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 Novembers's 1st Thursday event. Check back regularly for the most up-to-date content. The next 1st Thursday event is December 4th.)



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 W. Victoria Street
, 805-965-5400

Don’t let the fun stop at 7:30! Keep the party going on stage at the New Vic for November’s 1st Thursday: After Hours. The creative and talented dancers of BAASH! will perform throughout the New Vic for your entertainment. Wine tasting and small bites to be provided. Wine, beer and cocktails will be available for purchase. Enter a raffle for a chance to win tickets to upcoming productions at all the venues in the Historic Theatre District.

1st Thursday: After Hours in the Historic Theatre district has one more great evening in store for 2014: December 4th at the Granada Theatre. You never know what fun awaits after hours.

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229 East Victoria Street, 805-965-6307
Celebrating a solo exhibition by Sara Yerkes entitled Artifacts.  With Italian subjects captured in B&W film, Sara produces darkroom prints yielding a rosy tone and grittiness. The emulsion is then transferred onto watercolor paper. These one-off images evoke fragmented and muted artifacts used to reconstruct a past or foreign culture.


11 West Anapamu Street, 805-568-1400
Autumn, the third season, has arrived and ARTAMO GALLERY features works of three artists reflecting on this time of the year: Ann Baldwin, Christina Hall-Strauss, and Julia Pinkham. Though very different in style and technique, all three women draw their inspiration from nature — one from botanical impressions in the high desert, one from the views of the marshlands in northern California, and one from her walks on the beaches nearby. Their paintings in various degrees of abstraction bring the viewer to indulge in a sense of the season… autumn.


1103 A State Street, 805-966-1707
Nature Conservancy: Trained by the finest lacquerware artisans in the world, Morris B. Squire acquired ancient Vietnamese lacquer painting techniques. Encouraging people to engage with each other and exchange ideas is a fundamental element to the series “Nature Conservancy,” which encourages the viewer to examine their relationship with nature and redefine how they act within it. Wine tasting of Bella Rosa Galleries own Cabernet to benefit the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara.


105 East Anapamu Street, 805-568-3990
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. Juror David Gallup is a nationally known Plein Air artist and teacher and is represented in museum exhibitions and collections nationwide. A portion of the proceeds from this exhibition will benefit the Santa Barbara County Park Foundation. (1st floor of the County Administration Building­.) ALSO: Supervisor Janet Wolf will showcase the artists of Alpha Resource Center (on the 4th floor, 5-6pm).


1528 State Street, 805-962-6444
Celebrating the continuation of the fabulous paintings of Santa Barbara and the Southwest by Samuel Smith, with his final artist reception. Also on view is an ongoing exhibit of local scenes in watercolor by Mike Rider. Come enjoy beautiful paintings and a glass of wine in this beautiful gallery!


1115 State Street, 805-687-6401
California based artist RUSO creates art that is highly detailed in both scope and depth. PAINT & METAL is a collection inspired and comprised of pieces from all periods of RUSO’s life. Self-taught, he has worked in various mediums from painting, welding, custom car fabrication, murals, tattooing, and large scale black book art. Proceeds from tonight’s sales will benefit the East Side Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara.


1114 State Street #8, in La Arcada Court, 805-965-6611
TIMELESS, a joint show of contemporary abstract art by David Crouch and Hedy Price Paley, is a combination of paintings by Crouch and original oil monotypes by Price Paley. Crouch's unique large canvas cloud series have a dreamlike feeling to them. Price Paley's art is her new Genesis Series "In the Beginning.” The featured artists are Mary-Gail King, Felice Willat, Attila and Eva Danila, Julia Laraway, Mooneen Mourad, Suemae Willhite, and Hedy Price Paley. (Open 11 - 5 Monday - Saturday and 1 - 5 on Sunday.)


27 East Coat Street, 805-690-4913  
UN/SEEN: In spite of the proliferation of information provided by technology, modern society remains stubbornly unaware of significant issues. The topics investigated in the Brooks Institute 2014 MFA Graduate Exhibition, Un/Seen, range from personal to geo-political.  In both traditional and non-traditional photographic media, the artists challenge viewers’ diffusion of responsibility when confronted with the negative impacts of changes in the environment, ethics of science, social isolation, and gender politics. Their art offers not condemnation, rather contemplation in the revealing of the Un/Seen issues before us all.


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.


1114 State Street #24, in La Arcada Court, 805-884-1938
Mary Giordano is a Santa Barbara native, growing up among three generations of artists who encouraged her to create art since she was a small child. Her jewelry is a fun, eclectic mix of glass, stone, metal, cording and leather with handmade accents. Mary will be demonstrating Kumihimo, an ancient Japanese braid technique, with the addition of seed beads as well as a double row, woven stitch bracelet. Interesting to watch and even more fun to wear! Wine 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
Meet Lutah Maria Riggs, architect and draftswomen.  With a hint of eccentricity and an abundance of talent, she navigated her way through the established world of architecture in early 20th century and brought a freshness to the established look of Southern California buildings.  Her design of some our city’s most iconic structures, such as the Lobero Theatre, along with exquisite private homes, cemented her role as a true Santa Barbara treasure. The Museum is proudly collaborating with the Lutah Maria Riggs Society and the UCSB Art, Architecture and Design Museum to fully illustrate her life, work with George Washington Smith, and the evolution of her own style.


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.
Cardboard Constructions: Assemble organic cardboard shapes into shallow relief compositions, then add bold colors in tempera paint inspired by Guy Goodwin’s Hotel Motel – IN. (Time: 5:30 – 7:30 pm, Free)

Pop-Up Opera: As SBMA prepares for its exhibition of Italian masterpieces from Glasgow Museums in 2015, Opera Santa Barbara gets a head start by performing selections from Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto in the Museum galleries. Enjoy musical pieces also paired with the permanent collection presentation Art to Zoo: Exploring Animal Natures.

