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.

The next 1st Thursday event is Thursday, June 5th.

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. The Downtown Organization 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.

Keep the Evening Going with 1st Thursday: After Hours!

Join us for 1st Thursday: After Hours, 7:30-9:30pm when the Historic Theatre District venues of The Lobero Theatre, the Granada Theatre and The New Vic extend 1st Thursday culture, art and music offerings to provide the community unique live entertainment and behind the scenes experiences and opportunities to meet other performing arts enthusiasts. 1st Thursday: After Hours heats up this spring with three more evenings in Santa Barbara’s Historic Theatre District hosted by the Lobero Theatre (April 3), the Granada Theatre (May 1) and The New Vic (June 5), offering fun new ways to access Santa Barbara’s Performing arts after dark. Stay tuned for more exciting announcements from this partnership.

Join us for 1st Thursday: After Hours at The Granada Theatre. Presenting entertainment by Chris Fossek, local renowned flamenco guitarist, who will play infectious rhythms along with delicious nibbles provided compliments of a local restaurant partner and a "no host" full bar provided by Marquee Events. The Granada Theatre, The Lobero Theatre and The New Vic Theater are teaming up to offer these new 1st Thursday: After Hours events, held at a different theater each month.

The schedule of 1st Thursday: After Hours for the coming Spring season will be as follows:

  •  June 5 at the New Vic

Expect something special in art and culture on the first Thursday of every month!

*Below is the information for the May 1st Thursday event. Check back regularly for the most up-to-date content.*

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229 East Victoria Street, 805-965-6307
Vishnu and Others: Exhibition by Julie Young, Ph.D. Inspired by natural landscapes, Julie Young’s abstract mixed media paintings convey an approximation of sensations experienced with particular environments.  Strong colors and shifting forms engage with traces of meaning that lean into each other, fall away and rise up again.


11 West Anapamu Street, 805-568-1400
Gordon Huether — 12 x 12
Presenting artist Gordon Huether with an exhibit focusing entirely on works of 12” x 12”. On this intimate scale, Huether explores a variety of themes, materials and techniques. Materials include wood, paper, metal, found objects, resin and glass; themes span from historical stories over nature to family, reflecting different aspects of humanity.


1103 A State Street, 805-966-1707
May Showers - Erin Williams Watercolors: Showcasing vibrant, large scale paintings of seascapes and flowers.  Erin's distinct watercolors capture the divinity and beauty of nature and are filled with a joy that is contagious. Also: "Heart of Glass" featuring the work of Santa Barbara glass artist Tim Lindemann, showcasing his lighting & sculpture. Enjoy wine tasting to benefit the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara.


1213 State Street - Suite F, 805-770-2862
Intimate Portraits of Nature: an exhibition by Gary Robinson.
With a passion for nature and a focus on views no larger than 6 x 8 inches, Robinson presents a collection of close-up photographs that provide an intimate view of Santa Barbara. His work invites us to look deeper into the landscape and discover the beauty of nature’s fascinating patterns and textures. Meet the artist and celebrate his first exhibition. (Located in “La Plazuela,” the paseo directly across the street from the Granada Theatre, at McDonald’s.)


105 East Anapamu Street, 805-568-3990
Inside/Outside: Santa Barbara Art Association
This exhibition, juried by Randy Sommer, co-owner of Acme Gallery, LA, celebrates the deep artistic diversity legacy of the SBAA.  Artist workshops feature Loree Gold’s beautiful photo montages using prints of her own creation; Karen Luckett, a weaver and creator of unique assemblages; and Larry Iwerks, working in watercolor and oils. Inside/Outside celebrates SBAA’s 60+ years of arts influence in the community. (Gallery located on the 1st floor of the County Administration Building.)


1528 State Street, 805-962-6444
New watercolor paintings by Mike Rider, who has recently returned from travels abroad, in addition to  works inspired by our beautiful scenery here. Come have a glass of wine while enjoying Mike's colorful and happy realistic renditions.


40 East Anapamu Street, 805-962-7635
Art Walk for Kids/Adults: Annual Art Show (sponsored by Union Bank)
We are thrilled to be collaborating with artists from Hillside House, Chagall House, Devereux of Santa Barbara, Phoenix of Santa Barbara, PathPoint and Tri-Counties Regional Centers. Author Debbie Hosseini will sign her new book, The Art of Autism; her son Kevin is a featured artist, along with many other independent artists with disabilities.


