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, May 1st.

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.

Don’t miss une bonne soirée tonight for 1st Thursday: After Hours onstage at the newly refreshed Lobero Theatre (33 East Canon Perdido). Enjoy hors d’eouvres from Sojourner Cafe, vin provided by Roblar Winery and eclectic cabaret presented by Kerrilee Kaski. La vie est belle, Join us.

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

  • April 3 at the Lobero Theatre
  • May 1 at The Granada Theatre
  •  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 April 1st Thursday event. Check back regularly for the most up-to-date content.*

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11 West Anapamu Street, 805-568-1400
In a this solo exhibition for Rose Masterpol we present two new series of her work: “Nirvana” and “Common Prayer”. Both mainly feature the all containing “un-color” white, manifesting a stark contrast to her earlier work, where color and bold strokes often dominated the canvas. While the first series shows patterns of her vivid gesture painting with strikes of color blended in, the second develops in a quieter way, revealing only patches of color peeking through the thick layers of white paint, hinting at hidden secrets and desires wanting to break out, striving to break through.


1103 A State Street, 805-966-1707
April Showers: Erin Williams Watercolors
Featuring accomplished watercolorist Erin Williams in a solo show, "April Showers" showcases 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. Come join us in celebrating spring’s renewal. Enjoy wine tasting to benefit the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara.


31 East Victoria Street, 805-452-4581
'EXPLORATIONS' presented by artist Margaret Hughes:  a series of expressionist and narrative paintings in varying subjects including figurative studies and architectural interiors. Wine and bites by Ca'Dario. Music by Greg LeRoy.


15 East de la Guerra Street, 805-965-0093
Presenting I See Beauty in this Life: A Photographer Looks at 100 Years of Rural California, a traveling exhibit from the California Historical Society (CHS), curated by writer and photographer Lisa M. Hamilton. Geographically, the state of California is more than 94% rural. Over the past two years, Hamilton has been telling the stories of rural communities in her multimedia work, Real Rural. For this exhibition she uses the collections of the CHS to connect these present-day stories with the past.


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 legacy of the Santa Barbara Arts Association in Santa Barbara. Join us for three artist workshops featuring Sue Friedley, a watercolorist who has taught for 20 years; Katherine Starr a painter of multiple mediums and styles and Pat McGinnis who will demonstrate the lost wax process and the creation of small pieces for bronze casting. Inside/Outside features a wide variety of artist styles and media and celebrates their 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
Celebrating watercolorist Mike Rider's one-man show of beautiful realistic scenes of Santa Barbara, in addition to those from his travels to Ethiopia and Nicaragua. Wine served, music. 


1333 State Street, 805-882-1058
Layers of Santa Barbara: Plein air painter, Chris Potter brings a whole new round of ocean to mountain landscape paintings.  From Miramar Beach to the Ellwood Bluffs we have a great combination of beach, bluffs, points, foothills, and mountains. Couple that with a cute little city in between and you get some magical views. Come see over 50 new paintings capturing the essence of these layers of Santa Barbara.


1114 State Street #8, in La Arcada Court, 805-965-6611
THE SMALLER PICTURE - Many Mini Masterpieces and a Few that Aren’t.  In this exhibition we see artist Pamela Benham’s drive to explore a smaller expressive painting.  All completed within the last six months, these abstract works move in tone from the whimsical to the deeply profound.  The gallery is also excited to exhibit the larger pieces of the abstract artists Beth Schmohr and Rosemarie Gebhart. (Open 11am – 5pm, Monday - Saturday and 1pm – 5pm on Sunday.)


27 East Coat Street, 805-690-4913  
Portfolio Show: April 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. Brooks Institute takes this opportunity to celebrate and showcase the graduating students' work with the community, friends and family. Photo by: Claire Eggers


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.


653 Paseo Nuevo Terrace, Upper Arts Terrace, 805-966-5373
Live Ballast (a maritime term describing how sailors' own bodies may be used as ballast to keep a ship upright in challenging seas) is a performance by Julia Landois and Erik Saden that explores the disorientation that comes with emigration as well as the strength of will and the loneliness that accompanies those who forge their own path. (5pm Happy Hour, 7pm Performance)


1108 State Street, 805-962-8111
Continuing exhibition of paintings by Caren Satterfield and Thomas Van Stein, along with bronze sculpture by Robert Ervin. Also honoring the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show with award winning painter, Claire Espig. 


