Greater Daytona arts are glowing and growing, providing residents with fun and access to everything under the sun.
There are almost as many diversified arts venues to be experienced in Greater Daytona as there are grains of sand on the area’s famous white sand beaches — galleries, museums, live music, theater and more!
It is a rich cultural mosaic of which Bryce Hammond, an arts educator, professional visual artist and president of Volusia County Cultural Alliance Board, is very familiar. The alliance keeps communications and ideas flowing between local arts organizations, and it provides grant workshops and support for cultural events.
Hammond is especially proud of the visual and performing arts education programs in the Volusia County public schools.
“We couldn’t be one of the best counties for the arts in the state of Florida without all the art organizations and community support,” he says. “Being an art educator is why I wake up every day!”
Hammond is an unabashed cheerleader for the creative scene.
“There is always something to do in this area because of the plentiful arts organizations that continue to grow,” Hammond says. “We have more arts festivals than any other county our size in the state.” The Halifax Arts Festival, Images – A Festival of The Arts in New Smyrna Beach and th Fall Festival of the Arts in DeLand are longtime events.
These must-see attractions are a great place to start:
Museum of Arts and Sciences: Affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution, a feast of fun and learning awaits at the MOAS, Central Florida’s primary art, science and history museum. Home to the world’s most extensive collection of Florida art, planetarium, hands-on science center in the 9,700-square-foot children’s museum, train station with two rail cars and more. Located inside the Tuscawilla Preserve, a 90-acre, virgin Florida coastal habitat.
Share the Heritage Trail: Explore the African American heritage cultural and historic sites of the region. For example, visit the home of educator and civil rights leader Mary McLeod Bethune and Jackie Robinson Ballpark, where the baseball legend broke the color barrier in professional sports.
Daytona Beach Symphony Society at Peabody Auditorium: The organization is celebrating its 70th anniversary of bringing classical music and opera from around the world to the area. Performances take place in the historic Peabody Auditorium with its iconic sign.
Mary McLeod Bethune Performing Arts Center and Visual Arts Gallery: The 100,000-square-foot, $23 million state-of-the-art facilities at Bethune-Cookman University is designed to provide a spacious setting for productions from musicals to full-scale operas. Also, be sure to visit the 7,000-square-foot gallery.
Halifax Historical Museum: Immerse yourself in the history of the region with artifacts dating from 2,500 to 5,000 B.C., along with memorabilia from baseball’s Jackie Robinson and Daytona 500’s famous France family. The museum is housed in the former Merchant’s Bank Building (circa 1910) in historic Daytona Beach.
Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art: The Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art features a rotating collection of 2,600 Florida-themed oil and watercolor works.
Live Music, Public Art
Hear live music at the historic Daytona Beach Bandshell and Oceanfront Park Complex. Built-in 1937, it is a beach landmark for open-air concerts. Other favorite listening spots are Main Street Station, with three open-air bars and Ocean Deck Restaurant and Beach Club, with nightly live music and karaoke on weekends, both in Daytona Beach.
A unique experience in glass awaits at the Galleria di Vetro Glass Gallery and Studio in New Smyrna Beach. In addition, original artwork captures the senses at the Ocean Art Gallery in Ormond Beach and creations by K-12 Volusia County art students are shown in the ArtHaus.
More than 200 pieces of public art can be enjoyed at 16 locations, including the whimsical “Buck and Babs” statue at the Port Orange Regional Library; a life-size chess board inside Chess Park next to the DeLand Courthouse; a “Part of the Big Picture” display that showcases marine life and Florida waterfowl at the Marine Science Center in Ponce Inlet; and works by 25 artists displayed at the Daytona International Airport.
ArtHaus Nurtures Creativity in the Greater Daytona Region
The executive director since 2018 shares how the organization serves more than 3,000 children annually and is moving to a new location in 2022.
Q: What is ArtHaus and its mission?
A: It is a youth arts nonprofit founded in 1997. We showcase Volusia County Schools’ artwork in our gallery, plus 12 outreach galleries in area businesses. We provide art therapy and enrichment through outreach programs and host art classes and camps for Volusia County children. Our mission is “Instilling the Spirit of Creativity and Self Expression in Our Youth and Community.”
Q: What are some of your outreach programs?
A: We partner with PACE Center for Girls, Volusia Flagler Boys & Girls Clubs, Hope Place Family Homeless Shelter and the EasterSeals Charter School to provide art therapy and enrichment for underprivileged, at-risk and special needs youth.
Q: Why are the arts important to the development of youth?
A: The late Spanish artist Pablo Picasso said, “Every child is an artist.” Art helps improve fine and gross motor skills, communication, self-confidence, creativity and self-expression.
Q: What are plans for your new location?
A: The REC facility at the Port Orange City Center is being renovated and will create a state-of-the-art cultural hub for all ages. ArtHaus is moving into our 4,800-square-foot portion in August 2022, and we cannot wait to discover how our new home will allow us to continue to serve our community.