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 April's 1st Thursday event. Check back regularly for the most up-to-date content. The next 1st Thursday event is MAY 7, 2015.)



Keep the Evening Going with 1st Thursday: After Hours!
The New Vic hosts 1st Thursday: After Hours from 7:30-9:30 p.m.
32 West Victoria Street, 805-965-5400

Featuring a sneak peek of the music from Ensemble Theatre Company’s WOYZECK, the Tom Waits Musical. Also, get a behind the scenes look at the creative process of producing a play. Tastes provided by Ca’Dario and Gelson’s, along with 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

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11 West Anapamu Street, 805-568-1400
Meet Artist Julia Pinkham: To continue the success of Julia Pinkham’s “Flight Plan” exhibition we extend the show with Part II, adding new paintings to the show and providing another chance to meet the artist (again) in person this 1st Thursday.


1103-A State Street, 805-966-1707
COASTAL LIGHT: Capturing the splendor of our California Coast, realist painter Tom de Walt and artistic photographer Mehosh Dziadzo will be showcasing some of their iconic images of Hollister Ranch. Originals & limited editions are offered for sale. Wine tasting to benefit the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara has raised over $3000 through our events.


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
Join us at 6pm to meet and greet the Co-Curators Kam Jacoby and Karen Gearhart-Jensen and all 7 artists: Kit Boise-Cossart, Kate Connell, Bill Dewey, Brett Leigh Dicks, Eric B. Johnson, David Passage, and Roe Anne White. The artists will be on hand to answer your questions and review their work. Each photographer explores how a sense of place (specifically the Central Coast of California) influences and directs artistic exploration and production. The Under the Influence 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
Join us for a glass of wine while enjoying the whimsically playful mixed-media oil paintings of Sherry Spear, in addition to Mike Rider's vibrant watercolors.


1114 State Street #8, in La Arcada Court, 805-965-6611
Artist of the month Stephen Robeck is a photographer and calls this show WATER: Reflections, Refractions, and Motion. He is fascinated by this interplay of water and presents water and light as the sole focus, without horizon lines or other context. The featured artists are Patrick O'Leary, Pepa Sand, Kathee Christie, Cathy Runkle, Seraphine, and Sue Slater.  (Open 11 - 5 Monday - Saturday and 1 - 5 on Sunday.)


1114 State Street #24, in La Arcada Court, 805-884-1938
Freelance illustrator and graphic artist Steve Thomas has a passion for vintage poster, propaganda and product art from the early 20th century as well as the retro-futurist art of the 1950's, inspiring the nostalgic look of an earlier time in much of his contemporary work For the first 14 years of his, he worked as a commercial illustrator for newspapers, creating graphics for every section, from human interest to entertainment. Over the years, Steve's portfolio grew to include work under license for Disney, Fox, Star Trek, the Muppets and Marvel. We'll be showing travel posters from the area. Wine poured by Grassini Family Vineyards.


136 East De La Guerra Street, 805-966-1601
Pop-Up Family History & Lutah Maria Riggs: Explore the life and work of architect Lutah Maria Riggs and her contribution to what has become "Santa Barbara Style" in our final 1st Thursday of the exhibition. Connect with your roots! The Museum is partnering with the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society to offer instant help with YOUR family history. As always, wine, music and a fun evening of history.


1130 State Street, 805-963-4364
Family 1st Thursday: Pen and Ink Portraits
Draw the delicate lines of Gaudenzio Ferrari’s Head of Madonna in pen and ink on tracing paper and finish by mounting on tan board. (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 the latest exhibition by the beloved Meredith Brooks Abbott. The exhibition will be her first solo show since since the blockbuster At Home in Paradise in 2013. Also on view, Ben Messick, Artist; 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 5:45pm.


1013 State Street, 805-845-7375
Founded in 1857 in the Czech Republic Moser boasts a long tradition of superior artistic and technical standards in lead-free crystal. The quality of the crystal and perfection of Moser's hand cutting, engraving and brilliant colors are unsurpassed by any contemporary glass or crystal company in the world. View select examples at ZFolio.



