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 March's 1st Thursday event. Check back regularly for the most up-to-date content. The next 1st Thursday event is APRIL 2, 2015.)



Keep the Evening Going with 1st Thursday: After Hours!
The Arlington Theatre hosts 1st Thursday: After Hours from 7:30-9:30 p.m.
1317 State Street, 805-963-4408

Keep the party going at Arlington Courtyard, hosting 1st Thursday: After Hours! Enjoy snacks from opal restaurant & bar along with a no-host bar. Musicians from two local bands come together to perform smooth R&B, jazz and reggae: Lorena, lead singer of R&B cover band Missbehavin, and Jason, keyboardist of Georgetown.

The Historic Theatre District is pleased to offer 1st Thursday: After Hours events, held at a different Historic Theatre District venue each month. You never know what fun awaits after hours.

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11 West Anapamu Street, 805-568-1400
As abstract and surrealistic as Julia Pinkham’s paintings often seem, her inspiration always comes from her daily experience and observations of nature. While much of her recent work dealt with discoveries at the beach, the new pieces in her “Flight Plan” exhibition are rooted in her interest in the endangered monarch butterflies and artistically reflect on their metamorphosis of life.


1103-A State Street, 805-966-1707
California Coastal: Two of Santa Barbara's best loved artists, Tom de Walt & Mehosh Dziadzio will be showcasing the splendor of coastal California in both photography and painting. Meet & greet with the artists along with a wine tasting to benefit the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara.


31 East Victoria Street, 805-452-4581
BIG SUR: Landscapes & Lore
For the past three years, Santa Barbara landscape painter Benjamin Brode has been sketching and painting the extraordinary beauty of the Big Sur wilderness.  Inspired by a tale of mystical beings retold by local author Thomas Steinbeck, Brode set out to paint the mystery of the woods.  The result of this creative collaboration became In Search of the Dark Watchers, “...the trippiest – and most beautiful – coffee-table book on the market this winter” (Sam McManis, Sacramento Bee, Jan. 2015). Come and see what it’s all about. Paintings inspired by the Dark Watcher project and the book will be featured at Ca’Dario Gallery through the end of March.


105 East Anapamu Street, 805-568-3990
UNDER THE INFLUENCE: Responses to Place
Co-Curators Kam Jacoby and Karen Gearhart-Jensen have gathered a stellar group of 7 artists: Kit Boise-Cossart, Kate Connell, Bill Dewey, Brett Leigh Dicks, Eric B. Johnson, David Passage, and Roe Anne White, whose photographs explore how a sense of place (specifically the Central Coast of California) influences and directs artistic exploration and production. The photograph exhibition demonstrates how our environment, including geology, geography, weather, the economy and culture, inspires art that, even while addressing larger issues, has particular regional relevance.


532 Santa Barbara Street, 805-453-9331
Design Art Studios will feature the contemporary landscape paintings of artist Stefanie Bales. Works on display will be from her recent collection entitled "Waking Life.”


1528 State Street, 805-962-6444
Sherry Spear presents her colorfully whimsical oil paintings of humorous figurative works, as well as more representational still-lifes. Balancing this out are the realistic watercolors of Mike Rider and his beautiful Santa Barbara scenes.


123 East Canon Perdido Street, 805-637-2230
Pastimes by Candlelight: Enjoy a rare opportunity to visit the Presidio by candlelight. Experience living history vignettes and see the Presidio as you might have over two centuries ago: hear the comandante converse with officials, watch the soldados relax after a long day's work, and enjoy the music and dances of Early California.


40 East Anapamu Street, 805-962-7635
The Oak Group Artists are featuring an exhibition called "Reserves of Strength.” Art inspired by land protected through the work of the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County will be on display and for sale. Forty five percent of the proceeds from the art sales will be generously donated to the Land Trust. Join us for an opening reception and mingle with artists, Land Trust staff and other art and land lovers. (5:30-7:30 pm)


1114 State Street #8, in La Arcada Court, 805-965-6611
Artist of the month, Iben G. Vestergaard, shows some of her recent drawings and paintings.  With an onset in Scandinavian aesthetics and culture, her work has a spontaneous and experimenting style, focused on telling open stories about the emotional side of modern life, awareness, choice, and possibilities. The featured artists are Wilbert Lick, Jessica Altstatt, Gray Blacks, Jennie Riker, Kristy Vantrease, and Patty Van Dyke. (Open 11am-5pm Monday - Saturday and 1 – 5pm on Sunday.)


