Northwest African American Museum DIWAS Photography

Cultural Connections

Seattle’s diverse population and immigrant communities are valued, and it shows in the institutions rooted in the city. From long-established museums to newly created cultural centers, there are a plethora of ways to learn and explore what the Emerald City is all about.

Northwest African American Museum

2300 S Massachusetts St

Housed in a historic red-brick schoolhouse, NAAM details the Black experience in the Pacific Northwest with historic photos, abstract modern art, interactive story times, and special programs like African yoga and a “Sistah Sci-Fi” book vending machine. Peruse a book in the community living room, or delve into a curated reading list to learn more about notable figures like Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, and Fannie Lou Hamer.

Burke Museum

4303 Memorial Way NE

More than 18 million objects, from totem poles to dinosaur fossils, make up the Burke Museum’s extensive natural and cultural collections. Discover how the first peoples lived on this land before Washington was a state, dig into the Ice Age past, and learn more about the artistry and heritage of the Coast Salish people in the Northwest Native Art Gallery. After exploring the exhibits, fuel up at the Off the Rez Cafe with frybread tacos.

Seattle Asian Art Museum

1400 E Prospect St

A recent renovation gave SAAM’s 1933 Art Deco building in Capitol Hill a soaring central garden courtyard and refreshed gallery spaces that are now organized by theme—such as spirituality, literature, and nature—rather than by time period or country. Artifacts encompass ancient scrolls and screens, jade carvings, jewelry, pottery, statues, and contemporary installations, showcasing the breadth and depth of Asian influences.

National Nordic Museum

2655 NW Market St

A stone’s throw from Ballard’s working waterfront and locks, this nearly 58,000-square-foot museum spotlights the history and culture of the Nordic people in Seattle and the country. Follow a classic immigrant story from 2,000 years ago as people from Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, and Norway ventured to new lands, leaving their mark in attire, Viking-era boats, and more. Dip in for an afternoon fika at on-site cafe Freya.

Duwamish Longhouse & Cultural Center

4705 W Marginal Way SW

Massive carved cedar logs greet visitors at this gathering place for the Duwamish people, one of Seattle’s original tribes. Inside the longhouse, which honors Coast Salish design, learn about Seattle’s first settlers from a different lens in the Spirit Returns 2.0 exhibit, featuring personal letters, photographs, and artifacts from the 19th century.

Sea Mar Museum of Chicano/a/Latino/a Culture

9635 Des Moines Memorial Dr

From the 1950s to ‘70s, migrant farmworkers in the region stood up for their rights and place in Seattle’s community. Today the Sea Mar Museum, which opened in 2019, details this social justice fight with comprehensive exhibits, artifacts, and photos of the region’s Chicano/a and Latino/a experience.

Wing Luke Museum

719 S King St

This Smithsonian-affiliated museum details the early history of Asian Americans, native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in Seattle, as well as their ongoing contributions to the city’s cultural landscape. Expect to find contemporary art alongside exhibits about everything from Bruce Lee and new year’s celebrations to Desi and Filipino heritage.

Bruun Idun, the troll at Lincoln Park in West Seattle, a collaboration between Thomas Dambo and the artist Coyote of the Muckleshoot Tribe. Photo: Erik Davidson

Troll City

From the Fremont Troll to the Kraken mascot, Buoy, Seattle adores a certain creature from Nordic folklore. Now Danish environmental artist Thomas Dambo, in partnership with the Scan Design Foundation, ups the troll fandom with five large-scale, hand-built art installations throughout the Puget Sound area in Northwest Trolls: Way of the Bird King ( Made from recycled materials, the sculptures underscore the rich cultural connections between the region’s Coast Salish tribal and Scandinavian traditions.


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