OLYMPIA, Wash., Sept. 26, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Washington’s state capital of Olympia, recently named a Creative District by the Washington State Arts Commission, embraces its recent designation with a variety of upcoming experiences and events. As one of just three Creative Districts in the state, the city of Olympia was recognized for both its legacy and future in providing an authentic connection to the arts and culture of the community.

“As fall settles in and we look ahead to sweater weather, this vibrant community comes alive with so many representations of our decidedly different culture,” notes Shauna Stewart, CEO of Experience Olympia & Beyond. “Whether it’s an impromptu performance from a street musician or a breathtaking ballet performance, the Olympia region’s artistic characters are committed to sharing their craft and creating a one-of-a-kind experience for locals and visitors alike.”   

While a comprehensive guide to exploring arts throughout the region can be found at ExperienceOlympia.com, a curated list of opportunities though early 2020 includes:  

  • Olympia’s Fall Arts Walk Returns Oct. 4-5. Explore downtown Olympia as the streets and sidewalks are transformed into a creative hub filled with art, demonstrations and performances. Local businesses and organizations host unique pop-up shops, performances and more creative projects to discover. To learn more, click here.
  • Selfie-worthy Street Art. The streets of downtown Olympia are always open for touring with more than 70 colorful, creative murals. Each piece tells a story, shared in a self-guided tour about the artist, vision and theme behind each one.  Learn more about works like the Chinese Dragon Mural: the recently unveiled piece that honors Chinese-American history; Respect & Love, the iconic rainbow with the words “Respect & Love Olympia” represents Olympia’s loving community; or A Tale of Two Cities: The Olympia-Rafah Solidarity Mural Project, a colorful mural that celebrates the lives of all who struggle for justice. Click here for the full tour.
  • From a Dance to a Vision: Ballet Northwest Celebrates 50 Years as the oldest dance company in the state. For nearly half a century, Ballet Northwest has brought the art of dance to the greater Olympia region. In early 2020, the group will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a variety of special events including the 50th Anniversary Gala, on January 25, 2020, featuring professional dancers from American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, and National Ballet of Cuba.  The Olympia Dance Festival, February 29, 2020: will bring together over 200 local dancers performing ballet, contemporary, hip-hop, tap, jazz, ballroom, belly dance, Irish, Chinese dance, and more.

  • Learn a craft from local makers and watch art in action. At Arbutus Folk School, workshops and classes teach a variety of talents. The fall and winter offerings range from holiday ceramics to woodworking and blacksmithing. Home to the world’s largest selection of beads, Shipwreck Beads in Lacey offers classes for beginners to experts with topics like wire working, beading and metal clay.  Visit the Stone Carvers Shed in Tenino, just outside of Olympia, to see traditional sandstone carving in action. Check the online calendar and plan a visit to commission a custom piece, take a stone carving class or just see the experts in action.

Find a variety of ongoing offerings, including indoor and outdoor galleries, historical attractions and more at Experienceolympia.com.  A variety of performances and programming for all ages and interests are scheduled throughout the coming months at venues like the Washington Center for the Performing Arts, the Hands On Children’s Museum, Capitol Theatre, Olympia Family Theatre, and the Harlequin Theatre.

About Experience Olympia & Beyond
Experience Olympia & Beyond is the official destination marketing organization of Thurston County. A naturally-inspired, approachable destination situated at the foot of Puget Sound one hour south of Seattle and two hours north of Portland by car, Washington’s capital community inspires handcrafted getaways. Whether it’s sampling the latest artisan delights from culinary characters or blazing a new trail, Olympia and beyond beckons free spirits, gourmands and weekend warriors alike with something new. With more than 2,700 hotel rooms throughout Thurston County there are several options ranging from downtown digs to traveler-friendly rooms. For more information visit experienceolympia.com or connect on Facebook (@ExperienceOlympiaandBeyond), Twitter (@Experience_Oly) and Instagram (@ExperienceOly).

Media Contact | ON PR for Experience Olympia & Beyond | Kate Neidigh kate@onpublicrelations.com 206-802-5163

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/1fd32fbb-724b-4ff8-8122-70d1f516fe7a