Public Programs - SAM - Seattle Art Museum
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Public Programs

Pu​blic Programs at SAM

There's something happening and you don't want to miss it. So jump in—ask questions, offer opinions, paint, draw, sketch, learn, listen, dance, tour, meet the artists, perform. Find the thing that's right up your alley, or try something entirely new.​

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SAM Creates

SAM Creates SAM Creates

These workshops provide a forum for artists to explain the philosophies underlying their work and for you to delve into the artistic, practical, or quirky processes at work in your daily lives.​​​​​​

    SAM Films

    For more than 30 years, SAM has offered some of the most innovative film programming in the country. SAM screens films that explore a diverse cross-section of artists and genres.

    Family Circle: The films Yasujiro Ozu

    March 23 – May 18, 2017

    Family Circle film still

    Yasujiro Ozu (1903-63), one of the greatest cinematic artists, finds universal truths in his tender studies of 20th-century Japanese families. Parents and children, lovers and enemies, traditional country folk and modern city dwellers must come to terms with themselves, each other and a few simple truths: life is both disappointing and wonderful; what is, is. Ozu, an exponent of Zen, embraces contemplative stillness, deep laughter, fleeting beauty and the stunning, haiku-like revelations of small gestures.

    All films in 35mm, in Japanese with English subtitles.

    SAM Films are generously supported by the Bagley and Virginia Wright Endowment and The Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Film and Education Endowment. Additional support provided by David and Catherine Eaton Skinner and Aron Michael Thompson.

      SAM Performs


      SAM Performs features a wide range of styles, genres, and disciplines. Performances are often accompanied by discussions among artistic collaborators. 

      Art of Jazz

      Art of Jazz

      ​Every Second Thursday of the Month
      Hear some of the best local and national jazz live in the Brotman Forum, plus sign up to win fabulous prizes from KNKX.

      ​Art of Jazz is presented in collaboration with Earshot Jazz; sponsors are Earshot Jazz and KNKX 88.5.

      Tea Ceremony Demonstrations

      Tea Ceremony

      ​Third Thursdays, 5​:30 pm & Third Sundays, 2:30 pm. Note: there are no tea ceremonies in January, August, or December.

      Experience chado, "the W​ay of Tea," in the superbly crafted teahouse in the museum galleries at the Seattle Art Museum. Since the 16th century, chado has provided artistic inspiration and spiritual reflection. This time-honored living art brings a fresh paradigm for thoughtful and harmonious living.​​​​

      COMING UP​


      May 11 2017Ladies Musical Club May 11 2017Art Of Jazz: Alex Dugdale’s FADE Quartet May 18 2017Hearing Nature: Nat Evans Jun 8 2017Art Of Jazz: Sam Boshnack Quintet

      Dueling bands. A silent dance party at the top of the escalators. A lone trumpet wailing in the contemporary galleries. Art making in every corner. Spoken word throwdowns in front of oil paintings. Tap and burlesque and contemporary dance. The only guarantee: no two Remixes are the same.


      Held three​​ times a year (in the summer, get down in the Olympic Sculpture Park). Ages 18+.


      Program Sponsor


      Supporting Sponsor
      Russell Investments

      Media Sponsors

      The Stranger


        SAM TALKS

        SAM Talks

        A timely and innovative forum that addresses​ pressing issues in art and society, SAM Talks bring together some of the most compelling thinkers on a given cultural subject, and include lectures by artists, critics, curators, and scholars related to the work in SAM’s special exhibitions, First Friday Lectures, and Art + Environment Panel discussions.​​​

          SAM TOURS


          Tour times and topics vary throughout the year. Tours are FREE with museum admission.

          People and Places at SAM: Exploring SAM's Galleries
          View creatively installed galleries and discuss outstanding artwork from SAM’S collections.

          In Focus Gallery Talks
          These gallery discussions focus on a single gallery, allowing the visitor to experience works of art in-depth. Topics rotate regularly. 30 minutes.

          My Favorite Things
          My Favorite Things tours bring some of the most opinionated, brilliant and fascinating artists, cultural producers and community figures into the galleries to discuss their favorite works of art. 30 minutes.

          Special Exhibitions
          Explore the special exhibitions at the Seattle Art Museum on these tours designed to illuminate exhibition themes and present diverse perspectives on the art on view. 60 minutes.

