Arts and culture in Portland events take place throughout the city and many of them free to the community. Portland is also known for its numerous artistic bastions in the downtown cultural district and the Pearl District.  The Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC) serves the Portland metro area and helps to build support for a thriving arts and culture community.  And there are plenty of offerings available for your own budding artists from the Oregon Children’s Theater’s all kid theater troupe or ceramics at Mimosa Studios.

So whether you’d like to spend the day at a gallery art walk museum or spend your evening at the theater, opera, ballet or symphony Stumptown’s art scene has everything you need to lead a life enriched by the arts.  Arts and Culture in Portland is alive and well!

For an extensive roundup of Portland’s music film visual arts museums and performing arts check out Travel Portland’s culture section at

Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

1037 SW Broadway
Portland OR 97205

The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall opened as the Portland Public Theater in 1928 before becoming the Paramount in 1930 and “The Schnitz” in 1984. The grand Italian rococo theater is a historic building and performing arts center whose Broadway marquee is crowned by a 65-foot-high “Portland” sign illuminated with 6000 lights. In addition to being home to the Oregon Symphony it also welcomes big-name touring acts and other events.

Artists Repertory Theatre

1515 SW Morrison Street
Portland OR 97205

Founded in 1982 Artists Repertory Theatre is the longest-running professional theatre company in Portland. Artists Rep’s mission is to engage diverse audiences in fresh thought-provoking and intimate theatre. Artists Rep productions feature the work of a core group of accomplished Resident Artists each with a shared history and a shorthand for collaboration working alongside guest artists from Portland and beyond. We are committed to world-class acting directing design and stagecraft that support new playwriting and aspire to embody great literature moving audiences to truly feel — to experience — storytelling in a way that only the best live theater can.

BodyVox Dance Company

1201 NW 17th Avenue
Portland OR 97209

Dance troupe BodyVox takes a wildly imaginative and often hilarious  approach to physicality. The company’s engaging visceral work has been featured at the Academy Awards and in music videos for U2 and Sting.  However, the best experienced is up close in the 150-seat studio at BodyVox’s dance center. Season: October-May.

Chamber Music Northwest

522 SW Fifth Avenue
Portland OR 97204

Arts and culture in Portland would not be the same without a diverse musical experiences from world-class concerts.  Art collaborations, educational lectures and master classes are all held in the relaxed casual atmosphere that only Chamber Music Northwest provides. Chamber Music Northwest performs in venues throughout Portland for its Summer Festival June 22 – July 26 featuring exceptional artists renowned ensembles masterpieces from the chamber repertoire brand-new pieces being premiered and more.

Keller Auditorium

222 SW Clay Street
Portland OR 97201

The spacious Keller Auditorium formerly known as the Portland Municipal Auditorium the Portland Public Auditorium and the Portland Civic Auditorium was built in 1917 and is part of the Portland Center for the Performing Arts. The venue hosts performing arts events of all kinds ranging from Broadway productions to ballet and opera. For events the auditorium has its own box office concessions stand and the Keller Cafe and Martini Bar.

Lakewood Center for the Arts

368 South State Street

Lake Oswego OR 97034

Established in 1952 Lakewood Theatre Company is the oldest continuously operating theatre company in the Portland metro area.  Performances are on the Headlee Mainstage a 220-seat intimate theatre at Lakewood Center for the Arts in Lake Oswego.

Monthly Art Walks

Various Portland locations
First Thursday
Last Thursday
First Friday

First Thursday

First Thursday in the Pearl District and downtown has been going strong since 1986. On the first Thursday of each month galleries and businesses including the Pacific Northwest College of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Craft debut new exhibitions stay open late and throw a soiree complete with free wine and snacks and great people-watching. Of course it’s also serious business for local galleries like the Elizabeth Leach Gallery one of the celebration’s pioneers.

Last Thursday

During Northeast Alberta Street’s Last Thursday the art openings at spaces like the Guardino Gallery set the scene for a boisterous street fair that attracts independent artists and performers from local bands to troupes of acrobats. Held year-round the event is biggest from May through September when the street is closed to traffic during the festivities.

First Friday

First Friday hosted by Central Eastside galleries studios and alternative art spaces brings visitors up close with working artists in this burgeoning district. ADX a shared workshop for everything from metal to textiles is a good place to begin a tour.

Milagro – Miracle Theatre Group

425 SE Sixth Avenue
Portland OR 97214

Since 1985 Milagro has provided extraordinary Latino theatre culture and arts education experiences for the enrichment of all communities and continues to thrive at its home El Centro Milagro located the vibrant Southeast Industrial District. Performances at Milagro Theatre always showcase the best of local and international Latino playwrights musicians dancers actors and more. Milagro’s event space includes the theater which has capacity for 121 people. The community space El Zócalo accommodates 80 people seating and 120 standing.

Museum of Contemporary Craft

724 NW Davis Street
Portland OR 97209

Portland has a long craft tradition — the production of handmade pots and bowls jewelry and glass finely turned wood objects and hand-woven fiber art — and one of its centers since 1937 has been the Museum of Contemporary Craft (MoCC). In fact the museum is the oldest continuously running craft institution in the country. But from the beginning when it was known as the Oregon Ceramic Studio its spirit was restless; searching out craft artists who were exploring the edges of their fields changing our ideas about what is possible with clay or fiber or glass and blurring the line between craft and art in the process.

That spirit continues as the museum has partnered with the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) which recently joined the museum on the North Park Blocks. Expanding its focus to include design the museum continues to mount major exhibitions on Northwest historical figures as well as groundbreaking reconsiderations of what “craft” is.

Northwest Children’s Theater

1819 NW Everett Street
Portland OR 97209

Formed in 1993 NWCT is a healthy nonprofit and one of the largest children’s theater companies on the West Coast. The theater company and school produces five major shows a year and the 450-seat theater and classrooms are located in the historic Northwest Neighborhood Cultural Center.

