Arts District – February 2016

Arts District – February 2016


First Friday Foundation, a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization,, will resume producing the popular monthly arts and culture festival beginning February 5, 2016 in downtown Las Vegas.

In late summer 2015, First Friday Foundation, acquired all assets and intellectual property from First Friday Las Vegas, LLC, First Friday’s previous producer. After the October 2015 event, the official First Friday went dormant while the arts district continued to hold individual events on each first friday, so the February event, themed “Back to Our Future,” marks the return of this much-anticipated monthly event typically attended by more than 20,000 people of all ages.

“First Friday has been the most enduring example we have of Las Vegas’ creative class and unique culture.  With the recent transition of operations to the non-profit, a growing team with increased community engagement, and the cooperation of the City and private sector, our intent is to sustain this cultural event well into the future” said Joey Vanas, Executive Director, First Friday Foundation.

The First Friday Foundation will post updates on scheduled First Friday events and other programming through its social media channels on Facebook at and Twitter @FirstFridayLV.  The new website,, is now active, and applications for artists and vendors are currently being accepted for the February event.

The First Friday Foundation is now operating with a full-time staff and a board of directors consisting of respected members of the community, representing a wide range of geographic and industry interests.


Hours of Operation: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Location: Casino Center / Art Way
Art Style: Emerging and established artists, arts, crafts

ArtWalk 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. showcases works by emerging Las Vegas artists. This is the perfect place to find locally-made, handcrafted and unique gifts made by skilled artisans.  Be sure to stop into the Arts Factory and Art Square, and visit the many art galleries and studios. Guerrilla Kages will be displayed with live painting by some of Las Vegas’ most talented student-artists.

KidZone 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. is the place with fun activities specifically for little First Friday enthusiasts. Families can participate in art-making together, build Lego® creations, have fun climbing the rock wall or participate in a drum circle. All at Boulder Plaza, East of the intersection of Boulder Ave. and 1st Street.

Dance DepARTment 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. is where First Friday patrons can learn about a variety of dance forms, listen to music, and make new friends all while getting good exercise. A new location for the Dance DepARTment, on 1st Street just north of Coolidge, coincides with the new format and programming options provided by Epyk Entertainment and Molodi.

Food & Drink 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. Explore the many options for your taste buds as the First Friday Culinary experience is back in full force with delicious options from a wide variety of food trucks and artisan food vendors – over 30 in total!.   There are also many brick and mortar options in the Arts District, as well as the Fremont District, with new restaurants and bars opening regularly.

Photo: Courtesy of First Friday Foundation

  • Dayvid Figler and Rae Lathrop

    DF: Downtown was great as a kid and it is even greater as an adult. I love all of downtown’s hidden gems, its vibrancy, history and sense of connection. Rae is relatively newer to Las Vegas, but just as passionate about downtown. Downtown lends itself to the shared experience, and as a couple we both love seeing this part of the city through each other's eyes. Photo: Lucky Wenzel


  • Rob Ponte

    Some of the best nights I’ve experienced started out with no plan other than walking around to check out what’s going on. The great thing about having so many bars and restaurants downtown is the ability to move around if you’re not feeling the vibe in one place. There are plenty of options just outside the door. Photo: Lucky Wenzel

  • Brandon Wiegand

    The downtown Las Vegas of today has much to attract residents - a burgeoning restaurant and nightlife scene, growing diversity of businesses, and major centers of art and culture. Plus, living downtown I am easily within walking or biking distance of it all. Photo: Lucky Wenzel

  • Hank Gordon, Chairman of Laurich Properties

    It is always a pleasure to deal with the city of Las Vegas’ economic development department. The staff is really interested in helping create a positive business environment to work with.

  • Jonathan Jenkins, Founder & CEO of OrderWithMe

    As our company continues its rapid growth, we quickly realized the need to set up a formal U.S. headquarters. We explored multiple cities and were about to make the move to San Francisco, and then we heard about the complete reinvention of downtown Las Vegas. Coming from China where things are booming and growing, we love that downtown Vegas now has a similar vibe of energy and change. Not only is there an exciting tech community here and much lower costs than the Bay Area, but we love the fact that almost every industry group brings their conventions to our front door once a year.

  • Andy Hsieh, Owner of Lux Delux

    We love the vibrancy and energy of Las Vegas, and downtown is at the heart of it all. That's why we've launched our mobile platform with a focus on downtown. This is an exciting time in Las Vegas history, where community, commerce and technology are all converging at once. Downtown is our city's hidden gem.

  • Ramesh Srinivasan, Chief Marketing Officer & Head of Partnerships of SocialWellth

    We chose to relocate from the suburbs to downtown for several reasons. Our brand image and that of downtown’s mesh perfectly. The new downtown Las Vegas reflects a more hip, startup, social media-style image. Additionally, downtown’s emerging technology corridor, anchored by Zappos, is an environment that enhances our ability to recruit the types of technical skill sets required for our continued growth and success.

  • Mark Brandenburg, President of Golden Gate

    I think downtown Las Vegas is a unique blend of intimacy and great energy. Plus, in contrast to The Strip, it’s so easy to walk around…The Golden Gate has been here for over 100 years and with all the changes going on downtown, it feels like a new era. It truly is a renaissance—the rebirth of a classic.

  • Roberto Mendoza, Co-owner of Banger Brewing

    The city has been great in helping us with the licensing and procedures necessary to start a business. There hasn't been a brewery built in the city of Las Vegas for probably 10 years. So for them it hasn't been a typical ‘cut and paste’ thing. We're something different. It was a team work process to get us opened – a lot of talk and listening on both sides. And now the city started opening up the doors for other breweries once we were up and running. Good news for us and good news for the future. (Photo: Lucky Wenzel)

  • Alexandra Epstein, Executive Vice President of El Cortez Casino Hotel

    This downtown area… is emerging and where many events are happening.

  • Meghan Mossler, Owner of Stitch Factory

    The city and the department of economic development have been very helpful to us and all the other downtown business owners. It’s such a community here, and everyone asks you what you need. That kind of help launching a business is amazing and priceless.

  • Pamela Dylag, Co-owner of Velveteen Rabbit

    The city is so supportive of new businesses. Things are popping up constantly. (Photo: Lucky Wenzel)

  • Marc Abelman, CFO & Co-owner of Inside Style

    Downtown is becoming very much in demand…there’s a limited supply. Run fast, don’t walk.

  • Sam Cherry, CEO of Cherry Development

    For a while, downtown was one of the only places in the valley you would see cranes when you drove around. It was nice that city government stepped up and the private sector married with the public sector to create amazing projects that filled the gap. That was very important for us.

  • Johnny Jimenez, Owner of Toy Shack of Las Vegas

    Our business is booming amid the foot traffic on Fremont Street, and we’ve started to see how tourists are falling in love with downtown as they discover it. In the past year, we’re increasingly hearing things like, ‘Wow, next time we’ll stay downtown instead of on The Strip,’ or ‘We’ve visited downtown many times, but this is the first year we’ve actually stayed in a downtown hotel.’ They like that there is more to do within a smaller walking radius.

  • Rich Worthington, President and CEO of The Molasky Group of Companies

    Historically, downtown Las Vegas has not been a top destination for many locals, but in recent years… that trend is reversing itself. Given all the recent openings and progress, there’s much to explore and experience downtown.