1st Thursday

1st Thursday is an award winning program highlighting downtown arts, culture and entertainment on the first Thursday of every month. All 1st Thursday attractions are free from 5-8pm.

Click on one of the links below for more information:


1st Thursday is an evening of art and culture in downtown Santa Barbara. On the first Thursday of each month, participating galleries and art-related venues offer free access to visual and performing art in a fun and social environment from 5-8pm. 1st Thursday venues feature attractions such as art openings, live music, artists' receptions, lectures, wine tastings and hands-on activities. Many Downtown partners partake in this event including non-conventional galleries, retailers and restaurants. In addition, State Street comes alive on 1st Thursday with performances and interactive exhibits. Look for previews of forthcoming plays, symphony performances, concerts and dance productions, as well as local up-and-coming performers. Downtown Santa Barbara also partners with Santa Barbara cultural groups for one-time 1st Thursday attractions.

1st Thursday is for locals and visitors alike. It provides an opportunity for residents to indulge in local culture, mingle with neighbors and participate in the arts community. The program also offers visitors the chance to experience, in one evening, the diversity of Downtown Santa Barbara’s visual and performing arts scene. is aimed at developing a lively atmosphere downtown as well as showcasing the cultural variety that Santa Barbara has to offer.

The 1st Thursday Passport is a printed guide and map to all of the 1st Thursday attractions and are available at participating galleries and venues, MTD shuttles, The Visitors’ Center and hotel concierge desks. OR you can download a printable version above.

(Below is the information for the October's 1st Thursday event. Check back regularly for the most up-to-date content. The next 1st Thursday event is November 6th.)


Keep the Evening Going with 1st Thursday: After Hours!
The Arlington Theatre hosts 1st Thursday: After Hours from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

1st Thursday: After Hours in the Historic Theatre district has two more great evenings in store: November 6th onstage at the New Vic and December 4th at the Granada Theatre. You never know what fun awaits after hours.

Back to the top



City Hall, 735 Anacapa Street, Entrance on De La Guerra Plaza
The Mayor is please to present a selection of paintings from the Southern California Artists Painting for the Environment (S.C.A.P.E.), a nonprofit organization raising funds for local environmental groups. See beautiful paintings of our local landscapes and meet Mayor Helene Schneider and the talented artists. (Open 5-6pm)


11 West Anapamu Street, 805-568-1400
This October you will see red at ARTAMO GALLERY. After last year’s success with Jack N. Mohr’s “The Blue Wall,” we follow up with his installation of “The Red Room.” Shown are about 20 red paintings created during the last ten years, including many works from his early “Networks” and “Stringworks” series.


1103 A State Street, 805-966-1707
The surf art of Robert Heeley. Share the stoke as we celebrate the iconic images of our favorite surf breaks by the late artist. Featured original works and prints will be for sale as well as art model surfboards. Imbibe in wine tasting of our private label Cabernet Sauvignon to benefit the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara.


15 East de la Guerra Street, 805-965-0093
Orpha Klinker and Bill Dewey: Landmarks of California
The Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation has partnered with Sullivan Goss Gallery and William B. Dewey to present “Orpha Klinker and Bill Dewey: Landmarks of California.”  Orpha Mae Klinker painted nineteenth-century structures in her “Landmarks of California” series (1929 – 1939) to support the nascent California Historic Landmark Registration program. In 2008, Photographer William Dewey captured images of the same sites, bringing Klinker’s project forward.


105 East Anapamu Street, 805-568-3990
Impoverished Vision: Abstraction to the Rescue
At 6pm, join John Hood, Curator, Artist and Professor of Art, Allan Hancock College, for an informal walk-thru tour of Abstraction to the Rescue featuring the work of: Adrienne Allebe, Larry Dilenger, Cass Ensberg, Peggy Ferris, Felicia Kincaid, Philip Koplin, Hugh Margerum, Carey Reimer, Natalie Romero, Juan Manuel Perez Salazar, Rick Stich, and Ariana Sariañana, and Marlene Struss.  He will be joined by many of the exhibition artists from Santa Barbara’s North and South Counties.  In their work, each artist has chosen their own individual visual language of color, form and line to move away from realism and explore the concept of distortion and simplification to help communicate their ideas. 1st floor of the County Administration Building.