Art to Zoo: Exploring Animal Natures: This exhibition of photographs, many produced by great masters of the medium, offers the opportunity to explore animal natures. Only recently have scientists begun to probe animal knowledge; what senses and faculties animals have honed, and how adept their adaptive qualities. For example, ants can solve complex geometric problems, fish feel pain, both fish and birds swarm to protect against predation and to forage for food.

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


15 East Carrillo Street, 805-770-3878
The SlingShot Gallery presents a pop-up exhibit at the Union Bank Community Partners Center, featuring unique contemporary art that is both compelling and appealing. The group show explodes with colorful original art by artists with intellectual disabilities from the SlingShot, alpha art forum studio. Please stop by to enjoy our art, a glass of wine provided by Ojai Vineyard and a delicious appetizer from The Savoy Café.


7 & 11 East Anapamu Street, 805-730-1460
DAN LUTZ: This month Sullivan Goss features the work of iconic mid-century Los Angeles painter, Dan Lutz. His mix of Expressionist style and Fauvist palette made his work utterly unique among the other great painters of the era.  Also on view: Frank Kirk, Leon Dabo, and our 30-year anniversary retrospective. 


1114 State Street # 9, 805-962-8885
The Gallery is going on its 30th year and 23 years in La Arcada. 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. Join Scott Kiche for a painting demonstration at 5:45pm.


1013 State Street, 805-845-7375
ZFolio is proud to partner with Women’s Economic Ventures and the State Street Ballet. WEV was instrumental in helping ZFolio open their first gallery.  Since that time ZFolio has been a constant and proud supporter of WEV.  Their supportive network inspires and empowers local women to start and grow small businesses throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. ZFolio has recently begun their relationship with the State Street Ballet.  Their belief that “dance inspires life” is evident in their fresh approach to traditional dance. A portion of every ZFolio purchase tonight will go to benefit WEV and the State Street Ballet.



735 Anacapa Street
The Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative, in partnership with Downtown Santa Barbara, will lead a curated Art Crawl through 1st Thursday festivities. This month's tour will be led by Nathan Vonk, Curator of Sculpture at Sullivan Goss. 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, 5:00-7:30 pm
Danny Briere & the Benevolent Dictators command absolute power via atmospheric danceable experimental hard-hitting rock and roll. Described as “Radiohead meets Tom Petty” and “The Police fronted by Roy Orbison” by those conquered in the band's campaign through the South Coast, the Dictators’ cult of personalities include Briere (lead vocals and guitar), Bear Erickson (lead guitar), John Roshell (lead bass) and Justin Flint (lead drums).


Paseo Nuevo Center Court, 5:00-7:30 PM
You’ll get a smile on your face and a tap in your toes with Shepherd's Pie, playing traditional Irish music.



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
Descend to the depths, fly to the peaks, stretch up tall or squeeze, squeeze, squeeze - because this month the focus is on VERTICAL. It's the parameter and idea for this exhibition curated by Lauren Manzo. Meet the artists, enjoy live music and refreshments.


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 Donzell Davis. LIVE ART - THOMAS CLARK: Showcasing live performance artist Thomas Clark as well as a collection of his works. His art is physical and emotional as viewers experience the process of a large painting created before their eyes in under an hour. Each painting is original with bold strokes and raw energy as the art is influenced by both the music and those in attendance. All are welcome - wine & desserts served. (Live art begins at 6:30.)


1114 State Street #22, in La Arcada Court 
Love music? Come join us for the Lobero Theatre Benefit Event with gypsy jazz by THE IDIOMATIQUES, and help us celebrate ENCANTO's 4th birthday! We have a wonderful selection of holiday gifts, clothing, accessories, + jewelry for your shopping pleasure. Wine will be available. Gypsy attire encouraged. See you there!


1100 State Street, 805-845-3343
Angela Torin of Hampstead Village is delighted to welcome author Susan Branch for a signing of her newest book A Fine Romance. This beautiful hand-lettered book portrays Susan's love for the English Countryside and is a diary of her two-month jaunt through the back roads of England in search of her literary and artistic roots. Full of exquisite details such as watercolor illustrations that readers have grown to love in Susan's books, it is a celebration of all the "little things that make life sweet.” A portion of the evening's proceeds will be donated to the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara.


30 East Figueroa Street, 805-770-2753
Painters of the Pacific West: Artists Kit Boise-Cossart, Lori Lenz, Chris Potter and Rebecca Stebbins come together to share views and visions of our western coast. Join us for “live” painting demos from Chris Potter and Rebecca Stebbins from 5-6pm.


740 State Street, 805-963-7258
The act of helping others can create an improved sense of well-being. Head downstairs to the Salt Cave for refreshments on us and help us give back to a local organization close to our hearts. For more than 50 years, Casa Serena has been successfully treating women struggling with addiction in Santa Barbara. For any donation we receive, we are offering 2-for-1 cave session vouchers.


38 West Victoria Street #120, 805-770-7702
Our featured purveyor, Belcampo Meat Co. Chef Carrie Mitchum, alongside other market purveyors, will demonstrate various Holiday Canapés that can be enjoyed throughout the season. World renowned sculptor and canvas artist BJ Keith and local artist Giulliana Mottin will also be featured.


134 East Canon Perdido, 805-965-7922
What’s happening at the Soj? Join us for another fun night of music with Debra Farris and Friends (always more than we can list), where their backdrop will be artwork by Kevin Gleason, and you can check out some of our favorite wines or Soju cocktails.

2014 1st THURSDAY Schedule:

  • Thursday, November 6
  • Thursday, December 4
  • Please note: there will be NO 1st Thursday in January, 2015, due to the holiday

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