For a better understanding of the city’s first peoples, visit the Burke Museum (*1413 NE 45th St; burkemuseum.org) on the University of Washington campus. The Pacific Voices exhibit features woven baskets, carved totems, and other art from 17 tribes and communities. Explore more Native art in the permanent galleries at Seattle Art Museum (*1300 First Ave; seattleartmuseum.org).
Throughout the city, cultural museums provide a glimpse into Seattle’s immigrant roots. In the Chinatown–International District, visitors can explore Wing Luke Museum, (*719 S King St; wingluke.org), which features exhibits about the Asian American community, legendary local Bruce Lee, and even how the Japanese internment affected residents. Columbia City’s Northwest African American Museum (*2300 S Massachusetts St; naamnw.org) showcases work from black artists that focus on emotionally resonant cultural issues, while Ballard’s Nordic Museum (*3014 NW 67th St; nordicmuseum.org) tells the story of how immigrants from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, and Denmark made new lives in the United States and eventually created the thriving neighborhood seen today.
Another way to explore Seattle’s various cultures is at the variety of annual events that populate the calendar. Seattle Center plays host to 24 cultural festivals every year—from Arab Festival to Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival—as part of its Festál (*seattlecenter.com/festal) series. And throughout the year, the city rolls out the red carpet for multicultural cinematic extravaganzas, spanning the Nordic Lights Film Festival (nordicmuseum.org/nlff) and Seattle Asian American Film Festival (seattleaaff.org) in winter to Seattle Jewish Film Festival (seattlejewishfilmfestival.org) and Langston Hughes African American Film Festival (langstonseattle.org/lhaaff) in spring.
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