1528 State Street, 805-962-6444
SANTA BARBARA TO THE SOUTHWEST: Samuel Smith, A Solo Exhibition
Presenting a solo exhibition of the paintings of Samuel Smith, featuring beautiful scenes of Santa Barbara and the Southwest. Enjoy a glass of wine and the amazing works of this talented young artist.


1333 State Street, 805-882-1058
Take a cruise down the California Coast - Plein air paintings from Humboldt to San Diego by Chris Potter.


1114 State Street #8, in La Arcada Court, 805-965-6611
This is a special juried show that was open to all local artists with cash prizes.  Come and see what is happening in the Santa Barbara art community.  Open 11 - 5 Monday - Saturday and 1 - 5 on Sunday.


27 East Coat Street, 805-690-4913  
UN/SEEN: In spite of the proliferation of information provided by technology, modern society remains stubbornly unaware of significant issues. The topics investigated in the Brooks Institute 2014 MFA Graduate Exhibition, Un/Seen, range from personal to geo-political.  In both traditional and non-traditional photographic media, the artists challenge viewers’ diffusion of responsibility when confronted with the negative impacts of changes in the environment, ethics of science, social isolation, and gender politics. Their art offers not condemnation, rather contemplation in the revealing of the Un/Seen issues before us all.


27 East De la Guerra Street, 805 962-8347  
Featuring works from the estate of Channing Peake, etchings and drawings by early Santa Barbara artist Edward Borein, and fine examples by early California impressionist painters.


1108 State Street, 805-962-8111
Introducing the intriguing, multi-dimensional work of mixed media artist, Tielle Monette. Ms. Monette’s artistry in combining a number of intriguing elements is evident in her exciting abstract expressionist painting entitled, “Emergence.” Meet the artist whose deep experiences and personal emotions inspired the creation of this remarkable work.  Also on exhibit are bronze works by sculptors Sue DiCicco, Carol Alleman, and Susan Spano, along with renowned oil paintings by Thomas Van Stein and Sergey Fedotov.


1114 State Street #24, in La Arcada Court, 805-884-1938
Andrew Ward is a sculptor with an Art degree from University of California, Santa Cruz living in Bonny Doon, CA in the Santa Cruz Mountains. He has surfed, sailed and fished on the California coast most of his life. His art is based on these experiences and is oceanic/nautical in nature. To help protect the dwindling fisheries in our state, he has given up sport fishing, and now makes art that draws from time on the water. It is his hope to convince other people to love fish as much as he does by creating art about the sea that is lifelike and beautiful.  Wine poured by Grassini Family Vineyards.


136 East De La Guerra Street, 805-966-1601
Art & History! Join us for a chance to visit the Museum after-hours as you peruse the beautiful galleries with wine while listening to Spanish guitarist Tony Ybarra from 5:30-7:30 pm. View Project Fiesta: Building A Complete History of Old Spanish Days. Yoga! As part of the Health and Wellness Yoga Series, local instructor Alexa Fizulich will teach a 60-minute vinyasa flow class in the exquisite adobe courtyard at 6:00 pm. Open for all levels.


1130 State Street, 805-963-4364

Family 1st Thursday:  Bring the whole family to enjoy 1st Thursday together in SBMA’s Family Resource Center, located across from the Museum Café on the Lower Level.
Watercolor Still Life: Paint in watercolor directly from flower arrangements, inspired by the five floral paintings on view in Degas to Chagall: Important Loans from The Armand Hammer Foundation. Time:  5:30 – 7:30 pm, Free

Contemporary/Modern: Selections from the Permanent Collection: This exhibition brings together a selection of painting and sculpture from the Museum’s permanent collection dating from 1958 to 2014. Recent works inventively reference and reinterpret the past—including both popular and obscure forms of painting, architecture, and design. Earlier works, each part of significant movements in abstract painting, articulate reductive forms suggesting a distinctively utopian view of the future. By sampling and mixing substantial works of the present with the past, this installation aims to provide a glimpse into an ongoing and dynamic dialogue between the two. Featuring eleven works by eight artists of national and international renown: Helen Frankenthaler, Guy Goodwin, Frederick Hammersley, Josiah McElheny, John McLaughlin, Jorge Pardo, Larry Poons, and Lucas Samaras.

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is open every Thursday 5 – 8pm for free as part of Chase Free Thursday Evenings.


7 & 11 East Anapamu Street, 805-730-1460
DAN LUTZ: Sullivan Goss presents an exhibition from the Estate of one of California’s most distinctive painters of the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s. LEON DABO: Also presenting an exhibition of drawings, pastels, and paintings by one of the leading American Artists of the early 20th century.


1114 State Street # 9, 805-962-8885
The Gallery is going on its 30th year and 23 years in La Arcada. It features artwork from some of today’s finest nationally-known painters. Southwest Art Magazine recognized Diane & Ralph Waterhouse among “10 Prominent People’ in the Fine Art Business. Ralph Waterhouse will give a painting demonstration at 6pm.


1013 State Street, 805-845-7375
Meet Falcher Fusager, award winning enamellist. Deep in the human structure are crystal patterns, archetype forms and radiant colors. We are drawn to these because that is what we are. Originally from Denmark, Falcher Fusager left a promising career at Denmark’s largest advertisement agency to follow his passion for art. After years of evolving his craft he has won extensive awards for his enamel work including multiple Niche and Saul Bell awards. He was given a solo exhibit at the prestigious Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian and exhibited at Takashimaya in Tokyo, Japan. Falcher’s love of color and aptitude for the impact of abstract design are found throughout his collections, enamel jewelry that lifts the spirit and stirs the soul.



735 Anacapa Street
The Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative, in partnership with Downtown Santa Barbara, will lead a curated Art Crawl through the 1st Thursday festivities.  This month's guest curator is assemblage artist Patricia Houghton Clark. The Art Crawl starts at 5:30 in de la Guerra Plaza on the back steps of City Hall (735 Anacapa Street, then head around to the back).


900 State Street, Marshall's Patio
John Lyle is a local guitarist, vocalist, composer and music instructor. He performs regularly at many venues in Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Valley. He is a guitar teacher at Jensens Music and is the co-creator of the guitar lesson website www.acousticguitarjams.com.


Paseo Nuevo Entrance at De la Guerra
Artists will create the first piano of the 2014 POS Season. Look for the unique, colorful -and playable - pianos from October 10-21, in various downtown locations, and remember to BYOM (bring your own music)!


Corner of State and Anapamu Streets
The Visual Arts & Design Academy at Santa Barbara High School presents a selection of artwork from 10th, 11th & 12th grade academy students. The artwork will be publicly displayed at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art's SBMA corner, at State Street and Anapamu. Come see what our future creatives are making!



1230 State Street,
Introducing Brazilian culture to Santa Barbara with an Eat-Drink-Move vibe. Eat and Drink in the restaurant, which features traditional Brazilian menu items, most of which are organic and healthy, while still indulging in some of the country’s most delectable offerings and popular street food.  Move inside our studio where you can learn Capoeira (Brazilian martial arts) or take exciting Samba classes, learn Afro Brazilian dance, sweat it out in intense boot camp, or learn Brazilian Portuguese.  This 1st Thursday, experience an authentic Capoeira experience and admire art from local artists.  As you step inside Brasil Arts Café, feel the beat of Brazil and get immersed in our culture!  Junte-se a nós – Come join us!


