For a city our size, we've got plenty of culture. There's enough for every taste and energy level, but not too much to overwhelm. Here's only a partial list; check the weekly calendar in City for information on other groups, venues, and specific events.
A\V 8 Public Market, 423-0320, www.avspace.org | newer, small space in Rochester's Public Market, hosts contemporary out-of-the-mainstream visual, media, and music artists
Anderson Alley Artists 250 North Goodman Street, #212,461-3940 | three floors of artists' studios, open to the public once a month on Second Saturdays
Arts & Cultural Council 277 North Goodman Street, 473-4000, www.artsrochester.org | The organization that represents and organizes local artists now shows area work on its remodeled first floor.
Center at High Falls 60 Browns Race, 325-2030, www.centerathighfalls.org | in the historic High Falls district, both a museum of local history and an art gallery devoted to local artists.
1570 Gallery 1570 East Avenue, 770-1923 | an art gallery inside a senior living complex, displays work by local and national artists
4 Walls Gallery 34 Elton Street | a brand-new space at 34 Elton Street, a growing arts center
Genesee Center for the Arts 713 Monroe Avenue, 271-5183 | home to Genesee Pottery and the Community Darkroom, both of which offer classes, space to work, and galleries
George Eastman House 900 East Avenue, 271-3361, www.eastmanhouse.org | once the estate of Eastman Kodak founder George Eastman, now home to the International Museum of Photography and Film, including photography exhibits, one of the world's oldest film archives, and the Dryden Theater, where movies are screened almost every evening.
Little Theatre Café 240 East Avenue, 232-3906 | a popular pit-stop before or after a movie, as well as its own destination for live jazz and artwork on the walls
Memorial Art Gallery 500 University Avenue, 473-7720, mag.rochester.edu | Rochester's art museum: The permanent collection has 10,000 works from 5,000 years of history. It may be New York State's most comprehensive art collection outside of the New York City.
Mill Art Center and Gallery 61 North Main Street, Honeoye Falls, 624-7740 | studio space for workshops and an adjacent gallery
Nan Miller Gallery 3450 Winton Place, 292-1430, www.nanmillergallery.com | shows a variety of styles: pop, abstract, realism
Oxford Gallery 267 Oxford Street, 271-5885, www.oxfordgallery.com | 40-year-old independent gallery, a solid, prestigious presence on the local scene
Rochester Contemporary 137 East Avenue, 461-2222 | devoted to keeping contemporary arts alive in downtown Rochester; a good bet for multimedia work, installations, as well as alternative 2-D work
Williams Gallery First Unitarian Church, 220 South Winton Road, 586-6085 | artwork on display in the Louis Kahn-designed church building
Visual Studies Workshop 31 Prince Street, 442-8676, www.vsw.org | the area's media-studies hub offers community and degree (an MFA in visual studies through SUNY Brockport) classes in photography, visual books, film/video, and digital media. The Siskind Gallery, The Collector's Gallery, and Bookstore have a variety of work.
