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.

(Below is the information for the June's 1st Thursday event. Check back regularly for the most up-to-date content. The next 1st Thursday event is JULY 2, 2015.)



Keep the Evening Going with 1st Thursday: After Hours!
1st Thursday: After Hours lights up the Granada Theatre from 7:30-9:30 pm
1214 State Street, 805-899-2222

Three venerable performing arts organizations have teamed up to offer a unique night of excitement to round-out your 1st Thursday. Come celebrate the Granada Theatre’s screening of four different film series throughout the summer with a chance to win free tickets, a no-host bar, light fare, and complimentary wine tasting from Summerland Winery—all while socializing with friends.

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:
July 2nd - The Arlington Theatre
August 6th - The New Vic
September 3rd - The Lobero Theatre

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11 West Anapamu Street, 805-568-1400
“Secret Journeys” presents the latest paintings by Ana Marini who comes from Buenos Aires, Argentina, now living in Los Angeles. By applying a metaphorical language, Ana Marini creates works that can be seen explicitly as a personal search in life. They appear as dreamlike images in which fiction and reality meet, meanings shift, past and present fuse. Her romantic inclination towards the tragic, the sublime and the magical, aesthetic categories lingering between projection and perception, coherence and chaos is the reason that her works are described as “Magical Realism.”


1103-A State Street, 805-966-1707
Si Jie Loo is a Malaysian born artist working in Santa Barbara. She recently returned to Malaysia and traveled to China on a quest to “merge” her western art education with her Chinese traditional roots in Calligraphy and Ink Painting. With her unique ability to translate cultures visually, she hopes to put a contemporary spin of abstract expressions on Chinese ink painting. Please join us for a wine tasting to benefit the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara along with Santa Barbara roaster Caribbean Coffee serving their new Artisanal Craft Draft. Live music performance by Joy Wu playing the Yang Qin (Chinese dulcimer).


105 East Anapamu Street, 805-568-3990
UNDER THE INFLUENCE: Responses to Place and Special Poetry Event
At 6pm join us for a dynamic walk-thru Poetry Event, POETS UNDER THE INFLUENCE which will take place in the Peake Gallery. Organized by Poet Laureate Emeritus Chryss Yost, it features invited poets Ron Alexander, Diane August, Gudrun Bortman, Gabriella Klein, Enid Osborn, Michael Wilds, and Peg Quinn. Poets will be responding to the evocative photographs with original poems and will take us on a very special “poetic tour” of this beautiful exhibition.


735 Anacapa Street, De La Guerra Plaza (5-7pm)
6pm: Remarks by Mayor Helene Schneider
This exhibition celebrates the vision of the talented environmental artist and teacher and those he influenced. It features paintings by Ray Strong as well as artists that shared his vision and painted with, or were inspired by Ray Strong:  Meredith Brooks Abbott, Whitney Brooks Abbott, Marcia Burtt, Don Crocker, Bill Dewey, Michael Drury, Larry Iwerks, Ann Sanders, Ray Strong, and Thomas Van Stein. His teaching of plein air painting was visionary and inspired four decades of artists to return to the land again and again for inspiration, spiritual sustenance and environmental activism.


1333 State Street, 805-882-1058
Our beautiful city has so many unique and amazing spots it’s impossible to keep count. Along with the usual Mission and Courthouse subjects, Chris Potter will bring an eclectic mix of neighborhoods and landmarks for all those who love and cherish Santa Barbara.


1528 State Street, 805-962-6444
MAGICAL MOMENTS…WINDOWS OF SOUL: Working collaboratively, three local artists created the unusual perspective of interwoven dimensions using photo-collage with pastels to produce a tomp'l'oeil effect depicting scenes of Carpinteria and Santa Barbara. A “magical moment” in time, captured in the past by photo, was brought into the living energy of the present in pastels, creating a “world within a world.” Have a glass a wine, meet the artist and enjoy this new and fascinating concept in mixed-media!