1114 State Street #24, in La Arcada Court, 805-884-1938
Christine Brennan has developed a language of magical surrealism using figures and symbols that have evolved from her imagination. She strives for a quiet, poetic narrative that engages the viewer without implicitly telling them how to interpret each painting. For this reason the paintings are untitled. Her paintings have been described by others as child-like and soulful. She often uses gold-leaf in her work. Christine studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and currently lives in Ojai, CA with her husband Jim who makes fine furniture. Her work has extended from the easel into their home and gardens where their dog Abbie loves to play. Wine served from Grassini Family Vineyards.


136 East De La Guerra Street, 805-966-1601
Join us to celebrate our new exhibition, Impressions In Ink: Etchings From The Collection.  Featuring prints by local Santa Barbara artists Henry Chapman Ford (1828-1894), Marian Hebert (1899 -1960), Carl Oscar Borg (1879 -1947), and Reginald Vaughan (1870 1958), visitors will experience a variety of subjects from the California Missions to local and desert landscapes.  The collection will present a narrative focus on a history of the artists and their subjects, along with etching as a medium in printmaking.  Stop in for wine, music and a Family-friendly activity. Image Credit: Mission Santa Barbara, Henry Chapman Ford (1828-1894), Etching, Gift of Leona Thomas.


1130 State Street, 805-963-4364
Quire of Voyces
This dynamic a capella group returns to SBMA! The group was founded in 1993 to rediscover the sacred choral music of the Renaissance and modern age. Nathan Kreitzer conducts 25 professional singers from the Central Coast who volunteer their talents to present the highest quality of performance all in historic settings. Time:  6:30 – 7 pm, Location:  Ludington Court
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.
Alice Aycock Drawings: Some Stories Are Worth Repeating
Paper Sculpture
Construct a monochromatic architectural sculpture in cardstock inspired by Alice Aycock’s The Leonardo’s Swirl, which captures the forces of wind and water. Time:  5:30 – 7:30 pm; Location:  SBMA’s Family Resource Center; Free
Exhibitions on view:
Alice Aycock Drawings: Some Stories Are Worth Repeating
January 26 – April 20, 2014
This exhibition is the first comprehensive exploration of this vital aspect of the renowned sculptor’s creative process. Partnering with the Art, Design & Architecture Museum at the University of California, Santa Barbara, this two-venue exhibition traces Alice Aycock’s career from 1971 to the present, highlighting the major themes that have governed her artistic practice. While Aycock is best known for her large-scale installations and outdoor sculptures, her drawings capture the full range of her ideas and sources. Consisting of approximately 100 works, the exhibition will be presented in two parts. The works at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (January 26 – April 20), cover the years 1984 to the present, when Aycock developed an increasingly elaborate visual vocabulary, drawing upon a multitude of sources and facilitated in part by the use of computer programs. The works on view at the AD&A Museum (January 25 - April 19) focus on the years 1971–1984, including detailed architectural drawings, sculptural maquettes, and photo documentation for both realized and imagined architectural projects.
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, drawn mainly from the permanent collection, 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.
(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 life and work of Barry Spacks, Santa Barbara's first Poet Laureate and beloved artist. The Spacks’ estate provided 108 works of art that will be offered at $108, a number that is sacred in the artist's Buddhist religion. Special poetry readings will take place throughout the evening.


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. Works include California Landscapes, Figurative and Still Life paintings of the highest quality. Southwest Art Magazine recognized Diane & Ralph Waterhouse among “10 Prominent People" in the Fine Art Business. Artist Jason Sacran will give a painting demonstration at 5:45pm. Jason Sacran won the First place award in the Portrait Society of Americas 2011 Members Competition, Best of Show in the 2010 Wisconsin Plein Air Painter Association Annual Competition and Best of Show in the 2010 Winthrop Rockefeller Institution Invitational.



735 Anacapa Street
The Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative, in partnership with the Downtown Organization, will lead a curated Art Crawl through the 1st Thursday festivities.  The guide for April is Kai Tepper, Executive Director of the Arts Fund. 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
A hot spot to buy cool art! Join us tonight to view pieces from our gallery - before, during and after the process of transforming the artist's vistion into beautiful bronze sculptures. Visit our 4,000 square foot gallery (120 Santa Barbara Street) to enjoy wine by award-winning vintner Blair Fox and teh art of world-renowned and local artists in a mix of different media and techniques.