          Art Beyond Sight Tours​
          The Art Beyond Sight program provides regular tours of the museum’s collection to visitors with low or no vision. Tours are held at all three SAM locations and are free with advance registration. Private tours are also available upon request. For more information, please email us.​​

          Upcoming Art Beyond Sight Tours​​​​​



 May 20 2017Art Beyond Sight Tour: Native Art and Life Along the Northwest Coast
 Jun 21 2017Art Beyond Sight Tour: Olympic Sculpture Park

          View Calendar​​​​

          Coming Up



 Feb 22 – Tue May 23 2017Seeing Nature Tour
 Apr 29 – Sun 30 2017Site, Sculpture, Shoreline: Discover Olympic Sculpture Park
 Apr 29 – Sun 30 2017People and Places: Exploring SAM's Galleries
 May 4 2017My Favorite Things: Riz Reyes
 May 4 2017People and Places: Exploring SAM's Galleries
 May 6 – Sun 7 2017Site, Sculpture, Shoreline: Discover Olympic Sculpture Park
 May 6 – Sun 7 2017People and Places: Exploring SAM's Galleries
 May 13 – Sun 14 2017Site, Sculpture, Shoreline: Discover Olympic Sculpture Park
 May 13 – Sun 14 2017People and Places: Exploring SAM's Galleries
 May 18 2017Tea Ceremony Demonstration
 May 20 – Sun 21 2017Site, Sculpture, Shoreline: Discover Olympic Sculpture Park
 May 20 – Sun 21 2017People and Places: Exploring SAM's Galleries

          School Tours​

          Are you an educator? You can find school tour information here.​​​​​​


          Gardner Center

          Offering dynamic public programs at the Asian Art Museum, the Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas hosts events to ​explore the vast diversity of Asia, its presence in the world, and the wide range of artistic expression. From history and culture to global health and urban design, we exchange ideas about challenging contemporary issues. We also invite you to experience a range of artistic expression related to Asia.

          Learn More​​​​

          SUMMER AT SAM

          Park Season

          The rain has gone on summer-long hiatus, the sun is out, and the grass is finally green—it's summer season at the Olympic Sculpture Park! Get outside, play, picnic, and create. SAM presents an entire season packed full of activities and performances that combine visual art, music, and community. The summer programs feature a diverse range of bands and art activities that explore place-making, cultural confluences, and learning from our local environment. All Summer at SAM programs are free, open to the public, and all-ages.

          Park Season

          Catch live music, dance, enjoy food from Seattle’s best food trucks and grab a drink from Taste. When you’re ready to get creative, take part in DIY art projects and take opinionated tours of the park. Kids and their grownups will love our Summer at SAM play space and art-making activities. Take it easy and sprawl out under monumental sculptures like Alexander Calder’s The Eagle or take a quiet walk with breathtaking views of the mountains and water.

          Park Season

          Saturdays are active days at the park. Join us for free outdoor yoga with 8 Limbs at 9 am and 10 am. From 11 am to 1 pm stop by to get hands-on and learn more about local artists’ practices. Park tours start at 1 pm and you can keep moving with Zumba from 2 to 3 pm.
          FREE and open to the public!


          Park Benefactors
          Jeffrey and Susan Brotman
          Faye Sarkowsky
          Jon Shirley and Kim Richter
          Ann P. Wyckoff
          Martha Wyckoff and Jerry Tone

          Park Partners
          Matthew and Kim Bergman
          Firoz and Najma Lalji
          Margaret M. Breen and Stewart M. Landefeld
          Stuart and Lee Rolfe
          Mikal and Lynn Thomsen

          Media Sponsor
          The Stranger

          Programming at the Olympic Sculpture Park is generously supported by Maggie and Doug Walker, and Martha Wyckoff and Jerry Tone.

            Winter in the Park

            Winter Weekends

            The Olympic Sculpture Park is open 365 days a year, and no matter the season, Seattle loves its monumental sculptures and dramatic views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound. This year, our programs connecting you to the park’s collection get you moving, making, and thinking year-round!

            SAM Lights

            SAM Lights

            Light up your winter with SAM’s free program connecting all ages to art and the environment. Lit by temporary light installations and hundreds of luminarias, follow the path through the park and see the sculptures from a new perspective. Art making, live music, hot beverages, and sweet treats will offer everyone a way to enjoy the glow of the park.

            Winter Weekends
            Art Encounters in the Park

            Art Encounters

            At 7 pm on select Fridays, adults will become part of an artist's creative process during our Art Encounters. Get inspired by learning about meaningful artistic practices and participating in experiences that respond to the Olympic Sculpture Park and the Seattle region.