View Our Facebook PageView Our Facebook PageView Our Facebook Page
Your Guide to Cultural
Arts in America
Art Museums, Theater, Dance
& Music Happenings in 90+ Cities!
or go to

San Jose, California

San Jose Arts: Art Scene in San Jose

Discounts
  • mercurynews.com — San Jose Discount Events page
  • sjdowntown.com — A Discover Downtown San Jose card gets you discounts and benefits to local museums, performing arts organizations, and numerous other attractions and businesses.

Located less than an hour from San Francisco in the heart of California’s famed “Silicon Valley”, San Jose is Northern California’s largest city, and one of its most vibrant. Sometimes called the “Gateway to the Bays”, San Jose offers an abundance of visual art, music and theatrical offerings, as well as varied seasonal arts festivals designed to appeal to the city’s upscale residents.  Plus the amusements and arts of Santa Cruz are less than 45 minutes away, at least when traffic is light.

San Jose Arts Information

  • Artsopolis — An online Arts and Culture events guide that also includes listings for arts-related jobs, auditions, and more
  • SanJose.com — The Arts & Entertainment section has features and reviews on local offerings
  • sanjoseca.gov — Information about cultural offerings and attractions in San Jose
  • Metroactive — Comprehensive coverage of the local arts and entertainment scene

 

Art Museums

Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts

Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University (Stanford, CA)

Formerly the Leland Stanford Jr. Art Museum, the Cantor Center was re-opened in 1999 after being extensively damaged in two earthquakes. Visitors should definitely check out the Rodin sculpture garden, which contains 20 bronzes, and the center’s excellent collection of ancient Mediterranean, Asian, African, and Native American art. The modern and contemporary American art collection is also recommended. ...more...

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum (REM)

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum (REM)

One of few museums in the United States devoted entirely to Ancient Egyptian history and culture, the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum (REM) began in the 1920s with a single artifact belonging to H. Spencer Lewis, founder of the Rosicrucian order AMORC. The Rosicrucian order traces its philosophical origins to ancient mystical practices, including those of the Ancient Egyptian religion and culture. …more…

SJMA

San Jose Museum of Art (SJMA)

The San Jose Museum of Art (SJMA) began in 1969, when a concerned group of local citizens banded together to prevent the demolition of an historic 19th century library building in downtown San Jose. An art gallery was started that would grow over several decades to become one of the region’s foremost modern art institutions.

The permanent collection has over 2000 …more…

Theater

Broadway San Jose

Broadway San Jose

Broadway San Jose is a series of shows presented by the Nederlander Organization, which is now in its third generation of theater development, ownership, management and production.

Over the years, the Nederlanders have booked and/or produced a substantial number of perennially popular musicals. The 2010-2011 season of Broadway San Jose included Burn the Floor, Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles, The Color Purple, Grease, Fiddler on the Roof, Stomp, and …more…

City Lights Theater Company

City Lights Theater Company

City Lights is a non-profit organization that produces six shows per year in its intimate, 100-seat venue. The 2010-2011 season ranged from Peter Shaffer’s Equus to Jeffrey Hatcher’s Compleat Female Stage Beauty to the musical Nine, and also includes the South Bay premiere of Billy Aronson’s First Day of School.

The company actively develops and produces new works through its New Play Readers Series, and it encourages the growth of smaller, …more…

Northside Theatre Company

Northside Theatre Company

Celebrating its 32nd season in 2010-2011, Northside Theatre is “devoted to the manifestation of the human spirit by creating dramatic art through heart, collaboration, and exploration.” Among the theater’s recent productions: A.R. Gurney’s Sylvia, Joe DiPietro’s Over the River and Through the Woods, Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile, and Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Northside allows emerging artists …more…

San Jose Repertory Theatre

San Jose Repertory Theatre

Founded in 1980, the San Jose Repertory Theatre was the city’s first resident professional theater and has since gained a reputation for being one of the country’s pre-eminent regional houses. Part of the Rep’s mission is to produce works that speak to San Jose’s diverse community—and “diverse” perfectly describes this theater that recently offered a classic French play, a Reduced …more…

San Jose Stage Company

San Jose Stage Company

Since its inaugural 1983-84 season, the San Jose Stage Company has produced more than 125 dramas, comedies and musicals, including nine world premieres. Its current performance venue, The Stage, opened in 1990. Recent productions of note have included the South Bay premieres of The Pillowman, Dirty Blonde, and Red, White, and Tuna.

The company is committed to employing local actors, …more…

Teatro Vision

Teatro Vision

Founded in 1984 as Teatro Huipil by members of Women in Teatro, Teatro Vision is a theater company focused on presenting works that address the life of the Chicano culture.  Its mission and methods were shaped largely by the efforts of Teatro Campesino (or “Farmworkers’ Theater”), an arm of the United Farm Workers operating in the 1960s.  The repertory of …more…

Theatreworks

TheatreWorks

The majority of the shows produced on TheatreWorks’s two stages, the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts and the Lucie Stern Theatre, are appearing in Northern California—if not on the entire West Coast—for the first time. Most seasons also feature the world premier of a show that has been developed through the New Works Initiative, a program that gives …more…

Classical Music

Music at Menlo

Music@Menlo (Atherton, CA)

(July 20 – August 11, 2012) Founded in 2004 by cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han – also Artistic Directors of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center – Music@Menlo is a comprehensive hub for chamber music. The festival features multiple program series, from the theme-laden Concert Programs to the String Quartet Programs series to Carte Blanche, a recital series curated by the artists themselves. Additionally, the Encounter Series adds a scholarly flair to the proceedings through multimedia presentations that further illuminate the festival’s primary themes. During the traditional fall/spring concert season is the Winter Series, which supplements the festival’s summer offerings. ...more...