Lark Batteau & Gregory Beeman
Paseo Nuevo Center Court, 5:00-8:00pm
With accordion, guitar and voice, this dramatic duo performs French classics from Jacques Brel to Edith Piaf, whisking you off to another place and time.


900 State Street, Marshalls Patio, 5:00-8:00pm
Lawrence Duff is a Santa Barbara based singer, keyboardist, guitarist who performs an eclectic mix of styles from jazz standards (Great American songbook, and more contemporary styles), Latin, Brazilian, pop, light rock, blues, traditional and contemporary folk, and inspired originals. Longtime Santa Barbara drummer/percussionist Lorenzo Martinez joins in to make it a duo tonight.



23 East Canon Perdido Street, 805-965-6448
Between Earth & Sky: Explorations of sustainability and our relationship to the environment. Poetry, live music, and art. Meet the author of The Confounding Case of the Climate Crisis  –  Owen Liu, UC Santa Barbara PhD candidate and author John Weller, The Last Ocean: Antarctica's Ross Sea Project: Saving the Most Pristine Ecosystem on Earth. Light Refreshments.


1114 State Street #22, in La Arcada Court 
TRUNK SHOW + LIVE MUSIC! ENCANTO "all things beautiful" will be having a pop up trunk show btw 2 - 6 PM, featuring MODERN ROMANTIC, our fabulous in-house line of clothing, jewelry, scarves + shoes imported from Spain, Morocco + India! We will be serving up wine + live jazz music with the BLUE MOON QUARTET from 6 - 8 PM. Hands down, this is one of the best venues of the art walk. See you there!


1323 State Street, 805-364-5141
Viva la Espana! In light of the Wave Film festival Engel & Volkers Santa Barbara welcomes you to experience the Spanish culture come to life on 1st Thursday. View some of the finest estates and vacation homes Spain has to offer while you enjoy music, hors d’oeruves and wine.


30 East Figueroa Street, 805-770-2753
Paul Longanbach’s work is primarily in acrylics, pastels and collage, in an energetic palette with lots of texture. Meet the artist tonight to discover how he creates art that reflects on life lived and life yet to live.


740 State Street, 805-963-7258
Join us in the Salt Cave as we celebrate the written word with a selection of favorite poems, profound thoughts and yoga meditations shared by Salt staff and special guests. Come underground to relax and refresh with healing halotherapy and special salty snacks!


38 West Victoria Street, 805-770-7702
Empty Bowl Gourmet Noodle Bar and Flagstone Pantry are coming together to show off the market’s best gluten-free options. Local artist David Diamant will display his artwork and Winemaker Paul Lato will feature his wines.


1028 State Street, 800-350-9333
Join Santa Barbara Travel’s Open House presenting Paul Gauguin Cruises.  Learn about small ship luxury cruising to Tahiti, the South Pacific and other warm weather destinations around the globe. Built to sail the shallow waters of Tahiti and French Polynesia, the intimate 5+star cruise ship, m/s Paul Gauguin provides an unparalleled, all-inclusive cruise experience tailored to the wonders of the islands. Like the Gaugin, a second small luxury ship, the m/v Tere Moana, specializes in warm-weather destinations, with an emphasis on delivering unique itineraries that larger ships cannot offer and explores hidden ports in Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. (Paul Gauguin 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 moon photography by Laurie Counihan-Childs. Laurie has taken thousands of images of the moon rising over the years and she navigates much of her life around lunar cycles. As a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, she is very familiar with the elements. Needless to say, she is in love with the moon! Please join us in celebrating the moon with her.


134 East Canon Perdido, 805-965-7922
March 21st is our 37th Anniversary! Help us celebrate into April with musicians: Brad and Anita Bayley, always fun - like hanging out in your living room with your best pals. There will be wine tasting and see who the mystery artist will be. 

2015 1st THURSDAY Schedule:

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

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