Arts and Entertainment

Whether you’re here to laugh, play, or be inspired, Bellingham is a nationally recognized hotspot for music, theater and art. Get involved with an artistic community that thrives on student participation.

Theater and Film

Do you like theater, improv, or indie films? Check out what our local theaters — Western’s Performing Arts Center, Mt. Baker Theatre, The Upfront Theatre, the iDiOM Theater and Pickford Independent Film Center — have to offer. You can also get involved with fantastic communities like the Circus Guild, where you can take drop-in classes from Bellingham’s best jugglers, acrobats, and storytellers. Want to see the latest Hollywood release? The Barkley Regal Cinemas has a 16-theater complex and IMAX where you can see the latest big screen productions.


For the museum experience, head over to the Mindport Museum of Art and Science, SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention, and the Whatcom Museum, featuring constantly rotating exhibits of the best local sculpture, painting, and photography.

The Music Scene

Music is the heartbeat of Bellingham, the city that inspired bands like Death Cab for Cutie and Modest Mouse. Dozens of venues both on and off-campus boast live performances seven days a week. Big name musicians traveling between Seattle and Vancouver often stop in to play a show, while home-grown favorites are featured nightly. Students are highly active in the music scene, and bands from Western have gone on to local and national acclaim.

Katherine Feltner
Snohomish, WA
I remember the first open mic I went to at the Underground Coffeehouse a few weeks into school freshman year. I heard poets, singers, beat-boxers, comedians and an accordion player. I was impressed by the confidence and the unique talents that everyone had and seeing people cheer their friends on made me feel like I belonged as a part of the student body.



See Art, Make Art

Ranked as the second-best small arts community in the country, Bellingham fosters creativity, expression, and experimentation. Visit high-quality art studios or participate in the monthly Art Walk while exploring downtown. Whether you’re an artist or an appreciator, be part of the evolving scene at creative art spaces like Make.Shift, Ragfinery and Allied Arts, where you can blow glass, create pottery, upcycle textiles and learn welding. Bellingham is a DIY community — from repurposing used building materials for backyard projects, to making soaps, to painting pottery and fusing glass. You’re sure to find a local business or workshop that supports your interests or helps you develop new ones.