1114 State Street #8, in La Arcada Court, 805-965-6611
Artist of the Month is Mieko Doerksen, a native of Tokyo, captures the natural beauty of florals and local architecture and landscapes.  She pays careful attention to detail, broad value range, and color vibrancy.  Her Asian touch of calligraphic detail is characteristic of her work.  Featured artists are Liz Tallakson, Lori Lenz, Rebecca Stebbins, Iben Vestergaard, Soosan Marshall, and Kristy Vantrease.  (Open 11am – 5pm, Monday - Saturday and 1pm – 5pm on Sunday.)


27 East Coat Street, 805-690-4913  
Portfolio Show - Spring 2014:
Each year the graduating students of Brooks Institute 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 by graduating students in the Graphic Design, Professional Photography, and Visual Journalism programs. Photo by: Saskia Koerner


14 Parker Way, 805-845-4558
Simply sublime, to titillating, to exquisitely exciting - paintings to performance, all here now, at the new JadeNow Gallery, featuring fine contemporary carving and visionary art. From top to bottom, awakening consciousness is our intent! Please join us tonight for a very special evening of art, live music and wine!


1108 State Street, 805-962-8111
We are honored to exhibit the unique style and amazing spirit of Russian abstract expressionist painter, Sergey Fedotov.  Experience the strong emotion and passion of his work.  Also, ongoing plein air paintings by Thomas Van Stein. Photo: "Portrait of A. Kutsenko" by Sergey Fedotov. 


1114 State Street #24, in La Arcada Court, 805-884-1938
Born and raised in Santa Barbara, Genie Thomsen was introduced to clay early in life by her mom who brought home projects that Genie would embellish. After earning her MFA degree, Genie returned home to produce and sell her artwork. She was offered a teaching position at the Adult Education Program in Santa Barbara, where she continues to teach. Clay has been Genie’s passion for over forty years.


136 East De La Guerra Street, 805-966-1601
Enjoy a sneak peek of Lutah: A Passion For Architecture, A Life In Design, which was launched into the headlines during the Film Festival. The film, presented by the Lutah Maria Riggs Society and directed by award-winning Kum-Kum Bhavnani, explores the life of a little known architect during the early 20th century in Santa Barbara. Wine-tasting provided by Lieff Wines. Always family-friendly.


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.
Sand Mandala SymbolsSelect a symbol from the Tibetan Kalachakra (“Wheel of Time”) Sand Mandala installed in the Family Resource Center, and draw your version of it with thin lines of glue and vibrant shades of colored sand. Time:  5:30 – 7:30 pm; Location:  SBMA’s Family Resource Center; Free
Heavenly Bodies
One of the strengths of SBMA’s permanent collection is the work that addresses the unshakable connection of science and photography. This exhibition will draw upon this strength and focus on images of astronomy. Ranging from the 19th century until today, the photographs in Heavenly Bodies address the miraculous universe, seen through the ever-changing lens of photography. PHOTO CAPTION: Richard Gordon, Untitled, 1978. Gelatin silver print. SBMA, Gift of Peter Bradshaw. (The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is open every Thursday as part of Chase Free Thursday Evenings.)


7 & 11 East Anapamu Street, 805-730-1460
Sullivan Goss celebrates the opening reception for the latest exhibition of work by famed contemporary Tonalist painter Jon Francis. Also on view: De Forest's Santa Barbara, Magical Realism, Richard Haines: Midcentury Master, and Spacks Street 108.


1114 State Street # 9, 805-962-8885
The Gallery is in 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.



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. 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).


Corner of Canon Perdido and State Street in front of Marshall’s
Join us for poetry with Maya Shaw Gale,  Marilyn Romeo's "Got Country" country line dance group, harpist Marsha Sherman, the Nicole McKenzie Improv Group (violin and dance), Yvette Johnson (contemporary dance), Meredith Cabaniss (contemporary dance), and Sino Arts (Chinese martial arts and dance). Photo credit: Stephen Sherrill.


Paseo Nuevo Mall
Velo Vogue: Bicycle Fashion Show showcases cutting edge bicycles and fashion, along with live music by Sidewalk Affair while enjoying beer provided by the Haufman Brat Haus and Telegraph Brewing Company.  The fashion show at 6:15 PM will feature local, national, and international fashion designers and retailers, incorporating the latest trends in bicycles, clothing, accessories and gear. Continue the evening with a fun Bike Moves costume ride (“Bike Prom” theme – costumes optional) leaving from De La Guerra Plaza at 7:30 PM along State Street finishing at a Bicycle Coalition fundraiser after party at Bici Centro at 9:15 PM. Visit CycleMAYnia.org for more events and rides offered during May.


900 State Street

Join Santa Barbara MTD for “My Haiku on the Bus!” Write your own three-line haiku (5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables) and your poem just may end up on an MTD bus. It’s easy:
We ride the buses
both to and fro every day
getting to someplace.


