1st Thursday, Presented by The Bank of Santa Barbara

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:

ABOUT 1st THURSDAY, Presented by The Bank of Santa Barbara

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.

(Below is the information for the August's 1st Thursday event. Check back regularly for the most up-to-date content. The next 1st Thursday event is SEPTEMBER 3, 2015.)

We are please to welcome our first-ever Presenting Sponsor, The Bank of Santa Barbara!

The Bank of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara's community bank, is proud to be the Presenting Sponsor of 1st Thursday, a multi-cultural event that showcases so much of what this community has to offer. This event allows the community to come together and celebrate Santa Barbara.



Please note: There is NO After Hours in August!

You never know what fun awaits after hours. The Ensemble Theatre Company at the New Vic, The Arlington Theatre, The Granada Theatre and the Lobero Theatre bring you 1st Thursday: After Hours! Every month, you’ll discover there’s always something happening in The Historic Theatre District—you just have to know where to look.

1st Thursday: After Hours Schedule:
September 3rd - The Lobero Theatre

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Artamo Gallery
11 West Anapamu Street, 805-568-1400

Michael Quinlan is a New York-based artist, drawn to the little details of life. He is fascinated by how language — with its colloquialisms, idioms, and varied meanings — shapes our everyday existence. He believes language, French in particular, is in itself a work of art. Michael uses words, shapes, colors, and sounds seen, said, imagined, heard and overheard in real life, film, literature, art, music, memories, dreams, and popular culture to formulate his abstract expressions.

Bella Rosa Galleries
1103-A State Street, 805-966-1707

Gotta Itch: Valerie Freeman, Award winning Ojai Studio Artist
New Luster ceramic sculptures and a collection of mixed media paintings. Most noted for her ceramic clay expressionistic gestural sculptures of animals inspired from life experience, Freeman will display a variety of animals including her “Gotta Itch” equine series with her new Luster glaze. She has developed her own secretive Luster finish and combines her one-fire technique for unique results that contrast raw earthy elements with opulent luster glazes made from precious metals. Also on exhibit is a variety of mixed media paintings from Freeman’s exploration of being inspired by nature. Enjoy local wine tasting to benefit the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara‚Äč

Churchill Jewelers
1015 State Street, 805-962-5815

Meet Keith Grey Hale, a creative gypsy with an eclectic style that reflects his sensitivity to the energy of the stones and metals with which he works. Like an alchemist, Keith uses his skill, intuition and just a bit of magic to bring his wearable art into its own life. Each piece reflects and enhances a unique personal quality of the wearer and becomes a meaningful part of their own story.

Gallery 113
1114 State Street #8, in La Arcada Court, 805-965-6611

Presenting original art by members of the Santa Barbara Art Association.  Jerry Martin is the Artist of the Month with a show called Heaven, and Earth, and Home.  Martin is a plein air painter captivated by the natural beauty of Santa Barbara and his home away in Todos Santos, Mexico.  Some paintings in this show will reflect the variety and inequities in the spaces we call home.  The featured artists are Michael Heffner, Carrie Givens, Malcolm Tuffnell, Gail Lucas, Robert Stark, Felice Willat, and Virginia Butterfield. (Open 11am-5pm Monday-Saturday and 1pm–5pm on Sunday.)

Santa Barbara Arts
1114 State Street #24, in La Arcada Court, 805-884-1938

For Stephen Lewis, landscape photography has always been his preferred mode of artistic expression because it offers the opportunity to share travel, nature, and the world around him in a creative and visual way. A Santa Barbara resident since he was 3, Stephen first made photographs in elementary school with a waterproof 35mm point-and-shoot film camera.  As digital overtook analog, he became fascinated with the intersection of photography, post-processing, and digital effects which he puts to use in his “painterly” landscape style. 

