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Sonoma County boasts largest artist community

Wander through life-size sculptures in Marijke’s Grove, an outdoor sculpture garden at Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa.

Sonoma County attracts artists of all disciplines and their works are on display in 120-plus performing arts companies, more than 30 performing arts venues, and 80-plus museums and galleries.

Whether it's the pounding waves of the coastline, the cool shade of a redwood forest, or a gentle vineyard-lined valley, artists are inspired to create towering sculptures, fresh melodies, pristine pastels, handcrafted pottery, or sparkling artisan jewelry.

Sonoma County boasts a multitude of performing arts venues that stage everything from one-performer shows to full-scale extravaganzas.

There's something for everyone — from local musicians jamming on a tiny stage at a weekly farmers market to Transcendence Theatre Company's professional productions of Broadway show tunes against a stunning backdrop of vineyards and rolling hills in Jack London State Historic Park, and just about everything in between.

Enjoy acoustic performers in a corner of the neighborhood deli; plays and musicals in the 99-seat Cinnabar Theater in Petaluma; or internationally-renowned musicians in Sonoma State University’s 1,400-seat Green Music Center in Rohnert Park.

Just a few of the other local theatre and performance groups, companies, and venues include:

Check the Calendar of Events for upcoming performances and the Live Music Listings for nearby options.

Museums offer a way to understand other times or cultures, or the visions of artists and inventors. Sonoma County offers a full and rich variety of exhibits and displays.

Review aviation history at the Pacific Coast Air Museum or enjoy the beauty of once-common objects at the Hand Fan Museum of Healdsburg. Explore the mind of an acclaimed cartoonist and the antics of the "Peanuts" gang at the Charles M. Schulz Museum; or enjoy a fun approach to art and science at the Children's Museum of Sonoma County.

The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art shows that a small Wine Country community can bring in exhibits that rival its big-city counterparts, while the History Museum of Sonoma County and the Art Museum of Sonoma County display this region's rich history, art, and culture.

Or, appreciate the past from a variety of perspectives at:

Each Sonoma County community has its own style of artistic expression. Look for one-of-a-kind souvenirs by artists, jewelry makers, artisans, and more in galleries and studios countywide.

Enjoy whimsical sculptures made from “found” materials on residential Florence Avenue in Sebastopol, or watch artists painting outdoors during the Sonoma Plein Air Festival in the Sonoma Valley each September.

Stroll through outdoor sculpture gardens at Paradise Ridge Winery, Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, and other sites where you can walk to art throughout Sonoma County.

Meet local artists during the Art at the Source open studios tour each spring in western Sonoma County; the Art in the Redwoods Festival hosted by the Gualala Arts Center each fall; the Art by the Sea/The Sea Ranch Art Tour each Labor Day weekend; and the Sonoma County Arts Trails each October.

To get an artistic sense of each community, check out the Sculpture Trail between Cloverdale and Geyserville, and visit the galleries of these local organizations: