Sonoma County is filled with art! Whether you are staring out at the picturesque landscapes of Sonoma, listening to live music, wandering through one of Sonoma’s many art museums and galleries, or watching a Broadway style show in one of the valley’s various theatre venues, you are indulging in the many great forms of art that Sonoma County offers. If you call yourself an “Art Freak” that can be found spending your free time at concerts, theatres, galleries, and museums, then Sonoma is the place to visit! Below is a list of some of the great places where you can let your inner Leonardo da Vinci shine!
If you love going to the movies, you must visit Sonoma Plaza’s historic Sebastiani Theatre. Sebastiani Theatre has been Sonoma’s crown jewel for over 67 years. Watching a movie at Sebastiani is an experience you’ll never forget! When you arrive you will be greeted by Trixie, Sebastiani’s very own ticket employee for over 67 years—mind you, she’s a mannequin some mistake as a real person, but she’ll be there. Guests will be mesmerized by the celebrity autographs and photos on the wall, along with the beautiful chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. Nothing says Sebastiani like staring at a big red curtain, while sitting in a creaky wooden seat waiting to watch a brand new movie in an old-fashioned movie theatre. Sebastiani also plays classic old-time movies, hosts film festivals, live performances, camps and more. Sebastiani Theatre even offers exclusive movie screenings to residents and visitors in Sonoma! Sebastiani supports groups in the community and provides the facility for summer camps and other town events. Once you see a movie at Sebastiani, you’ll never want to watch a movie anywhere else! Check out their IN Crowd page here.
6th Street Playhouse
6th Street Playhouse is a performing arts theater that engages, entertains and inspires a diverse community. This theater group produces quality plays, musicals and education programs for an audience from all across the country. Actors from 6th Street Playhouse have performed a wide variety of shows such as, “The Producers,” “Singing in the Rain,” “It’s a Wonderful Life” and many other original shows. Theater classes for adults and children are offered providing a challenging atmosphere and allow actors to learn and express themselves in class and during live productions. If you are looking to watch a high quality theater performance, 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa is a great place to visit!
Transcendence Theatre Company
Transcendence Theatre Company provides Broadway caliber shows to Sonoma County at the historic Jack London State Park. The actors and actresses of Transcendence Theatre Company are committed to incorporating art, health, community and environment in their outdoor performances taking place during their first annual theatre festival in the summer of 2012. Guests enjoy a picnic before making their way to the Jack London State Park winery ruins where they can watch a live performance under the stars. Each show features musical theatre artists with Broadway, National Tour, International Tour, film and television credits. Along with bringing spectacular concerts to Sonoma County, Transcendence Theatre Company is also committed to providing community service and educational programs to people visitors and attendees.
This year’s festival began the weekend of July 14thand continues through early September (see dates below). The Broadway Under the Stars event features four different shows. Make sure to check out one of Transcendence Theatre Company’s spectacular shows this summer continuing with:
“Fantastical Family Night” August 3, 4
“What A Wonderful World” August 16, 17, 18, 24, 25, 26
“Gala Celebration: One Day More” September 1
Wells Fargo Center for Arts
Wells Fargo Center for the Arts is the North Bay’s premier Arts Center presenting world-class performances, nationally recognized education programs, contemporary sculpture and many popular community events. The Center is ranked among California’s top performing arts presenters hosting performances in music, theater, dance, comedy and spoken word. Wells Fargo Center for the Arts serves more than 30,000 children and adults annually through its education programs. Wells Fargo Center for the Art hosts concerts for different artists and bands, performs live plays and hosts summer camps and many other community events.
Wells Fargo Center for the Arts is not only committed to the performing arts and education, but also the presentation of contemporary visual art. The Center’s expansive campus and cherished community facilities provide an excellent home for local and regional artists to display their work.
Some upcoming events include musical performances by Sheryl Crow, ZZ Top and Seal, plays such as “Legally Blonde” and live shows performed by the Contemporary Ballet and a Mariachi band.
