Eureka is home to a vibrant and engaged arts community — a bright beacon of cultural and artistic creativity that calls people far beyond the North Coast. Offering fine and performing arts, larger than life murals, and a variety of exciting events, Eureka is designated a California Cultural District City for its passionate commitment to both local businesses and the local arts community.
Please note that offerings and operating hours may be affected due to COVID-19.
Throughout Old Town & Downtown, Eureka, CA 95501
On the first Saturday of every month from 6 - 9 PM, hundreds of people converge on Old Town and Downtown for Eureka’s art walk, Arts Alive! (yes, the exclamation point is part of the event name). Local shops and art galleries stay open late as artists spill into the streets, performing live music, dance, and fun for the whole family. Visit more than 75 open cultural sites and businesses displaying artwork or hosting performances. Sip wine and eat snacks as musicians, jugglers, clowns, crafts vendors, politicians, and community activists line the streets to reach out to passersby.
The historic Eureka Theater (612 F St, Eureka, CA 95501 | (707) 442-2970) is as retro and vintage as it gets. Built in 1939, it’s host to numerous community events throughout the year and is under ongoing restoration to bring it back to its former “ultra-modern, neon-brilliant” glory. The theater is located in downtown Eureka on F Street.
Eureka and surrounding Humboldt County have been the site of some pretty amazing blockbuster movies. Heard of Jurassic Park? A little flick called Star Wars? While you’re in the area, take a self-guided tour with the Map of the Movies, provided by the Humboldt Del-Norte Film Commission. You’ll find markers at or near each filming location.
In the summer, do like the locals do. Pack your picnic blanket and a lawn chair for Movies in the Park (at Sequoia Park, 3550 W St, Eureka CA 95503), a free community event focused on featuring big budget films that were filmed on the north coast. Concessions available on site.
Start your day exploring the giant redwoods and inhaling the coastal air on uncrowded beaches. Find your way back to Eureka for a locally-sourced dinner, and end your day with a performance at one of Eureka’s multiple performing art venues.
At North Coast Repertory Theatre (300 5th St, Eureka, CA 95501 | (707) 442-6278), Eureka’s longest running live theatre locale features main stage productions and first-rate music, set design, and acting.
Located in Old Town, Redwood Curtain Theatre (220 1st St, Eureka, CA 95501 | (707) 443-7688) is a more intimate venue. Community led and run, you’ll find performances that challenge and entertain.
Searching for aerial dances, acrobatics, and physical theater? Look no further than Synapsis (212 G St, Eureka, CA 95501 | (707) 616-3104) — you can even take a class.
You can’t miss the brightly colored murals that dot Eureka’s shops and alleyways. Take yourself on a self-guided tour of some of the finest examples of street art you’ll see anywhere, or simply go about your business, shopping, and dining – you’re guaranteed to run into them.
Check out the Ink People’s Public Art Map which guides visitors to public art installations, utility boxes, art galleries, and more. The Ink People have been an integral part of the Eureka community since 1979, funding and sponsoring community-building and enriching Dreammaker projects, including the Rural Burl Mural Bureau — try saying that ten times fast — responsible for many of Eureka’s iconic murals.
Keep an eye out for more subtle works of art, too. The Tiny Doors Project, installed as part of the 2019 Street Art Festival, serve as little reminders that art is truly in the water in Eureka.
The week-long Eureka Street Art Festival features local and international artists creating murals and street art throughout Eureka. During the festival, you have the opportunity to watch the creation of fantastic works of art and to interact with artists through tours and special events. The festival ends in a giant block party to celebrate the completion of the art. (Please note that the block party has been postponed for 2020).
Check out Opera Alley in Old Town between 2nd St. and 3rd St to view works from the first festival; Sixth Street between C and H for artwork from the second festival. Henderson Center is on deck for 2020.
636 F Street, Eureka, CA 95501 | (707) 442-0278
The Morris Graves Museum of Art is housed in the former Carnegie Free Library. California's first Free Library was established in Eureka on May 11, 1878 and was situated in this Carnegie Library building from 1904 to 1972. Now, the museum features exhibitions from artists, both local and from around the world, as well as a permanent collection featuring work from internationally recognized artists.
Keep an eye out for events and programs. Musicians, wine, and special exhibitions take over the main gallery space during Arts Alive!, visiting and local artists share their expertise during Art Talks on the second Sunday of every month, and if you're musically inclined, jam with other talented folks at Wine and Jazz, on the third Sunday of the month.
Eureka is said to have the most artists per capita compared to anywhere in the United States. Check out the numerous art galleries speckling Old Town and Downtown.
C Street Studios, 107 3rd Street
Old Town Art Gallery, 417 2nd Street, Ste 102
Many Hands Gallery, 438 2nd Street
BeardArt Art Gallery & Design Studio, 336 Grotto St
Redwood Art Association, 603 F St, Eureka, CA 95501
Ink People Center For the Arts, 525 7th St
American Indian Art & Gift Shop, 241 F St
Soulshine Arts, 411 5th St
Piante Gallery, 620 2nd St
Canvas + Clay, 233 F St
North Coast Open Studios, multiple locations