900 State Street, Marshalls Patio, 3:30-4:30pm
Join us this afternoon early for the 6th Annual May Day Celebration! Learn Spring songs and dances, make nose gays and garlands and weave ribbons 'round the May Pole. With Revels Song leader Ken Ryals and featuring the English Country Dancers and the Pacific Sword Company. All ages welcome.



19 West Ortega Street, 805-965-8200
Robert Waxman works in the financial world and has recently found a new outlet through painting in the last 10 years. His paintings have a coastal feel that focus on landscapes and some Santa Barbara architecture. Check out these inspiring oil paintings by a man who will trigger your artsy self.


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 the 1400 square foot 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
The Santa Barbara Sculptors Guild will present a members exhibition of two and three dimensional works juried by Delphine Sims and Sydney Hengst, Assistant Curators of Photography and Asian Art at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Light refreshments, live music, and more.


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.


1114 State Street #22, in La Arcada Court 
MOTHERS DAY TRUNK SHOW: showcasing BELLA NOTTE DUE: one-of-a-kind camisoles + blouses, made of vintage linens by a local seamstress. Also some great bags, jewelry, sandals + espadrilles -- lots + lots of goodies to choose from for your special gal.


1116 De La Vina Street, 805-884-0095
This vibrant senior community center is excited to hold its second annual Art for the Ages celebration!  Showcasing the creative spirit and original art from a diverse group of residents, family members, local students, and including drawings, paintings, photography, sculpture and lifetime accomplishment displays. Enjoy live music by Ron Paris, formerly of the Platters, refreshments and wine tasting from Ballard Lane Winery.


1323 State Street, 805-962-6909
Askew to Zorthian: Artist Opening Reception, for new works by two local artists. Anthony Askew’s Mono Type Prints surprise and delight with his masterful compositions and color through the medium of ink on paper. Seyburn Zorthian’s ever-evolving paintings reflect their origins in her early study of Japanese brush work and American abstract expressionism. Pouring wine from Buttonwood Winery.


740 State Street #1, 805-845-5780
We are thrilled to be hosting a jewelry trunk show featuring our four talented local jewelers, just in time for Mother's Day, graduation and wedding season. There will be something for everyone, including champagne & sweets. At the end of the evening we will have a drawing from each of the designers for a locally crafted piece of jewelry!


918 Chapala Street, 805-845-7580
Skate boarding has roots in Santa Barbara longer than most people know. We will have a presentation of art and the art of skateboards that date back more than twenty years, representing skate and art culture in Santa Barbara. Also: a live skateboarding demo!


740 State Street, 805-963-7258
Transport yourselves down to the unique Himalayan Salt Caves for some light snacks, spirits and fun.


20 East Victoria Street, 805-979-9860
Art feeds the soul of students in pursuit of the study of law.  View works by Peter Max, Charles Bragg, Yaacov Agam, Itzchak Tarkay,  Csaba Markus, Jerry Martin, Jean Claude Picot, Fanch Ledan, Romero Britto, Anatole Krasnyansky, Alexander Chen, Igor Medvedev, David Najar, Steve Bloom,  J. Thomas, Nanikhe, Eleanore Moyer, Lankam (elephant painter), folk art and photography. Silent Auction.


134 East Canon Perdido, 805-965-7922
See what’s happening at the “Soj!” Folk tunes with Debra Farris and friends, artist Karin Shelton and a special presentation of the watercolor paintings of Nora Wiedmann: New York to Malibu, curated by her daughter Celeste Wiedmann.


26 West Anapamu Street, 805-962-9164

Art for Change: Make a bid and get extraordinary bargains on art, photography and jewelry donated by our supporters. Enjoy wine & refreshments while you build your art collection and learn about the Fund for Santa Barbara, an organization that has been at the forefront of community based, progressive philanthropy, distributing over $5-million to more than 900 grassroots projects within Santa Barbara County.  Artists include Brecia Kralovic-Logan and Jana Zimmer. Bidding closes at 7:30 P.M.


21 West Ortega Street, 805-456-3655
More than 100 products created from the antioxidant rich byproduct of wine - from lotions to organic soaps, candles & skin care. Celebrate Mom in May with free mini facials and natural mineral makeup makeovers! Sip yummy local wines while enjoying live acoustic music. Locally owned & operated since 2004. (Located across from Macy's on Ortega.)

2014 1st THURSDAY

  • Thursday, June 5
  • Thursday, July 3
  • Thursday, August 7
  • Thursday, September 4
  • Thursday, October 2

2014 1st THURSDAY: After Hours

  • Thursday, June 5 at the New Vic

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