Charles M. Schulz Museum
Charles Schulz was born in Minneapolis in November of 1922. Schulz went on to be the cartoonist for the famous comic “Peanuts.” The Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center was designed to reflect the modest, low key and comfortable personality of Charles Schulz. The museum features a theatre where cartoons are shown, a Snoopy labyrinth, and an education room with hands on activities. Guests can also enjoy outdoor gardens, a research center and fun and interesting exhibits! Visitors will love exploring the life of Schulz and admiring the different exhibits that tell the story of his life and the different “Peanuts” characters. The museum changes exhibits periodically, but also keeps permanent exhibits such as, “Peanuts” tile mural, the Wrapped Snoopy House and Sparky’s studio. If you are a “Peanuts” fanatic, in Sonoma with your family and kids or simply interested in the history of an imaginative creator, this is must do during your time in Sonoma!
Santa Rosa Symphony
Founded in 1928, the Santa Rosa Symphony ranks among the oldest symphony orchestras in the western states. The Santa Rosa Symphony inspires and engages residents of Sonoma County and tourists from all over with the finest musical performances and education programs, while also upholding their core values of innovative programming, organizational strength and community service. The Santa Rosa Symphony holds a national reputation for stellar sound, bold excellence and community engagement. The Santa Rosa Symphony is home to an 80+ musician orchestra with artists who hold experience from the San Francisco Opera and Ballet, Monterey Orchestra, and Berkeley Symphony. The orchestra performs several sets of classical concerts, along with a Symphony Pop series. The Santa Rosa Symphony provides a summer music academy and four youth orchestra ensembles. Whether you like classical music or pop music, add to your Sonoma itinerary!
Valley of the Moon Pottery-North Eagle Gallery
North Eagle Gallery is home to work of nationally recognized artists Caryn Fried and Wayne Reynolds. Valley of the Moon Pottery offers an extensive gallery of artwork and pottery classes held year round. Valley of Moon Pottery creates individual pieces of pottery that can be personally customized to the customers liking. If you are looking to explore some of Sonoma County’s beautiful art galleries and maybe even take something home too, then make sure to stop at the North Eagle Gallery in Santa Rosa!
Sonoma Valley Museum of Art
The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art is a magnet of creative energy and cultural inspiration. Its exhibitions and educational programs engage the community in the art and ideas of our time, encouraging curiosity and innovation. The museum features a library, multiple exhibits, and a museum café. The Sonoma Valley Museum of Arts offers a wide variety of exhibits from their newest exhibit, “Cross Pollination: The Art of Lawrence Ferlinghetti” to “Color Theory-The Use of Color in Contemporary Art.” Upcoming exhibits include “The Art of Handmade Paper” and “Larry Thomas: Reverence For the Natural World.” If you love art museums make sure to visit this one and engage in conversation with the people of Sonoma about all of the great things the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art offers!
Cinnabar Theatre is the only venue for professional opera, drama and musical theater in Sonoma County. Using professional talent from throughout the Bay Area, Cinnabar presents the finest in, new and classic operatic and musical theater. The actors and actresses of Cinnabar Theatre also produce operas and musicals especially designed for presentation to the youth of the North Bay Area. Since 1997 Cinnabar Theatre has performed a mixture of contemporary, experimental, classic nonmusical and cabaret-style plays. A year round program of classes, workshops, performance opportunities, summer camps and festivals are offered through the program Cinnabar Young Rep. The Cinnabar Chorus provides a quality choral music experience for children and adults, with emphases on excellent repertoire, artistic interpretations and the development of a free and open voice. Cinnabar Theatre offers a wide variety of programs and shows to Sonoma County!
Bodega Landmark Studio Gallery
Bodega Landmark Studio gallery features hundreds of one-of-a-kind pieces, including regional seascape and landscape painting, fine art photography, blown glass, etching, sculpture, ceramics, stained glass, woodwork and jewelry by a wide variety of artists. The gallery is located in the historic small town of Bodega, California and supports many local artists throughout the county. Make sure to stop in at this one of kind art gallery next time you go check out the waves in Bodega Bay!