40 East Anapamu Street, 805-962-7635
Some of the 590 members of the Santa Barbara Art Association (SBAA) were juried into a show on display in the main gallery.  Art by SBAA past presidents and current board members is presented in the West Wing.  In the East Wing is a display of Ray Strong's artwork that will hang for three months courtesy of the S.B. Public Library and SBAA.


1114 State Street #8, in La Arcada Court, 805-965-6611
Gallery 113 presents original art by members of the Santa Barbara Art Association. Patricia Franco is the Artist of the Month and her show is quite eclectic. Her work includes watercolors, oils, gauches, pastels, prints, photographs, and bronze sculptures from portraits to landscapes. The featured artists are Helena Hill, Susanne Meyer, Marie Arnold, Jessa Lamoureux, Beth Taylor and Michael Heefner. (Open 11am-5pm Monday-Saturday and 1pm–5pm on Sunday.)


27 East De la Guerra Street, 805 962-8347  
A collection of works by early California artists, featuring Ray Strong, Edward Borein, Jack Wilkinson Smith, John Wesley Cotton, Millard Sheets and others.


21 West Anapamu Street, 805.962.5322
Presenting the works of abstract painter Julie B. Montgomery.  Her exhibit, Veiled Terrain: A Modern Exploration of Landscape, is featured in our upstairs gallery May thru August. Montgomery’s art has been featured in major articles for Santa Barbara Magazine, Santa Barbara News-Press and KCET Artbound. Her works have also appeared in numerous TV Shows including “Mad Men,” “Glee” and “Scandal.” Come join us for a glass of wine and meet this extraordinary artist in person.


1108 State Street, 805-962-8111
The Art of Nature: South Sea Golden Pearls are Nature’s reward for conserving the ocean and islands of the Philippines. Find this rare species locally only at Oliver & Espig.


1114 State Street #24, in La Arcada Court, 805-884-1938
Amy Hazard learned Native American abalone adornment carving while raising and caring for baby peregrine falcons on a remote beach north of Jalama. Each piece of abalone is hand carved and polished by the artist based on its unique shape and characteristics. The captivating and striking colors and textures that naturally occur in the abalone are incorporated into Amy’s designs using a blend of sterling silver and other metals, pearls, antique glass beads, and faceted gemstones. Wine poured by Grassini Family Vineyards.


136 East De La Guerra Street, 805-966-1601
OPENING NIGHT! Ray Strong: Views of Santa Barbara County In a community-wide celebration, the Museum opens their exhibit exploring the work of artist Ray Strong. As a founding member of the Oak Group, Strong influenced an entire generation of wildlife and landscape painters in Santa Barbara County. Guest curator, Marlene R. Miller. Music, wine and always family friendly.


1130 State Street, 805-963-4364
Ray Strong: Beyond Santa Barbara: This intimate presentation of paintings and drawings by esteemed artist Ray Strong highlights distinct moments within the artist’s practice over the course of 45 years. Featuring landscapes and cityscapes produced outside of the Santa Barbara area, the selected works from the Museum’s holdings offer a view of Strong’s travels and his lifelong interest in depicting the environment around him. Ray Strong: Beyond Santa Barbara is organized in conjunction with The Ray Strong Project, an initiative of Sullivan Goss – An American Gallery.

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



220 West Canon Perdido Street, 805- 770-3878
Wander a couple of blocks off State Street to visit the SLINGSHOT Gallery. Our Good Ol' Summertime show is a fun and unique group exhibition created by our studio artists. Please find our gallery at our Canon Perdido Street location to enjoy some great art and a glass of Willson estate wine.


7 & 11 East Anapamu Street, 805-730-1460
Sullivan Goss celebrates the opening reception for an exhibition of work by the legendary Santa Barbara artist, Ray Strong. This exhibition is part of a city-wide celebration of the artist's life and work. Also on view: Meredith Brooks Abbott: Days That Count; and Ringers: Vintage and Contemporary Masterworks.


