The Studios of Key West’s mission is to support artists, inspire creativity and build community.
The Studios was founded with the vision of bringing world class artists to the island, connecting them with local audiences and artists, and offering space for both to explore their creativity. We’ve hosted Pulitzer prize winners, world renowned artists and musicians, and introduced thousands of students to different ways of seeing and working. Our Helmerich Theater stage bristles with talent, music from our rooftop concerts flood into the neighborhood, and every month hundreds of people visit The Studios to take in new experiences and catch up with old friends.
Creative Workshops. The Studios of Key West’s largest program serves over 1,000 people each season, with more than 50 distinct classes in a range of media for artists from beginners to professionals, both online and in person. Our instructors include year-round, local artists, and artists visiting from across the globe, either to stay at the PEAR House for a month as an artist in residence, or just to teach what they know.
Museum Exhibitions. The Studios presents exhibitions in four spaces, our first floor Sanger and Zabar Project Galleries, the XOJ Gallery on the third floor, and the Zabar Lobby on the second floor. With each season we strive to balance established and emerging artists, both local and from out of town, while looking for opportunities to explore Key West as a place and to foster collaboration with other organizations.
Artist Studios. The Studios’ Peyton Evans Artist Residency (PEAR) draws nearly 40 artists, writers and performers annually to Key West from across the country and overseas. The Studios of Key West’s third floor studio artists are local artists who rent work space year-round and benefit from being at the heart of Key West’s cultural scene.
Performance. Our rollicking concert series features roots-oriented music from folk and blues to world music and jazz. Cutting edge performances at The Studios include dance, performance art, small scale theatrical productions and burlesque and circus arts. The Studios has two performance spaces: an indoor 200-seat black box theater, and Hugh’s View, our rooftop terrace for intimate outdoor performances under the stars.
Community Engagement. The Studios has long embraced the goal of breaking down barriers to art and being an integrated part of Key West life. Central to our community programs are youth education programs in out-of-school settings, presented in collaboration with other institutional partners. Our marquee youth program is the Schools @ The Studios, where our galleries are transformed into living classrooms as elementary and middle school students visit the exhibitions and meet the artists who made them possible, all with a hands-on lesson plan to deepen their understanding. Read more about our programs for youths here.