23 East Canon Perdido Street, 805-965-6448
Eleven is a big number this year for the award-winning artists of the Santa Barbara Mesa as they offer a wide-ranging October preview of their upcoming studios open house. The eleven artists of the Mesa Artists Studio Tour (Nov. 1-2) are marking their 11th annual smorgasbord of art event by showcasing an "appetizer" array of their newest works. Artists’ mediums range from wood block prints and sculpture to traditional oils, pastels, acrylics, and watercolor – pure abstract to contemporary, impressionist, and traditional realism. Sample the works of Morgan Green, Karin Aggeler, Ellen Yeomans, Margaret Nadeau, Erin Williams, Cree Mann, Liz Downey, Bill Hull, Sarah Woodburn, Brad Nack, and Nancy Hull. Also, meet author and Olympic Gold medalist Jeff Farrell, who will be signing his book, "My Olympic Story." Live music, refreshments.


1114 State Street #22, in La Arcada Court 
Come see our new fall shipments of women's clothing, jewelry + accessories featuring CAMPOMAGGI leather goods. LIVE JAZZ MUSIC with Debbie Denke on the keyboards + Kim Collins on bass from 6 - 8 PM. Wine will be available. Cheers!


740 State Street #1, 805-845-5780
Industry Home is excited to present the beautiful work of Samantha Hochauser. A Santa Barbara native, Samantha has been a long-time friend and supporter of Industry Home. Her acrylic on canvas “Sea & Sky” pieces showcase the contrast we see on the horizon where the sea meets the sky. The custom reclaimed wood frames from Industry Home add to the uniqueness of each painting. Her work has been featured in the store since the beginning, and has been a hit with locals and travelers from all over. Now based in LA, her pieces are featured in in galleries up and down the coast.


740 State Street, 805-963-7258
Sangria & Tasty bites on salt slabs. Take the stairs down below State Street to try a “Saltsational” treat!


38 West Victoria Street #120, 805-770-7702
Ever wondered how to put together the perfect cheese platter?  Join The Culture Counter at the Santa Barbara Public Market for an informative demonstration on "Cheese Plate 101" – simple tips on how to put together a cheese platter that will be sure to impress your guests at your next party or gathering!  We will also touch on wine pairing and how to enhance your cheese course, making sure your guests' taste buds leave festive and happy...Just in time for the holidays!  Cheers!


1028 State Street, 800-350-9333
Join Santa Barbara Travel’s Open House presenting Avalon Waterways.  Whether you'd like a romantic mini-break, an in-depth 24-day exploration, or something in between, with Avalon, you get to choose the cruise that reveals the very best of Europe, Southeast Asia, China, the Galápagos Islands, or the Peruvian Amazon. (Avalon Waterways Presentations: 6pm & 7pm.)


791 Chapala Street, 805-962-8500

Rock Photographer Amber Paresa presents Scenes from Down Stage Center - A collection of live concert images. We will have live music and Palmina Wines will be offering a tasting. Happy Hour will be extended until 8pm.


134 East Canon Perdido, 805-965-7922
What’s going on at the Soj? Join us for another fun night of music with Debra Farris and Friends (always more than we can list), where their back drop will be the photography of Craig Jougan-Roche, and you can check out some of our favorite wines or Soju cocktails.


15 East Anapamu Street, 805-962-3321
Boxtales Theatre Co. celebrates its 20th anniversary. Company member Matt Tavianini will be reading from stories and entertaining audiences with performance at a quarter-to and a quarter-past the hour. The company’s work is designed for multi-generational audiences. Discounted early bird tickets will be available for the Boxtales Theatre Festival, set for the Lobero Theatre, November 13–16.

2014 1st THURSDAY Schedule:

  • Thursday, November 6
  • Thursday, December 4
  • Please note: there will be NO 1st Thursday in January, 2015, due to the holiday

Back to the top