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Lexington, Kentucky

Lexington Arts: Art Scene in Lexington

Bearing the nickname “Athens of the West”, Kentucky’s second largest city has long had a reputation as a cultural and economic center in the region. The city has a host of arts organizations, including a professional symphony, two ballet companies, several choral organizations, and a professional theatre. 

Lexington nurtures a longstanding theatrical tradition, dating to the early 19th century when the region was a thoroughfare of sorts for Westward-bound pioneers. In addition, the “Festival of the Bluegrass”, held the first weekend of June, is the oldest bluegrass music festival in the state of Kentucky.

Arts Info

Art Museums

The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky

The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky

The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky (AMUK) is a wellspring of culture in Lexington, KY.  Its permanent collection contains over 4,500 objects, with significant concentrations of Abstract Expressionist and American Impressionist art, decorative and ethnographic art, Italian Baroque and artwork of the Old Masters, contemporary and regional art, as well as photography, sculpture, and Works Progress …more…

Theater

Paragon Music Theatre

Paragon Music Theatre

Paragon Music Theatre Information
Public Transportation: Excellent (within a 5-minute walk from several buses that run Broadway Road; the trolley Blue Route at Vine Street/Broadway Road; and the trolley Green Route at Upper Street/Main Street)
Handicapped Accessibility: Good
Performances/Programs: 2–4 productions per season, with multiple performances of each
Ticket Prices: Range from $10–$28 with discounts for seniors, students, and children.

Classical Music

The Lexington Chamber Chorale

The Lexington Chamber Chorale

Formed in 1990 under the clever moniker of Sine Nomine Singers (meaning “without a name”), this 32-singer ensemble offers distinctive performances of the music of composers like Stephen Foster, Javier Busto, Jean Ritchie, Eric Whitacre, and more.  The chorale also collaborates with the Lexington Philharmonic for large-scale works such as Handel’s Messiah.  Discounted tickets for seniors and students are available for …more…

The Lexington Philharmonic

The Lexington Philharmonic

Founded in 1961 as a volunteer ensemble known as the Central Kentucky Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lexington Philharmonic offers a full array of concert series—from the more conventional “Classics Series” and “Family Series” to the “PB&J” brunch series for children and the “Kicked-Back Classics” series, in which audience members are encouraged to use social media during the performance/discussion-based events.  …more…

Dance

Kentucky Ballet Theatre

Kentucky Ballet Theatre

Kentucky Ballet Theatre Information

Public Transportation: Excellent (within a 5-minute walk from several buses that run Broadway Road; the trolley Blue Route at Vine Street/Broadway Road; and the trolley Green Route at Upper Street/Main Street)
Handicapped Accessibility: Good
Performances/Programs: 4 shows per season with multiple performances of each
Ticket Prices: Tickets range from $15–$30, with prices varying by show and seating selection. Groups of …more…

The Lexington Ballet

The Lexington Ballet

The Lexington Ballet has been central Kentucky’s leading classical and contemporary ballet company since its establishment in 1973. It took a step toward further regional prominence three decades later, in 2003, when former Dance Theater of Harlem and Alvin Ailey stalwart Luis Dominguez became Artistic Director. ...more...

Multi-Arts Festivals

Roots & Heritage Festival

Roots & Heritage Festival

For the entire month of September, the Roots & Heritage Festival (RHF) lights up the streets of Lexington, with a diverse schedule of events celebrating the city’s African American heritage.  Its centerpiece is a two-day street festival that takes place along historic Elm Tree lane, beginning with a parade that lasts through the first evening.

The street festival also features an …more…

Venues

Lexington Opera House

Lexington Opera House

Unbeknownst to many, Central Kentucky was one of the waypoints on the road to the American West.  The influx of travelers by the Wilderness Road and various waterways in the 18th and 19th centuries meant rapid cultural growth, and the proliferation of one of the era’s most popular forms of entertainment: theatre.

