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. OR you can download a printable version above.

(Below is the information for the December's 1st Thursday event. Check back regularly for the most up-to-date content. The next 1st Thursday event is February 5, 2015. PLEASE NOTE: There is NO 1st Thursday in January, 2015)



Keep the Evening Going with 1st Thursday: After Hours!
The Granada Theatre hosts 1st Thursday: After Hours from 7:30-9:30 p.m.
1214 State Street, 805-899-2222

Don’t let the fun stop at 7:30! Presenting entertainment by Bryan Titus, a rootsy, gutsy American singer/songwriter with "whiskey soaked" vocals, Bryan delivers a unique blend of Rock 'n Roll, Celtic, Gospel, Country, Blues & Bluegrass. Delicious nibbles will be provided compliments of local restaurant partner Cielito, and a “no host” full bar is provided by Marquee Events. There will also be a complementary wine tasting, graciously provided by Summerland Winery.

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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302 East Cota, 805-884-0459
Homespun Holiday Art Exhibition & Craft Show: Bring the whole family to the Art From Scrap Gallery for a Homespun Holiday Art Opening and Craft Show, with fun, food, craft-making and festivities. Homespun Holiday features the work of artists Colleen Darling, Elena Mary Siff, Mary Stanley and Syd McCutcheon, who have created smaller-sized works perfect for gift giving. Make Holiday Cards and Ornaments at our Art From Scrap craft table. DJ Ted Coe from KCSB FM will be spinning tunes.


11 West Anapamu Street, 805-568-1400
MICHAEL KESSLER — WATER & STONE: presenting brand new works by Michael Kessler, who works in both of his studios in Santa Fe and in the Utah wilderness. More than ever before he is drawn to and pulls his inspiration from nature. In his new work he explores new techniques, playing out the flow and dissolution of the paint, juxtaposed with strong lines or fields, and accented with bold contrasting colors.


1103-A State Street, 805-966-1707
A GEM PACKED LIFE Creating one of a kind, versatile jewelry in high karat gold, beads & gems collected the world over, Ojai's Donna Diglio will showcase her latest work. MICRO SCULPTURE by Dan Levin and GEMSTONE CARVINGS by Ronald Stevens will be available for affordable gifting. Enjoy edible treats and a Bella Rosa Galleries Cabernet Sauvignon wine tasting to benefit the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara.


105 East Anapamu Street, 805-568-3990
NEAR AND FAR: Plein Air in County Parks: The County Arts Commission and S.C.A.P.E. (Southern California Artists Painting for the Environment) celebrate the beauty and diversity of these unique resources with a wide variety of plein air styles and media created by SCAPE members. A portion of the proceeds from this exhibition will benefit the Santa Barbara County Park Foundation. Tonight’s reception will feature a Leadership in the Arts Award. (1st floor of the County Administration Building­.)


1333 State Street, 805-882-1058
Give the gift of Santa Barbara this Holiday Season. Chris Potter presents "Santa Barbara Gems,” mall landscape paintings of all the places we love. Dave of Distinctive Framing will be framing many pieces so they will be ready for gift-giving.


40 East Anapamu Street, 805-962-7635
Some of the 576 Santa Barbara Art Association members offer a diverse collection of original art priced at $300 or less for Holiday gifts.  SBAA's new members who joined in 2014 have a show in the side galleries.  Please come celebrate the holiday with music by the Henderson Brothers, snacks and refreshments.


1114 State Street #8, in La Arcada Court, 805-965-6611
Artist of the Month Allison Wells presents Hereabouts and Nearby. A studio and plein air acrylic artist, she paints landscapes and abstracts with a color intensity and exuberance that punctuates California’s great outdoor places. She has studied with Michael Drury, James Armstrong and Tony Askew, and is a member of four local art organizations.  Featured Artists:  Liz Tallakson, Carrie Givens, Attila & Eva Danilla, Marlise Senzamici, Suemae Willhite, Nancy Rossi.(Open 11 - 5 Monday - Saturday and 1 - 5 on Sunday.)


