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25 Top Arts and Culture Things to Do

Find African-American artifacts, symphony orchestras, woodcarvings, poetry slams, sculptures, Shakespeare, stoop storytelling and more in the diverse arts and culture scene of Maryland.

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Maryland Symphony Orchestra

1 Maryland Symphony Orchestra, Hagerstown

Visit The Maryland Theatre to enjoy the big and bold sounds of this orchestra that regularly draws audiences from surrounding states. The Maryland Symphony Orchestra plays everything from classics to popular to traditional holiday tunes, so you’re sure to find music you love.


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Type:
Arts & Culture


Location:
30 W. Washington St
Hagerstown, MD 21740
301-797-4000


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Thrasher Carriage Museum

2 Thrasher Carriage Museum, Cumberland

You’ll appreciate today’s cars, trains and planes even more after a visit to this restored 19th-century warehouse where the horse-drawn carriages on display harken back to a time when transportation wasn’t so simple. See funeral wagons, sleighs, milk carts and more, as well as the travel accessories of the day, like bearskin lap covers and charcoal feet warmers.


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Type:
Arts & Culture


Location:
19 Depot St
Frostburg, MD 21532
301-689-3380


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Dante's Bar

3 Dante’s Bar, Frostburg

This multipurpose space in the Arts District will satisfy your taste for art and culture, as well as dinner. Order from an eclectic menu with plenty of drink specials, then feast on exhibits of local and regional artists, poetry slams and open mic nights held throughout the year.


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Type:
American


Location:
16 W. Main St.
Frostburg, MD 21532
301-689-9777


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Spruce Forest Artisan Village & Penn Alps Craft Shop & Restaurant

4 Music at Penn Alps, Grantsville

On Saturday summer evenings, listen to classical and pop music performances at the Great Hall, part of the Penn Alps Restaurant and Crafts Shop complex that also houses the Spruce Forest Artisan Village, home to a cooperative community of artists and artisans.


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Type:
Agriculture & Farms


Location:
125 Casselman Rd
Grantsville, MD 21536
301-895-5985


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Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art

5 Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Salisbury

Fittingly situated next to Shumaker Pond, this popular museum features the world’s largest collection of antique and decorative decoys. Traverse 12,000-square feet of gallery and theater space for a primer on wildfowl and the chance to marvel at the realistic beauty of some of the best wildfowl wood carvings in the world.


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Type:
Arts & Culture


Location:
909 S Shumaker Dr
Salisbury, MD 21804
410-742-4988


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AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center

6 AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, Silver Spring

Cinephiles and all those searching for an alternative to mainstream movie-plexes, you can thank Montgomery County and the American Film Institute who partnered to redevelop this historic 1938 theater into a state-of-the-art complex, where you can take in programming largely unavailable elsewhere. See independent features and documentaries, attend a foreign film festival, or watch a series of classic movies, then discuss what you saw at a post-screening reception.


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Type:
Arts & Culture


Location:
8633 Colesville Rd
Silver Spring, MD 20910
301-495-6700


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Baltimore Museum of Art

7 Baltimore Museum of Art

If modern and contemporary art is your passion, don’t miss the exhibitions and collections at this museum, home to the world’s largest collection of Matisse, plus 90,000 other works of art. Special activities include drop-in tours, Family Sundays and other events. Admission is free.


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Type:
Museums


Location:
10 Art Museum Drive
Baltimore, MD 21218
443-573-1700


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Cumberland Theatre

8 Cumberland Theatre

The shows of the Great White Way make their way to this theater in Western Maryland, a multi-purpose community arts facility that has hosted more than 100 productions, including recent favorites such as Happy Days, the musical; On Golden Pond; Monty Python’s Spamalot; and the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Fun fact: Emmy Award-winning, Academy Award-nominated actor William H. Macy serves on the theater’s Board of Trustees.


