EDITOR’S NOTE: In my August 12 piece “This Has All Happened Before,” I wrote, “First Friday has vanished (temporarily) into limbo.” I was referring to the street festival and art walk’s administrative arm, which is taking a few months off while it transitions to nonprofit status. Curtis Joe Walker, whose studio and gallery Photo Bang Bang is a regular fixture of First Friday, took exception and offered the following rebuttal.
Saying that First Friday has “vanished into limbo” is inaccurate. First Friday Las Vegas has opted to reduce production costs during the summer months. This also serves to reduce stress and strain on their crew and vendors having to work/survive in an extremely harsh environment. First Friday as a neighborhood event has never vanished or gone onto hiatus. It happens every single month, on an individual gallery level, or as a community effort … with or without the help of FFLV, which is now in its third incarnation.
This summer, the street closures have been reduced to First Street, Art Way and Boulder Ave. The sculpture park space was opened up and hosted an all-ages dance party. The private parking lot at Art Square and the Mission Linen building was repurposed as the bulk of the street fair environment, with vendor tents and so forth. Up at Colorado Ave, the neighbors around Cornerstone Art Gallery, The Funk House, City of the World Art Gallery, and Glam Factory Vintage have pooled resources to close their street and retain their street fair atmosphere. Blackbird Studios, Clay Arts Vegas and Downtown Spaces & Naked City Studios have never been within the footprint of First Friday street closures or within the bounds of 18b The Las Vegas Arts District, but have continually produced events to enhance the efforts of their neighbors during Preview Thursday and First Friday.
The footprint will continue to ebb and grow, and the event will expand programming into Symphony Park and even Fremont East at times, as history has shown them to do in the past.