27 East Coat Street, 805-690-4913  
The Portfolio Show: Each year the graduating students select a sample of their work to exhibit in The Portfolio Show. The work is selected by the students with the support of a faculty member and features projects created in the Graphic Design, Professional Photography, and Visual Journalism programs. Brooks Institute takes this opportunity to celebrate and showcase the graduating students’ work with the community, friends and family.


14 Parker Way, 805-845-4558
Please join us at the JadeNow Gallery for an Evening of Creative Delights with Istara Freedom--featuring sculpture, new works, poetry, performance, and music. Meet the artist!


27 East De la Guerra Street, 805 962-8347  
Featuring Works from the Estate of Channing Peake: Channing Peake, modernist painter and cowboy, demonstrates a unique artistic vision developed over years of training at the Oakland School of Arts and Crafts, Santa Barbara School of the Arts and The Art Students League of New York. His relationships with Pablo Picasso and Rufino Tamayo encouraged and inspired his cubist interpretations of ranch life, dynamic abstract compositions and use of color. His works were exhibited at California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and many more. We offer etchings and watercolors by early Santa Barbara artist Edward Borein and works by early twentieth century painters and print makers.


21 West Anapamu Street, 805.962.5322
AbstraX@Karpeles: On the main level, 24 members of the Abstract Art Collective exhibit works selected and curated by Jack N. Mohr, owner/curator of Artamo Gallery. Upstairs exhibition: “Pamela Benham Paintings,” a solo show of abstract works. (Reception on both levels.)


653 Paseo Nuevo Terrace, Upper Arts Terrace, 805-966-5373
Join us for after hours at the museum! MCASB is hosting Curated Cocktails: Biblioholidaze, with $5 signature cocktails created by Outpost at The Goodland's resident mixologist Chris Burmeister, inspired by our current exhibition Requiem for the Bibliophile. Holiday Tunes Remixed by DJ Darla Bea, plus free art activities.


1114 State Street #24, in La Arcada Court, 805-884-1938
Brian Andreas is the California local artist who founded StoryPeople back in 1993. His paintings, sculptures and books have delighted people all over the world for more decades than he will admit. Still recovering from Midwestern winters, he currently lives in Santa Barbara with canvas, wire, wooden boards and other tools for storytelling never too far out of reach. His work is shown and collected internationally. Something Like Magic is Brian’s newest book from StoryPeople. It’s filled with love & magic & all sorts of secret notes to help you remember the most important things in your life. Brian will be on hand to sign his new book or any of his other  books, prints and sculptures. Wine will be poured by Grassini Family Vineyards.


1324 State Street, 805-963-2332
Santa Barbara Frame Shop will be showing the work of Marcia Burtt. Marcia has been a local favorite for many years. Come see a selection of her many paintings. A portion of any sales from this evening will benefit Santa Barbara High School's VADA program.


136 East De La Guerra Street, 805-966-1601
Vintage Toys & Trains at Santa Barbara Historical Museum. Join us for holiday music and wine as you enjoy an enchanting model train display depicting Santa Barbara’s downtown (1920-1940), courtesy of model train engineer Ken Kelley.  Browse Pacific Coast Rail Road artwork along with our latest exhibition, dedicated to architect Lutah Maria Riggs. Always family-friendly we welcome children of all ages to free “Polar Express” themed activities (story-time, crafts & hot chocolate) from 5:30-7:30 pm. Georgia’s Smokehouse will be onsite serving their delicious BBQ from 5:30 until 7pm.


1130 State Street, 805-963-4364
Family 1st Thursday:  Bring the whole family to enjoy 1st Thursday together in SBMA’s Family Resource Center, located across from the Museum Café on the Lower Level.
Animal Locomotion: Draw elephants or raccoons on sheets of acetate film to create the illusion of animals in motion after Eadweard Muybridge’s photographs in Art to Zoo: Exploring Animal Natures. (Time: 5:30 – 7:30 pm, Free)

Felix vs. Fido: Gather on the Museum's Front Steps to watch a curated collection of looped cat and dog videos—from six-second videos to short films and everything in between. Then cast your vote (Cat vs. Dog) and see who wins! (5–7:30 pm)

Quire of Voyces: This dynamic a capella group returns! The group rediscovers the sacred choral music of the Renaissance and modern age. Nathan Kreitzer conducts 25 professional singers who volunteer their talents to present the highest quality of performance in historic settings. (6:30–7 pm; Location: Ludington Court)

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


7 & 11 East Anapamu Street, 805-730-1460
In December, Sullivan Goss celebrates the opening of four new shows in its Contemporary gallery, including one of our most popular shows of the year: 100 Grand. The show features 100 works of art in a single room, all priced at $1,000 or less. Also opening are Jean Swiggett: One Man Renaissance; Anders Aldrin; and Agoraphobia: Portraits of American Interiors. 


