Greater Orlando Arts & Cultural Organizations Lead The Way On Sustainability

The future health of our world has been one of the areas of concern for the Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs Sustainability Committee, a subcommittee of the Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs Advisory Council. The arts organizations in Central Florida have reported a number of actions they’ve taken or are exploring in this regard, making their organizations more environmentally sustainable.

From switching to more energy efficient systems to the use of compostable items, the arts are addressing the issues. “Any individual arts group might not make a huge difference, but when you combine the efforts of all the arts venues, their efforts can make a difference,” said Terry Olson of the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs. “I’m proud to see the art, as always, being aware of current issues and responding to make our community a better place.”

Below is the list of efforts these groups are working on:

Crealdé School of Art

• Recycling on site.

• Uses recyclable cups.

• Uses paper plates rather than plastic.

• Composting.

• Replacing lights with LED

• Linen table cloths.


Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

• Recycling on site.

• Food waste recycling program in progress.

• Grease recycling.

• E-waste recycling program.

• LED Lighting program with OUC.

• Working to develop a pallet recycling program.

• Looking to work on front of house operations next.



• Recycling on site.

• Vendors must lay down tarps.

• No single use products.


Mennello Museum of American Art

• Part of Green Works Orlando.

• Updated LED lighting.

• UV Film protection on all windows.

• Full recycling.

• Converted to all glass in 2018, no single-use plastics for event/meetings, all biodegradable for own events.

• Vendors are required to use recyclable materials and no single use plastics.

• Ticketless events.

• Installed electric car charging stations.

• Future expansion plans include green initiatives.


Orlando Ballet

• Newly constructed facility with LEED standards.

• LED lighting.

• Working with OUC to conduct energy audit.

• Looking at potential for solar.

• Recycling on site.

• Encouraging digital tickets, no longer printing tickets.

• Moved to fully digital programs in 2020.


Orlando Fringe

• Recycling bins next to every trash can.

• Dedicated trash/recycling manager.

• Working to shift from paper-based culture, which includes no longer printing programs and encouraging artists to print one piece of paper for others to take a photo of, rather than using postcards.

• No single-use plastics.

• Compostable cups and straws at the bar.

• Ticketless.

• Switching to LED lighting.

• Recycling and environmental messaging at Kids Fringe.

• Encourage biking and ride sharing. Works with Lyft to have a discount.


Orlando Museum of Art

• Looking at replacing HVAC system, roof and building envelope sustainably.

• LED lighting.

• Talking with Chris Castro about covering the parking lot with solar panels to create power to be shared by the entities.

• Sustainable boilers.

• They push recycling on their vendors.


Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra

• Non-disposable table and kitchenware for admin use.

• Water refill and reusable water bottles.

• Recycling on site for staff and visitors.

• Give away branded reusable water bottles and reusable straws.

• Sheet music is only printed on demand. When it is printed, it is recycled as scrap paper.

• Part of Green Works Orlando.

• Updated light fixtures to LED.

• Food and beverage goods are all biodegradable.

• Cleaning spray is eco-friendly.

• Sinks and toilets are sustainable.

• Tickets are scanned.

• Musicians are in a union. Each year the Philharmonic Staff meets with the Union to come to an agreement.

• 401k implemented in 2022.

• Staff is not part of the union, but receives similar benefits.


Orlando Repertory Theatre

• Scenic opportunities for sustainability.

• Single stream recycling.

• Next goal is to switch to aluminum water bottles.

• LED lighting.

• Looking at how to get a new roof sustainably.

• Ionization and HVAC updates through CARES

• Looking at digital programs.


Orlando Science Center

• Gold LEED Certification

• UV film on windows.

• LED lights.

• Cultural Facilities funding helped to buy new HVAC system.

• Composting in partnership with Walt Disney World.

• Air quality projects.

• 10+ year program with OUC.

• Visit every 5th grade class once in the Fall and once in the Spring.

• Energy and water conservation.

• Tiny Green Home exhibit.

• Partnered with Disney Conservation Fund.

• Installed a home for birds while migrating.

• Cultural Facilities funding was leveraged to do projects that were led by LEED certification parameters.

• OUC and the City helped us kick start going LEED by investing in a new HVAC system that they paid off over time.


Orlando Shakes

• New HVAC system.

• Looking at composting.

• Looking at recycling.

• Looking at digital programs.


Snap! Orlando

• Will speak with the building owners about recycling.

• Current exhibit, “THIS EMPTY WORLD” by Nick Brandt discusses the environment.

• Virtual augmented art throughout the City of Orlando.

• Plaques for augmented art are made of aluminum, which is recyclable.

• Uses contracts. No specific in-house artists.


Timucua Arts Foundation

• House built using insulated concrete forms.

• No paper programs.

• LED lighting.

• Passively cooled LED stage lighting in addition to LED lighting throughout the home.

• Compostable plates, cups, etc.

• Recycling and discourage single-use plastics.

• Use stainless steel tumblers and use water efficient ways to wash them.

• Working on a project to get solar panels.

• Digital Ticketing.

• All employees work remotely.

• Use two active biocide air filtration systems to scrub the air.


Photo Credit: Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs

Date Posted: April 22, 2022

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