21 West Anapamu Street, 805.962.5322
Limited Palette Abstracts is a concept presented to Abstract Art Collective members as a challenge to do more with less. The exhibition is the result of a group of diverse artists creating works limited to black, white and any one color. Limiting the palette creates a cohesiveness where cohesiveness would not normally be apparent or inherent. The AAC also has their continuing exhibit “abstraX@Karpeles,” juried by Jack Mohr, downstairs in the main gallery. Both shows close April 29. 


653 Paseo Nuevo Terrace, Upper Arts Terrace, 805-966-5373
Tastemakers & Bootyshakers: Join us for happy hour at the Museum! MCASB is offering $5 signature cocktails, FREE tours of the current exhibitions, art activities and a special DJ set.


1108 State Street, 805-962-8111
Russian artist Oleg Ardimasov works in a distinctly Russian style merged with 19th century European artistic influences. His oil paintings emphasize mood and emotional atmosphere over realistic representation. His brushstrokes are loose as he uses a palette of warm colors to infuse his canvases with intensified feelings. Come enjoy the works of Oleg Ardimasov alongside many other works of beautiful art and sculpture.


1114 State Street #24, in La Arcada Court, 805-884-1938
Students of "The Power of Words as Art" thru Center for Lifelong Learning at Santa Barbara City College will display their mixed media pieces.  They have been inspired by quotes, literature, politics, philosophy, and words from the heart. Wine poured by Grassini Family Vineyards.


136 East De La Guerra Street, 805-966-1601
Vintage Toys & Trains AND Under The Umbrella: Lutah Maria Riggs & Her Santa Barbara Style. Join us for music and wine in our lovely galleries as you explore Santa Barbara’s distinct style with our latest exhibition, dedicated to renowned architect Lutah Maria Riggs (collaboration with the Lutah Maria Riggs Society and Art, Design & Architecture Museum, UC Santa Barbara).  Plus, enjoy an enchanting model train display depicting Santa Barbara’s downtown depot (1940s) that will delight all ages. Always family-friendly.


1130 State Street, 805-963-4364
Pop-Up Opera: Botticelli to Bel Canto
Opera Santa Barbara continues its season with bel canto composer Gioachino Rossini's opera L'italiana in Algeri. SBMA's exhibition of 500 years of Italian art is the perfect opportunity to showcase music from the birthplace of opera. This recital features music from over three centuries of classical Italian repertoire. (Time:  5:30 pm Location:  Museum galleries – Free)

Family 1st Thursday: Visual Storytelling
Use colored pencils and metallic paint to reimagine the architecture, landscape, and figures in Sandro Botticelli’s The Annunciation.
(Time: 5:30–7:30 pm, Free)

Exhibitions on View:
Botticelli, Titian, and Beyond: Masterpieces of Italian Painting from Glasgow Museums
This beautiful and powerfully moving exhibition explores the evolution of Italian painting over five centuries, from late medieval works of the 14th century to Impressionist pictures of the 19th. Drawn from the Glasgow Museums’ outstanding Italian holdings, the show features works by some of the greatest masters of these periods, including Giovanni Bellini, Sandro Botticelli, Domenichino, Francesco Guardi, Salvator Rosa, Luca Signorelli, and Titian; many of the pictures have never before been exhibited outside of Scotland. The Santa Barbara Museum of Art represents this travelling exhibition’s exclusive West Coast venue.

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



7 & 11 East Anapamu Street, 805-730-1460
Sullivan Goss presents Ringers: A Selection of Vintage and Contemporary Masterworks.  Also on view Jean Swiggett: One Man Rennaisance, Anders Aldrin: Color Seeking Form, and Agoraphobia.


