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 September's 1st Thursday event. Check back regularly for the most up-to-date content. The next 1st Thursday event is October 2nd.)


Keep the Evening Going with 1st Thursday: After Hours!
The Lobero Theatre hosts 1st Thursday: After Hours from 7:30-9:30 p.m. In honor of the 14th season of the Flamenco Arts Festival, enjoy performances by the local flamenco dance schools, provided by the Flamenco Arts Festival in addition to sips and bites from our restaurant partners. Learn more about the Flamenco Arts Festival at www.Flamencoarts.org.

1st Thursday: After Hours in the Historic Theatre district has two more great evenings in store: November 6th onstage at the New Vic and December 4th at the Granada Theatre. You never know what fun awaits after hours.

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11 West Anapamu Street, 805-568-1400
Within a general exhibition of works by our accomplished gallery artists we present this September — as a special feature — a group of new paintings by Michael Moon. By applying profound layers of paint he builds heavy textured surfaces and explores small formats now side by side with the large canvas sizes he is known for. Each of the small paintings is mounted on a second, larger canvas. Producing a three-dimensional effect this way, he turns them into wall-sculptures.


1103 A State Street, 805-966-1707
On Point: California Landscapes by Lizabeth Madal
Bella Rosa Galleries is proud to present Lizabeth’s latest solo exhibit of oil paintings. The exhibit features a newly created collection of coastlines, mountains and wildflowers. It offers a timeless interpretation of the dynamic beauty of California...that is truly on point. Among her recent artistic achievements, Lizabeth has had two solo exhibits at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, where she served as Artist-in-Residence. Lizabeth will be on hand to discuss her work. Wine tasting featuring our private label 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon to benefit the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara.


1213 State Street - Suite F, 805-770-2862
When a Moment Becomes a Memory: New Portraits by Stacey Byers
Studio owner and photographer Stacey Byers is pleased to present a series of recently commissioned portraits that celebrate moments and create memories. Captured Spirit Photography is located in “La Plazuela,” the paseo directly across the street from the Granada Theater between McDonald’s and Jersey Mike’s.


15 East de la Guerra Street, 805-965-0093
Naples Coalition presents underwater photography by Richard Salas, mosaic dolphin art by Dan Chrynko (to be raffled) and interactive art guided by Explore Ecology, Naples Coalition and Gaviota Coast Conservancy. Come share hopes and dreams for the Gaviota Coast and learn about impending development.  Listen to the heartbeat of the Gaviota Coast guardians. See what it is we desperately want to save on the land and in the sea.


105 East Anapamu Street, 805-568-3990
Impoverished Vision: Abstraction to the Rescue
Impoverished Vision, curated by John Hood, Artist and Professor of Art, Allan Hancock College, includes the work of Santa Barbara North and South County artists, all presenting a diversity of styles, mediums and content. In their work, each has chosen their own individual visual language of color, form and line to move away from realism and explore the concept of distortion and simplification to help communicate their ideas. (Gallery located on the 1st floor of the County Administration Building.)


1528 State Street, 805-962-6444
SANTA BARBARA TO THE SOUTHWEST: Samuel Smith, A Solo Exhibition
Presenting the oil paintings of Samuel Smith depicting classic Santa Barbara and California seascapes, as well as the dramatic sun-struck mesas of the  Southwest. His bold composition and design are balanced by his passionate and sensitive handling of paint that are also shown in his wonderful still life works. Come enjoy a glass of wine and celebrate the versatility of this marvelous artist at his opening reception tonight.


1333 State Street, 805-882-1058
Summer in Santa Barbara! Plein Air Landscape Painter, Chris Potter takes a fresh look at Santa Barbara's favorite beaches, bluffs and preserves. We will also be celebrating his 1,000th painting since he left his job four years ago. 


40 East Anapamu Street, 805-962-7635
The Santa Barbara Sculptors Guild is proud to show its members’ works this month in the Faulkner gallery at the Public Library. There will be a reception on 1st Thursday - all are welcome. 


1114 State Street #8, in La Arcada Court, 805-965-6611
Artist of the month, Frances Reighley, presents Steampunk Birds. Unique oil paintings infused with whimsical elements of steampunk (a sub-culture totally smitten with the Victorian era where steam power was going strong and crazy inventors were busy making all kinds of ‘modern’ gadgets). Grab your top hat and goggles and come join us for a retro-futuristic time. The featured artists are Jonathan Glasoe, Elaine Wilson, Linda Curell, Sally Hamilton, Kristy Vantrease, and Patty Van Dyke. (Open 11am – 5pm, Monday - Saturday and 1pm – 5pm on Sunday.)


