The month of March is National Arts Education Month. And fortunately for us living in Wine Country, we are surrounded by the arts. Parks and wineries showcase majestic sculptures, while coffee shops, restaurants, and even hospitals display works by local artists. Whether at a brewery, farmer’s market, or festival, we are able to find live music almost every day. And as we enjoy the art that makes our community unique, we remember that behind every artist is a teacher or mentor who helped guide and inspire their work. Therefore, in honor of National Arts Education Month, I’d like to support our local artists and art programs this month and all year long.
Art education is vital to our children’s learning. After all, they did transition STEM into STEAM. By enhancing the learning of math, science, and engineering, art encourages creativity and collaboration. It also engages children to think critically, stay focused, and be confident. And for me, art has always been a great source of therapy. I sing or hum my favorite song to calm my nerves. I enjoy sketching images for my kids in the evening. And after a long hiatus, I’ve returned to my piano bench and escape into a sonata after a long, stressful day.
During National Arts Education Month, let’s inspire our young artists here in Wine Country:
**click on the name of the venue to visit their website for hours and other information.
1. Visit A Museum
1835 W. Steele Lane, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
The Children’s Museum offers indoor and outdoor interactive exhibits, allowing children a safe environment to explore and be creative. Check out their calendar for daily programs, like music classes and visits from special guests, like Safari West. And be sure to stop by Ella’s Art Studio, which has a new artistic theme each month.
2301 Hardies Lane Santa Rosa, California 95403
All over Sonoma County, Charles Schultz’ legacy lives on. The Charles Schultz Museum is home to thousands of original artworks, comic strips, photos, and memorabilia. With such an immense collection of original work, visitors enjoy rotating exhibits year-round. For parents of young children, Museum Mondays offer a time for little ones to listen to stories, play games, and enjoy arts and crafts.
230 Lakeville Street, Petaluma, CA, 94952
Located in the historic Railroad Depot Freight Building, the Petaluma Arts Center showcases local artists and recognizes their contributions to the community. They have rotating exhibitions throughout the year and offer art classes and workshops for children and adults.
557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito, CA 94965
The Bay Area Discovery Museum offers seven exhibition areas as well as daily drop-in programs for children. In addition to STEM activities and art studio projects, they have a beautiful outdoor space for children to run around and explore. Be sure to check their calendar for upcoming events, like festivals, performances, and concerts.
5200 Sonoma (Carneros) Highway, Napa, CA 94559
The di Rosa Center includes two galleries of modern and contemporary art, a residence gallery, sculpture meadow, views of Winery Lake, and a wildlife reserve. With artists like Mark di Suvero, David Best, and Viola Frey, it is believed to be the largest collection of contemporary Bay Area art in the world.
2. Watch A Show
50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
As the premier arts center of Northern California, the Luther Burbank Center of the Arts hosts performances in music, theater, comedy, and dance. In addition to world-class shows, the LBC also showcases a variety of sculptures, paintings, and art works inside the main building and outdoor grounds. Their Family Fun Series offers shows for children and families throughout the year.
3333 Petaluma Blvd North, Petaluma, CA 94952
Since 1974, Cinnabar has been presenting a wide range of theatrical, musical, and operatic works for the local community. In addition to professional shows and concerts, the Young Repertory Theater (or Young Rep) is a program for children ages 4 to 18 that includes stage performances, classes, and workshops.
100 California Drive, Yountville, CA 94599
The Napa Valley Performing Arts Center is home to Symphony Napa Valley. While offering performances in theater, music, and dance, the Lincoln Theater also has programs specific to children and families.
3. Take A Class
17474 Sonoma Highway, Sonoma, CA 95476
Located in Boyes Hot Springs, Art Escape offers classes, workshops and activities for children, teens, and adults in a wide range of art forms and mediums. They also offer many free art classes for children.
5435 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Since 1991, this art studio has been inspiring creativity in children and adults. Kids can explore various mediums in their Open Studio or focus on drawing, painting, or even manga and anime!
6906 Sebastopol Avenue, Sebastopol, CA 95472
In this walk-in studio, art instructors help visitors design a functional piece of fused glass, paint a piece of ceramic dishware, or create their own succulent terrarium.
632 4th Street, Santa Rosa, California 95404
Founded in 1996, this studio offers a creative space to paint your own pottery. Additionally, you can design unique pieces like tiles and mosaics.
1133 Grant Avenue, Novato, CA
Located in Downtown Novato, Studio 4 Art offers art classes, workshops, and camps for visitors to explore clay and pottery, painting, illustration, and art history. Along with Paint-It-Yourself Pottery, they also have a drop-in studio with activities like clay sculpting, mosaics, hand sewing, printmaking, and painting on canvas.
How do you and your kids plan to celebrate National Arts Education Month this March?