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Downtown San Rafael Arts District Announces Launch Events

Posted on August 30, 2018

San Rafael Arts District

Arts Organizations Come Together and Celebrate Latinx Arts and Culture

The newly designated Downtown San Rafael Arts District, located along Fourth Street in San Rafael, officially launches this Fall with an exciting array of arts programming centered around the shared theme of Latinx. Latinx is inspired by national movements such as Spanish Heritage month and National Arts Education Week, as well as the City’s 30th Anniversary of the Día de Los Muertos celebration in November. Audiences of all ages can enjoy and experience a range of arts perspectives and voices from Latin America ranging from exhibits, film screenings, family programs, and more.

In July 2017, the California Arts Council selected San Rafael as one of California’s premier state-designated arts and culture districts. San Rafael joins 13 other districts in a new program highlighting the state’s unique artistic and cultural communities within California, home to the country’s leading creative economy.

“San Rafael is proud and delighted to receive the highly selective designation as a California Cultural Arts District as we always knew about all the great creativity here but now everyone else does too.  This fall’s Latinx event is comprised of stunning art pieces and is the perfect launch to a year of wonderful programming.  We look forward to celebrating our diverse community through beautiful art for years to come.”     – Councilmember Kate Colin

The Downtown San Rafael Arts District is anchored by Arts Works Downtown, an arts center with four galleries, nearly 30 artists’ studios, and artist housing; the California Film Institute – home to the Mill Valley Film Festival; the Falkirk Cultural Center; and Youth in Arts, providing visual and performing arts training for children and a gallery for young artists.

Launch Activities

Art Works Downtown (AWD)

  • 1337 Gallery Sept 21–Nov 9, /ker/

Curated by Sergio De La Torre and Fernanda Partida Ochoa Featuring: Caleb Duarte, Jose Joaquin Figueroa, Alexander Hernandez, Marcela Pardo Ariza, and Jessica Sabogal . The exhibition takes its name from the phonetical transcription of the word “care.” The selection of artworks in the exhibition traverse different moments in each artist’s practice. Its common thread, what each artist cares for, emerges in a variety of disciplines.

  • Underground Gallery Oct 12–Nov 3

Centro Cultural de Guatemala is sponsoring an exhibition of Guatemalan celebration clothing.

  • Founders’ Gallery Oct 12–Nov 3

MICTLAN: The Journey to the Underworld. Exhibition of mixed media by Ernesto Hernandez Olmos

  • Donors’ Gallery Oct 12–Nov 3

Calaveras Nichos a collaboration between Dominican University and the Kids Club at the Albert Boro Community Center.

  • Latinx Arts 2nd Friday Art Walks: Oct 12 and Nov 9, 5pm-8pm

Reception and fundraiser with live music, lite bites, and libations.

San Rafael Downtown Business Improvement District

Día de Los Muertos Merchant Window Decorating Contest. Juried by AWD and the San Rafael Business Improvement District.

Dia de los Muertos

Saturday, October 27,  1pm–3pm

The Business Improvement District’s (BID) annual Trick or Treat on 4th Street! Bring your little ones in costume for treats from participating merchants and entertainment.

Youth In Arts

Youth in Arts provides bilingual arts integration and enriching experiences for youth in San Rafael Public schools and exhibits works of Latinx youth on a regular basis. “Kids Imagine Our World” 2nd Friday 5-8pm through November. Weekdays 11am-4pm Youth in Arts & Marin County Office of education and arts agencies are coming together during National Arts in Education Week, Sept 9-18, 2018, to celebrate the accomplishments of young artists and underscore the importance of arts learning for our students. YIA Gallery features works by artists 5-13 years and has an interactive white polka dot room as an ode to master artist Yayoi Kusama.

San Rafael Public Library

Teen Poetry Workshop- Open to all students ages 15–19. Bring 10 copies of one one-page original poem to each session or come early enough to print out copies at the library before class. The workshops will be conducted by trained mentors who will open each session with a presentation and discussion of an element of poetic craft as exemplified in both a poem from the traditional canon and a contemporary poem. The latter part of each session will be devoted to an MFA-style workshop examination and discussion of student poems. For more information, please contact William Calhoun at: or Rebecca Foust at:

California Film Institute

This year in coordination with the San Rafael Downtown Arts District the 41st Mill Valley Film Festival will launch ¡Vive el Cine! Sunday, Oct 7 at the Smith Rafael Film Center, with Spanish language films, music, face painting, special guests and a reception. MVFF’s ¡Vive el Cine! Initiative showcases 14 award winning new dramatic features, documentaries and animated works that tell contemporary stories of the cultures and communities from Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico and Spain. The 41st Mill Valley Film Festival runs from Oct 4-14, 2018. For more information:

Falkirk Center

Nov 2–Dec 20, Día de Los Muertos Day of the Dead Artist Exhibition. Opening reception Friday, Nov 9

Canal Welcome Center

Saturday, November 3rd, Día de Los Muertos 30th Anniversary Celebration, Albert j Boro Community Center. Activities start at 3pm


For more information about the San Rafael Arts District, visit

For full information about launch events, visit: MarinArts Artes Latinx


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