Calabi Gallery is located in beautiful downtown Petaluma. Calabi Gallery features an eclectic array of primarily 20th century artwork. The gallery frequently changes out their wide variety of exhibits that currently include, “100 years of Bay Area Art,” “Postwar Modernism of the West” and “Beyond Borders.” Calabi Gallery displays artwork from all different types of artists across the country. Next time you are roaming the streets of downtown Petaluma make sure to stop in to see all of the beautiful artwork at Calabi Gallery!
Sonoma County Museum
The Sonoma County Museum features a wide variety of artists and is located in the gorgeous town of Santa Rosa. This museum celebrates and interprets the region’s rich history, art and culture by exhibiting and collecting relevant objects and artworks, by serving as a vital community gathering place, and by inspiring visitors with dynamic experiences designed to engage, educate and enlighten. The museum’s collection features over 22,000 artworks and artifacts documenting the history and culture of California’s North Coast region. The Sonoma County Museum is a private, non-profit museum for art and history with broad community support. The museum is a vital part of Santa Rosa’s downtown arts district, engaging youth through exhibits and education programs, and strengthening the community by building bridges with local businesses and government.
The Sonoma County Museum features historical exhibits such as “Santa Rosa’s Chinatown” and art exhibits featuring Chester Arnold and Hugh Livingston. Upcoming exhibits include, “Artistry in Wood,” “Enrique Chagoya: On Mortality” and “Day of the Dead Altars.” If you are interested in learning about the history of Sonoma County and exploring art from all over the valley, then this museum is for you!
McNear’s Mystic Theatre
McNear’s Mystic Theatre is located in historic downtown Petaluma, California and is described by many as the North Bay’s premier music venue. Built in 1911, The Mystic Theatre originally was host to live Vaudeville entertainment and in 1992 was renovated to accommodate live music performances for up to 550 guests. McNear’s also offers a full restaurant and bar for guests, ensuring everyone’s evening is full of fun! McNear’s features an assortment of live singing and dancing acts throughout the year. If you are someone who loves live entertainment, make sure to visit McNear’s Mystic Theatre!
The Sonoma City Opera
The Sonoma City opera is located on West Napa Street and performs a wide variety of operas throughout the year. This opera is a non-profit organization that brings opera of international repute to the stage in Sonoma. Since 1984, The Sonoma City Opera has produced works such as Mozart’s Figaro, The Barber of Seville by Rossini and Alice in Wonderland by Robert Chalus. The Sonoma City Opera embodies the arts in Sonoma County and is great place to visit during your next vacation in the valley!
Silver Moon Theatre
Silver Moon Theatre brings the joy of live theatre to Sonoma and the surrounding valley. Silver Moon Theatre draws from the rich talent pool of the Sonoma Valley to provide outstanding and memorable drama experiences. Silver Moon Theatre offers acting classes and puts together a large selection of performances throughout the year. Silver Moon Theatre not only supports plays, but also acts as a venue for local singer songwriter concerts. Silver Moon has performed shows such as, “Treasure Island,” “Dogs the Musical,” “Two of Us” and “Agatha Christie.” Silver Moon Theatre is one of the best places in Sonoma County to watch live theatre productions and musical concerts!
Cloverdale Performing Arts Center
Enjoy music, theatre, speakers and more at this northern Sonoma County community gem. Also providing education to the community, the arts center holds auditions for its theatrical plays throughout the year. The intimate setting of this theatre allows those to enjoy the special performances and speakers up front and personal! Be sure to stop by for a show next time you are in northern Sonoma County for the good programs they have going on.
Healdsburg Center for the Arts
From workshops, camps, classes and exhibits, to festivals and events, the Healdsburg Center for the Arts is dedicated to creating, inspiring and promoting the arts through community education programs, events and exhibitions. Recently a site of the Healdsburg Jazz Festival and the upcoming Healdsburg Arts and International Short Film Festival in September, the center accommodates all kinds of great local, and nationally recognized artists. The center promotes both its resident artists and galleries and those who are invited. Stop in to see the latest gallery, musical event, or brush up on your painting skills in Healdsburg!