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Type:
Arts & Culture


Location:
101-103 N Johnson St
Cumberland, MD 21502
301-759-4990


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Strathmore Music Center

9 The Music Center and Mansion at Strathmore, Bethesda

A variety of performing art shows take the stage at three venues: the Music Center, the mansion, and 16 acres of outdoor space. See internationally-renowned acts at the Music Center, attend a more intimate performance in the mansion or listen to a free concert under the stars. Stop by for afternoon tea in the Tea Room or to see one of the many art exhibits on display.


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Type:
Tours


Location:
5301 Tuckerman Ln
North Bethesda, MD 20852
301-581-5100


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DC Glassworks and Sculpture Studios

10 DC Glassworks and Sculpture Studios, Hyattsville

This public access studio offers art classes ranging from glass-blowing to welding and metal fabrication. So gather some friends and learn a new art form!

The Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre & Children's Theatre - Cats

11 The Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre & Children’s Theatre, Frederick

Who doesn’t love dinner and a show? This theater is perfect for a unique evening out in a casual environment. With performances of stage classics and favorite musicals in an intimate setting, you’ll be well entertained (and fed!). The Children’s Theatre makes for a perfect afternoon with the kids, too.


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Type:
Performing Arts


Location:
5 Willowdale Dr
Frederick, MD 21702
301-662-6600


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Busboys and Poets - Hyattsville

12 Busboys and Poets, Hyattsville

A community gathering place for artists, activists, thinkers and dreamers, this establishment regularly hosts open mic nights, poetry slams, book readings and art exhibitions. Grab a snack, debate big ideas, visit the bookstore, and come for a special author event.

Hammond Harwood House

13 Hammond-Harwood House Museum, Annapolis

Known for some of the best examples of woodcarving and plasterwork in the country, the architecture of this historic circa-1774 house has earned it the nickname “the jewel of Annapolis.” Make an appointment for the two-hour tour to get an in-depth look.


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Type:
Tours


Location:
19 Maryland Ave
Annapolis, MD 21401
410-263-4683


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Chesapeake Shakespeare Company

14 Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, Baltimore

Parting is such sweet sorrow, so this company is making sure you don’t have to say goodbye to its engaging Shakespearean works just because the weather’s changing. A move to a new indoor cultural center near the Inner Harbor keeps its performances going all year, while the Company-In-The-Ruins continues its under-the-stars summer performances at PFI Historic Park, Ellicott City.


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Type:
General Attractions


Location:
7 South Calvert St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
410-244-8570


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Howard County Center of African American Culture

15 Howard County Center of African American Culture, Columbia

Walk the halls of a gallery displaying the work of local African-American artists, listen to vintage and contemporary music, see a mural of images of Barack Obama, and peruse exhibits showcasing African- American inventions, military contributions, and local leaders and families at this unique museum that’s also home to a children’s library.


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Type:
Tours


Location:
5434 Vantage Point Rd
Columbia, MD 21044
410-715-1921


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The Stoop Storytelling Series

16 The Stoop Storytelling Series, Baltimore

More than 450 stories have been told about the highs and lows of city living in this popular series named after the famous marble “stoops” or steps that front many of the city’s iconic rowhomes. A theme is chosen and seven people share a true, personal story in seven minutes to the listening audience. Mainstage shows go on at the 540-seat Pearlstone Theater at Center Stage, while a spin-off series called “Second Stoop” pops up at venues around the city.

This Smithsonian affiliate showcases its art in surrounding gardens and makes for an affordable way to spend the day.

17 Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center, Solomons

Follow the walking path that winds through the garden alongside St. John’s Creek, past the collection of permanent sculpture and loaned works from the National Gallery of Art and Smithsonian Institution. Then put all that inspiration to good use in the Center’s creative reuse artLAB, which also hosts Moms’ Club classes for the littlest art lovers.

Creative Alliance - Neighbors Night at Marquee Lounge

18 Creative Alliance, Baltimore

Reclaimed from a historic neighborhood movie theater, the Creative Alliance at the old Patterson Theater has become Baltimore's cozy home for the funky, fun and fabulous. Home of the annual Maryland Folklife Festival, the Creative Alliance has hosted everything from polka to punk-rock and rock operas to Tibetian throat singers. And did we mention the top notch artisanal cocktails? It's a can't miss!


