Saturday, April 14, 2007

First Friday, Art Event or Retail Event

If April's First Friday was and example of what to expect in the future then the event may well be doomed. First Friday has certainly had difficulties in the last couple of years, and these difficulties can be traced directly back to the parties that were in charge of coordinating the event. The Arts Council now is the co-ordinating agency, but I think that this is a mistake because, in this case, the interest of art and business are not parallel. For example January's first Friday was a warm day with the promise of threatening weather. Late in the afternoon there was an anouncement from the Arts Council that First Friday was cancelled. A retail prespective would have been to announce that the street events were cancelled, but the restaurants and galleries were still open. As it turned out it never rained and a good opportunity was wasted. Downtown retailers are independent business owners who have made tremendous sacrafices to start their businesses. We have to pay the rent and make payroll through the good months and bad months. Street artist often are in business for the price of a saxaphone and are under no obligation to press on when it becomes inconvenient.