About First Fridays Missoula

First Friday Gallery Night takes place from 5- 8 pm on the First Friday of every month. Participants vary each month, but usually include art openings in galleries, museums, retail stores, and coffee shops. The main objective of these art openings is to show and sell art, and give the public a chance to meet the artist. Most of the activity occurs downtown Missoula, but nearby galleries, like The Ceretana , The Clay Studio, and Montana Art and Framing usually hold openings on First Fridays as well.

The evening is also an extremely social event, often including wine and food, musical performances, poetry readings, dance, gallery lectures, and more. In the summer, street performers and street vendors commonly appear as well. For visitors, its a great way to experience local culture. For locals, its a fun night to run into friends. Many people continue the evening after 8pm with any combination of: dinner, a film, theater, kayaking on Brenans Wave, or enjoying local bands.

First Friday Missoula is not centrally coordinated by a single group. Each gallery or venue is in charge of their own event. To help centralize information, the Missoula Cultural Council keeps its ear to the ground and provides gallery and artist listings, our First Friday Blog, the First Friday Walking Guide. Coming soon-- we will also host a First Friday map for handheld devices like the PalmPre , iPhone, etc.

Back to Main First Friday Listings Page


Where to Park (and other transportation hints)

--There is on-street parking available, but many people don't know about the two parking structures maintained by the Missoula Parking Commission.  All are affordable, and are free evenings and weekends.  Central Park is located at 128 West Main, and the Bank Street Structure is adjacent to the Higgins Street Bridge and may be approached via Pattee Street across from the Holiday Inn. 

--Plan ahead and Bike, Walk, Bus: Missoula In Motion has a ton of resources to help you enjoy a car-free evening. They have a bike map to help you find safe routes, and they offer incentives and goodies.

--Both the University of Montana and Missoula Free Cycles have bike loan programs, if you just want to borrow a bike for the evening. Perfect for out-of-town visitors, or anyone who wants to give bicycling a try without having to buy a bike.

--If you are a student, you can take the U-Dash, a late night bus service that runs every half hour from 7:00 pm to 2:25 AM! Students can ride Mountain Line for free, to get downtown before 5pm , when Gallery Night begins. The numbers 1, 8 , and 12 all pass by campus.

Back to Main First Friday Listings Page


Is there still First Friday if "..." ?

Sometimes First Friday falls on or around a holiday, and a lot of people start to ask if it is still going to happen. The answer to that is yes, because the first Friday of every month is still the first Friday, even if it is the 4th of July. First Friday Gallery Night is a totally decentralized event -- so, whether or not all galleries and artists are going to participate is another question, and it can't really be answered without asking each individual gallery. Some may decide to take that Friday off, while others may find it perfectly desirable to hold an art opening, even on New Year's Day.  We do our best to get word of every opening and arts event we can find, so you can find the information in one convenient location, but we don't make any rules or guidelines for First Friday itself.