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 May's 1st Thursday event. Check back regularly for the most up-to-date content. The next 1st Thursday event is JUNE 4, 2015.)



Keep the Evening Going with 1st Thursday: After Hours!
1st Thursday: After Hours lights up the Lobero Theatre Esplanade from 7:30-9:30 p.m.
33 E. Canon Perdido Street, 805-963-0761

It’s been a big year for Sondheim fans. Into the Woods got the Hollywood treatment this holiday season, and now, Santa Barbara Youth Ensemble Theatre is poised to infuse this beloved myriad of fairy tales-gone-wrong with the extraordinary talent and spirit of their actors. Come for the music and magic, stay for light snacks from local restaurant partners and a no-host bar.

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:
June 4th - The Granada Theatre
July 2nd - The Arlington Theatre
August 6th - The New Vic
September 3rd - The Lobero Theatre

Back to the top



City Hall, 735 Anacapa St, Entrance on De La Guerra Plaza, Second floor
Mayor Helene Schneider, with support from the Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative, presents the latest in a series of rotating exhibitions of artwork by regional artists. (The Mayor's office will only be open from 5–6pm on 1st Thursday for public viewing.)


11 West Anapamu Street, 805-568-1400
This year in April and May ARTAMO GALLERY presents its spring exhibition with newly arrived and recent works by its gallery artists. We especially feature works which are lighter in color and movement and beautifully catch the spirit of spring. To broaden this attractive show we welcome our special guest artist Clay White with his large abstract gesture paintings in a first exhibition of his works in Santa Barbara.


1103-A State Street, 805-966-1707
HOUSES ON BATH: Envisioned while on his daily bicycle rides, local artist Andre Monlleo has created a series of architectural paintings using coffee, sharpies and analogous acrylic colors. The images of these familiar houses and businesses will pique your memory of neighborhood locales. 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 Coffee.


31 East Victoria Street, 805-452-4581
Landscapes and Wildlife: John Baran is a Santa Barbara artist inspired by landscapes. His fine art paintings are abstracted from aerial photographs of landscapes around the world. Recently, his fondness for the wildlife that inhabits these landscapes has resulted in the creation of stunning multimedia images of wildlife ranging from African elephants to the Hawaiian Day Octopus. His animal art will be featured in a three month exhibit this summer at the Santa Barbara Zoo. His animal prints can also be seen on the set of the TV show 'Hawaii Five-O'.


105 East Anapamu Street, 805-568-3990
UNDER THE INFLUENCE: Responses to Place and Special MAD ART POP-UP Event
In addition to our current Under the Influence exhibition, at 6pm we feature an exciting MAD ART POP-UP Event, organized by Artist Lucia Grossberger Morales, Art Saves Lives: Mental Illness and Art will take place in the gallery tonight during May which is designated as Mental Health Month. Stacy McCrory, the Clinical Director of the Mental Wellness Center will moderate a panel including Dr. Susan Guy, Psychiatrist, J.T. Turner, Psychologist and Executive Director of Phoenix House, joined by other artists. In addition, will be the debut of Mania, a short 3D video by artist Lucia Grossberger Morales and an opportunity for the audience to view it with 3D glasses. The Peake Gallery will also include a display of artwork by artists. Join us for this exciting and fascinating program as we shed light on the correlation between mental illness and creativity and the therapeutic relationship between both.


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.”


1333 State Street, 805-882-1058
Our beautiful city has so many unique and amazing spots its 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.


40 East Anapamu Street, 805-962-7635
Surface & Structure: an Abstract Art Collective and Santa Barbara Sculptors Guild joint exhibition juried by Colin Fraser Gray featuring stone, metal, and clay sculpture along with assemblage, paintings, printmaking, and photography. Pairing the paintings and sculptures of these two local art groups creates an opportunity for the artists to meet and discover each other’s work, while providing a diverse exhibition for the community. 


1114 State Street #8, in La Arcada Court, 805-965-6611
Artist of the month, Beth Schmohr is exhibiting abstract pieces that represent the energy and color of life. The featured artists are Dahlia Riley, Rick Doehring, Iben Vestergaard, Nora Duncan, and Christine Beirne. (Open 11 - 5 Monday - Saturday and 1 - 5 on Sunday.)


653 Paseo Nuevo Terrace, Upper Arts Terrace, 805-966-5373
Join us for happy hour at the Museum! MCA Santa Barbara will offer $5 signature cocktails created by Outpost at the Goodland's resident mixologist Chris Burmeister. Enjoy FREE tours of the current exhibition, art activities and a special DJ set.


1108 State Street, 805-962-8111
We are proud to feature two Russian artists with two distinct painting styles. Oleg Ardimasov’s oil paintings emphasize mood and emotional atmosphere over realistic representation. Abstract expressionist artist Sergey Fedotov is known for his thickly applied oil paints that create a sculpted, energetic surface dancing with life. Come enjoy their distinct painting styles alongside many other works of beautiful art and sculpture.


1114 State Street #24, in La Arcada Court, 805-884-1938
Meet author Betsy Green, signing and discussing her new book, Way Back When: Santa Barbara in 1914. Betsy tells it like it was, along with a healthy dollop of humor. A columnist on the local website Edhat.com, Betsy’s columns are drawn from articles in the Santa Barbara newspapers of 1914. Wine poured by Grassini Family Vineyards.


136 East De La Guerra Street, 805-966-1601
The Museum invites you to celebrate the opening of their latest exhibition, Quake! The 1925 Santa Barbara Earthquake, with wine and entertainment. Boom! At dawn on June 29, 1925, our city shook with a 6.3 earthquake leaving much of downtown destroyed or heavily damaged.  The twin towers of Mission Santa Barbara collapsed, and eighty-five percent of the commercial buildings downtown were destroyed or badly damaged.  Out of the rubble would come a new Santa Barbara with the headline, "Spanish Architecture to Rise from Ruins.”  Always Family friendly: At 6pm, the American Red Cross will host an onsite puppet show to teach children disaster readiness.


1130 State Street, 805-963-4364
Family 1st Thursday: Painting Prints
Paint a snowy town scene in gouache and watercolor on Indigo paper inspired by the color woodblock print Evening Snow in Terajima Village by Kawase Hasui. (5:30 – 7:30 pm, Free)

Stick Performance by Emmett Chapman
In 1969, the Stick was created to embody the advantages of an electric guitar, while exploring the range of two-handed playing. This is a special opportunity to hear canonical pieces by Impressionist composers, such as Claude Debussy and Maruice Ravel, as interpreted by the Stick’s inventor, Emmett Chapman, in conversation with important paintings from the ongoing exhibition Degas to Chagall: Important Loans from The Armand Hammer Foundation. (5:30-6:30pm)

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 celebrates the opening reception for Declarations of Independence, and exhibition highlighting the work of great Women Modernists. Also on view: Meredith Brooks Abbott: Days That Count; and Ringers: Vintage and Contemporary Masterworks.


Granada Theatre departure, 1214 State Street
Featuring the works of Kyle Allan for the month of May. His pen and ink drawings of whimsical vehicles are intricate and show off his great sense of humor. His handmade tile work is exquisite and depicts local architectural icons. Meet the artist and enjoy a glass of wine and other refreshments. The gallery also presents works from all the Sundial Artists:  paintings, sculptural works and ceramics. Live music by Hector Hurtado. (Free Shuttle Service to and from Sundial will be in front of the Granada Theatre and is accessible.)


15 E. Carrillo, 805-963-8862
Please join Union Bank and Arts for Humanity! (AH!): this playful, whimsical work Inside the Outside captures the spirit of a group of artists with disabilities. Come view the sensitive and innovative artwork of these gifted individuals as we appreciate them as part of our arts community. Presented by the Arts for Humanity! traveling outsider art exhibit, enjoy wine and live music as you delight in art that is uncensored and right from the heart.


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 5:45pm.


1013 State Street, 805-845-7375
ZFolio is proud to feature local Santa Barbara jewelry artist Christine Hartsock of CEH Creations.  After 32 years in the world of finance Christine decided to take her hobby and create a business.  She is now a successful jewelry designer with multiple lines and customers around the world. Christine features Japanese glass beads in her designs incorporating old and new bead-weaving techniques. Each bracelet is hand crafted with care in her Santa Barbara studio.



Paseo Nuevo Center Court
Alba Vargas and Joey Osuna have worked together for six years. Alba Vargas is a San Marcos High School graduate and has worked on a variety of local musical productions, including: “Legally Blonde,” “Hairspray” and “Rent.” Joey Osuna is a Dos Pueblos High School graduate with a taste for blues, funk and soul. He recently played guitar with Jon Foreman, one of Joey’s personal heroes. When Alba and Joey play together you get beautiful sounds of blues, R&B, funk and contemporary music.


900 State Street, Marshalls Patio, 5:00-8:00pm
Ever wonder what your heartbeat sounds like? Stop by Marshalls Patio to hear the pulsations of your heart through the Heartbeat Drum. MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation, brings this cool interactive exhibit downtown for everyone to try. Currently under construction at 125 State Street, MOXI will be a 21st century museum based on the best practices of children’s museums and science centers around the globe. With 17,000 square feet of exhibits focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, MOXI will truly be a Playground For Your Brain!


Starting at the Corner of State & Anapamu Street, 805-225-6078
The Dance Network is a local dance studio whose goal is to unite the community and bring the joy of dance and movement to students of all ages! We offer classes in jazz, tap, hip-hop, ballet, and more. Our performers range from ages 4 to almost 80, with multiple generations dancing alongside each other to motivate, inspire and bring happiness to themselves and others. Catch tonight’s flash mob performances somewhere and post your photos on Instagram with #DowntownSB.



23 East Canon Perdido Street, 805-965-6448
Edges...Artists will explore walls, boundaries, barriers, borderlands, and the dynamic of our edges. Co-Curated by Rafael Perea de la Cabada, SBCC Art Professor & Art Director The National Museum of Animals & Society and Carolyn Merino Mullin, Founder & Exec. Director NMA&S. Meet the authors of Up Against the Wall: Re-Imagining the U.S./Mexico Border  –  Mary Watkins, Professor, Community, Liberation & Eco-psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute and Edward Casey, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, State University of NY at Stony Brook. Refreshments, live music.


1015 State Street, 805-962-5815
We are proud to introduce the work of Irina Kovalik. Born in the Ukraine, Irina has been living and painting in Santa Barbara for the last 10 years. Influenced by the French and Russian Impressionists, the natural beauty of Santa Barbara inspires her use of shapes and bright colors. Please join us and meet Irina.


1114 State Street #22, in La Arcada Court tyyard
Join us for a BOOK SIGNING: Come meet author, Robin F. Gainey! We will be celebrating her new book, JACK OF HEARTS. Also we will be having an informal trunk show, featuring our house line MODERN ROMANTIC: clothing + jewelry from India + Fortuny espadrilles from Spain! + DON'T MISS THIS VERY FUN EVENT: THE IDIOMATIQUES are back! + will be playing their gypsy jazz musique from 6pm-8pm. Local wine will be served ($5/glass). See you @ ENCANTO, one of the most popular venues for 1st THURSDAY!


1323 State Street, 805-364-5141
Engel & Völkers knows the importance of loving where you live. After all, we help people find their dream homes and locations. Part of loving where you live is living well and living healthy. We are proud to join with local company, BōKU Superfood, to bring you a taste of Peru! You may know them as the Superfood “green powder” featured in Backyard Bowls, but they don’t stop there. The founders of BōKU have traveled to the ends of the earth to find the most pristine ingredients for their products, many from the beautiful and exotic land of Peru. Come join us as we taste our way through the superfood of Peru and gaze upon the beautiful real estate the country has to offer brought to you by Engel & Völkers Santa Barbara.


1116 De La Vina Street, 805-884-0095
This vibrant senior community center is excited to be holding its 2nd annual Art for the Ages celebration!  The event will showcase the creative spirit and original art from a diverse group    of residents, family members, local students and agency partners. Works will include drawings, paintings, photography, sculpture and lifetime accomplishment displays. There will be live jazz, wines from local vintners, a selection of cheeses as well as other refreshments such as fresh lemonade and homemade cookies. Come and enjoy a great evening of art, music, and friends! (Parking available on De La Vina between Victoria and Anapamu Streets from 6-8pm)


1323 State Street, 805-962-6909
Five Artists: Five local artists of Mono Types, Etchings, Watercolor and Assemblage will be featured at Indigo Gallery; Tony Askew, Rosemarie Gebhart, Marilee Krause, Rod Lathim and Dug Uyesaka. Meet the artists and learn how their personal methods and creative perspectives become unique pieces art. (Image: Rosemarie Gebhart)


524 Chapala Street, 805-957-1115
The Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara is proud to present The Israeli Artisan Fair, featuring unique textiles, jewelry, vintage Judaica, sketches and more with the artisans themselves visiting from Israel.


38 West Victoria Street, 805-770-7702
Please join us! Santa Monica Seafood will provide delectable samples of their jumbo Mexican white shrimp cocktail and their exquisite Ahi Tuna Tartar topped with a balsamic reduction. Tolosa Winery and Telegraph Brewery will be pouring their “No Oak” Chard and White Ale to accent the vibrant creations of local artist Barbra Mousouris. If this doesn’t quell the thirst for craft beer, Ninkasi Brewery will be pouring tastes of some of Eugene, Oregon’s finest micro brews right across the way at Wine+Beer. Should make for a wonderful evening!


1028 State Street, 800-350-9333
Join Santa Barbara Travel, presenting the elegant ships of Oceania Cruises. Sail on board one of six luxurious mid-sized ships to experience the history, culture and cuisine of a wondrous new destination. Considering the uncompromising quality, perhaps the most remarkable aspect of an Oceania Cruises voyage is its incredible value. Lavish complimentary amenities abound, and there are never supplemental charges in any of the onboard restaurants. (Oceania Cruises 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 continue to support local artists. This month’s exhibition will feature photography by Jonas Jungblut. Born and raised in Berlin, Germany, Jonas is an internationally published, exhibited and awarded photographer based in Santa Barbara, CA. Jonas' work concentrates around the concepts of balance and chaos, it is simple yet thought provoking. We look forward to having you join us!


134 East Canon Perdido, 805-965-7922
Spreading the love of our Presidio Neighborhood, Jamie Slone Wines will pour tastings, Karin Shelton is our featured artist and Bryan Titus will grace us with his musical prowess, as he did on St. Patrick’s Day. Join us at the Soj for a great lineup!


631 Chapala Street, 805-403-2045
Join us to celebrate the opening of Santa Barbara’s newest tech incubator, Tech Haus, and enjoy a special exhibit by local artist, designer and photographer Jane Gottlieb. Jane Gottlieb’s joyful and energetic images have been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the world. “Joy Rides” is a perfect example of how her art speaks to a wonderful world in which the aesthetic joy of color is always with us.

2015 1st THURSDAY Schedule:

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

Back to the top