Granada Theatre departure, 1214 State Street
The new Sundial Studio and Gallery invites you to join us on a quick, fun ride to our new location on Kimball Street. Departing from the Granada Theater, art lovers will board a trolley and be transported to and from our gallery to enjoy live music, wine and refreshments and, of course, amazing art!  The Sundial Gallery is a venture of UCP WORK, Inc., supporting Santa Barbara residents with disabilities for over 45 years.


629 State Street, 805-966-9777
The Yes Store is the nation’s longest running artisan holiday cooperative (1968-2014) delighting locals and visitors with an impressive display of high quality local hand-crafted work in different mediums including: jewelry, ceramics, clothing, art glass, graphics, metal-sculpture, mixed media, photography, textiles, weaving and wood. Open 7 days a week through December 24.  Please join us throughout the Holiday Season as we present the finest of Santa Barbara’s artisans. 


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
ZFolio is honored to present select creations from world renowned designer Paula Crevoshay. Paula’s creations blend classic design elements, stunning gemstones and a passion for history and culture into one-of-a-kind treasures that jewelry connoisseurs admire and add to their private collections. This exhibit previews Paula’s donation in support of the State Street Ballet.



900 State Street, Marshalls Patio, 5-6:30pm
Blended Contempo is an A Capella group consisting of students who enjoy expressing their vocal creativity through song, from Holiday to cover songs. (Call 805-331-5085 for more information about Blended Contempo.)


Hometown Holiday NITES Presents: Joyful Hoop Dance
900 State Street, Marshalls Patio, 6:30-8:00pm
Dana Morton first picked up a hula hoop in 2012, and hasn't put it down since! She is a certified hoop dance teacher, and enjoys teaching children and adults (we are all kids on the inside anyway, right?). She recently performed and taught at this year's Solstice Festival, and was honored to perform as a part of the Fire Conclave at Burning Man 2014. To kick off Hometown Holiday NITES, Dana will dazzle with her LED hoop performance, and just might change the way you think about holiday lights!


Paseo Nuevo Center Court, 5-7:30pm
Santa Barbara Revels presents The Christmas Revels: An Irish Celebration of the Winter Solstice at the Lobero Theatre on December 20th & 21st. Music Director Adam Phillips leads The Solstice Singers in a selection of Irish music from the production, and The Pacific Sword Company showcases its signature sword dance.



18 West Victoria Street, 805-845-4393
You are invited to take a 45- minute architectural tour around the Santa Barbara Public Market and Alma del Pueblo to learn about the history, the building techniques and see inside the gates! Meet at 5pm or at 6pm in front of the historic murals on Chapala Street on the side of the Public Market. The historic mural and Alma Del Pueblo just won two Santa Barbara Beautiful awards - we are very proud of this project and want to teach you all about it! (Tour times: 5pm & 6pm)


1230 State Street,
Auna Salomé is a multicultural mixed-media visionary artist. Inspired by a deep connection with Mother Earth, her creativity is nourished by the time she spends deep in her Heart, soaking in the power of Nature, her sacred space. The blessing of being steeped in such a diverse heritage has kept Auna Salomé experimenting with the edge and the unknown. This defining experience has fed her art-making, and the trait that most stands out today, as reflected in this show of paintings, is expressed in its title: “Island Fever (blurred my vision).”


23 East Canon Perdido Street, 805-965-6448
Luminarias, an exhibition of both 2D and 3D art work, will cast a new light on ideas during the holiday season. Join the CASA Team for a romantic evening of music, art, and light refreshments and find Harold Kono on the keyboard surrounded by the soft light of luminarias.


