Arts Month in Long Beach

October is National Arts and Humanities Month. In Long Beach, where art is part of the everyday fabric of the city—expressed on its walls, in its neighborhoods, even on its utility boxes—October provides 31 days to appreciate, enjoy and sometimes participate in all that’s been created by the city’s wide range of creatives: musicians, visual artists, makers and artisans. Here’s where you can experience art and interact with those who make it this October.


The annual Long Beach Open Studio Tour presents a fantastic, free opportunity to not only meet some of Long Beach’s most interesting artists, but do it in the studios where they create. More than 50 artists ranging from painters to sculptors to jewelry designers will be available to discuss their art and process. They will also be selling pieces. The tours take place on four consecutive weekends in October from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. The Downtown tour takes place Oct. 7-8, Uptown tour Oct. 14-15, Eastside tour is on Oct. 21-22 and the Belmont Shore tour happens Oct. 28-29.

CREDIT: Long Beach Open Studio Tour


The Long Beach Symphony’s 89th season begins in October, a season that Music Director Eckart Preu calls “diverse.” The October program certainly is. It begins Oct. 21 with the symphony’s opening night featuring pianist Andreas Boyde playing classical selections by Brahms and Dvorak and then continues Oct. 22 with the RuMBa Foundation Family Concert: Halloween Spooktacular. Both performances take place in the Long Beach Terrace Theater. On Oct. 28, A Beatles Celebration by Classical Mystery Tour, accompanied by the symphony, takes place in the Long Beach Arena.


October is a great month to check out one of the weekly art-tinged events that happen around the city, all year long. Featuring artists/artisans/makers and their wares, these events occur in neighborhoods such as Bixby Knolls with its well-attended First Fridays, a collection of musicians, artists, makers and a whole lot of community that occurs the first Friday of every month. Similar artsy get-togethers happen in the East Village Arts District–Second Saturdays–as well as Retro Row’s Fourth Fridays. Retail center 2ND & PCH is home to a popular monthly Creative Communal Makers Market, which will take place on Oct. 22.

Credit: Candice Wong

Local Museums

Long Beach is home to four remarkable art museums, each with a distinct focus. During October, the Museum of Latin American Art (628 Alamitos Ave.), will continue its activities highlighting Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month while, across the street, The Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum (695 Alamitos Ave.) presents The Living Handbook exploring the industrialization of time. On Oct. 6, Long Beach Museum of Art opens Ordinary People featuring works by artists, thinkers and activists that affect positive change. The Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum, on the campus of Cal State Long Beach (1250 Bellflower Blvd.), continues Drag Show, narrating the LGBT counterculture experience in 1980s and 1990s New York City.


Long Beach is home to a collection of public art that is second to none in Southern California, featuring breathtaking murals, sculptures and historic mosaics. Heck, even utility boxes get turned into art. The Arts Council for Long Beach has constructed an excellent digital resource to guide you to virtually any work of art you desire. Its Public Art Map not only has every piece of public art in the city, but allows you to search for it using numerous filters, whether by neighborhood, specific artist, art type, etc.

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Steve Lowery