Rochester has been named one of only ten communities in the United States to receive the All-American City Award, recognizing Rochester as a great place to live. Rochester has also been named one of the “Top 20 Most Vibrant Arts Communities in America (2017)” according to SMU’s National Center for Arts Research third annual Arts Vibrancy Index.
The third-largest urban area in the state of New York, Rochester is a port city on Lake Ontario, situated in Western New York. The greater metropolitan area has about 1.1 million residents. Rochester is located within a 400-mile radius of 14 northeastern states, Washington, D.C., New York City, and Toronto. It is the western gateway to the Finger Lakes region, and part of the country’s longest scenic byway, the Seaway Trail.
Rochester is known for high-tech manufacturing of Eastman Kodak, Xerox, Bausch and Lomb, and many other companies, but the city has preserved much of its historical character, and claims more sites on the National Register of Historic Places than any city of comparable size. Among them are sites relating to Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, Rochester residents who played an important role in both the women’s suffrage and abolition movements. Two of Rochester’s major public parks, Genesee Valley Park and Seneca Park, were designed by the famous 19th-century American naturalist Frederick Law Olmstead, who also designed Manhattan’s Central Park.
Rochester’s cultural richness contributes to the city’s high marks for quality of life. The Eastman School of Music’s location in the East End of downtown Rochester puts it within easy reach of most of the venues listed below. Churches, parks, libraries, popular restaurants, and downtown shopping are also close by.
LINKS TO LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS
- Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
- Rochester Chamber Orchestra
- Rochester Oratorio Society
- Society for Chamber Music in Rochester
- Rochester Gay Men’s Chorus
- Rochester International Jazz Festival
- Madrigalia [chamber choir]
- Water Street Music Hall (rock, pop)
- The Bug Jar (rock, pop)
- Dryden Theatre (George Eastman House)
- ImageOut Film Festival [GLBT films]
- Little Theatre [independent and foreign films]
- Rochester Jewish Film Festival
- Geva Theatre
- Downstairs Cabaret
- Blackfriars Theatre
- OFC Creations Theatre Center
- Off-Monroe Players (Gilbert & Sullivan)
- Everyone’s Theatre Company, Inc.
- Pittsford Musicals
- Rochester Broadway Theatre League (national touring shows)
- JCC CenterStage
- Memorial Art Gallery
- International Museum of Photography (George Eastman House)
- Rochester Contemporary (ROCO)
- Oxford Gallery
- Genesee Center for the Arts and Education
- Artisan Works
- Rochester Museum and Science Center/Strasenburgh Planetarium
- Strong Museum of Play
- Ganondagan (Native American village and museum]
- Genesee Country Village & Museum