Photo Credit: Nazareth College Arts Center

Arts & Entertainment

Rochester is the cultural capital of Upstate New York! As the third largest metro in New York State, we offer an abundance of cultural experiences and institutions that aren’t just tourist attractions—they are embedded into the heart of our community. Rochester has been named the 17th most arts-vibrant city in the country by the National Center for Arts Research, ranking along large cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. From public art on our city streets, to music, dance and theatre; there is always something to see and do as you explore our creative, inspiring, and vibrant art and entertainment scene. 

Art Galleries 

Every “First Friday” of the month members of the Rochester arts community open their doors for visitors to experience open houses and behind the scenes look at galleries and studios all over the city. First Friday Rochester is just one example of the unique experiences you will find when you visit Rochester. 


Whether you’re in the heart of downtown, in the East End neighborhood, at the Water Street Music Hall, or at the majestic Eastman Theatre, you’ll find live music and performances almost every day of the year. 

Photography & Film 

Rochester has been called the Birthplace of Amateur Photography, Picture City, Kodak Town, and The World’s Image Centre, and all rightfully so! We’re the film and photography epicenter for anyone interested in the technology, science and history of making pictures all thanks to George Eastman’s Kodak. A visit to the George Eastman Museum—the world’s oldest museum dedicated to photography and film is a must do when in Rochester, NY. 

Dance & Theatre

There is no other way to describe Rochester’s legacy in dance and performing arts other than world class. Rochester is home to award-winning choreographers including Garth Fagan of Garth Fagan Dance, many nationally and internationally acclaimed companies, a wealth of performances, exciting festivals, and professional theatres like Geva Theatre Center.

See below for more arts and entertainment ideas in Rochester.