Whether it is live theater, art or music, the Clearwater area has something for everyone. Constructed in 1921, the Capitol Theatre in downtown Clearwater is reminiscent of a classic Hollywood theater, known for having some of the best natural acoustics in the southeastern United States. This intimate venue offers a robust calendar with a wide variety of musical and entertainment genres.
Since 2008, the West Coast Players have been performing in their own 100-seat theatre in central Clearwater.
Ruth Eckerd Hall at the Richard B. Baumgardner Center for the Performing Arts was nominated one of the top five concert halls in the United States and the number six-ranked venue in the world by Billboard Magazine. It houses two separate theaters, an education center, and banquet and meeting rooms. Designed by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, its stellar lineup includes more than 200 performances annually.
As another option, you can combine an evening of dining and entertainment at two local dinner theaters - the Detective Dinner Theater and the Early Bird Dinner Theater.
Located in the heart of St. Petersburg, the Duke Energy Center for the Arts - Mahaffey Theater hosts national and international artists and performances. They range from Broadway shows to classical, pop, rock, comedy and dance.
The American Stage is a professional regional equity theatre founded in 1977.
The David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts located in downtown Tampa is the largest venue of its type in the southeastern United States. It houses five distinct theaters, a performing arts conservatory and a rehearsal hall.
Every year Clearwater hosts the Clearwater Jazz Holiday. This four day/four night event held the third weekend in October in Coachman Park draws renowned jazz artists like Chicago, Brandi Carlile, Woody Herman, Tony Bennett, Al Jarreau, Branford Marsalis, Natalie Cole, Spyro Gyra and Mindi Abair and showcases excellent local talent.
Suncoast Jazz Classic is another popular weekend music festival featuring national and local talent held each November.
Downtown Clearwater is experiencing a renaissance in terms of culture, commerce and residential development; from the Sculpture 360 Project, a collection of out-door modern art pieces to the revitalization of the Cleveland Street District, which includes upscale condominiums, a major chain hotel, stores and restaurants. Every Wednesday from October through May the district comes alive with the Downtown Farmer's Market which includes live entertainment.
A fun visual art year round attraction is Clearwater's Dolphins Trail. (tinyurl.com/cwdolphin) More than 100 uniquely decorated 6' tall dolphin sculptures are available for public viewing in Clearwater, throughout Pinellas County and beyond. You'll find dolphins inside and outside businesses and on some front lawns.
Artists outdid themselves with paint, decoupage, recycled materials, vinyl wraps, shells, mosiacs, colored glass and fiber art. Another visual delight is Chalk Walk Art Festival, held in October in Clearwater Beach on Beachwalk. Over 40 artists share their talent in creating chalk art masterpieces. During this three day event the artists' work is judged and prizes are awarded.
The Clearwater Arts Alliance offered a public art experience in 2014 entitled Pianos in Pinellas. Professional local artists painted 10 upright pianos that were then displayed in high traffic areas where the public was encouraged to enjoy interactive music and art.
Entertaining people since 1930, the Francis Wilson Playhouse is billed as "Clearwater's Favorite Community Theatre." From September through June it has a full calendar of musicals, dramas and comedies.
Ancient, Classical and Modern Art to History and Science . . . It's All Here!
Art & Culture
World-class museums enrich the area with diverse collections.
The unique Salvador Dali Museum boasts the largest and most complete collection of the artist's work in the world spanning his entire career. In late 2014/early 2015 the work of another legendary modern artist, Pablo Picasso, will be displayed alongside of Dali's.
The Museum of Fine Arts contains the only comprehensive art collection from antiquity to present day on Florida's west coast. Its collection of 4,000 objects includes works by Cézanne, Monet, Renoir and Rodin.
The Dunedin Fine Art Center is dedicated to creative educational experiences in the visual arts for all ages. The David L. Mason Children's Art Museum is an educational and interactive art gallery that children and their parents will both enjoy as part of the art center.
The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art on the Tarpon Springs Campus of St. Petersburg College, is dedicated to modern and contemporary art in an award winning building.
The Morean Arts Center is Pinellas County's oldest and largest visual arts association and offers classes.
The Chihuly Collection (presented by the Morean Arts Center) is a permanent exhibition of the work of world-famous glass artist Dale Chihuly. The artwork is being displayed in a building especially designed for this exhibition, creating a one-of-a-kind experience.
The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts houses a superb permanent collection of photography, along with continuous new exhibits and children's outreach programs that focus on photography's impact on literacy.
The Ringling Museum of Art features a vast collection of art from America, Europe and Asia. It also contains an art library for those wishing to do research.
Science & Technology
Museum of Science and Industry - MOSI is the largest science center in the Southeast. It houses exhibits on almost every topic imaginable. The complex features an IMAX Theater, a planetarium, an interactive children's section called Kids In Charge! and a Science Works Theater.
The Science Center of Pinellas County is a participatory teaching museum with interactive exhibits exploring physics, archaeology and inventions.
The Glazer Children's Museum offers engaging "interactivities" for children up to 10 years old. These "interactivities" help them learn about science, art and the world around them.
The Great Explorations Children's Museum utilizes the familiar interactive hands-on approach for children to learn through creativity, play and explorations.
The Armed Forces History Museum houses one of the largest collections of military memorabilia in Florida, displaying artifacts ranging from World War I through the present day.
The Dunedin Historical Society and Museum contains a collection of antique clothing and other artifacts dating back to the 1870s through the early 1900s including Dunedin's sports and railroad history, its multicultural origins and its pioneer families. There are hands-on activities for children.
The Florida Holocaust Museum features photographs, art, text and original artifacts that evoke the deep emotions of that dark period.
The National Armed Services & Law Enforcement Memorial Museum honors those who serve or have served in the U.S. Armed Forces and federal, state and local law enforcement.
The Palm Harbor Museum collects, preserves, interprets and shares the heritage of the Palm Harbor area.
For over 90 years, the St. Petersburg Museum of History (the third oldest in Florida) has been preserving and showcasing the interesting heritage of this area. Its First Flight Gallery commemorates the first commercial airline flight in 1914 between St. Petersburg and Tampa and includes a working replica of the Benoit Airboat flown by the pilot, Tony Jannus.
The Safety Harbor Museum of Regional History is an actual archeological site located on a Tocobaga Indian shell mound. 12,000 years of history are seen in the artifacts that have been discovered here. There is also an interesting display of pioneer life, along with memorabilia of the origins of the renowned Safety Harbor Spa.
Tampa Bay Automobile Museum houses vintage cars ranging from the French Citroen Half Track to the British Jaguar E Type and includes a Delorean.
The area's rich hispanic heritage is evident in the Ybor City State Museum featuring exhibits that detail the early days of the community and the development of the cigar-making industry.