1114 State Street # 9, 805-962-8885
The Gallery is in 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 6pm.


1013 State Street, 805-845-7375
It’s Magick at ZFolio: Join us for a special preview of our upcoming trunk show with guest artist, Magick Fusager Design, and experience contemporary Cloisonné enamel at its finest.  And don’t miss meeting the artists, Jael and Falcher Fusager, who will be joining us in the gallery Friday, June 26th with their entire collection of award winning jewelry.



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).



Paseo Nuevo Entrance at De la Guerra
Enjoy live music, performances and talent acts while you enjoy beers and brats. Join Traffic Solutions for the grand finale bike month event, The CycleMAYnia Talent Show, a medley of unique bicycle-themed talent acts, including musical performances, rap, dance and an experimental music piece featuring over 100 bicyclists. Judges and the audience will select the top three winning acts. Live music by Zephan at 5:00 PM, the Talent Show at 6:00 PM, and the CycleMAYnia awards ceremony at 7:00 PM. Also enjoy a full service beer garden at the Hoffmann Brat Haus. The event is followed by the monthly Bike Moves costume ride, meeting at Vera Cruz Park at 7:30 PM. 


900 State Street, Marshalls Patio
Mezcal Martini is a local Latin jazz band that has been playing together for more than six years. Their musical consciousness has been shaped by the likes of Poncho Sanchez, Tito Puente, Willie Bobo and Mongo Santamaria, playing many of their tunes and arrangements.  Mezcal Martini also takes take a very non-traditional approach towards Jazz standards by infusing them with Latin rhythms. Their music is punctuated with infectious grooves and scintillating horn lines.



23 East Canon Perdido Street, 805-965-6448
The 15th Buddha Abides exhibition will provide a forum for Buddhist influenced work by local, contemporary artists to be shown, appreciated, and purchased by the community. In Buddhism, as a means of cultivating an open heart, the first paramita is generosity. In this spirit, a full 25% of sales will be donated to the Tibetan Children's Village in Dharamsala, India. Come early for an opening that includes the exquisite sacred music of 'BlesSing'. Refreshments served.


36 E. Victoria Street, 805-957-4200
LIVE JAZZ - THE JUSTIN CLAVERIA QUARTET: Enjoy an evening of live music featuring accomplished saxophonist Justin Claveria along with the immensely talented Kevin Fukagawa, Tom Etchart, and Cougar Estradas. In Situ - Works by MEAGAN STIRLING: We are delighted to exhibit the works of Meagan Stirling, exhibitor and Assistant Professor of Art at Westmont College. By combining printmaking, painting and photography, her work evokes an idealized way of life—yet one in which the over-exaggerated idea of safety becomes weakened by isolation, chance, and violence. Wine & hors d’oeuvres provided.


300 E. Canon Perdido Street, #C-2, 805-698-2120
Courtney Jane Miller Landscape Architecture is sponsoring a summer art series at their Canon Perdido design studio.  Santa Barbara favorite Cathy Ellis will be the first show of the summer. Known for her exceptionally competent compositions and dramatic color combinations, her development of subject matter reveals a thoughtful mind at work in the sloppy sticky edges of memory and mistake. The work lures viewers into it, leaving room for them to fill in the back-story and to build the associations of meaning around the elegant and yet clumpy figures and landscapes.  Like a loud ballad her work makes big noises about quiet subtle reflections. Ellis fills her canvases with a dynamic visceral pallet applied by a hand comfortable with rough edges and dangerously long swaths of electric color. Her subject matter is distinctly and stylishly reflective of her life and studio practice here in California. Refreshments will be on hand. (Photo: The Dark Threw Its Patches Down II, Cathy Ellis 2014, oil and spray paint on panel.)


1114 State Street #22, in La Arcada Court tyyard
ENCANTO, a women's boutique -- which specializes in unique clothing, jewelry, scarves, + shoes -- is one of the most beautiful shops in town AND has one of the most exciting venues in place each month for 1st Thursday! This month, come join us for an evening of bluegrass music with the SALT MARTIANS, local musicians who will definitely keep your toes a tappin'. Music is from 6 - 8pm, white wine to be served @ $5. Don't miss ENCANTO!


