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Dayton, Ohio

Dayton Arts: Art Scene in Dayton

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  • Passport to the Arts – A membership to PASSPORT qualifies you for 2-for-1 ticket deals to local arts organizations as well as other discount offers.

The Wright Brothers first took to the skies here in Dayton, and the city’s association with flight is evident at places like National Museum of the U.S. Air Force and through events such as the Vectren Dayton Air Show.  Dayton’s love of aviation is matched only by its enthusiasm for the arts, which can be seen in an active downtown arts scene that includes cultural festivals, art galleries and studios, and performing arts organizations dedicated to ballet, opera, theater, and orchestral music.

Arts Info

  • Culture Works—A great site to learn about arts and cultural offerings in the Dayton area, including information about arts organizations and resources, and an arts calendar
  • Downtown Dayton—Information on the many arts and entertainment options in downtown Dayton
  • Dayton City Paper—News and reviews covering arts events in Dayton

Art Museums

Dayton Art Institute

Dayton Art Institute

The Dayton Art Institute (DAI) opened in 1919 as the Dayton Museum of Arts, also operating as a traditional school of art.  Its original founding patrons included Orville Wright and local leaders the Patterson brothers.  In its first decade the Museum was housed in a downtown Dayton mansion, but in little over a decade moved to a new home, overlooking the …more…

Theater

The Human Race Theatre Company

Human Race Theatre Company

The Human Race Theatre Company marked its 24th season of operation in 2010-11.  In its own Loft Theatre on North Main Street and in the adjacent, much larger Victoria Theatre, the company has presented many regional and world premieres, as well as several American classics. Its Musical Theatre Workshop series focuses on shows that are brand new or seldom performed, while its education and outreach programs reach thousands of children …more…

Classical Music

Dayton Philharmonic

Dayton Philharmonic

The Dayton Philharmonic was founded in 1933 and over the course of it’s over 75 year history, has distinguished itself as one of Dayton’s longest standing cultural institutions. The pride of the “Gem City,” DPO performs under the baton of Music Director Neal Gittleman, bringing adventurous programming and fine musicianship to its nearly numerous patrons (including it’s over 50,000 school-age …more…

Musica!

Musica!

Musica! is one of Dayton’s premier vocal ensembles with 16 singers led by Dr. Robert Jones. The group performs a subscription concert series during its season, as well as a number of benefits performances and private concerts. The group began in 1990 as 8 singers, performing holiday favorites at a Christmas party. The group was such a rousing success, that it …more…

Opera

Dayton Opera

Dayton Opera

In a state brimming over with major opera companies—Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus—Dayton Opera more than holds its own with an annual three-opera season, Star Gala (a concert featuring one or more notable soloists and chorus), and multi-million dollar budget. The company was founded in 1960 and has attracted many of the operatic world’s biggest names. It has also maintained a …more…

Dance

Dayton Contemporary Dance Company

Dayton Contemporary Dance Company

The brainchild of Jeraldyne Blunden – a former student of both Martha Graham and George Balanchine – DCDC was founded in 1968 to elucidate the African-American experience through contemporary dance. Blunden’s vision for her company has enthralled local, national, and international audiences for its inspiration and power and won her awards such as the National Black Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award and a MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant.

As the oldest modern …more…

Venues

Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center

Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center

A relatively new addition to Dayton’s skyline (opened in 2003), the Schuster Performing Arts Center was designed as the city’s hub for the arts, and the centerpiece in a revitalized downtown district.  It attracts regional, national, and international artists, and is home to the Dayton Opera and Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra.  The Schuster also features the newest Broadway plays, and …more…

Art Museums

Dayton Art Institute

Dayton Art Institute

The Dayton Art Institute (DAI) opened in 1919 as the Dayton Museum of Arts, also operating as a traditional school of art.  Its original founding patrons included Orville Wright and local leaders the Patterson brothers.  In its first decade the Museum was housed in a downtown Dayton mansion, but in little over a decade moved to a new home, overlooking the …more…

Theater

The Human Race Theatre Company

Human Race Theatre Company

The Human Race Theatre Company marked its 24th season of operation in 2010-11.  In its own Loft Theatre on North Main Street and in the adjacent, much larger Victoria Theatre, the company has presented many regional and world premieres, as well as several American classics. Its Musical Theatre Workshop series focuses on shows that are brand new or seldom performed, while its education and outreach programs reach thousands of children …more…

Classical Music

Dayton Philharmonic

Dayton Philharmonic

The Dayton Philharmonic was founded in 1933 and over the course of it’s over 75 year history, has distinguished itself as one of Dayton’s longest standing cultural institutions. The pride of the “Gem City,” DPO performs under the baton of Music Director Neal Gittleman, bringing adventurous programming and fine musicianship to its nearly numerous patrons (including it’s over 50,000 school-age …more…

Musica!

Musica!

Musica! is one of Dayton’s premier vocal ensembles with 16 singers led by Dr. Robert Jones. The group performs a subscription concert series during its season, as well as a number of benefits performances and private concerts. The group began in 1990 as 8 singers, performing holiday favorites at a Christmas party. The group was such a rousing success, that it …more…

Opera

Dayton Opera

Dayton Opera

In a state brimming over with major opera companies—Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus—Dayton Opera more than holds its own with an annual three-opera season, Star Gala (a concert featuring one or more notable soloists and chorus), and multi-million dollar budget. The company was founded in 1960 and has attracted many of the operatic world’s biggest names. It has also maintained a …more…

Dance

Dayton Contemporary Dance Company

Dayton Contemporary Dance Company

The brainchild of Jeraldyne Blunden – a former student of both Martha Graham and George Balanchine – DCDC was founded in 1968 to elucidate the African-American experience through contemporary dance. Blunden’s vision for her company has enthralled local, national, and international audiences for its inspiration and power and won her awards such as the National Black Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award and a MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant.

As the oldest modern …more…

Venues

Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center

Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center

A relatively new addition to Dayton’s skyline (opened in 2003), the Schuster Performing Arts Center was designed as the city’s hub for the arts, and the centerpiece in a revitalized downtown district.  It attracts regional, national, and international artists, and is home to the Dayton Opera and Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra.  The Schuster also features the newest Broadway plays, and …more…