Things To Do in Indianapolis: First Fridays

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On the first Friday of each month, if you’re out exploring the Indianapolis area you may come across one of nine local First Friday locations. First Friday is a year-round, widespread event across Indianapolis where galleries, studios and culturally-oriented businesses celebrate the arts throughout the city. 

First Friday is nothing new to Indianapolis, according to UIndy Financial Aid Counselor and frequent First Friday-goer Lezza Harman-Lineback. Harman-Lineback said this event has been around for over 10 years. First Friday is happening all over the country and it began when different art collectives wanted to feature the local art community and support small businesses, according to Harman-Lineback. It eventually evolved to what it is today: a monthly event that features artisans, vendors, musicians, games, food, drinks and much more, she said.

“You just never know what you’re going to experience at these places and that’s like part of the fun of it, because it’s just kind of whimsical and unexpected,” Harman-Lineback said. “And, like I said, everything you would think of in the art world, they have such creative ideas.”

One of the most enticing things about First Friday is that it is free to attend, according to Harman-Lineback. If students or anyone in Indianapolis are looking for something affordable and fun to do on the first Friday of every month, this is a set of events which can appeal to anyone, according to Harman-Lineback. 

“Sometimes they even offer little snacks, sometimes they offer free drinks. That’s a little bit more rare, but it’s definitely worth it to have, a cheap or free evening. And if you were gonna spend, I don’t know, $15 to go to a movie, you could buy some work for $15, or support an artist for $15, and you get a whole experience,” she said.

According to Harman-Lineback, Garfield Park (which is only five minutes away from campus) has five First Friday locations including the Garfield Park Arts Center, Big Car Collaborative’s Tube Factory artspace, Yoke Pavilion, Pen and Pink Vintage and Skosh. Fountain Square (which is also relatively close to campus) has The Murphy Arts Center, and various Fountain Square businesses offer extended hours and events during First Fridays. In downtown Indianapolis, there are events at Circle City Industrial Complex, Harrison Center and The Stutz.

First Friday features art; However, if someone isn’t interested in art, there is still something there for everyone, according to Circle City Industrial Complex. Harman-Lineback said these are well-rounded events. The Circle City Industrial Complex website said visitors can explore wood and metal shops, enjoy beverages at Centerpoint Brewing or 8th Day Distillery, experience live music or dance and much more. Harman-Lineback said that events like First Friday benefit the community in several ways. 

“It shows to our community that art is a priority to us and that it’s important. I feel like that if the community supports art, it shows that that’s important,” Harman-Lineback said. “If Indy Parks and these other art collaboratives keep promoting items like this and then the public supports it, it’s kind of like, ‘Okay, so they want it, so we’ll give it, and we’ll give it because they want it,’” Harman-Lineback said. “It also gives a microphone and a spotlight and a stage to voices that might not be heard.”

Those interested can find First Friday event schedules at

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