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Type:
Arts & Culture


Location:
3134 Eastern Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21224
410-276-1651


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Bruce 'Snake' Gabrielson's Surfing Museum and Surf Art Gallery

19 Bruce 'Snake' Gabrielson's Surfing Museum and Surf Art Gallery

Just three miles south of Chesapeake Beach sits a very different museum featuring artifacts tied to the history of surfing, gathered over the past 50 years by the shop’s owner. The gallery contains works from locals and others. The owner is an avid, longtime surfer so when the surf’s up, the museum’s closed, dude.

Port Tobacco Players

20 Port Tobacco Players, La Plata

Broadway classics like Oklahoma! and Much Ado About Nothing mingle with contemporary and family fare at this theater that has been putting on shows for 65 years. See one of their performances on their home stage inside a former 1940s-era movie theater, or catch a traveling production by their Encore and Encore Kids touring companies.

Leonardtown Art Center

21 Leonardtown Arts Center

If the purple stairs and green awning at the entrance didn’t tip you off to the creativity happening inside, all it will take is a step in the door to clue you in. At this colorful building you can view exhibits, purchase hand-crafted items, and watch artists at work, or even meet the painters, sculptors and jewelry-makers who call this studio space “home.”

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park

22 Harriet Tubman Museum & Educational Center, Cambridge

You may know that Harriet Tubman served as a “conductor” in the Underground Railroad to lead other slaves to freedom. But did you also know she was a Civil War Union Army nurse and spy? Learn about Tubman’s fascinating life at this museum that chronicles her early years and escape from slavery, and is part of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway.


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Type:
African American Heritage


Location:
424 Race St
Cambridge, MD 21613
410-228-0401


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Chesapeake Maritime Museum

23 Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels

Dive right in to maritime history at this 18-acre waterfront museum, which in addition to traditional indoor exhibits gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in nautical life. Chat with a master decoy carver, retired crab picker or visiting shipwright, tour the Hooper Strait Lighthouse, tong for oysters at Waterman’s Wharf, apprentice in the Museum’s working Boat Yard, and see the largest collection of historic Chesapeake Bay boats in existence.

Museum of Rural Life - Denton

24 Museum of Rural Life, Denton

Caroline County was solely dependent on its agriculture for more than 300 years due to its land-locked geography. Learn about the challenges its isolated residents faced when you visit historical dwellings of the time, including an 1824 log cabin, a 1787 “middling planter” home, a 1795 wealthy planter home, and an 1819 merchant home later owned by an African-American family.


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Type:
History & Heritage


Location:
16 N. 2nd St
Denton, MD 21629
410-479-2055


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Academy Art Museum

25 Academy Art Museum, Easton

This impressive museum is housed in a regionally-historic building, site of Easton’s first chartered school in 1820. When you take in an exhibition, workshop or event here, you’ll be in good company—more than 50,000 people visit the museum each year, making it the cultural hotspot of the Eastern Shore. Recent attractions include a display of Downton Abbey costumes, a concert by the Peabody Consort, and a Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit.


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Type:
Arts & Culture


Location:
106 South St
Easton, MD 21601
410-822-2787


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Arts & Culture Photos & Videos

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
See a performance by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Director Marin Alsop
Plan to see a performance by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra when director Marin Alsop is conducting.
Annapolis Opera
Annapolis Opera
Bowie Center for the Performing Arts
Bowie Center for the Performing Arts
Baltimore Theatre Project Dancers
Dancers with the Baltimore Theatre Project
Crafty Cars at the Baltimore's Artscape Festival
Car art pops up often at the art-tastic Artscape in Baltimore.

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Discover a world of wonder inside the BMA--and best of all, it's free!
25 Top Arts and Culture Things to Do

This smorgasbord of arts and cultural offerings serves up something for every taste.

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This sumptuous concert hall is home to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
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