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Thirty years after the initial First Friday turned Old City into a destination for art lovers, a new documentary celebrates the annual slate of street festival’s hyper-local, hyper-creative origins.
For a primer: First Friday began in 1991 when several neighborhood gallery owners banded together to host art-related events and show openings on, well, the first Friday of every month. At its peak, the event — now stewarded by the Old City Arts Association — went from a dozen participants to around 50 different venues.
To kick off its 31st year, prime First Friday season began last week with a showing of “30 Years of First Fridays” at the Betsy Ross House on May, a mini-documentary that highlights Old City’s historical role as a gathering place for artists, and how the neighborhood’s next generation of creatives are keeping art at the forefront.
The short is Philly made through and through. Emmy award-winning (and Old City-based) All That’s Good Productions helmed the project, which features interviews with the owners of popular galleries like Biello Martin Studios, Arch Enemy Arts, and the Vivant Art Collection.
Looking to see the magic of First Fridays in action? Watch the documentary in full below, or head over to Old City on the first Friday of next month, June 3.