Whirlygig Inc. Programs and Projects
The ongoing 9-year old festival features the work of more than 100 artists each month and includes paintings, watercolors, ceramics, mixed media, photography, jewelry, textile arts, sculpture and hand-blown and fused glass. The festival currently attracts around 5-8,000 visitors monthly to the 18b Las Vegas Arts District and surrounding neighborhood. More than 80 indoor arts, food, drink and shop venues open their doors and 50 outdoor artists, artisans and entertainers provide outside fun. As Mayor Oscar Goodman says, “First Friday is the best thing that has ever happened to Las Vegas.”
Downtown Arts Information
Whirlygig provides a clearinghouse of information about the downtown arts community through its websites (started in 2003)—www.whirlygiglasvegas.org and www.firstfriday lasvegas.org and the First Friday newsletter and map. Maps and newsletters are available on First Friday in most locations, anytime at The Funk House and the map is available online both here at the Whirlygig site and First Friday site.
A quirky, fun and artist-created miniature golf course and art gallery was made possible through a grant given to Whirlygig Inc. by arts patrons and downtown supporter Todd VonBastiaans/Alios lighting design. Thanks to the generous grant, each artist received $250 for materials beyond basic construction and received $250 on the opening day of the course.
It opened to rave reviews from Mayor Oscar Goodman and other “golfers” in March, 2006, at the Commerce Street Studios.
The artsy, interactive, and fun-to-play nine-hole exhibit was open for all to enjoy at the monthly First Fridays until February 2007 (at the Commerce Street Studios).
Our thanks to the 12 wonderful artists and designers who created this installation:
Shan Michael Evans
Four local artists created postcards to promote Las Vegas art with the sales benefiting First Friday. Whirlygig provided the funds to print the postcards and the artists generously donated their artwork. Visitors to First Friday may purchase the postcards at the Information Booth in front of The Funk House on Colorado.
Visitors to FF may purchase the postcards at the FF Information Booth in front of The Funk House on Colorado.
Our thanks to the 4 local artists featured on the postcards:
Mark T. Zeilman
Commerce Street Studios
Whirlygig actively participates in furthering the revitalization of downtown Las Vegas. Whirlygig has begun developing partnerships to buy historic buildings in the area, turning them into art studios for lease and currently is a partial owner of the Commerce Street Studios—and is partly responsible for their preservation and maintenance.
Special Thanks to the City of Las Vegas Office of Cultural Affairs
The Whirlygig Board and Executive Director also work closely with the City of Las Vegas Office of Cultural Affairs, an active Host Sponsor of the First Friday event. Members of the Whirlygig team serve on arts-related committees and meet monthly with the First Friday Community Advisory Committee to address First Friday-related issues and concerns.
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