Visit downtown Santa Barbara for 1st Thursday, an evening filled with free art, culture, music and fun! The Sept. 5 event will include more than two dozen cultural art venues eager to show off new exhibits, artist receptions, craft demonstrations, and live music and dance.
September brings three first-time participants to the 1st Thursday Passport. Granada Books (1224 State St.) features Leslie Zemeckis, author, actress and documentarian, discussing her award-winning film, Bound by Flesh. Join Brasil Arts Café (1230 State St.) to discover their unique "Eat Drink Move" vibe and you'll find yourself immersed in Brazil! Photographers Bill Dewey and Roe Anne White capture the beauty of local coastal areas with their exhibit "King Tides — A Visual Indicator of Climate Change" presented by the Sustainability Project (Peikert Group Architects, 10 E. Figueroa St.).
Oliver & Espig (1108 State St.) will feature the magical artistry of Alex & Lee, one-of-a-kind wearable art that is based on a vibrant history of love, imagination and cosmic wonder. You'll feel the spirit of Alex & Lee when you meet Greg Franke, a longtime partner and collaborator of the late Alex.
You're so close to the Faulkner Gallery (Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 E. Anapamu St.), just swing in for the Santa Barbara Sculptors Guild exhibit and reception. For a special experience surrounded by the world's most popular seasoning, visit Salt (740 State St.), where you'll encounter all the wonder and beauty of Himalayan pink salt has to offer.
If Encanto (1114 State St., No. 22) is a-rockin', it means the Blue Moon Quartet is serving up some great jazz along with the exhibit: a fund/awareness raiser for African Schools of Kenya, featuring jewelry, clothing and textiles from Africa. Venture out a bit from State Street to Samy's Camera at 614 Chapala St. (showcasing images of the New Noise Festival from local photographers) and Antioch University (602 Anacapa St.), for an informal meet 'n' greet with the editorial team from Mission & State.
While 1st Thursday offers extraordinary exhibits and paintings indoors, be sure to check out the live music outdoors. Venture over to the Marshall's Patio (900 State St.) to listen to John Lyle, a local guitarist, vocalist, composer and music instructor. He has studied all styles, from jazz to blues to rock, and specializes in acoustic guitar. You'll find our community's only resident flamenco group, ¡FLAMENCO! Santa Barbara, at the Arlington Theatre Foyer (1317 State St.). Experience the thrill and excitement of the dance of the Spanish gypsies with Linda Vega and her dancers.
And speaking of dancers, be on the lookout for Nadra, blending her eclectic dance background with intuitive movement style to create a very distinctive performance. When you see her, tweet us @SBDowntown to give everyone the scoop!
All of these attractions and many more are free during 1st Thursday on Sept. 5. With three dozen stops on this month's 1st Thursday map, there is sure to be something for everyone.
Click here for more information and a complete listing of the specific programming offered at each gallery, as well as all public performances and interactive exhibits.
— Kate Schwab is the marketing and communications director for the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization.