Indy has a vibrant arts and cultural scene that is always ready to be explored. In 2004, to promote artists, musicians, and small businesses, Indy began celebrating the First Friday of every month with local organizations hosting gallery openings, creative exhibits, and music events all around the city. 

Origins of First Friday 

Let’s talk First Fridays’ origin with founder Mark Ruschman. Ruschman was President of the Indianapolis Downtown Artists and Dealers Association (IDADA) that started the tradition. 


“The First Friday Gallery Tour began in 2004 and continued through 2017. IDADA eventually disbanded, but the First Friday Gallery Tour remains active today across downtown Indianapolis. The First Friday Art Tour began in response to the increasing number of gallery and art openings on a weekly basis across downtown Indianapolis in the early 2000’s. Promoting the first Friday of the month as a night when all of the venues would be open, we believed, would better serve our patrons and the exhibiting artists.”


“It helped (and continues to) create a sense of community among the diverse arts offerings in the city. First Friday has been established as a brand the public knows as an opportunity to see quality art and art experiences across downtown Indianapolis. First Friday, through the participating venues, has provided numerous opportunities for local, regional, and nationally known artists to exhibit and sell their work.”

Places Celebrating First Fridays 

Start the first weekend of each month off right and join the communities in Indy to experience local art, music, and vendors.

  • Tube Factory Artspace. Enjoy the space at the Garfield Park community in the parking lot with vending space for local artists and food vendors. Every First Friday | 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm | 1125 Cruft Street

  • Come and meet artists working at The Stutz! Visit studios, buy art, and meet other lovers of art. Every First Friday | 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm | 1060 N. Capitol Ave

  • The Athenaeum. Mix, mingle, and marvel. The ArtSpace gallery (located in the lobby of the Basile Theatre) features a rotating bi-monthly exhibit calendar showcasing the work of emerging and established artists of all disciplines. The bar is open and ready to make this the best way to kick off your First Friday Gallery tour. Every First Friday | 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm | 401 E Michigan St

  • Aurora PhotoCenter. In the galleries February First Friday and through April 15: Beholden, by Eli Craven, and The Quarry Project, by Tsar Fedorsky. | 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm | 1125 East Brookside Avenue, Suite C9

  • The Murphy Arts Center. Open every First Friday, featuring a wide-range of exciting and talented artists and vendors. Join this Friday for an evening of art and community on the 2nd Floor of the Murphy Arts Center in beautiful Fountain Square. As always, there will be lots of art for sale, so bring your money and your generosity and support our marvelous local Indy artists and makers. | Every First Friday| 6pm - 10pm | 1043 Virginia Ave

  • Come check out all NMB has to offer! First Fridays North Mass Boulder includes $10 days passes after 5pm for climbing / fitness facility and local artists selling their goods in the Top Out Cafe. Every First Friday | 5:00PM | 1411 Roosevelt Ave

  • Circle City Industrial Complex Artists. Several studios and gallery spaces will be open throughout the building. Stop by and support local artists. Every First Friday | 6:00 pm | 1125 Brookside Ave 

  • State Street Club. House, techno, breaks, electro, who knows?! Join and find out! Come early and eat! & dress to sweat. Every First Friday | Doors at 7PM, music at 9PM | 9:00PM - 3:00AM | $10 | 21+ | 243 North State Ave