1317 State Street, Arlington Theatre Foyer
UCSB Dhadkan will feature various South Asian music and dance forms at tonight's 1st Thursday, many of which will be featured at its flagship event of the 2013-2014 academic year: Nachle Deewane. Set amidst the elegance of downtown Santa Barbara, on April 12, 2014, Nachle Deewane will host eight of the strongest collegiate Hindi-Fusion & Bhangra teams in the nation, as they command the Arlington Theatre with charm, finesse, and power. Dhadkan, the Hindi word for ‘heartbeat,’ is an organization created as a front for South Asian collaboration at UCSB, bringing people of various backgrounds together to accomplish projects relating to social -change and entertainment. For more information, please visit www.ucsbdhadkan.com.


900 State Street, Marshalls Patio
The UCSB Middle East Ensemble is an official "Ethnomusicology Performance Ensemble" in the Department of Music at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Begun in 1989 by ethnomusicology professor Scott Marcus, the Ensemble has performed widely throughout California. The ensemble's repertoire reflects the great variety of cultures found in the Middle East. The ensemble performs music and dance from Arab, Turkish, Persian, Armenian, Greek, Jewish and even Assyrian cultures. Performance items range from classical pieces to religious songs, folk and popular songs, folk dances and cabaret-style dances.



630 State Street, 805-957-1300
Join us at Blush, where refined social dining is combined with a contemporary atmosphere. We will be featuring local artist Jami Nielsen, plus a wine tasting and small bites on our back patio ($15 per person). 


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
Poetry, Art, And Music- join CASA in a celebration of Poetry Month. Light refreshments.


19 E. Haley Street, 805-962-1413
Cominichi's is a crazy experiment that enlists an a mad team of artists, treasure hunters, and sharp-eyed Fashionistas to collect the best antiques, art, vintage and handmade clothing, jewelry, furniture, lighting, et cetera. The result is a potent concoction of new and old, traditional and wacky, sweet and obscene. Break the monotony imposed by our cut and paste society! Come down to the store for a true adventure. Currently on view and for sale are numerous photographers and artists as well as the entire Hansen Estate of Plein Air and Modernist paintings and works on paper by Ejnar and Jorgen Hansen. Everything from Victorian to Art Deco, Mid-Century Modern, furniture, designs and vintage fashions from Around the World.
Cominichi's is a virtual hot-house of style, and everything is hand-picked, and everything is one of a kind. Described as "THE COOLEST STORE IN SANTA BARBARA!"


1114 State Street #22, in La Arcada Court 
Have a wonderful shopping experience at ENCANTO, all things beautiful, one of Santa Barbara's finest boutiques. Enjoy live jazz + local vino from 6 -8 PM while perusing their fabulous clothing, unique jewelry + high quality accessories.


740 State Street, 805-963-7258
Join us for "Poetry In The Cave" a fun-filled evening of words and community in the most unique environment in Santa Barbara.


1028 State Street, 800-350-9333
Santa Barbara Travel presents the world of Oceania Cruises.   Meet the sales director for Oceania and learn more about their new ships, their exciting destinations, and what makes Oceania the choice for discerning travelers.  Elegant mid-sized ships, gourmet culinary programs, free airfare on every voyage, Canyon Ranch SpaClub, and port intensive itineraries are just a few of the differentiating advantages that Oceania offers.  Oceania has a unique blend of sophisticated and comfortable elegance, culture and excitement, learning and relaxation.   


134 East Canon Perdido, 805-965-7922
Join us for one of the best nights;  music with Brad and Anita Bayley, always a great time, like having friends in your living room jamming with friends! Artist Jan Dungan, her first showing at the Sojourner, as well as fun tastings of something wonderful. See what's happening at the "Soj.”


15 East Anapamu Street, 805-962-3321
The Book Den is celebrating Eric Kelley's 35th anniversary as proprietor. Stop by for some food, some drink and some reminiscing about books and bookselling in Santa Barbara.

2014 1st THURSDAY

  • Thursday, March 6
  • Thursday, April 3
  • Thursday, May 1
  • Thursday, June 5

2014 1st THURSDAY: After Hours

  • Thursday, March 6 at The New Vic
  • Thursday, April 3 at The Lobero Theatre
  • Thursday, May 1 at the Granada Theatre
  • Thursday, June 5 at the New Vic

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