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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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