Santa Barbara Museum of Art
1130 State Street, 805-963-4364

Family 1st Thursday: Abstract Prints
Experiment with different hatched, lined, and dotted patterns to create prints in silvery inks on dark paper.  (5:30 – 7:30 pm, Free)
Stick Performance by Emmett Chapman: The inventor of this acoustic, 10-stringed instrument takes the stage with two Stick prodigies
Exhibitions on View:
The Paintings of Moholy-Nagy: The Shape of Things to Come
This exhibition is the first to explore how the practice of painting served as the means for the artist to imagine generative relationships between art and technology. László Moholy-Nagy (1895–1946) is now recognized as one of the most influential members of the Bauhaus.
The Visionary Photomontages of Herbert Bayer: A selection of 12 photographs by Bauhaus artist Herbert Bayer. Influenced by the photographic works of László Moholy-Nagy and the modernist Bauhaus credo, Bayer’s work as a photographer reflects his mastery of graphic design.

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


SlingShot Alpha Art Forum
220 West Canon Perdido Street, 805- 770-3878

SlingShot Gallery hosts a wine and beer reception featuring the non-objective work of poet artist Kim McDaniel. Her paintings explore the subtle interplay between shapes and colors that extend beyond the borders purely for art’s sake. Our artist neighbors will open their studios so there is much to discover in the few blocks west of State Street. SlingShot puts you in the Fringe Zone and we are worthy of the detour!

Sullivan Goss: An American Gallery
7 & 11 East Anapamu Street, 805-730-1460

Sullivan Goss celebrates with the opening reception for its 8th solo exhibition of work by Robin Gowen. Gowen has been exhibiting nationally for 35 years, including 17 very successful years with Sullivan Goss. Also on view: CA COOL, and the Summer Salon.

Sundial Studio & Gallery
715 Kimball Street, 805-963-8332

This month we are featuring the work of Artist Kim Belknap. By layering rich colors and amorphous forms, Kim builds complex compositions that evoke movement. Her work is expressive and thought provoking. Meet Kim, as well as other resident artists of Sundial Studios. Unique artwork will be displayed by over 20 local artists with disabilities. (We are located at 715 Kimball Ave.)

Waterhouse Gallery
1114 State Street # 9, 805-962-8885

The Gallery is going on its 31st year and 24 years in La Arcada Courtyard. 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 5:45pm.

ZFolio Gallery
1013 State Street, 805-845-7375

ZFolio Presents the Collection of J. Kennedy Design: A simple cylinder of color, not traditionally set but constructed like a master craftsman’s dowel joint, inside the design of one of J. Kennedy’s Aperture settings is mesmerizing. Light plays within his Cylettes® cut gemstones in a nontraditional way. The gems have no facets and they are not cabochons or crystals; they are different. The design is clean, classic, sophisticated and yet simple. It is remarkably innovative but so organic that it looks like it should have always been this way. See the collection in person at ZFolio.


FLAMENCO Santa Barbara
Paseo Nuevo Center Court

Join the amazing and talented dancers of FLAMENCO! Santa Barbara, directed by Linda Vega. Get in the spirt of Old Spanish Days Fiesta with colors, whirling dancers and music by Jose Cortes, guitarist Gabriel Osuna and Gerardo Morales on percussion. Enjoy Fiesta dancers and live music throughout Fiesta Week in Center Court, starting at noon each day.


Paseo Nuevo Center Court, 5-7pm
Who are Mon-e-luv? Santa Barbara local musicians Mitch Karno, ukulele, keyboards, vocals, and Scott Topper, guitar and vocals. This dynamic duo play fun, lively, danceable originals and cover songs familiar to all such as "Margaritaville," "Brown Eyed Girl" and "Twist & Shout." Come on out and have some fun!

The Art Crawl
735 Anacapa Street

The Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative, in partnership with Downtown Santa Barbara, will lead a curated Art Crawl through 1st Thursday festivities. Each month a new guest curator leads a tour through the 1st Thursday festivities. 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).


