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.
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.