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The Studios of Key West provides a collaborative and supportive environment for creative experience. We offer studio space, lectures, workshops, residencies, partnership projects and nurture the creation of work. Our mission is to build audiences and support the advancement of established and emerging creative people in the Florida Keys.
Our purpose is to remind us of our own creativity, empower artists to show us the world in new ways, use the arts to build friendships and establish Key West as a beacon of cultural activity.
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.
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 live at The Studios’ Carriage Trade residency guesthouse for a month as Peyton Evans Artist Residences (PEARs), or just to teach what they know.
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.
Studios. The Studios’ Peyton Evans Artist Residency (PEAR) draws about 36 artists 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.