At the colleges
Finger Lakes Community College Williams-Insalaco Gallery 34 4355 Lakeshore Dr, Canandaigua, 394-3500
Monroe Community College Mercer Gallery 1000 East Henrietta Road, 292-2021
Rochester Institute of TechnologyBevier GalleryJames E Booth Building, 475-7680 | Gallery r775 Park Avenue, 242-9470, www.rit.edu/~galleryr | NTID Dyer Arts Center Johnson Building, 475-6855 | SPAS Gallery Gannett Bldg 7B, 475-2770
SUNY Brockport Tower Fine Arts Center and Rainbow Gallery 180 Holley Street, Brockport, 395-2805
SUNY Geneseo Lederer Gallery Brodie Hall, 245-5211 | Lockhart Gallery McClellan House, PHONE | Opus Gallery MacVittie College Union, 245-5516
University of Rochester Gallery at the Art and Music Library Rush Rhees Library, River Campus, 275-4476 | Hartnett Gallery Wilson Commons, River Campus, 275-4188 | Rare Books and Special Collections Library River Campus, 275-4477 | Rossell Hope Robbins Library Rush Rhees Library, River Campus, 275-0110
ARTWalk University Avenue, 234-6670, www.rochesterartwalk.org | interactive, outdoor museum along University Avenue in the Neighborhood of the Arts
Center at High Falls 60 Browns Race, 325-2030, www.centerathighfalls.org | Rochester history, great view of the historic High Falls
Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse Museum off Lake Avenue, 621-6179 | nautical and lighthouse memorabilia, tours into the lighthouse tower
Ganondagan 1488 State Route 444, Victor, 742-1690, www.ganondagan.org | site where thousands of Seneca people lived 300 years ago; hiking trails, visitors' center, special events
Genesee Country Village and Museum 1410 Flint Hill Road, Mumford, 538-6822, www.gcv.org | a reproduction 19th-century village, open in the summer complete with a old-time baseball league; the adjacent nature center is open year-round.
Geneva Historical Society Museum 543 South Main Street, Geneva, 789-5151, www.genevahistoricalsociety.com | exhibits and events celebrating local history
Honeoye Falls-Mendon Historical Society Museum 1 Allen Park Drive, Honeoye Falls, 624-9803, 624-1611 | exhibits and events celebrating local history
NewYork Museum of Transportation 6393 East River Road, 533-1113, www.nymtmuseum.org | antique trolleys, vehicles, memorabilia, model railroad and track car rides
Rochester Museum and Science Center 657 East Avenue, 271-1880, www.rmsc.org | a science museum for kids with rotating exhibits that make science fun, also houses the Strasenburgh Planetarium, where there are star shows and big-screen movies
Sonnenberg Mansion and Gardens 151 Charlotte Street, Canandaigua, 394-4922, www.sonnenberg.org | 19th-century mansion and formal gardens
Strong Museum 1 Manhattan Square, 263-2700, www.strongmuseum.org | children's museum hosts rotating exhibits, tons of events; see the reproduction of Sesame Street, the play grocery store, and the National Toy Hall of Fame
Susan B. Anthony House 17 Madison Street, 235-6124 ext 19 | the old abode of that suffragist and civil rights activist, including the porch where she was arrested for voting
Poetry and literature
Blackstorytelling League of Rochester 234-7710, www.blackstorytellingleague.org | promotes African cultural arts and expression through storytelling
Boa EditionsLimited 260 East Avenue, 546-3410, boaeditions.org | not-for-profit poetry publishing house; more than 150 titles, several award-winning
Brockport Writers Forum SUNY Brockport, 395-5713, www.brockport.edu/wforum/ | an impressive reading series that brings writers and poets
HazMat Review www.hazmatlitreview.org | literary journal that is made by and publishes local writers
Lake Affect Magazine 288-4239, www.lakeaffectmag.com | community magazine with a dedication to publishing creative work
Pure Kona Poetry Daily Perks Coffee House, 389 Gregory Street | long-running open mic series, religiously held every Thursday
Writers & Books 740 University Avenue, 473-2590, www.wab.org | a community literary center, offering classes and events in all writing genres, including the Genesee Reading Series and If All of Rochester Read the Same Book.
Elizabeth Clark Dance Ensemble 442-5988 | performance and education group, offers modern dance concerts and community classes in different locations
Garth Fagan Dance 50 Chestnut Street, 454-3260, www.garthfagandance.org | We are shameless braggarts when it comes to the Tony Award-winning, world-traveled choreographer. The troupe performs at least one weekend of concerts in the area each year, and children can take advantage of the Imagination dance classes.
