An independent event founded by the Santa Cruz Institute of Contemporary Arts, First Friday promotes the local arts scene. All events are free and open to the public. It is a prime opportunity for local artists to showcase their work. No matter the weather, the monthly First Friday remains the ultimate art-binge for culture lovers in Santa Cruz.

Top events occurring throughout the day in Santa Cruz:

Art of Nature – Live Artist Demonstrations: Watch local artists demonstrate their impressive techniques and enjoy light refreshments while viewing the exhibit. Located at the Museum of Natural History, 5 – 8 pm.

FashionTEENS Santa Cruz: This free, family-oriented event taking place at the Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park is a fashion showcase for local teens. Stop by anytime from 5- 8 pm.

Women, Peace, & Power: Celebration and Open House of multimedia exhibit. Music, refreshments and a chance to meet the featured Endurance Activists, Biographers, Visual Artists, SoulCollage ® Artists and Authors. Located on the second floor of the downtown Santa Cruz Library. From 5:30 – 8:30 pm.

Love Your Mom: Celebrate your mother with wine, appetizers, and live music, at the Homeless Garden Project‘s downtown store between 6 -8 pm.

Photographer r.r. Jones Book Release and Exhibition: Join legendary Kuumbwa Jazz house photographer r.r. Jones for the release of his new book, Kuumbwa! Jones’ artwork, along with the work of some of his favorite artists will also be on display at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center from 6 -9 pm.

Felton First Friday Art Walk: The community of Felton hosts an art walk including a number of local artists’ work. The work spans a range of mediums, including painting, ceramics, photography, fabric arts, even bonsai! All exhibits are centrally located in downtown Felton, within easy walking distance of one another. From 6 -9 pm.

Grand Opening Santa Cruz Atelier:  The perfect chance to visit the studio with paintings and drawings by artist Lisa Joseph, and to enter to win a free drawing class. Stop by 303 Portrero Street between 6- 9 pm.

Reception for “A Figurative Affair”, a gallery showcase: Enjoy hors d’oeuvres and live music by pianist Howard J. Kimel, at the R. Blitzer Gallery from 5 – 9pm.

Bike Night: A family-friendly, inclusive experience for community members to come and learn about local bike resources and to celebrate biking in Santa Cruz. Come by the Museum of Art and History from 5 – 9 pm.

Home/Work: View the private photography collection of Lane Jouvet. Images capture the spirit of the distinctive popular culture of the 50’s and 60’s. The black & white prints are complimented by a selection of finely curated mid-century furniture and décor HOME/WORK has to offer. Cocktails made by Venus Spirits, cheese spread and jams by Friend in Cheeses Jam Co., and locally baked cookies. Wine provided by Bonny Doon Vineyards. From 6 – 10 pm.

First Friday at Good Times: Exhibit of local photojournalism featured in Good Times and Santa Cruz Weekly. Enjoy beer and wine while viewing the engaging images that have captured the attention of local readers in recent years. From 6 – 8:30 pm.