First Friday is a monthly event located downtown that has been running since 2002. It aims to showcase local artists, performers, musicians and businesses. It provides a platform for emerging artists to display their work, encourages community engagement, and fosters a vibrant and inclusive cultural scene.
The featured artist for February was Athena Q Designs, originally from the Dominican Republic. Athena specializes in geode resin designs crafted since 2020, with select pieces available for purchase at the Sliding Door Studio on the second floor of the Arts Factory.
Gina Cifonelli is the new resident artist that has been added for 2024, with another artist joining her who will be announced.
Other specials this month included primary founder Cindy Funkhouser’s Artist Space in the Mandala Store, as well as several artists from the ISI group holding an interactive live painting.
Local bands play in the Art Square from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. This month, bands Elevated Grounds and 90 Proof played at 8:00 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. respectively at the Main City of Las Vegas Stage.
Various food trucks lined the Art Square, including names like Pink Box and Hot Dog on a Stick. Other options included vegetarian Mexican food, vegan finger foods, and freshly baked pizzas.
Small businesses and independent artists also sell jewelry, clothing, stickers, pins, and more each month.
UNLV student Desmond Tippins, who has been attending First Fridays for over a year, expressed his appreciation for the deeper meaning behind the event. “What surprises me the most about First Friday is how close-knit the local community is,” Tippins said. “It’s interesting to see how local artists and vendors share creativity in such unique ways.”
The First Friday Foundation is sponsored by City of Las Vegas, Jardin, AT&T, Crown Royal, The English Hotel, KTNV 13, and Park West Gallery.
The upcoming First Friday is scheduled for March 1. Parking can be reserved in advance at ffflv.org or at the parking lot located at 500 S. Main Street for $6, with a free shuttle drop-off at Main and 1st and rideshare drop-off located on Hoover and 1st.