Hallmark Danceworks www.hallmarkdanceworks.org | non-profit modern dance company
Park Avenue Dance 461-2766, www.parkavenuedancecompany.org | offers ongoing classes, also presents modern-dance concerts and brings in visiting choreographers for master classes/performances
Rochester City Ballet 1326 University Avenue, 461-5850, www.rochestercityballet.org | an excellent, growing nonprofit company, performs The Nutcracker with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra every year
Rochester Swing Dance Network 244-2815, www.rochesterswingdance.com | holds weekly, participatory dances, often with live music
SUNY Brockport 350 New Campus Drive, Brockport, 395-2787, brockport.edu/finearts | a great dance program yields several performances throughout the year
Yevshan Ukrainian Dance Ensemble 477-5852, yevshan_ukies.tripod.com | nonprofit group, performs at events and schools
AKWAABA: The Heritage Association 482-5192, www.akwaabatours.org | reenacts Underground Railroad stories and other stories from the time of Rochester's abolitionist movement
Blackfriars Theatre 28 Lawn Street, 454-1260, www.blackfriars.org | a solid, mid-sized professional theater in a remodeled church in the East End, puts on five shows a year with local talent
Bread and Water Theatre www.breadandwatertheatre.org | a newer, fresh, non-profit theater group on the scene, offers an annual Rainbow Theatre Festival devoted to gay themes
Downstairs Cabaret Theatre 20 Windsor Street, 172 West Main Street, and 540 East Main Street, 325-4370, www.downstairscabaret.com | an amazingly prolific theater staging cabarets, musicals, comedies, and straight-up dramas in three locations; the indefatigable I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change has been running for four years. We can't get enough.
Geva Comedy Improv 232-4382, www.gevatheatre.org | they pull it out of a hat, and it's hysterical; late-night weekend shows with cheap beer at the Geva Theatre Center
Geva Theatre Center 75 Woodbury Boulevard, 232-4382, www.gevatheatre.org | the largest regional professional theater, there's always something on either the traditional main stage or the NextStage, reserved for newer works
Greater Rochester Repertory Companies 624-8360, www.grrc-arts.org | nonprofit theater that puts on several shows a year, also runs a summer performing arts program for kids
JCCenterstage Jewish Community Center, 1200 Edgewood Avenue, 461-2000 | professional community theater, uses local actors, also has a play reading series
A Magical Journey Thru Stages 935-7173, www.mjstages.com | a multi-generational troupe that stages Broadway musical revues for charity
Nuts and Bolts Comedy Improv 503-7815, www.nutsandboltsimprov.com | very funny, off-the-cuff humor, shows about once a month at Downstairs Cabaret Theatre
Off-Monroe Players 234-0500, www.off-monroeplayers.org | It's all Gilbert and Sullivan, twice a year, for free
Rochester Association of Performing Arts 727 East Main Street, 325-3366, www.ggw.org/rapa/index.html | teaches children and adults in music, theater, and dance and offers a season of plays and musicals
Rochester Broadway Theatre League 875 East Main Street, 325-7760, www.rbtl.org | We may get them late, but we get them. Thanks to RBTL, several big-name Broadway shows make stops at the Auditorium Theatre.
Rochester Children's Theater Nazareth College, 4245 East Avenue, 385-0510, www.rochesterchildrenstheatre.org | shows for young ones; in residence at Nazareth College
Rochester Community Players 234-7840 | Rochester's oldest community theater includes the Irish Players and the Shakespeare Players, who perform free summer shows at Highland Park Bowl.
Shipping Dock Theatre Visual Studies Workshop, 31 Prince Street, 232-2250, www.shippingdocktheatre.org | City theater critic calls it the "best brave little theater"; despite venue issues, continues to put forth dedicated treatments of "thinking" plays
TYKEs 875 East Main Street, 723-6080 | a new group called Theater Young Kids Enjoy, performs on the Auditorium Theatre's upstairs stage
University of Rochester International Theatre Program Todd Theatre, UR River Campus, 275-4088, www.rochester.edu/theatre | a standout college theater group, puts on experimental, rigorously staged work