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Art Walks, Markets, and Festivals - Jacksonville Arts and Culture

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Artistic communities have cropped up on the downtown fringes of Jacksonville. Riverside hosts a big arts market on Saturdays, while San Marco's Dinner District developed between several theatres on Jacksonville's Southbank. Not to be outdone, downtown offers monthly Art Walks, with more than 40 cultural organizations taking part. Add in dozens of festivals and special events and Jacksonville can be considered a cultural hotbed.

Galleries and artists

 

To experience Jacksonville's numerous galleries, visitors can join the Art Walk that takes place every first Wednesday of the month. Fifteen designated city blocks put artists and performers centre stage, including outdoor exhibits at Hemming Park. Food trucks and vendors are also on hand. This event routinely attracts thousands of patrons and all artwork on display must be family-friendly and original.

 

Jacksonville Downtown Art Walk

 

A handy Art Walk map can be found online that shows how the event is easily walkable, with a cluster of venues participating mainly around Hemming Park and the Florida Theatre.

 

135 W. Monroe St., Jacksonville 32202Tel: +1 904 634 0303 ext. 225

 

Jacksonville Downtown Art Walk website

 

Hemming Park

 

Jacksonvillians have worked hard to restore Hemming Park to its former glory as a public hub. It's the city's oldest park and represents Jacksonville's modern revitalization.

 

117 W. Duval St., Jacksonville 32202. Tel: +1 904 255 7900

 

Hemming Park website

Festivals

 

With miles of riverfront, downtown provides prime locations for a variety of special events. Jacksonville Jazz Festival has featured famed musicians like Miles Davis and Harry Connick Jr. and is widely considered one of America's best jazz festivals. Other festivals focus on blues, films, and food, while the One Spark event showcases new ideas.

 

Jacksonville Jazz Festival

 

This multiple-stage event typically attracts over 30,000 jazz fans. It takes place over 4 days in May and is free to attend.

 

117 W. Duval St., Jacksonville 32202. Tel: +1 904 630 3690

 

Jacksonville Jazz Festival website

 

One Spark

 

A large crowdfunding festival held in the spring, One Spark is a free event that showcases ideas and products to attract recognition and investors. Live music and food trucks round out the fun.

 

22 E. Bay St., Jacksonville 32202. Tel: +1 904 250 0070

 

One Spark website

 

Museums

 

Three noteworthy museums in Jacksonville's city centre house thousands of works of art spanning centuries of northeast Florida's history. Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens focuses on European and American art, in addition to its renowned collection of Meissen porcelain. For modern-art lovers, a visit to MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) will delight. Science and history buffs will want to stop at MOSH (Museum of Science & History) for its famous planetarium and exhibits on local history.

 

Cummer Museum

 

In addition to showcasing one of the Southeast's best collections of fine art, Cummer Museum also has an outdoor garden filled with sculptures and antiques.

 

829 Riverside Ave., Jacksonville 32204. Tel: +1 904 356 6857

 

Cummer Museum website

 

MOCA: Museum of Contemporary Art

 

This 90-year-old museum has a variety of exhibits along with a permanent collection of around 1,000 paintings, photographs, and other works of contemporary art.

 

333 N. Laura St., Jacksonville 32202. Tel: +1 904 366 6911

 

MOCA: Museum of Contemporary Art website

 

Riverside Arts Market

 

To explore Jacksonville's local flavor, Riverside Arts Market can't be beat. Hundreds of artisans sell handcrafted foods, objects, and art while musicians and performers entertain visitors. The many food vendors offer cuisine options such as French, Caribbean, BBQ, and Mediterranean. Since it takes place under Fuller Warren Bridge, this event happens rain or shine March through December.

 

Riverside Arts Market

 

A premier attraction on Saturdays in Jacksonville, the Riverside Arts Market also has theme days and special events, so check their calendar and plan accordingly.

 

715 Riverside Dr., Jacksonville 32204. Tel: +1 904 389 2449

 

Riverside Arts Market website

 

Performing arts

 

There's no shortage of performing arts in America's largest continental city. Many venues are located downtown, such as Times-Union centre for the Performing Arts. This venue houses 3 separate spaces: Jacoby Symphony Hall, Moran theatre for Broadway in Jacksonville shows, and Terry theatre for more intimate events like comedy shows and speakers. In San Marco you'll find the Ballet Arts Centre and Theatre Jacksonville.

 

Times-Union centre for the Performing Arts

 

A 3-in-1 venue right on St. John's River, the Times-Union centre for the Performing Arts hosts the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, and its calendar stays full with a variety of conventions, plays, and concerts.

 

300 Water St., Jacksonville 32202. Tel: +1 904 633 6110

 

Times-Union centre for the Performing Arts website

 

Theatre Jacksonville

 

A volunteer community theatre on Jacksonville's Southbank, Theatre Jacksonville is Florida's longest-running theatre of its kind.

 

2032 San Marco Blvd., Jacksonville 32207. Tel: +1 904 396 4425

 

Theatre Jacksonville website