What is First Fridays? First Fridays is a collective downtown open house with offerings of art, music, and more. Often businesses open with creative cultural, educational, and community offerings. Shops and restaurants frequently welcome visitors with specials and pop-ups. First Fridays is free!
Who runs First Fridays? Aurora Downtown organizes and promotes the evening. The business, art gallery, or venue runs their own art opening for the evening. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re looking to get involved.
Why First Fridays? Since the Aurora ArtWalk discontinued in the fall of 2012, there has been a need for art in the community. When The ArtBar started at Two Brothers Roundhouse in 2012, it gave momentum to other newly opened art galleries to band together and hold art openings on the first Friday of the month. The first collective First Fridays in Downtown Aurora was held in September 2013. Many cities hold First Friday art walks, so it is a recognizable event. First Fridays helps businesses welcome new patrons, and it encourages art in the community.
How do the businesses/venues get the artists? Artists are selected independently by each business or venue. If you are an artist interested in getting involved in First Fridays, then please attend an event and then reach out to the venue owner(s) or gallery curator to participate. See more below.
Who promotes First Fridays? The business or venue is responsible for promoting their own event, however, Aurora Downtown, an organization of downtown business owners and property owners, assists in promoting the night in its entirety by sending out press releases and promoting the evening on its website, social media, and print publications.
How do I become a First Fridays location? All downtown businesses are invited to participate in First Fridays. Each location is independently run by the participating venue. Communication of dates, times, and artist details are requested by the 15th of the month by noon prior to the First Fridays date. Events included on the map are open to the public and welcome to all. Please see the online form to fill out to be included.
Anything else I should know about First Fridays? Most locations are open from 6 to 9 p.m., but the times vary and each venue decides their own times, and First Fridays can run from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Most venues provide snacks and beverages and they are responsible for those costs. Some venues kindly ask for donations to support their event.
I’m an artist. How do I get involved in First Fridays? We first encourage you to attend First Fridays and establish a relationship with venue owners, then it is best to contact the business owners where you would like to display your art.
How do I promote a corporate business at First Fridays? First Fridays remains a unique event for downtown businesses. There is not currently a corporate business program, but corporate sponsorships are sometimes available for other events like Wednesdays at the Plaza and our summer movie series.
How can I become a Pop Up vendor? There are various Pop Ups during First Fridays at a variety of locations. Please check with participating venues or reach out to businesses located downtown Aurora. Visit a First Fridays event for more info.
Is First Fridays dog friendly? Downtown Aurora is dog friendly. Please check with participating venues to see if they allow dogs. Most outdoor locations will allow leashed dogs. Since First Fridays draws large crowds, please use good judgement on bringing a dog.