Artist and Anaheim local Dave Kooi says that visitors don’t have to make the 25‑mile trek to Los Angeles to experience a vibrant arts and culture scene. Nestled among the city’s historic structures and bustling businesses is proof of its very active artistic community. Here, the 15-year resident takes readers on a guided tour of Anaheim’s venues for creative expression.
The Gypsy Den + Ink & Bean
Two storefronts on Center Street Promenade get Kooi’s seal of approval for their open mic nights. The Gypsy Den hosts spoken word events on Wednesday evenings, and guests seated on the patio can sip
cocktails while watching Disneyland® Park’s fireworks. Just a few doors down, the literary lounge Ink & Bean opens its microphone on Friday nights. Ride the beat into the weekend—the same lounge hosts live music on select Saturday evenings.
Located on North Harbor Boulevard, Pearson is the city’s oldest park and dates back to 1927. Kooi recommends a stroll through the cactus garden and duck pond. Next, find the statue of Helena Modjeska, a 19th-century Polish stage actress who lived in Anaheim, dressed in her famous role, Mary Queen of Scots.
“[MUZEO] is a lovely space,” Kooi says of the museum dedicated to local history and culture. “… It’s really nice to go into a first‑class space, see a well-designed show, and then do the walking mall. It feels very consumable, but it also feels very local and friendly.”
Downtown Disney® District
Head to WonderGround Gallery, an eclectic space to see and purchase fan art depicting scenes and characters from the Disney universe. Kooi adds that the gallery often hosts special events and signings
with artists, many of whom are locals.
Originally printed in the Visit Anaheim 2016-2017 Destination Guide