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San Rafael Arts & Culture

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San Rafael: Arts & Culture

San Rafael’s arts and culture scene is local in scope, but international in flavor. From local theatre to first-run critically-acclaimed films, San Rafael brings rich and diverse arts and cultural programs to its residents and visitors.

Marin Center

The Marin Center presents a wide spectrum of world-class performing arts by local groups and international troupes. In keeping with the Bay Area's celebration of discovery and appreciation of the arts, the Marin Center has nurtured the connection between creative artists and their audiences by bringing meaningful entertainment to San Rafael for more than 40 years.

California Film Institute

The California Film Institute supports and promotes film as art and education. The Institute offers three programs to meet these goals: year-round programming at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, the annual Mill Valley Film Festival, and the CFI Education Program.

The Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center is a magnificently restored, state-of-the-art theater with viewing capabilities on three separate screens. It is one of a handful of nonprofit theaters in the United States. Programming at the Institute includes independent documentaries, classic films, retrospectives, features, international works, and special events with international filmmakers year-round. For updated weekly movie information, please check the site.

The Rafael Film Center is also the venue for the much-anticipated, world-famous Mill Valley Film Festival. The festival runs for 11 days in October and screens more than 200 innovative US and international films. The annual event is consistently rated as one of the top film festivals in the nation. The festival was founded in 1978 by California Film Institute Director Mark Fishkin.

Art

San Rafael is a great city for patrons of the arts and art enthusiasts. The city created a program called Discover Art on Fourth that showcases Fourth Street in the downtown area to visitors. Fourth Street is a microcosm of the diverse and unique arts community in Marin County. From an intimate visit to an artist’s studio, to browsing local galleries, shopping for locally-designed fine art whether it is jewelry or a painting, to watching an independent film after dining, you’ll find San Rafael’s artistic soul in each of these local establishments.

The Marin Shakespeare Festival

Every year, the Marin Shakespeare Company hosts The Marin Shakespeare Festival at the Forest Meadows Amphitheatre at the Dominican University of California. This year’s lineup stages some of Will Shakespeare’s best plays: King John and A Midsummernight’s Dream. The Liar will also be playing this season. 

Alternative Theater Ensemble

The power of intimate theatre and storytelling comes to life in the productions of the Alternative Theater Ensemble. Working with professional actors in small productions of modern and compelling work, the Ensemble makes theater more accessible to the non-theatergoing public. 

This season you can catch References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot by Jose Rivera. The 2011/2012 Season also recently staged A Man, his Wife, and his Hat by Lauren Yee, a world premiere commission for AlterTheater.

 

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Art Works Downtown
1337 4th St San Rafael, CA 94901
Art Works Downtown showcases local artists’ works and gives them the venue and support for exploring the creative process. Art Works has a...
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Marin County Civic Center
Marin County Civic Center
3501 Civic Center Drive San Rafael, CA 94903
Thousands of visitors come to Marin County each year to see the futuristic Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Marin County Civic Center. It was Wright's...
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San Rafael Public Library - Downtown
1100 E Street San Rafael, CA 94901
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Mission San Rafael Arcangel
Mission San Rafael Arcangel
1104 5th Ave San Rafael, CA 94901
In 1817, Mission San Rafael was built as an assistencia or “helper” mission to Mission Dolores in San Francisco. Its original purpose was to...
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Marin Ballet
100 Elm St San Rafael, CA 94901
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Marin Dance Theatre
1 Saint Vincents Dr San Rafael, CA 94903
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The Belrose Theatre
1415 5th Ave San Rafael, CA 94901
The Belrose Theatre stages The Dinner Theatre, a Marin County original. Ticket prices includes a full dinner, beer and wine bar. Past productions...
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Sheldon Donig Warehouse Museum
739 A St San Rafael, CA 94901
The Sheldon Donig Warehouse Museum is a large imposing brick warehouse in downtown San Rafael. It is listed on the National Register of Historic...
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World War II US Military Vehicle Museum
1050 Anderson San Rafael, CA 94901
The World War II US Military Vehicle Museum in San Rafael has one of the largest collection of military vehicles. All are in working condition and...
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San Rafael Public Library - Pickleweed
50 Canal Street San Rafael, CA 94901
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Archbishop Alemany Library
50 Acacia Ave San Rafael, CA 94901
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Phillips Library
4340 Redwood Hwy Ste 309 San Rafael, CA 94903
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Smith Rafael Film Center
1118 4th St San Rafael, CA 94901
Home of the Mill Valley Film Festival, the Smith Rafael Film Center has ongoing film presentations through out the year.
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Falkirk Cultural Center
Falkirk Cultural Center
1408 Mission Ave San Rafael, CA 94901
Falkirk Cultural Center is an imposing 1888 Queen Anne-style Victorian building which was previously the home of shipping magnate Robert Dollar...
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Marin History Museum
1125 B St San Rafael, CA 94901
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Bolinas Museum
48 Wharf Cir San Rafael, CA 94903
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AlterTheater Ensemble
AlterTheater Ensemble
1337 4th St San Rafael, CA 94901
Alternative Theater Ensemble. Working with professional actors in small productions of modern and compelling work, the Ensemble makes theater more...
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Throckmorton Theatre
142 Throckmorton Ave Mill Valley, CA 94941
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Rileystreet Art Supply
1138 4th St San Rafael, CA 94901
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Come To The Point
10 California Ave San Rafael, CA 94901
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