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The Return of First Friday Las Vegas
The Return of First Friday Las Vegas

AIR DATE: October 7, 2011

In late July, organizers of downtown Las Vegas' First Friday arts festival announced the event would be put on a two month hiatus. This month marks the return of First Friday but now the festival is under new ownership.
Three executives from Zappos and a fourth partner purchased the trademark from former owners Whirlygig and will now be the main organizers of the First Friday. The new organizers have promised a bigger and better First Friday with improved parking and an expanded space.
After the change in ownership was announced business owners in the arts district area said they were surprised when they learned of the purchase and were unaware the deal was going down. Despite that, gallery and business owners say they are excited about the changes. We take a look at what's in store for the new look First Friday.
Wes Myles, owner, The Arts Factory
Gina Quaranto, owner, Blackbird Studios
Joey Vanas, Managing Partner, First Friday Las Vegas LLC
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    most of you are just haters. first friday is a very fun event....n if you were paying attention down there to the art...they have some of the best graffiti art ive ever seen....and i really meen graffiti ART...not the gang graffiti or the taggers...actual graffiti art
    adam jacksonDec 1, 2011 08:45:12 AM
    A perfect example is the Mission District in San Francisco. As a Latino, I was very invested in the Latin art there. It grew very slowly. It was created by the poor and struggling locals who loved art. Outsiders came in, gentrified and is destroying a very beautiful art scene. Now you see stupid pop art everywhere made by transplants that have no investment in the culture, only the superficial draw to an "ethnic" community. Las Vegas beware
    IvanOct 6, 2011 11:11:47 AM
    Oh! I image they are already promoting on the local papers, but I just started using Desert Companion and would love to see at least one page with info for the following First Friday. =)
    SuzetteOct 6, 2011 11:06:30 AM
    The guests didn't seem to understand my point. It is a legitimate concern. There's a fine line between local art and commercialized art. If you try to change the scene and the nature of the art you also make it inaccessible to your community. Would you rather be a struggling artist in a welcoming atmosphere or a a struggling artist in a place that only shows "good," "expensive" art. Where you have to have a name to show. The guest said herself, the reason people aren't buying is the economic climate. They were buying before, they'll buy again. Why does it have to artificially grow?
    IvanOct 6, 2011 11:05:58 AM
    Vegas native here, just returned to live in the city after 15 years from Brooklyn and beyond, I look forward to the first Friday after hearing so much and hanging out in the Arts district. After hearing the great debate between the Twilight versus emo and the wine toting crowds just keep the vision alive, art coming and wine flowing. Make the event big, but organic!
    BrandonOct 6, 2011 11:01:16 AM
    As a frequent first Friday pertisapant my fear is that it will become to corporate. Capatalism tends to screw things up. And so far as the youth element goes bravo I'm 57 and we have to educate and be tolerate. T
    shel baileyOct 6, 2011 11:01:10 AM
    I have not gone to many of the First Friday events. Usually, when friends plan to head over to First Friday, they consider it going to Freemont and checking out the bar scene and performers. I never really see art or local businesses promoted in that area. I wonder how late art galleries are open and their proximity to the Freemont area. It would be nice to see how Zappos will promote events going on down there since I am not familiar with the businesses that show up for first Friday or their location. Granted I dont really follow any particular galleries or artist yet, but I would like to and would like to have a more centralized area to find information. It would be nice to see farmers markets, holiday decor during the holiday months, themes, public performers or films, and maybe the wine and cheese can be held in galleries in the afterhours when the youngsters should be home because of curfew. =) When I visit San Diego or San Francisco it is really nice to walk into galleries at night and drink some wine and during the day to see nice, big, popular farmers markets.
    SuzetteOct 6, 2011 10:59:20 AM
    I look forward to First Friday under new owners. I hope they are not going to start charging to attend. That will drive people away! Especially with the economy in a downward spiral-most cannot afford to attend if there is an entry fee.
    Christine M Sawyer RN, BSOct 6, 2011 10:46:58 AM
    As to bringing other artists in from other cities... I think this should happen. If you want out-of-towners to participate and go and spend money this would be helpful in that as it might grab their attention. Then it will expose them to local artists. Local artists are obviously important but other cities have visiting artists and that draws in people that might not normally participate.
    Alex Oct 6, 2011 10:46:36 AM
    I'm an artist from San Francisco. When I first moved here I was surprised by the art scene here. It was new and refreshing. My only worry is that if we try to push for growth instead of letting it grow on its own, it will bring with it, all the empty pop art that drowns out all the good art in San Francisco. I like the small local feel of Las Vegas. I don't want another big city art scene.
    ivanOct 6, 2011 10:45:06 AM
    I'm relatively new to LV, and the first time I went to First Friday, I expected it to be a "wine and cheese" crowd. It was not. It was mostly teenagers dressed in goth outfits, punk garage bands and erotic vampire artwork. If you're trying to attract art buyers, you need to have artwork that people want to buy. It might be nice to look at emotionally evocative works, but would I want something so dark and frightful in my living room? Clearly not.
    StefanieOct 6, 2011 10:44:41 AM
    Will there be a broader choice of music to listen to? I am retired, and I am not a fan of loud in your face musical presentations. Something more intimate and easier to have a conversation and enjoy food would be nice. Happy Trails, Pat
    Patrick NoleOct 6, 2011 10:42:25 AM
    Joey hit the nail on the head... We need Southern Nevada to promote itself Culturally. Cultural Tourism, Art Tourism, Heritage Tourism, Eco Tourism is the key. Las Vegas is much more than a 5 mile stretch of road...
    Brian Paco AlvarezOct 6, 2011 10:28:55 AM
    How will this effect the NV Ballet and Music?
    D JohnsonOct 6, 2011 10:24:43 AM
    I do care about art every where.
    D JohnsonOct 6, 2011 10:22:49 AM
    There are people in this town who would like to see the Art Community Grow. This is what capitalism does. It let you take the ideas of others to make them better or make a change that would bring people from other areas. This a positive move for the Art community. How will this be inclusive to minority Aritist from LV Area?
    D JohnsonOct 6, 2011 10:20:25 AM
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