Arts & Culture

Few cities of Pensacola's size can boast its diversity of arts, culture and entertainment. The Pensacola arts community supports the Pensacola Opera, the Pensacola Symphony, Pensacola Little Theater, Pensacola Ballet and the Pensacola Museum of Art. Our colleges showcase up-and-coming musicians, artists and actors as well as bringing in internationally known talents. The historic downtown Saenger Theatre hosts national and international touring productions, classic movies, concerts, stand-up and more.

In Niceville, the 120,000-square-foot Mattie Kelly Fine and Performing Arts Center at Northwest Florida State College presents everything from the visual arts to Broadway's best touring shows all under one roof.


Pensacola Museum of Art

The Pensacola Museum of Art is the only major professionally operated museum in Northwest Florida from Mobile to Tallahassee. The Museum partners with local schools, the University of West Florida, and other cultural organizations to develop creative programs in the area.

The Museum is housed in Downtown Pensacola at the old 1906 City jail and is home to about 550 permanent pieces of art, including works by Calder, Warhol, Picasso, and Dali, to name a few. The quality and caliber of the artworks, shows, and events that come to the PMA are due in part to the accreditation by the American Association of Museums.

Pensacola Opera

Pensacola Opera has grown into a thriving professional organization, with a full-time General and Artistic Director, Education and Outreach Director, Development & Marketing Director, Patron Services Manager, and Office Administrator. Pensacola Opera continues its mission of enriching the arts and culture of Northwest Florida with its main stage productions, educational performances, and outreach activities, performing from its home base in Pensacola and into five counties in the surrounding region.

Pensacola Symphony Orchestra

Few communities the size of Pensacola can claim the same quality of arts organizations. The Pensacola Symphony Orchestra is a shining example of a thriving arts community. The Symphony is dedicated to ensuring live symphonic music reaches as many listeners as possible. Engaging enrichment programs bring the PSO to students of all ages, spreading enthusiasm through free concerts, and special programs for families, and involvement with other community and cultural arts initiatives.

Ballet Pensacola

Ballet Pensacola is Pensacola's only resident professional ballet company and a cultural cornerstone of the community. The company's professional dancers enable important outreach programming, and also serve as inspiration to the many student dancers who share the stage.

Ballet Pensacola presents several major performances each season including Arts-in-Education presentations, the Nutcracker and a critically acclaimed spring repertory concert. In addition, outreach performances are presented to more than 20 local schools each season, reaching more than 15,000 children.

First City Arts Center

The First City Arts Center is a not for profit center dedicated to excellence, experimentation and education in the visual, performing and literary arts, while being a working studio center for artists. The center is an exciting hub for cultural and artistic activities that give life to this unique community. Through multidisciplinary activities the Center is able to contribute to Pensacola's art scene by offering exposure to local, regional, national and international artists, thus enhancing the culture of the Greater Pensacola area.

Pensacola Little Theatre

Pensacola Little Theatre (PLT) is a non-profit community organization providing theatrical experiences that entertain, enrich, and educate adults and children who live in or visit Northwest Florida. Housed in the downtown Pensacola Cultural Center, the PLT presents a variety of works and programs throughout the year - musicals, comedies, dramas, and children's shows; adult and youth classes in acting and other theatre skills.

Visual Arts

Pensacola is home to numerous private and co-op art galleries, the Anna Lamar Switzer Center for Visual Arts at Pensacola State College and the TAG Gallery  at the University of West Florida. Downtown hosts Gallery Night several times a year as well as the annual Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival one of the most prestigious outdoor art events on the Gulf Coast.


The Saenger Theatre is the premier performance space on the Gulf Coast. The Spanish Baroque/Rococo style theater, which first opened in 1925, looks better than ever after a $15 million renovation and expansion.

The Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival is one of the best-regarded, most popular arts festivals in the United States.