Casa Magazine
23 East Canon Perdido Street, 805-965-6448

Celebrations, dancing, music, and romance deepen emotions for a serenade. Fiesta Serenade! is an exhibition, a colorful dance remembering Old Spanish Days in art, live music, tapas, cerveza, and a book signing by Pakis Plackis-Cheng for: Impact X.

Cebada Wine
1114 State Street #22, 805-722-4338

Cebada Wine welcomes local artist Isabella Morones and her vibrant digital artwork! We will be sipping on our award winning 2012 Pinot Noir by the glass as well as showcasing our special vertical tasting.

300 E. Canon Perdido Street, #C-2, 805-698-2120

Courtney Jane Miller Landscape Architecture presents the third and final show in their summer art series DROUGHT RESISTANT at their Canon Perdido design studio. Artist Jenalee Harmon will present a solo show opening August 6th from 5-8pm. Harmon creates entertaining, intelligent images and objects which feel fast even while standing still. Harmon's work occupies the uncanny arena in which image and object converge. The artist will be at the opening reception to discuss her work. Food and beverages will be on hand at the opening.

CorePower Yoga

1129 State Street, 805-884-9642
Join the CorePower Yoga community for a night of courtyard yoga, live music, and community mingling! Let your mind settle and body relax as you flow through a restorative vinyasa with Adam Peot playing classical Spanish guitar. Bring your mat or leave it at home – Lole will provide mats as needed. Allow the night to continue with an hour of connecting with new and old friends in CorePower Yoga’s courtyard following class. Class will be one hour and start promptly at 5:30pm followed by a community hangout in the courtyard! Spend a sweet summer night with yoga and the CorePower community! (Courtyard located behind Peet’s Coffee)

1114 State Street #22, in La Arcada Courtyard

COME JOIN US at one of the most fun venues of 1st Thursday! ENCANTO, all things beautiful, is a really wonderful Women's Boutique, serving up live Jazz standards from the Blue Moon Quartet from 6-8 PM. Wine available for purchase ($5).

Engel & Volkers Santa Barbara
1323 State Street, 805-364-5141

Viva La Fiesta! Join Engel & Völkers Santa Barbara Real Estate to experience Spanish, Mexican and North American culture come to life 1st Thursday downtown Santa Barbara.Celebrating the 91st Old Spanish Days Fiesta by appreciating all the influence from the architecture to the heritage in Santa Barbara. Enjoy hors d'oeuvres, music, art,  and a good Margarita. 


1115 State Street, 805-687-6401
California based artist RUSO creates art that is highly detailed in both scope and depth. PAINT & METAL is a collection inspired and comprised of pieces from all periods of RUSO’s life. Self-taught, he has worked in various mediums from painting, welding, custom car fabrication, murals, tattooing, and large scale black book art. Proceeds from tonight’s sales will benefit the East Side Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara Public Market
38 West Victoria Street, 805-770-7702

The fiesta festivities begin at the Santa Barbara Public Market. Zach Knight from Belcampo Meat Co. will team up with Jaime Dufek to show off some unique and beautiful creations. Delicious charcuterie and gourmet sandwich bites will be offered by the new, American-inspired Culture Counter (just opened on July 4th). Grassini family vineyards will pour various varietals and Pure Order Brewing Co. will feature their Viva Lager to accelerate the fiesta flow. The fun continues across the way at Wine+Beer where Firestone brewery sets up shop to wet your palate with some delicious samples. See you at the Market!

Sojourner Cafe
134 East Canon Perdido, 805-965-7922

The ever humorous and enlightening Randall Lamb will be our August singer/songwriter, if you haven’t seen him at Soho, now’s your chance for a more intimate experience. Our July artist, Vandana Khare, was so popular, we’re keeping her work on our walls for another 1st Thursday! Join us for fun, music, art and wine tasting.


2015 1st THURSDAY Schedule:

  • Thursday, September 3
  • Thursday, October 1
  • Thursday, November 5
  • Thursday, December 3

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1st Thursday Presenting Sponsor:

1st Thursday Sponsors: