A DJ performs outside of The Nimoy theater

Exploring the Arts in Westwood: Things to Do Near UCLA

Welcome to Westwood, the bustling neighborhood adjacent to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Beyond its ties to academia, Westwood boasts a vibrant arts scene that offers a variety of cultural experiences for locals and visitors alike. Whether you're a prospective student, a proud Bruin, or simply looking for things to do in Westwood, here's your comprehensive guide to exploring the UCLA arts scene.

Royce Hall: Where Culture Meets Architectural Grandeur

Exterior shot of Royce Hall daytime

No trip to the UCLA campus would be complete without a visit to Royce Hall. This iconic venue has earned a reputation for both its cultural significance and architectural grandeur. With a diverse array of performances including music, dance, theater, and lectures, Royce Hall is the beating heart of UCLA's performing arts community. From captivating concerts to thought-provoking lectures, there's always something inspiring happening at Royce Hall.

Upcoming events at Royce Hall

The Nimoy: A Hub for Creative Innovation

Exterior of The Nimoy theater

Venture a short distance from the UCLA campus and discover The Nimoy, a newly renovated state-of-the-art performance space named after beloved actor and philanthropist Leonard Nimoy. Formerly known as the historic Crest Theatre, The Nimoy reopened its doors in September 2023 and has since served as UCLA’s hub for developing and presenting new and contemporary works. Come for the cabarets, spoken word and global music — stay for the beautifully preserved Art Deco-inspired design.

Upcoming Events at The Nimoy

Fowler Museum: Celebrating Global Cultures

Image of exterior of Fowler Museum

Step into the Fowler Museum at UCLA and embark on a journey around the world. The Fowler Museum's collections span Africa, Asia, the Pacific, the Americas and beyond. Through its thoughtfully-curated exhibitions and rich educational programs, the Fowler Museum offers visitors a deeper understanding of global traditions, customs and artistic expressions. Exhibitions rotate frequently, so there’s always something new to see. Admission to the museum is free, so stop in and enjoy an afternoon perusing ancient artifacts and contemporary artwork from around the globe.

Visit the Fowler Museum

Hammer Museum: Igniting Conversations Through Art

Image of Hammer Museum installation, featuring lobby of museum with mural of people in white sitting on a red painted line
Art by Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi, photo by Jeff McLane.

If you're going to visit UCLA, the Hammer Museum should definitely be on your list. UCLA’s Hammer Museum is a cultural powerhouse renowned for its thought-provoking exhibitions and free public programs. From contemporary art to historical collections, the Hammer Museum showcases a wide range of artistic voices and perspectives. In addition to its impressive gallery spaces, the museum hosts lectures, screenings and performances that foster meaningful dialogue and community engagement.

Visit the Hammer Museum

Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden: An Urban Botanical Oasis

Image of the Franklin D Murphy Sculpture Garden

Nestled within the lush landscape of UCLA's campus, the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden is a tranquil oasis that seamlessly blends art with nature. Stroll along winding pathways and encounter a captivating array of sculptures by artists like Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Auguste Rodin. Whether you're seeking inspiration or simply enjoying a leisurely walk, the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden provides a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. 

To explore the Franklin D. Murphy Gardens in greater depth, download the Bloomberg Connects app! This app features a self-guided audio tour of nine key works in the garden, researched and recorded by student educators at the Hammer Museum. Find the tour under the 'Collections' tab!

Visit Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden

Plan Your Next Visit

As you’re planning your next visit to Westwood and thinking about things to do near UCLA, consider including these cultural landmarks on your itinerary. From world-class performances to historic architecture and design, there's no shortage of artistic inspiration in this vibrant Los Angeles neighborhood. Come discover the magic of Westwood— your artistic adventure awaits!

Ready to plan your visit? Check out GO ARTS UCLA for an up-to-date listing of concerts, exhibitions, films, talks, performances and more at UCLA. To receive weekly updates, sign up here.