1114 State Street #22, in La Arcada Court 
IT’S CHRISTMAS! TRUNK SHOWS + ITALIAN COOK BOOK SIGNING, LIVE JAZZ + LOCAL WINE!  We will be hosting a jewelry trunk show, a block print fabric trunk show, and an Italian cook book signing from 3-8pm so come meet the makers. The BLUE MOON QUARTET will be serving up jazz standards from 6-8pm, along with wonderful wine from CARR WINERY. Don't miss ENCANTO, one of the best venues of the ART WALK!


1100 State Street, 805-845-3343
Introducing Charbonnel et Walker, purveyors of fine English chocolates since 1875, who also enjoy the rare privilege of holding a Royal Warrant to Her Majesty the Queen. Handmade exclusively in Royal Tunbridge Wells in England and world renowned for their dark chocolate, they are made from the finest dark couverture and have a luscious richness and unforgettable silky taste. Luxurious handmade boxes, satin ribbons and complimentary gift wrapping complete the perfect gift for the Holidays. Please join us to sip champagne and taste the most wonderful exquisite chocolate truffles!  


909 State Street, 805-845-3900
In honor of Winter Nights & Holiday Lights, Plum Goods is proud to feature new work from beloved local artist Matti Berglund. Infused with symbols and elements of folk art first introduced to her as a child in Norway, Matti's vibrant, heartfelt artwork and sparkling personality always draw a crowd. Come and toast the holidays with Matti & The Plums.


1-A West Canon Perdido, 805-560-6888
Join us for Salt Clothing Boutique's Grand Opening (formerly on Santa Claus Lane)! Incredible gift bags for the 1st ten customers, a drawing for a FREE cashmere sweater, live music by Jamey Geston, champagne and appetizers and artwork by the talented Michael Irwin and Erika Carter.


38 West Victoria Street #120, 805-770-7702
Make Smith Leather Co. is a family-owned and operated business run by Steven Soria, a third generation leather craftsman. It was started as a custom workshop, inspired both by Steven's education and experience in the fine arts and by his family's artisan traditions, with a focus on handmade one-of-a-kind leather goods. The workshop has since expanded to include private label manufacturing and a Make Smith brand product line. Santa Monica Seafood is the featured food purveyor. Beer tastings will be provided by Telegraph Brewing Company.


1028 State Street, 800-350-9333
Experience the “Art of Travel” at our Open House. Come by to meet the owners and staff of Santa Barbara Travel who will present an historical perspective of the travel industry over the last 60 years.  Learn how the travel industry has changed, the evolving and hottest destinations today, and why it is even more important than ever to work with a professional travel advisor. (Presentation: 6pm)


791 Chapala Street, 805-962-8500

Join us for a reception for Rock Photographer Amber Paresa presents Scenes from Down Stage Center - A collection of live concert images.


134 East Canon Perdido, 805-965-7922
Join Peggy Oki to celebrate her 15th annual exhibit at “The Soj!” Peggy is the founder and director of the Origami Whales Project. Also enjoy the music of Michael Frey and tastings of Teeccino products.


13 West Anapamu Street, 805-770-3838
Phillip Ludlow of Salon Brit invites you to join the holiday party featuring the artwork of Nise Baker. Stay and enjoy refreshments and live acoustic music while you meet the rest of the staff at Studio Brit. Happy Holidays!


15 East Anapamu Street, 805-962-3321
Book Den staffers Carrie Lauer and Joaquin Gray are also very talented musicians. They will be performing on accordion and classical guitar throughout the evening.


11 W. Figueroa Street, 805-963-7579
Walter Claudio invites you to his Holiday Kick-off event, presenting Alston face & body. Fine art by Ruth Ellen Hoag will be on exhibit. Enter to win salon and spa services in a raffle to benefit Dream Foundation, and a “one-night special” for all attendees. Wine, refreshments served.

2015 1st THURSDAY Schedule:

  • Please note: there will be NO 1st Thursday in January, 2015, due to the holiday
  • Thursday, February 5
  • Thursday, March 5
  • Thursday, April 2

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