewing.

For those looking to organize

Get involved by joining one of these groups yourself or visiting their events.

  • Platform Art | This nonprofit aims to enrich the public arts scene through visual arts, film, fashion, music, and performance.
  • Mayor’s Council on the Arts | Formed by the Lakeland City Commission, this council promotes Lakeland’s arts community + creative economy.
  • Lakeland Art Guild | This group of artists works to encourage other visual artists and beautify the community.
  • ART/ifact | Visit pop-up events from the artist collective at this art gallery space.

For the ones who aren’t too cool for school

Support students by catching a theatre, orchestra, dance, or vocal performance from local schools, including Harrison School for the Arts, Florida Southern College, Southeastern University, or Polk State College.

More from LALtoday
We’ve got details and a map full of drink deals: We’ll be highlighting the vibrant beverage scene across Lakeland, FL from July 22 to July 26, 2024.
What you need to know about Lakeland’s club roller derby league + how it’s working to change the face of contact sports.
Celebrate the role that the arts play in overall health + wellness with Lakeland’s inaugural Arts and Health Week, happening July 22 to July 27, 2024.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for — you get the point. Check out this list to find your perfect scoop, sandwich, sundae, or snowball.
Here’s what you need to know as the mayor, commissioners, and city staff determine the FY 2025 budget.
It’s no secret that Lakeland is home to vast amounts of wildlife, but what do you do if you see a species that’s hurt or out of the norm? Consider this your go-to resource.
We’re traveling back to the Golden Age to learn about Lakeland’s oldest indoor movie theater, and how it continues to be a place “where historic is cutting edge.”
Compare the cost of living for Lakeland, FL with national averages + understand how expenses in Lakeland stack up against other cities.
Whether you’re looking for a spot that’s surrounded by nature or bathed in the shade, consider one of these spots next time you’re looking to dine al fresco.