Guide to Sonoma County's Vibrant Arts Scene
Sonoma County attracts artists of all disciplines, and their works are on display in more than two dozen performing arts companies, a multitude of music and performance venues, and over 100 museums and galleries. Here's a quick overview to Sonoma County's creative activities.
All the County's a Stage
Sonoma County's performing arts venues range from local musicians jamming on a tiny stage at a weekly farmers market to internationally-renowned musicians in Sonoma State University's 1,400-seat Green Music Center in Rohnert Park
Enjoy acoustic performers in a corner of the neighborhood deli; plays and musicals in the 99-seat Cinnabar Theater in Petaluma; or Transcendence Theatre Company's professional productions of Broadway show tunes (see photo) against a stunning backdrop of vineyards and rolling hills in Jack London State Historic Park..
Other theatre and performance groups, companies, and venues include:
Museums, Museums, Museums
Sonoma County's museums offer 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. 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 Museum of Sonoma County displays this region's rich history, art, and culture in two buildings on one campus in downtown Santa Rosa.
Or, appreciate the past from a variety of perspectives at:
- California Indian Museum and Cultural Center in Santa Rosa
- Cloverdale History Center and Historic Gould-Shaw House
- Depot Park Museum in Sonoma
- Healdsburg Museum & Historical Society
- Petaluma Historical Library and Museum
- West County Museum in Sebastopol
- Windsor Historical Society and Humbree House Museum
Meet the Artists
Discover local artists during the Art at the Source open studios tour each spring in western Sonoma County; the Art in the Redwoods Festival at the Gualala Arts Center each fall; the Studio Discovery Tour along the North Coast each Labor Day weekend and the weekend before; and the juried Sonoma County Art Trails held countywide each October. And check out the monthly community "art walks" where you can walk to art throughout Sonoma County.
Enjoy whimsical sculptures made from 'found' materials on residential Florence Avenue in Sebastopol; watch artists painting outdoors during the Sonoma Plein Air Festival in the Sonoma Valley each September; and follow outdoor Sculpture Trails in both Cloverdale and Geyserville.
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, and visit the galleries of these local organizations:
- Arts Guild of Sonoma
- Cloverdale Arts Alliance
- Gualala Arts Center
- Healdsburg Center for the Arts
- Occidental Center for the Arts
- Petaluma Arts Center
- Sebastopol Center for the Arts
For more information
To learn more about creative Sonoma County, read Discover Amazing Art in Sonoma County: 3 Day Itinerary, and check for upcoming arts activities on our Calendar of Events.