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Arts & Culture

Welcome to Austin, where you’ll find rainbow flags and friendly faces everywhere you go. Please enjoy all we have to offer and use this guide as a resource to pinpoint some of the best queer-friendly and gay-friendly galleries, museums, theaters, comedy clubs and more for LGBTQ visitors.

03 Tom Friedman Looking Up 2015 at The Contemporary Austin Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria Photo Credit Brian Fitzsimmons.
The Contemporary Austin Laguna Gloria. Credit Brian Fitzsimmons.

ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE RITZ
This Austin-born cinema hosts a number of LGBTQ-themed events like their drag series Brunch with the “Boys,” so check their calendar while you’re in town.

ART FOR THE PEOPLE GALLERY
This art space and local artisan market features sculptures, ceramics, jewelry, e-decor, cards, prints and fashion.

BOOKWOMAN
This feminist bookstore on North Lamar is LGBTQ-owned and has a wide selection of indie and womxn-authored books as well as gifts and clothing.

CANOPY
Forty-five artist studios, three galleries and a café are linked together with communal courtyards and covered breezeways to create this delightful creative community.

COLDTOWNE THEATER
Catch a hilarious, yet affordable show here Thursday through Monday and get a taste of the local improv and alternative comedy scene. Insider Tip: Go on the last Thursday of the month for QueerTowne, an hour-long showcase bringing together Austin’s diverse queer and trans comedy community.

THE CONTEMPORARY AUSTIN - LAGUNA GLORIA
Take in some culture al fresco with a trip to this contemporary art museum and outdoor sculpture garden offering exhibitions and permanent installations on a lush 14-acre site along Lake Austin.

performance of RENT on stage at ZACH Theatre in Austin Texas
Performance of "RENT." Courtesy of ZACH Theatre.

ELISABET NEY MUSEUM
This miniature castle was the former home and studio of sculptress Elisabet Ney and features many of her works.

EMMA S. BARRIENTOS MEXICAN AMERICAN CULTURAL CENTER
Established to preserve, create, present and promote the art of Mexican Americans and other Latino cultures, the center offers two galleries and two theaters.

I LUV VIDEO
Located next to ColdTowne, you’ll find the oldest and largest video store in the world, and self-proclaimed “safety zone for earthlings of all orientations.”

THE VORTEX
Visit this quirky indoor/outdoor complex on Manor Road to catch a local theater performance, enjoy a drink from the Butterfly Bar or dine on homemade pasta from Patrizi’s food truck. Insider Tip: This is also the weekly meeting place for the local Trans & Genderqueer Social club so you know it’s a good hangout.

WATERLOO RECORDS
Make a trip to this iconic record store where you can still listen to any album in the store before buying. Insider Tip: Check their website for free in-store performances.

ZACH THEATRE
The longest running theater company in Texas hosts shows in an intimate playhouse environment. Check their calendar while you’re in town.

For more Arts, Comedy, Film and Theater recommendations, explore the Austin Insider Blog.