Oregon Ballet Theatre

1037 SW Broadway Street
Portland OR 97205

Oregon Ballet Theatre has thrilled audiences — and wowed critics nationwide — with revered classics its own original works and scintillating collaborations with the country’s edgiest choreographers. Established in 1989 OBT’s celebrated company of dancers performs an annual five-program season at the Portland’5 Centers for the Arts. Season: October-April.

Oregon Children’s Theatre

1037 SW Broadway
Portland OR 97205

Oregon Children’s Theatre is Portland’s largest nonprofit children’s theater company. Its goal is to create exceptional and memorable theater experiences for children and families. Each season five professionally-produced plays in the Newmark and Winningstad Theatres in the heart of downtown Portland are presented. The plays feature local professional actors as well as child actors from its year-round Acting Academy for students ages 3-18 and its Young Professionals Company a mentoring program for teens. A resident company of Portland’5 Centers for the Arts Oregon Children’s Theatre has been entertaining Portland-area audiences for over 25 years.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

15 South Pioneer Street
Ashland OR 97520

Enjoy Ashland Oregon’s cultural gem and home of the Tony Award-winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) the nation’s largest repertory theatre company. Eleven plays annually on three stages February-October.

Oregon Symphony

921 SW Washington Street
Portland OR 97205

The Oregon Symphony Portland’s oldest and largest arts organization brings many of the world’s finest musicians to Portland each year to perform alongside the 76-member orchestra. Led by Music Director Carlos Kalmar the Oregon Symphony presents a full calendar of performances from September through May each year at downtown Portland’s 2780-seat Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Its season encompasses the breadth and depth of orchestral music today from classical and pops subscription series concerts to kids’ programs and a broad range of special performances.

Portland Art Museum

1219 SW Park Avenue
Portland OR 97205

The largest art museum in Oregon and one of the oldest in the country the Portland Art Museum was organized in 1892 and its first exhibition was a set of magnificent plaster casts of Greek and Roman sculpture displayed in the upper hall of the city’s library. Those casts still dot the museum a reminder of how the museum — and Western art — began.

The museum has strong collections of prints and drawings photography Asian art Native American (especially Pacific Coast) art and Northwest art and its European and American collections contain some extraordinary individual pieces especially from the 19th and 20th centuries. The huge prints and drawings collection was built largely by the late Gordon Gilkey and includes Old Masters printmakers (Dürer Rembrandt) and the most recent examples of the art forms. And under chief curator Bruce Guenther the museum’s modern art holdings have increased dramatically in part because of the addition of the collection of the great modernist critic Clement Greenberg which gives the museum a unique window into the development of advanced art in the mid-20th century.

Native American art

The Native American collection was built from two primary sources: the Rasmussen Collection of Northwest Coast art with its fabulous masks and whaling canoes and the encyclopedic collection of Elizabeth Cole which brings the exquisite work of Southwest Plains Plateau and Woodlands tribes into focus.

Northwest art

Northwest art is a primary attraction tracking the development of art in Oregon and Washington since the 19th century. The museum’s curators have wisely spread this work throughout the galleries placing the best work of Northwest abstractionists alongside their more celebrated New York peers for example but a gallery specifically dedicated to Northwest art supplies a good introduction to the fine artists who have worked here (C.S. Price Mark Tobey Morris Graves Hilda and Carl Morris Sally Haley and Michele Russo).

Portland’5 Centers for the Arts

1111 SW Broadway
Portland OR 97205

Portland’5 Centers for the Arts is the premier arts and entertainment venue in the Pacific Northwest. Nationally recognized as one of the top 10 performing arts centers in the nation the Portland’5 Centers for the Arts hosts every type of event imaginable — more than 1000 performances every year.

Portland Center Stage (PCS)

128 NW 11th Avenue
Portland OR 97209

Portland’s premier professional theater company Portland Center Stage presents classic and contemporary plays in the Gerding Theater at the Armory a sustainably renovated historic building. Drop-in visitors can check out the historic building and grab a bite at the Armory Café inside. PCS season: September-June. JAW a developmental festival of new work takes place in July.

Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA)

415 SW 10th Avenue Ste. 300

Portland OR 97205

Through performances and exhibitions lectures and workshops and the annual Time-Based Art Festival PICA constructs a citywide platform for the creation and discovery of contemporary art. For current information artists and events visit

Portland Opera

211 SE Caruthers Street
Portland OR 97214

One of the country’s top opera companies Portland Opera inspires challenges and uplifts audiences by creating productions of high artistic quality that celebrate the beauty and breadth of opera. Portland Opera has established itself as a vibrant and vital part of the region’s cultural activity and identity. With its commitment to producing operas that invigorate the future of the art form and are dramatically and vocally compelling Portland Opera has earned a devoted public following throughout the Northwest.

Third Rail Repertory Theatre

121 SW Salmon Street
Portland OR 97204

Third Rail Repertory Theatre a permanent ensemble of highly skilled theatre artists is dedicated to pushing its audiences to the edge of the comfort zone the zone of the tickle the chuckle the gasp and the ache. Third Rail’s goal is to produce plays that are rides through mysterious but familiar lands from which the audience and players all return changed surprised and a bit more alive than when the performance started.

White Bird Dance Series

PO Box 99
Portland OR 97207

White Bird Dance is committed to bringing the best Portland-based regional national and international dance companies to Portland and to fostering the growth of dance in the region. To complement the city’s resident talent White Bird regularly brings the world’s most innovative choreographers to Portland. Season: September-March.
For an extensive roundup of Portland’s music film visual arts museums and performing arts check out Travel Portland’s culture section at