Pacific Northwest Ballet company dancers in Crystal Pite’s Emergence. Photo © Lindsay Thomas.
Sky Church at EMP.

Arts & Culture

Seattle: The intersection of culture and fun.

True, people buy tickets many months in advance to see Seattle Opera perform signature masterworks such as Wagner’s “Ring.” Yes, the city’s numerous theatres such as ACT and Seattle Rep produce great work on par with any in the country. And there’s no doubt that the expanded Seattle Art Museum contributes to Seattle’s reputation as a great arts city. But while Seattle can boast sophistication with the best of them, the city’s arts scene also reveals its unconventional side.

More than 400 permanently sited works in the City of Seattle’s public art collection enliven parks, bridges, streets libraries and even transfer stations.  Storefronts bloom with temporary art installations.

Art is integrated almost everywhere you look. Supported by award-winning public art programs, artists design everything from building components to manhole covers. And art is found all around you in daily life.

“It seems like more spaces than ever are showing art,” says comic artist David Lasky, quoted in The Artists’ Guide to Seattle, Second Edition. “I’ve had countless shows in cafes, restaurants, bars and shops. Shows like that create a social opportunity in which to see art.”

Seattle’s love for innovation isn’t limited to visual art. After all, this was the home of Nirvana and Pearl Jam, trailblazers of the grunge rock era whose influences spread to nearly every music genre. Even the 112-year-old Seattle Symphony Orchestra stays on trend. In addition to performing the classics, SSO is known for adventurous programming of contemporary works.

For those who think ballet is “old school,” consider Pacific Northwest Ballet. Long acclaimed for its outstanding Balanchine repertoire, PNB is equally noted for its embrace of current choreographers and regularly electrifies audiences with premieres of new work.

Theater on both a large and small scale is an integral part of Seattle’s arts scene. Local theater service group Theatre Puget Sound counts more than 140 producing theater companies in its membership.

Overall, Seattle’s arts scene mirrors its inhabitants. For every traditionalist, there’s a non-traditionalist; for every serious piece of art, there’s something to make you laugh. What inspires us? Some say it’s the coffee culture. Others say it’s the weather. It could just be that Seattle is the cultural center of the Northwest, and its citizens are happy to celebrate. Whatever it is, there’s no doubt that things are fun and a little quirky, too.

The Artists’ View of Seattle, 3rd Edition

See Seattle from a whole new perspective!

Discover Seattle and the Puget Sound region through the eyes of some of the musicians, writers, painters, sculptors, directors and other creative artists who live here. Download the Artists’ View of Seattle, 3rd Edition. (3.5mb)

Upcoming Arts & Culture Events

Hayes Carll

The Neptune Theatre
7/16/2016 through 7/16/2016

Seattle Theatre Group Presents and True West are proud to present Hayes Carll at Neptune Theatre.

Details Event Website

Shiftless Layabout

The Triple Door
7/7/2016 through 7/7/2016

The Shiftless sound is a blend of rock and funk, grit and polish. They bring a fresh perspective …

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Rob Zombie and Korn

White River Amphitheatre
7/27/2016 through 7/27/2016

Zombie has achieved great solo artist success, with several multi-platinum and gold albums. Zombie has sold more than …

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Buddy Holly Tribute

The Triple Door
7/21/2016 through 7/21/2016

Fifty-seven years ago, rockabilly icon Buddy Holly died in a tragic plane crash. He left behind his pregnant …

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Redmond Town Center
7/21/2016 through 7/21/2016

Bring your family and friends Thursday evenings to Center Court for an exhilarating evening of high quality musical …

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Janet Jackson: Unbreakable

Key Arena
7/5/2016 through 7/5/2016

Janet’s Jackson’s tour is not only Unbreakable, it is now unstoppable thanks to her fans across North America.

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The Triple Door
6/29/2016 through 6/29/2016

TessaRosa (formerly Tess and Friends) perform a Latin Jazz with a soulful twist.

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Nights at the Neptune: Blanket of Fear

The Neptune Theatre
6/30/2016 through 6/30/2016

Performed by an all-female cast from the Tribes Project, Blanket of Fear explores and questions the viewpoints and …

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Greg Adams and East Bay Soul

Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley
7/5/2016 through 7/7/2016

The sound of Greg Adams is one of the world’s best-known musical signatures. Adams has recorded six solo …

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Arts & Culture Partners

Brown Paper Tickets

  • Address 220 Nickerson St, Seattle WA 98109
  • Neighborhood Fremont
  • Phone (800) 838-3006
  • Website

Henry Art Gallery

  • Address University of Washington, Seattle WA 98195
  • Neighborhood University District
  • Phone (206) 543-2280
  • Website

Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience

  • Address 719 S King St, Seattle WA 98104
  • Phone (206) 623-5124
  • Website

The Boeing Company

  • Address Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Seattle WA 98124
  • Phone (206) 766-2907
  • Website




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