27 East Coat Street, 805-690-4913  
The works presented in this exhibit, from four alumni photographers of Brooks Institute, are each a unique study of relationships. For Greg Cooper’s work he uses the vast channels of the web to funnel his experience of loss and longing. With Matt Perko’s portrait project on his autistic son there is an imaginative bond expertly crafted and furthered in the process. In Ellen Webber’s project ‘Our Lady’ the symbolic color exploration of the ubiquitous statue of Mother Mary commonly found in the neighborhoods of Boston shows a motherly connection both longed for and abandoned. Brian Wilson’s project he embraces his place in the Marine community and shows a personal and familial side of life that abounds amidst this regimented branch of society.


27 East De la Guerra Street, 805 962-8347  
Offering a collection of paintings and fine prints by early California artists. Featuring works by Edward Borein, DeWitt Parshall, Cornelis Botke, John Wesley Cotton and many others. Modern works by Channing Peake.


1108 State Street, 805-962-8111
Imagine your child sculpted in a style reminiscent of the early hand drawn Disney characters. Relying on her experience as a Disney Animator and Illustrator, Sue DiCicco does just that. Each miniature portrait is cast in limited edition bronze. Visit with Sue to discuss bronze portrait possibilities.


1114 State Street #24, in La Arcada Court, 805-884-1938
Featuring 50 years of vintage black and white photographs of early Santa Barbara 1880s- 1930s. Wine poured by Grassini Family Vineyards.


136 East De La Guerra Street, 805-966-1601
Project Fiesta! – Building a Complete History of Old Spanish Days
In celebration of the 90th anniversary of Old Spanish Days, the Museum invites the community to view our latest exhibition, Project Fiesta! Experience the pageantry, fashion and traditions of our city's most cherished cultural festival. In honor of the Flamenco Arts Festival (September 27), all ages are invited to join local flamenco dancers at 6:00 PM.


1130 State Street, 805-963-4364
Family 1st Thursday: Bring the whole family to enjoy 1st Thursday together in SBMA’s Family Resource Center.

Pop-Up Landscapes
Construct majestic mountains, river banks, or castle ruins in 3-D after famous painters’ images of the natural world, inspired by landscapes currently on view in the Museum’s Ridley-Tree Gallery.
Time:  5:30 – 7:30 pm - Location:  SBMA’s Family Resource Center

Left Coast: Recent Acquisitions of Contemporary Art: Since it opened its doors in 1941, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art has consistently been dedicated to collecting – contributing to the growth of the permanent collection in significant ways. Art produced on the West Coast is a major part of this endeavor. Left Coast presents an overview of the Museum’s collecting habit, focusing most heavily on artists living and working in Southern California. Featuring a variety of media, including painting, photography, works on paper and sculpture, many of the works in the exhibition are on view for the first time. Tying these works together is the pervasive sense of individuality demonstrated in each, adding weight to the justification of the delineation of this side of the country as not just the West Coast, but also, as it’s commonly called, the “Left” Coast.

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


Corner of State & Anapamu Streets, 805-770-3878
SlingShot Gallery will be joined by the Alpha Band at the corner of Anapamu and State. On your way up State Street stop by to discover Santa Barbara's new art studio and gallery. SlingShot features art created by artists with developmental disabilities.You are always welcome to visit our gallery located at 220 W. Canon Perdido Street Monday through Friday (8:30 - 4:30, or call for an appointment).


7 & 11 East Anapamu Street, 805-730-1460
Sullivan Goss is proud to showcase the debut solo exhibition for Frank Kirk, a legendary New York adman who began painting for himself in 1984. The gallery also celebrates a two-room show highlighting our 30 year anniversary. The show will feature works from the gallery's early years in Sierra Madre through our current program in important historic and contemporary American art.


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. Ralph Waterhouse will give a painting demonstration at 6pm.


1013 State Street, 805-845-7375
John Kennedy is internationally recognized for his innovative approach to contemporary design, receiving two of the five patents awarded for jewelry design innovation in the past 100 years. John Kennedy’s Cylettes® “Cylinders of Color” display the rich natural color of his gemstones through light transmission, rather than reflection. Set in gold, platinum and silver, his creations are engineered by designers and designed by engineers. John Kennedy has been one of ZFolio’s featured artists for years, and for good reason – his work is original, contemporary and unique. He will be visiting ZFolio Gallery for a personal appearance.



735 Anacapa Street
The Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative, in partnership with Downtown Santa Barbara, will lead a curated Art Crawl through the 1st Thursday festivities.  This month's guest curator is assemblage artist Patricia Houghton Clark. 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).


¡FLAMENCO! Santa Barbara
900 State Street, Marshalls Patio
¡FLAMENCO! Santa Barbara is our community's only resident flamenco performance company. Supported by the non-profit organization of the same name, ¡FLAMENCO! Santa Barbara provides scholarships and instruction to young dancers, giving them the opportunity to learn the true art form of the gypsies of Southern Spain; led by Artistic Director Linda Vega.


