Arts, Culture & Heritage in Washington State

Washington isn't just a collection of beautiful landscapes; it's also a place rich in arts, culture and heritage.

A fascinating mixture of agricultural, maritime, industrial and high-tech influences contribute to Washington State's cultural heritage. This is a land of loggers and farmers, ranchers and cowboys, fishermen and sailors, high-tech visionaries and ambitious entrepreneurs. This is where commercial aviation took flight. It's where computer technology was transformed from a science fiction abstraction in the minds of most Americans into an everyday tool. It's also the place where some of the planet's coolest rock stars and greatest songwriters picked up their first guitars and found an audience.

Why is Washington State such a creative hotspot? A great American crossroads, Washington State is a proud mixture of Native peoples and people of Latino, European, Asian and African descent. Living in a relatively mild climate where food was abundant, the native peoples of the Pacific Northwest were able to provide for their basic needs with enough time left over to develop some truly amazing art. Aside from its striking beauty and complete originality, what makes the best native art of the Pacific Northwest so compelling is its fusion of a highly developed aesthetic sensibility with an extraordinary sense of place. This is art that seems to embody the very essence of the Pacific Northwest in its portrayal of iconic, mythic creatures such as ravens, orcas, bears and eagles—native survivors celebrated in the art of native survivors.

The state’s cultural and historical character was also formed by a unique amalgamation of maritime, agricultural and industrial influences. Maybe it’s because Washington was a relative latecomer to the Union (becoming a state in 1889), but somehow Washington State history still seems close to the surface and accessible here. You can feel that continuity and connection in thousands of intriguing destinations, such as Seattle’s Pike Place Market, the Yakama Nation Museum & Cultural Heritage Center, Lewis and Clark Trail State Park and along the Pioneer Highway in Snohomish and Skagit counties.

Search our calendar to find arts, culture and heritage-related Washington State festivals and events.

For more information:

Colville Indian Reservation

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Arts, Culture & Heritage in Washington State

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Museums
Performing Arts
Tours
Visual Arts
Metro Seattle
Peninsulas & Coast
The Islands
The Volcanoes
The Gorge
North Cascades
North Central
Wine Country
Northeast
Southeast
Amboy
Arlington
Ashford
Asotin
Bellevue
Chehalis
Clarkston
Darrington
Des Moines
DuPont
Eastsound
Eatonville
Edmonds
Elbe
Ephrata
Everett
Friday Harbor
Gold Bar
Grand Coulee
Granite Falls
Greenbank
Greenwater
Ilwaco
Index
Kennewick
Kent
Lake Stevens
Lakewood
Long Beach
Longmire
Lopez Island
Lynnwood
Marysville
Monroe
Morton
Moses Lake
Mukilteo
Ocean Park
Olga
Packwood
Poulsbo
Puyallup
Quincy
Raymond
Richland
Ridgefield
Seattle
Selah
Snohomish
South Bend
Spokane
Stanwood
Stevenson
Tacoma
Toledo
Toppenish
Tukwila
Tulalip
Vancouver
Walla Walla
Washougal
Woodland
Yacolt
Events
Family-friendly
Free Parking
Official Visitors Guide

Order a copy of the Official Washington State Visitors' Guide or view the online edition now. View Guide

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