Records of a permanent theatre in Lexington date as …more…

Singletary Center for the Arts

Singletary Center for the Arts

Since 1987, the Singletary Center for the Arts (named for then-University of Kentucky president Otis A. Singletary, who retired that same year) has been a home for a wide variety of performances, both professional and student and continues to bring fantastic cultural experiences to the greater Lexington area. The Singletary Center is home to the departments of Theatre, Music, Art and Arts Administration. As a training ground for young arts …more…

Art Museums

The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky

The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky

The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky (AMUK) is a wellspring of culture in Lexington, KY.  Its permanent collection contains over 4,500 objects, with significant concentrations of Abstract Expressionist and American Impressionist art, decorative and ethnographic art, Italian Baroque and artwork of the Old Masters, contemporary and regional art, as well as photography, sculpture, and Works Progress …more…

Theater

Paragon Music Theatre

Paragon Music Theatre

Paragon Music Theatre Information
Public Transportation: Excellent (within a 5-minute walk from several buses that run Broadway Road; the trolley Blue Route at Vine Street/Broadway Road; and the trolley Green Route at Upper Street/Main Street)
Handicapped Accessibility: Good
Performances/Programs: 2–4 productions per season, with multiple performances of each
Ticket Prices: Range from $10–$28 with discounts for seniors, students, and children.

Classical Music

The Lexington Chamber Chorale

The Lexington Chamber Chorale

Formed in 1990 under the clever moniker of Sine Nomine Singers (meaning “without a name”), this 32-singer ensemble offers distinctive performances of the music of composers like Stephen Foster, Javier Busto, Jean Ritchie, Eric Whitacre, and more.  The chorale also collaborates with the Lexington Philharmonic for large-scale works such as Handel’s Messiah.  Discounted tickets for seniors and students are available for …more…

The Lexington Philharmonic

The Lexington Philharmonic

Founded in 1961 as a volunteer ensemble known as the Central Kentucky Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lexington Philharmonic offers a full array of concert series—from the more conventional “Classics Series” and “Family Series” to the “PB&J” brunch series for children and the “Kicked-Back Classics” series, in which audience members are encouraged to use social media during the performance/discussion-based events.  …more…

Dance

Kentucky Ballet Theatre

Kentucky Ballet Theatre

Kentucky Ballet Theatre Information

Public Transportation: Excellent (within a 5-minute walk from several buses that run Broadway Road; the trolley Blue Route at Vine Street/Broadway Road; and the trolley Green Route at Upper Street/Main Street)
Handicapped Accessibility: Good
Performances/Programs: 4 shows per season with multiple performances of each
Ticket Prices: Tickets range from $15–$30, with prices varying by show and seating selection. Groups of …more…

The Lexington Ballet

The Lexington Ballet

The Lexington Ballet has been central Kentucky’s leading classical and contemporary ballet company since its establishment in 1973. It took a step toward further regional prominence three decades later, in 2003, when former Dance Theater of Harlem and Alvin Ailey stalwart Luis Dominguez became Artistic Director. ...more...

Multi-Arts Festivals

Roots & Heritage Festival

Roots & Heritage Festival

For the entire month of September, the Roots & Heritage Festival (RHF) lights up the streets of Lexington, with a diverse schedule of events celebrating the city’s African American heritage.  Its centerpiece is a two-day street festival that takes place along historic Elm Tree lane, beginning with a parade that lasts through the first evening.

The street festival also features an …more…

Venues

Lexington Opera House

Lexington Opera House

Unbeknownst to many, Central Kentucky was one of the waypoints on the road to the American West.  The influx of travelers by the Wilderness Road and various waterways in the 18th and 19th centuries meant rapid cultural growth, and the proliferation of one of the era’s most popular forms of entertainment: theatre.

Records of a permanent theatre in Lexington date as …more…

Singletary Center for the Arts

Singletary Center for the Arts

Since 1987, the Singletary Center for the Arts (named for then-University of Kentucky president Otis A. Singletary, who retired that same year) has been a home for a wide variety of performances, both professional and student and continues to bring fantastic cultural experiences to the greater Lexington area. The Singletary Center is home to the departments of Theatre, Music, Art and Arts Administration. As a training ground for young arts …more…