1323 State Street, 805-364-5141
Join Engel & Volkers, purveyors of fine real estate, as we celebrate Nepal and support relief efforts for earthquake survivors. Benefiting late SB actor Paul Walker's charity, Reach Out Worldwide (ROWW), we bring you "HeART OF NEPAL, featuring original art from Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and India. Enjoy the live music, Himalayan appetizers, and complimentary pourings. Supported by Grassini Family Vineyards, Namaste, EmmaRose Floral, Himalayan Kitchen, and our premiere sponsor, Chase Bank.


625 Chapala Street, 805-563-2802
Jodi House and the Artists for Trauma (AFT) celebrate the launch of their new partnership by facilitating an Adaptive Painting Workshop and Traumatic Brain Injury Art Show. Volunteer artists work with adult trauma survivors as part of a collective effort to facilitate empowering recovery experiences for survivors through the process of artistic engagement. Join us for an open house for the exhibition of art created by survivors, wine and hors d’oeuvres.


1014 State Street, 805-568-1616
Enjoy Good Ol’ Summertime at Mon Petit Bijou! We will have all of our newest fashion deliveries on display as we also feature 2 local artists!! Come see one of our favorite painters, Diana Valdez. Her art reflects deep layers of the ocean’s soul and that of our own.  She creates emotional motions through her texture with acrylic, mixed gels, and local beach sand and drift wood. We will also have the honor of hosting a young musicians group from our local non-profit Rock Shop Academy! We look forward to seeing you!



740 State Street, 805-963-7258
Come sip and celebrate the arrival of the Good Ol' Summertime at Salt! We’ve got a great selection of Salty products meant to keep you feeling and looking good during all the summertime fun. From Beachy Waves texturizing hair mist, Himalayan Salt-infused lip balms, a variety of sprays and scrubs, and a selection of Yoga classes, we’ve got you covered. 


38 West Victoria Street, 805-770-7702
Come join us for a splendid evening of art, wine, and small bites. While the amazing artwork of Meghan Hart will entertain your eyes, your pallet will stay busy with unique meats and cheeses from Counter Culture alongside bread and olive oil combinations from iL Fustino and Crazy good bread. To wash it all down one can imbibe on a sample from Stone Brewery in Wine+Beer or taste the exquisite wines being poured by Clendenen Family Vineyards in The Kitchen. Should make for a wonderful evening!


1028 State Street, 800-350-9333
Join Santa Barbara Travel’s Open House featuring African Travel, the longest established travel company in the United States focusing exclusively on Africa. African Travel recently launched their Safari Vacation Packages, an innovative collection of deluxe safaris that guarantee guests an unbeatable value. Additional safari experiences are available à la carte - craft your own African adventure around your own interests and desires. Now is the time to make your Africa Travel fantasy a reality! (African Travel Presentations: 6pm & 7pm)


27 E. Cota Street, Suite 500, 5th Floor, 805-963-1700
Service Objects is dedicated to improving the environment with real time data validation technology. Come for our Open House and enjoy wine and beer while we exhibit artwork by Heather Stern. Heather has been creating artwork throughout her life, having also studied it for her degree in college. She has been commissioned for numerous exclusive events, and has won several awards for her work in multiple mediums including; Drawing, Ceramics, and Jewelry Making. More of her work can be seen and purchased at heatherstern.com. We are excited to host Heather and have you join us!


134 East Canon Perdido, 805-965-7922
June is Summer Solstice month – join your friends at the Soj to celebrate the Good ol’ Summertime with fun solstice art, music with Deb Farris and friends and more. 


37 East Ortega, 805-883-1080
Still – Elevate Your Ethanol is a space dedicated to cocktail culture. Join us to take a peek into the history of Tiki punch and other classic summertime libations. We will be sampling a couple of fun cocktails as well as showcasing the work of a wonderful local artist.

2015 1st THURSDAY Schedule:

  • Thursday, May 7
  • Thursday, June 4
  • Thursday, July 2
  • Thursday, August 6

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