Arts & Culture
Lake Oswego has significant arts and culture resources including:
Arts Council of Lake Oswego
The Arts Council of Lake Oswego, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, was created in 1999 to ensure the arts are an integral part of the lives of the citizens of Lake Oswego. The Arts Council was formed by members of The Lake Oswego Arts Commission, a City Commission, to ensure a continuation of support for arts education, present exhibits, tours, lectures and to maintain the City of Lake Oswego’s permanent art collection.
- Gallery Without Walls: Award-Winning Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit on the Streets of Downtown
- The downtown Gallery Without Walls, Lake Oswego’s signature public art program, began in 2002 and today includes 30 rotating sculptures and 30 sculptures in the permanent collection.
- The City owns over 200 pieces of public art in its permanent collection; including 2-D art in a variety of mediums that can be seen on display on the walls at City Hall, the Library, the West End Building and the newly opened Project 510 Museum – operated by the Arts Council, at 510 1st Street.
- People’s Choice Award: Public Vote to select the annual acquisition of a permanent sculpture
- The Chronicle Invitational Exhibition: An exhibition chronicling themes pertinent to Lake Oswego and the Pacific Northwest.
- Docent-Led Tours: Public Educational Tours of the Gallery Without Walls Sculpture Collection
- Follow Your Art!: An Annual Celebration introducing the public to the new sculpture in the rotating Gallery Without Walls
- Public Art Committee: Manages & Maintains the Public Art Collection on behalf of the City
- Arts-In-Education: Art Literacy Program in Elementary Schools
- Neighborhood Public Art Program: launched in 2011 by the Arts Council, this program develops gateways in different parts of the community.
- The Lakewood Theater Company, located in the Lakewood Center for the Arts, began in 1952 and now produces over 10 shows per year with an annual audience of over 40,000. It is the oldest continually operating nonprofit theater company in the Portland area.
- The Lakewood Center for the Arts also houses a children’s theater, arts pre-school, dance studios and more. Each year 100,000 people visit the Center to participate in arts activities.
- The Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts attracts 25,000 visitors each June. The Festival is produced by the Lakewood Center with community partners and includes visual arts, a juried exhibit, and performance stage.
Parks & Recreation Department
The City’s Parks & Recreation Department offers art, music, drama and dance classes for youth and adults, and puts on cultural activities including summer movies in the parks, concerts, performances, dances and more. Lake Oswego’s Parks and Recreation Department produces concerts in the parks throughout the summer that draw thousands of community members.
Lake Oswego Public Library
The Lake Oswego Public Library inspires discovery, and cultivates an inclusive community by welcoming all people to read, learn, and connect.
- The library presents a variety of events and classes for all ages, throughout the year. Program offerings include summer reading clubs for all ages, reading and craft activities for children, career advisory programs, technology instruction, books clubs, author visits, and more.
- Each spring, the library hosts the annual Lake Oswego Reads festival. This nationally recognized program provides an enriching common experience for the entire Lake Oswego community. This program is designed to bring the community together by inviting participants to read the same book and enjoy a series of events which expand on the book's cultural, social, and political themes.
- In addition to the extensive book collection, the library provides free and equitable access to e-books, streaming services with award-winning films, and other online learning resources.
- Other offerings include the Library of Things, which is a large collection of useful items to borrow- for free!
- Library also offers limited passes to local venues such as Japanese Gardens, Oregon Gardens, Pittock Mansion and Oregon State Parks.
- Enrichment programs, including Lake Oswego Reads and author presentations, are supported by the Friends of the Library (a 501(c)3 non-profit) through sales of gently used books, videos, puzzles and more, at the two BOOKtique bookstores.
The BOOKtique is the used bookstore operated by The Friends of The Lake Oswego Public Library. It has two locations in Lake Oswego, one at 4 Monroe Parkway, the other on the first floor of Lake Oswego City Hall, 380 A Avenue.
The BOOKtique is the primary fundraising operation of the 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Friends of the Library. Bookstore sales fund library cultural programming in Lake Oswego, including the annual Lake Oswego Reads programming and free copies of the current LO Reads book choice for library card holders.
Additional library programs that sales from the BOOKtique support include:
- Author Talks
- Library Musical Events
- Summer Reading Programs
- Books for Babies (for new parents)
- Free copies of the current LO Reads book choice, available to library card holders
The BOOKtique bookstores contain thousands of near-new books which have been donated by local residents or withdrawn from the shelves of the Lake Oswego Library.
Additional items for sale include puzzles, CDs, DVD’s, audio-books, and vinyl records. All items are terrific “finds” and they make wonderful gifts!
New items are added daily and available for purchase.