First Friday might seem complicated if you've never done it. It really isn't. If you're like me, you want to know what 's going to happen before you get somewhere. Here are some tips to help you be prepared for First Friday, and to understand how it works.
First Friday Tips
- First Friday has grown dramatically over the years. That's great for the downtown Phoenix arts community, but it also means that you probably won't get to see all the art spaces in one evening. That's OK -- they will be there next month.
- The First Friday attendees are predominantly young people, but all ages can be seen browsing the various galleries.
- Many people take advantage of the shuttle service provided. Starting February 2009 the shuttle moved from the library to Phoenix Art Museum. You can park for free at Phoenix Art Museum and on surrounding streets. The Museum is on Central, at McDowell. You can also get to Phoenix Art Museum on METRO light rail (Central / McDowell Station).
- There are several shuttle routes. The shuttles constantly circle throughout the evening, using Phoenix Art Museum as their home base.
- The shuttles start at 6 p.m. All shuttles make their first trip at about the same time, so if you miss the 6 p.m. shuttle, it will be a while before you'll see the next one. The shuttles are clean and comfortable.
- Crowds are usually sparse at early in the evening, and some galleries might be a bit slow to open right at 6 p.m. Activity picks up between 7 and 8 p.m.
- The shuttle and galleries map is very useful if you are unfamiliar with the area, or if you don't have a particular destination in mind.
- At the Phoenix Art Museum, you can get a full First Friday map. They are also sometimes on the shuttle buses, but they may run out later in the evening.
- The most popular routes are probably the East, which covers the area around Roosevelt, and the West, which cover the stops along Grand Avenue.
- If you are into map planning, all the routes have close-by logical cross over points. For instance, from the East Route, you can walk to Central and Roosevelt and you're on the West Route. Or from either East or West, you can walk a couple of blocks south of Roosevelt on Central and get onto the South Route.
- Don't count on the Shuttle Bus drivers to be able to give you much information about the stops. Some are more experienced than others.
- There are cafes and other food stops along the way. Why not stop, enjoy a glass of wine or cup of coffee, and then start again?
- It is recommended that you get on a bus by about 10 p.m. if you intend to get back to the library via shuttle.
- If you are on a schedule, or just don't want to take a shuttle, there are places to park along the street nearly everywhere on the First Friday routes. As a matter of fact, you might not want to depend on those shuttle buses even if you aren't on a schedule. My experience with their dependability has varied.
- First Friday is an opportunity for people with political beliefs, condos to sell, petitions to sign, or other information to share to be out and about. If you aren't interested, just be polite and say "no thanks."
- Not comfortable walking around downtown Phoenix in the dark? Don't like crowds? Want to bring the kids? Try Saturday After. The first Saturday after First Friday each month, between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. more than 40 of the First Friday participating venues are open for a daytime experience. The First Friday map will indicate which galleries are open that day. You'll need to drive.
- Wouldn't you like to support these artists and businesses and take home a piece of art?
First Page >> First Friday General Information
All dates, times, prices and offerings are subject to change without notice.