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


1013 State Street, 805-845-7375
The Movement of Jewelry: Sakamoto Design at ZFolio. The perfection of balance and movement define the designs of Eddie Sakamoto.  He refers to his style as minimal rather than artistic allowing negative space to play a leading role in his jewelry.  Platinum and gold take on strong sensual shapes as they curve, bend and arc gracefully.  We invite you experience his collection in person.



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).


900 State Street, Marshalls Patio, 5:00-7:30pm
David Courtenay and the Castawaves play soulful rock and reggae with an island/calypso groove. They are a "festival-crowd" band who love to jam and inspire their audiences to get on their feet and dance. They recently performed an after-party at the Lobero Theater held for Oscar Nominee Steve Carell as part of the Santa Barbara international Film Festival. They also headlined the Summer Solstice Festival at Alameda Park last June, as well as "Taste of UCSB" last May.


Paseo Nuevo Center Court, 6pm to 7:30pm
Nebula Dance Lab, founded and under the Artistic Direction of Devyn Duex, provides an incubator for creative art in motion - allowing the professional company of artists in modern and contemporary dance the opportunity to experiment, push boundaries, and create new language in dance through physical exploration. This year marks Nebula's fifth season includes the inaugural year of HHII Dance Festival, bringing 20 artists from around the country together over a 3-day performance event, featuring 30+ dance works (March 27-29, Center Stage Theater). Catch Nebula performing around town throughout the year showcasing sneak peeks of new works! 



23 East Canon Perdido Street, 805-965-6448
Fresh: Lively art, live music, and new words for spring. Artists explore big ideas and new mediums and methods to tend their creative fire in 2015.


1114 State Street #22, in La Arcada Court 
It's a TRUNK SHOW! From 2-6pm, lovely models will be showcasing our MODERN ROMANTIC clothing + accessories line. We will also be serving up wine + live jazz music from 6-8pm with Christy Martin on vocals + Brian Mann on keyboards + accordion. Don't miss ENCANTO - hands down, one of the best venues of 1st Thursday!


5 East Figueroa St, 805-585-5257
Join us as we debut the works of local artist Heidi Pasch. A decorated gymnast and dancer, Heidi parlayed these talents into the personal training field. Her intrigue for human motion is carried into her artwork, capturing moment in vibrant color on canvas.


740 State Street, 805-963-7258
In the spirit of movement - stop by for Divine Dance with live instruments in the large cave, 6:30pm to 7:30pm. Our class starts with isolations and a core-strengthening workout. Participants may follow a choreographed routine, or follow their own ecstatic movements. We will also have something tasty to nibble on sprinkled with a dash of our signature mineral-rich pink Himalayan salt.


38 West Victoria Street #120, 805-770-7702
Come get the first taste of Belcampo Meat Co.'s new flavor! They’ll be sampling a selection of their new dishes, paired with tastings by local wineries to be featured at Belcampo’s newly redesigned restaurant. VADA is a unique “school-within-a-school” that integrates college preparatory coursework with career-focused art and design instruction. This month we are featuring the 11th grade class and their creations.


1028 State Street, 800-350-9333
Join our Open House, presenting Adventures by Disney®.  Let Adventures by Disney® be your guides, your storytellers, your local experts and your masters of hassle-free guided group travel. They'll take you where you want to go. Bring you closer to the places you visit. See to every last detail. And make sure every moment of your vacation, for everyone in your family, is a moment you'll want to remember again and again. Find out how Adventures by Disney® is about immersing yourself in the cultures, stories and people of the world. (Adventures by Disney 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 as we support local artists. This month’s exhibition will feature Ceramic Artist Carol Scott. Carol has been exhibited as “one of the best that Southern California has to offer” at the American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA), Ceramic Biennial 2013. She works mostly with high fired porcelain. Her colors are ocean like with unique textures and designs. We look forward displaying her artwork for a trunk show and having you join us!


134 East Canon Perdido, 805-965-7922
 March is our anniversary month! Help us celebrate 37 years of the Soj with art by Ruth Peterson Shorer, live music by Rebecca Troon, wine tasting, great food and friends. Looking forward to seeing you here! 

2015 1st THURSDAY Schedule:

  • Thursday, April 2
  • Thursday, May 7
  • Thursday, June 4

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