San Jose Chamber Orchestra (SJCO)

San Jose Chamber Orchestra (SJCO)

Founded by Music Director Barbara Day Turner in 1991, the San José Chamber Orchestra (SJCO) makes a consistent effort to perform the works of living composers. To that end, the SJCO staff boasts seven guest composers, including Craig Bohmler, Vivian Fung, Henry Mollicone, and Hyo-shin Na. The chamber orchestra’s concert programs often present contemporary classical works alongside pieces by famous …more…

Cal-Aud3

Symphony Silicon Valley

Symphony Silicon Valley (SSV) formed in 2002 after the dissolution of San Jose Symphony. It is distinctive in part for its policy of revolving guest conductors. Maestros who have collaborated frequently with SSV include George Cleve, Leslie B. Dunner, Paul Polivnick, and Gregory Vajda, among others.

The new orchestra offers its audience concerts that reflect well-rounded programming—from works by powerhouse composers such as Mozart, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Schubert, and Stravinsky to the …more…

Opera

Opera San Jose

Opera San Jose

Former Metropolitan Opera principal singer Irene Dalis founded Opera San Jose in 1984 with two goals: financial prudence and the cultivation of young talent, some of which came from the opera program she oversaw at San Jose State University. Dalis – still the company’s general director – appears to have succeeded in both goals. With seasons that lean heavily on the standard repertoire with occasional forays into lesser-known works (the …more…

Jazz

San Jose Jazz Festival

San Jose Jazz Festival

San Jose Jazz continues to be one of the best jazz advocates on the West Coast and its annual festival is also one of the best. Tickets can be purchased on site the day of the festival (though VIP passes must be purchased beforehand). With more than 10 different venues and plenty of activities aside from the music, the festival will …more…

Dance

Ballet San Jose

Ballet San Jose

Ballet San Jose was originally created in 1985 as a co-venture with the Cleveland Ballet, which lasted for 15 years. In 2000, after the Cleveland Ballet dissolved, BSJ began functioning as a separate entity, lodged in a beautiful historic building that became its home base. Cleveland Ballet co-founder Dennis Nahat became BSJ’s Artistic Director, and began bringing the company into the limelight with his exceedingly high standards along with his …more…

Venues

Montalvo Arts Center

Montalvo Arts Center

At first glance the Montalvo Arts Center looks like a museum; a beautiful and historic Mediterranean-style villa features exhibitions of work by local and regional artists, and works of sculpture are displayed throughout the estate. However, the Center does much more, featuring a number of live music series (from chamber music to popular music and jazz), dance and …more…

Art Museums

Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts

Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University (Stanford, CA)

Formerly the Leland Stanford Jr. Art Museum, the Cantor Center was re-opened in 1999 after being extensively damaged in two earthquakes. Visitors should definitely check out the Rodin sculpture garden, which contains 20 bronzes, and the center’s excellent collection of ancient Mediterranean, Asian, African, and Native American art. The modern and contemporary American art collection is also recommended. ...more...

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum (REM)

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum (REM)

One of few museums in the United States devoted entirely to Ancient Egyptian history and culture, the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum (REM) began in the 1920s with a single artifact belonging to H. Spencer Lewis, founder of the Rosicrucian order AMORC. The Rosicrucian order traces its philosophical origins to ancient mystical practices, including those of the Ancient Egyptian religion and culture. …more…

SJMA

San Jose Museum of Art (SJMA)

The San Jose Museum of Art (SJMA) began in 1969, when a concerned group of local citizens banded together to prevent the demolition of an historic 19th century library building in downtown San Jose. An art gallery was started that would grow over several decades to become one of the region’s foremost modern art institutions.

The permanent collection has over 2000 …more…

Theater

Broadway San Jose

Broadway San Jose

Broadway San Jose is a series of shows presented by the Nederlander Organization, which is now in its third generation of theater development, ownership, management and production.

Over the years, the Nederlanders have booked and/or produced a substantial number of perennially popular musicals. The 2010-2011 season of Broadway San Jose included Burn the Floor, Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles, The Color Purple, Grease, Fiddler on the Roof, Stomp, and …more…

City Lights Theater Company

City Lights Theater Company

City Lights is a non-profit organization that produces six shows per year in its intimate, 100-seat venue. The 2010-2011 season ranged from Peter Shaffer’s Equus to Jeffrey Hatcher’s Compleat Female Stage Beauty to the musical Nine, and also includes the South Bay premiere of Billy Aronson’s First Day of School.

