Sonoma County is a haven for the arts. There’s creativity to enjoy at nearly every time of year, from our galleries and museums to performing arts and culinary experiences. But in the late winter and early spring, the valley wakes up to a new year, and the arts come alive, ushering in a whole season of great annual events, exhibitions, concerts, festivals, and more.
KICK OFF: LATE WINTER-EARLY SPRING
The arts calendar kicks off every year in February with the beginning of Green Music Center’s season. Green Music Center, located at Sonoma State University, is a unique setting for enjoying performances of all kinds, including jazz, bluegrass, rock, classical, and other exciting musical acts from around the world. With four venues to choose from—Weill Hall, Schroeder Hall, the Loft, and their extraordinary lawn—each performance offers a beautiful and intimate settings to appreciate them. In the summer months, be on the lookout for their Summer at the Green, an outdoor musical series ripe for picnickers and families on their terraced lawn.
In March, the Sonoma International Film Festival takes the relay, with 100+ full-length and short films on the food and wine from over 20 countries, from comedies and dramas to documentaries and more. Named “One of the 25 Coolest Festivals” by MovieMaker Magazine and one of America’s Top Ten Destination Film Festivals by USA Today, SIFF takes place every March, attracting celebrities like Susan Sarandon, Danny Glover, Robin Williams, Julia Ormond, Bruce Willis, and Michael Keaton, to name a few. The festival also hosts fabulous wine and food pairings for ticket holders, making this indoor and outdoor event a feast for the senses.
May follows with the annual Sonoma Author’s Festival, a tradition since 2018. This three-day festival gathers dozens of famous writers at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn for a lecture series on topics ranging from their current works to current events. The mission of the festival is to stimulate minds and encourage readers through thoughtful conversations and exchange of ideas. Past authors include Isabel Allende, Dave Barry, Ayan Hirsi Ali, Tom Brokaw, and Doris Kearns Goodwin, to name just a few. With lectures and breakout rooms to stimulate conversation, writers and readers will delight at the scope of the experience—the ultimate creative boost for all participants!
THE REST OF THE YEAR
And that’s just for starters. As for the rest of the year—watch out! There’s something exciting to discover all summer and fall, too. See interesting performances of all kinds at The Sebastiani Theatre and the summer series, Broadway Under the Stars by Transcendence Theatre. Go listen to live music regularly at places like HopMonk Tavern Sonoma, Murphy’s Irish Bar, TIPS Roadside, and Palooza Brewery & Gastropub and at annual music festivals like Valley of the Moon Music Festival, Huichica at Gundlach Bundshu, Bottle Rock, and the Summer Harvest Music Festival at BR Cohn Winery. You’ll find plenty of art classes at Art Escape, Musette Atelier, and Sonoma Community Center. Don’t forget to check out the latest art exhibitions at Sonoma Valley Museum of Art or the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art. And absolutely do not miss the Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival—our signature Sonoma event—to celebrate the art of winemaking in Sonoma Valley.
With a host of creative expression to devour at every turn, choose a time of the year that works best for you and check out our calendar of events before you come to see what’s happening while you’re here. Then prepare to be inspired!