Documentary shines spotlight on Old City's First Friday
Old City will celebrate 30 years hosting First Fridays with a documentary about the monthly art outing.
Driving the news: The first First Friday of the season kicks off tonight, featuring 20 galleries.
Plus: Organizers will premiere the new 10-minute documentary "30 Years of First Friday," which explores the event's beginnings, its transformation into a hub for artists and its legacy as one of the premier art destinations locally.
Catch up fast: An underground art scene has long thrived in the neighborhood, starting in the 1970s.
- The Old City Arts Association, which formed in 1991, created First Friday for local galleries, asking that they hold show openings or any art-related events on the first Friday of every month.
- Some of the current galleries, like Biello Martin Studio, Painted Bride Art Center and Pentimenti Gallery, have participated since the early years.
Between the lines: Friday, May 6, marks the first major attempt to hold a First Friday completely in person since the pandemic.
- Job Itzkowitz, executive director of the Old City District, hopes it'll help encourage more foot traffic in the area, which he says hasn't rebounded from a major drop in 2020.
What they're saying: "There's something about Old City that has a magic to it," Itzkowitz said. "All of our businesses are independently owned, so when you're walking, you're going to see something different in each space and see something new each First Friday."
Elena Ordille, a producer for All That's Good Productions who made the short documentary, told Axios her favorite tidbit was learning artists often danced and created theater pieces together in the streets during the 1970s.
- "It made me want to go back there and experience the electric energy of the artist community — especially in a time without social media trends and comparison culture molding our identities and the art we create as a result," she said.
Visit: Catch an outdoor public screening of the doc outside the Betsy Ross House (239 Arch St.) for free tonight. It'll play on a loop from 8-9pm.
More Philadelphia stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Philadelphia.