The company actively develops and produces new works through its New Play Readers Series, and it encourages the growth of smaller, …more…

Northside Theatre Company

Northside Theatre Company

Celebrating its 32nd season in 2010-2011, Northside Theatre is “devoted to the manifestation of the human spirit by creating dramatic art through heart, collaboration, and exploration.” Among the theater’s recent productions: A.R. Gurney’s Sylvia, Joe DiPietro’s Over the River and Through the Woods, Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile, and Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Northside allows emerging artists …more…

San Jose Repertory Theatre

San Jose Repertory Theatre

Founded in 1980, the San Jose Repertory Theatre was the city’s first resident professional theater and has since gained a reputation for being one of the country’s pre-eminent regional houses. Part of the Rep’s mission is to produce works that speak to San Jose’s diverse community—and “diverse” perfectly describes this theater that recently offered a classic French play, a Reduced …more…

San Jose Stage Company

San Jose Stage Company

Since its inaugural 1983-84 season, the San Jose Stage Company has produced more than 125 dramas, comedies and musicals, including nine world premieres. Its current performance venue, The Stage, opened in 1990. Recent productions of note have included the South Bay premieres of The Pillowman, Dirty Blonde, and Red, White, and Tuna.

The company is committed to employing local actors, …more…

Teatro Vision

Teatro Vision

Founded in 1984 as Teatro Huipil by members of Women in Teatro, Teatro Vision is a theater company focused on presenting works that address the life of the Chicano culture.  Its mission and methods were shaped largely by the efforts of Teatro Campesino (or “Farmworkers’ Theater”), an arm of the United Farm Workers operating in the 1960s.  The repertory of …more…

Theatreworks

TheatreWorks

The majority of the shows produced on TheatreWorks’s two stages, the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts and the Lucie Stern Theatre, are appearing in Northern California—if not on the entire West Coast—for the first time. Most seasons also feature the world premier of a show that has been developed through the New Works Initiative, a program that gives …more…

Classical Music

Music at Menlo

Music@Menlo (Atherton, CA)

(July 20 – August 11, 2012) Founded in 2004 by cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han – also Artistic Directors of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center – Music@Menlo is a comprehensive hub for chamber music. The festival features multiple program series, from the theme-laden Concert Programs to the String Quartet Programs series to Carte Blanche, a recital series curated by the artists themselves. Additionally, the Encounter Series adds a scholarly flair to the proceedings through multimedia presentations that further illuminate the festival’s primary themes. During the traditional fall/spring concert season is the Winter Series, which supplements the festival’s summer offerings. ...more...

San Jose Chamber Orchestra (SJCO)

San Jose Chamber Orchestra (SJCO)

Founded by Music Director Barbara Day Turner in 1991, the San José Chamber Orchestra (SJCO) makes a consistent effort to perform the works of living composers. To that end, the SJCO staff boasts seven guest composers, including Craig Bohmler, Vivian Fung, Henry Mollicone, and Hyo-shin Na. The chamber orchestra’s concert programs often present contemporary classical works alongside pieces by famous …more…

Cal-Aud3

Symphony Silicon Valley

Symphony Silicon Valley (SSV) formed in 2002 after the dissolution of San Jose Symphony. It is distinctive in part for its policy of revolving guest conductors. Maestros who have collaborated frequently with SSV include George Cleve, Leslie B. Dunner, Paul Polivnick, and Gregory Vajda, among others.

The new orchestra offers its audience concerts that reflect well-rounded programming—from works by powerhouse composers such as Mozart, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Schubert, and Stravinsky to the …more…

Opera

Opera San Jose

Opera San Jose

Former Metropolitan Opera principal singer Irene Dalis founded Opera San Jose in 1984 with two goals: financial prudence and the cultivation of young talent, some of which came from the opera program she oversaw at San Jose State University. Dalis – still the company’s general director – appears to have succeeded in both goals. With seasons that lean heavily on the standard repertoire with occasional forays into lesser-known works (the …more…

Jazz

San Jose Jazz Festival

San Jose Jazz Festival

San Jose Jazz continues to be one of the best jazz advocates on the West Coast and its annual festival is also one of the best. Tickets can be purchased on site the day of the festival (though VIP passes must be purchased beforehand). With more than 10 different venues and plenty of activities aside from the music, the festival will …more…

Dance

Ballet San Jose

Ballet San Jose

Ballet San Jose was originally created in 1985 as a co-venture with the Cleveland Ballet, which lasted for 15 years. In 2000, after the Cleveland Ballet dissolved, BSJ began functioning as a separate entity, lodged in a beautiful historic building that became its home base. Cleveland Ballet co-founder Dennis Nahat became BSJ’s Artistic Director, and began bringing the company into the limelight with his exceedingly high standards along with his …more…

Venues

Montalvo Arts Center

Montalvo Arts Center

At first glance the Montalvo Arts Center looks like a museum; a beautiful and historic Mediterranean-style villa features exhibitions of work by local and regional artists, and works of sculpture are displayed throughout the estate. However, the Center does much more, featuring a number of live music series (from chamber music to popular music and jazz), dance and …more…