Paseo Nuevo Center Court
Formed five years ago in Santa Barbara, Kalinka plays a mix including Jewish klezmer, Roma music, vintage jazz, gypsy swing, and Eastern European melodies. Their acoustic sound is joyous, sweet, and gutsy. They have played at the Skirball Cultural Center, the Santa Barbara Jewish Festival, Ojai Earth Day, The Fiddlers Festival in Goleta, and the Topanga Canyon Banjo and Fiddle Festival. Dancers welcome! (Photo credit: Kate Connell)



1230 State Street,
Introducing Brazilian culture to Santa Barbara with an Eat-Drink-Move vibe. Eat and Drink in the restaurant, which features traditional Brazilian menu items, most of which are organic and healthy, while still indulging in some of the country’s most delectable offerings and popular street food.  Move inside our studio where you can learn Capoeira (Brazilian martial arts) or take exciting Samba classes, learn Afro Brazilian dance, sweat it out in intense boot camp, or learn Brazilian Portuguese.  This 1st Thursday, experience an authentic Capoeira experience and admire art from local artists.  As you step inside Brasil Arts Café, feel the beat of Brazil and get immersed in our culture!  Junte-se a nós – Come join us!


23 East Canon Perdido Street, 805-965-6448
Return: As the seasons wind round and round, we find, as the hero or heroine on their return, that where we started is gone, replaced with a new beginning. What's next, what's now on this eternal journey? Meet the artists of Return at this reception and also author Harlan Green, who will sign his book The Mystery of Money. Enjoy live music and light refreshment.


19 E. Haley Street, 805-962-1413
The entire Estate of Plein Air paintings by Ejnar and Jorgen Hansen, including beautiful portraits, abstracts and fantastic works on paper, are now on permanent display and sale. Ejnar Hansen was a notable figure painter in southern California and received many commissions, notably for his interior work on The Adamson House in Malibu.


9 West Ortega Street, 805-965-8505
COUCH SB presents artist Heather Stern. Her show "Labor of Love" is sure to be eclectic and fun, featuring both paintings and installations. Heather studied at Slade School of Fine Art in London and graduated with honors in Fine Art from Loyola Marymount University. Not to be missed: as Heather says, "You never know what you might see." Artist Reception, 5-8PM - please join the celebration!


1114 State Street #22, in La Arcada Court 
FASHIONABLE FALL: Come see our latest offerings for fall, complete with great looking accessories and the latest shipment of CAMPOMAGGI Italian leather goods. We will be serving up local wine + live music from 6 - 8 PM. See you there!


11 West Canon Perdido, 805-899-3700
Dug Uyesaka is a fixture in the Santa Barbara art world. A teacher at SBCC and Laguna Blanca, Dug is well trained in many forms of art, from collage, mixed media, print making and assemblage. Come meet Dug and his menagerie.



30 East Figueroa Street, 805-770-2753
Trash Into Treasure: The Tactile Art of Brian Tepper. This show highlights works that combine metal, paint and reclaimed objects. They portray reality as the artist sees it – experiences and emotions evolving in an abstract manifestation.


909 State Street, 805-845-3900
Plum Goods is excited to host, not one, but eight fabulous local female artists from The Project Collective. Their works range from paintings, assemblage, mixed media and papier maché.  Join artists, Donna Ayscough, Liz Brady, Theresa Carter, Lloyd Dallett, Ashley Dart, Virginia McCracken, Lisa Pedersen, and Susan Tibbles showcasing new artwork, wine and featuring music by Otto Spicolli. This is one event not to be missed!


740 State Street, 805-963-7258
Comedy in the Cave: Sangria, chips & dip and comedy, oh MY! Take the stairs down below State Street to catch a few funny skits and giggle a little with us in the Salt Cave this 1st Thursday!


38 West Victoria Street #120, 805-770-7702
The Art of Crazy Good Bread Tricks: The Santa Barbara Public Market featured food purveyor, Crazy Good Bread, will serve a variety of bread samples used in 'day-old' bread recipes demonstrated and prepared by Chef Joe Cochran. Recipes will be provided. Wine pairings hosted by Grassini Family Vineyards.    


1028 State Street, 800-350-9333
Join Santa Barbara Travel’s Open House presenting Viking Cruises. Viking Cruises offers destination-centric river and ocean cruising designed for experienced travelers with an interest in geography, culture and history. Featuring onboard cultural enrichment and included shore excursions, Viking’s journeys are competitively priced for genuine value. Viking Cruises presentations: 6pm & 7pm.


791 Chapala Street, 805-962-8500

Singer/songwriter Debra Farris and Friends will play a variety of classic covers and original songs. Rock Photographer Amber Paresa presents Scenes from Down Stage Center - A collection of live concert images (www.amberparesa.com). Happy Hour will be extended until 8pm.


134 East Canon Perdido, 805-965-7922
What’s going on at the Soj? Join us for live music with Eric & Lauren, folk to country to bluegrass - one guitar, two voices. Try some great wines while enjoying all of this and dinner too. This is the place to start and finish your evening, open after all of the other festivities.

2014 1st THURSDAY Schedule:

  • Thursday, October 2
  • 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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