Arts & Culture

Living at Aviva puts you right in the heart of Sarasota, Florida. Locals call Sarasota the Cultural Coast for a reason. On or off-campus, you will find numerous ways to feed your creative spirit when you call Aviva your home.

The Local’s Guide to Art in Sarasota


Here in Sarasota, you can brush up on your art history and see work from artists of today. Always make sure to ask about discounts for seniors or locals. Some of our favorite museums in the area include:

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

You might know The Ringling for its iconic circus museum where you can learn all about The Greatest Show on Earth. That’s not all though; the Ringling offers a renowned museum of art as well. This museum of art features its own permanent collection plus a stunning sculpture garden and also hosts rotating exhibits from around the world. The beautiful facility includes three restaurants and a live performance space as well. Here’s an insider tip: Admission is free on Mondays!

Sarasota Art Museum

Also a Sarasota favorite is the Sarasota Art Museum on the Ringling College of Art and Design campus. Different collections adorn this museum each season, giving you many chances to mingle with others who share your passion. The museum presents events and lectures monthly, as well.

Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy

Discover the Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy, one of Florida’s hidden gems, just six miles from Aviva. See fun and imaginative sculptures, paintings and more. The museum closes during the summer and early fall and opens Thanksgiving weekend. If you need cheering up, this place will have you smiling right when you walk through its doors.

Music and Theatre

Besides museums, Sarasota is also home to film, music and theatre, many with convenient matinee performances. Experience some of the best performing arts that the city has to offer at these destinations.

The Sarasota Opera House

The Sarasota Opera House is a favorite among our guests. This beautiful, renovated historic building is located near wonderful restaurants and shops, giving you a sophisticated afternoon or evening with friends. During opera season, you can enjoy guided behind-the-scenes tours. The resident Sarasota Opera presents a fall season and winter festival each year, in addition to a diverse schedule of year-round shows. Numerous other groups, including the Sarasota ballet and Sarasota Symphony perform there, too.

The Sarasota Film Festival

Each year, the Sarasota Film Festival takes place during the spring. Celebrities and film connoisseurs from all over the U.S. fly in for this event. For those with a passion for film, this experience is a must! The organization also offers adult education programs and volunteer opportunities. During the offseason, you can watch specially selected classic films at the Sarasota Cinamatique. For off-campus activities like these, we offer transportation so that no one has to miss out on the fun.

Feed Your Creativity in the Comfort of Campus

It’s not just the area surrounding Aviva that is rich in culture. On-campus we have activities to help you feel inspired each and every day. In addition to poetry and crafting clubs, we also have a number of resident-run groups including a Shakespeare Reading Group, Play Reading Group, Watercolor Class, and Drama Club. Held each week, you have plenty of opportunities to meet others who share your passion for culture. Not to mention, our Aviva University program features lectures touching on culture and the history that has shaped the world we live in.

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