Annapolis and Anne Arundel County’s thriving arts community didn’t come about overnight; nor was it the result of a sole group’s hard work. It came about through numerous local groups and their passion for a wide variety of artistic vision.

Today, visitors and locals alike are afforded the opportunity to experience and enjoy everything from world-class fine art and theater to ballet and photography (and much, much more) all within the city of Annapolis and throughout Anne Arundel County. 

Below is a brief summary of the many different businesses and organization that make up the area’s flourishing local art community. With so much going on, it’s easy to see why Annapolis was rated on of the county’s “Top 25 Arts Destinations” in American Style Magazine's 12th Annual Arts Designation Poll.

Annapolis Arts District

Comprised of bars, restaurants, art galleries, performance arts studios, music venues, events, and art workshops, the Annapolis Arts District encompasses the spirit and vibrancy of Annapolis’ art community and its artists. From Westgate Circle to Church Circle, you’ll find a true sense of what has made Annapolis a major arts destination. With fine art galleries and murals painted across the buildings, great food and live music, it’s one of the city’s most-visited and cherished locations. There are even art studios offering classes and workshops to both children and adults. It's also the perfect place to start if you’re new to Annapolis’ art scene.

Annapolis’ Galleries

With over 20 galleries in downtown Annapolis alone (all within a short walk from one another), Annapolis is a great location for any fine art lover. Aside from specializing in maritime artwork, Anne Arundel County's rolling farmland, the natural beauty of the Chesapeake Bay, and the architecture of Annapolis, there are plenty of galleries offering all kinds of focuses – from realism to abstract and everything else in between. Many of Annapolis’ galleries hold exhibits and events throughout the year, giving visitors and locals the chance to see the very best of Anne Arundel County’s talent. 

Performance Arts at its Best

Annapolis and Anne Arundel County is quickly gaining a reputation throughout the Mid-Atlantic as a haven for its performing arts studios. From theatre to ballet, opera to symphonies, there’s a little something for everyone. The studios here offer themed performances throughout the year, even heading outdoors during the spring and summer months in downtown Annapolis. Many also offer classes and workshops for both children and adults to hone their dancing, acting, or singing skills.  

Live Music

One unique aspect of Annapolis’ small town charm is its abundance of live music venues. Each and every night offers some kind of live performance at the many cafes, bars, pubs, and even right on the streets. Local musicians and bands can always be found playing across the city, and at the handful of festivals that take place each summer. There’s also Rams Head on Stage, which hosts shows each night performed by local, national, and international performances.

Annapolis Arts Week 

Newly established in 2017, Annapolis Arts Week was created to bring together the area’s local artists and organizations for a week of art, food, block parties, events, music, and festivals. The week includes three major events: Paint Annapolis, a county-wide, juried, plein air competition; the Annapolis Irish Festival, where Irish food, music, and culture is celebrated over the two-day event; and the Annapolis Arts & Wine Festival, featuring over 20 Maryland wineries, over 200 artists, food trucks, and live art demonstrations for an entire weekend. There’s also the always-anticipated First Sunday Arts Festival on the first block of West Street, Dinner Under the Stars, classes and workshops, gallery exhibits, and much more for art lovers of all ages to enjoy.

Visit the Annapolis Arts Week online for more information.

Want to keep up with everything happening across Annapolis’ art scene? Check out Annapolis' edgy art scene in the new magazine, Up.St.Art for inside stories on the city’s local artists, organizations, and initiatives.