Downtown Raleigh Alliance
#Repost @vaeraleigh ・・・ One of our new priorities is putting money directly in artists' pockets with grants, fellowships, artist stipends, and through our Fiscal Sponsorship program that allows individual artists and non-incorporated art collectives to fundraise for creative projects using VAE’s resources and nonprofit status. Last year we hooked artists up with about $65,000 for their projects, and we hope to grow this amount in 2018! We have also increased our exhibition opportunities, showing the work of 1600+ artists in 81 exhibits in the past year, paying out over $27,000 in artist commissions. And perhaps most important of all is VAE's clarified focus on building partnerships and using our resources to amplify the voices of populations who are often the most vulnerable or overlooked. (Our current exhibition is work made by men serving life sentences in Central Prison. Come check it out!) . All of this growth happens because of you and for you. This is why I'm writing to ask you to consider donating your artwork to VAE’s For the Love of Art Auction. This fundraiser is our single biggest source of income for the year, fueling all the good work we do. Everyone who works at VAE is also a working artist, so we know how often you get asked to donate. But VAE’s fundraiser is one of few that raises money to directly benefit artists. Proceeds from your donation will support for YOUR own career. Each staff member donates their artwork to VAE’s annual gala alongside you. I am currently finishing the second of my two donations for this year's gala. We support this organization because we know, first hand, how important supporting artists' careers is! . So we hope we get to hang out with you tonight and raise a glass together to making this creative community everything it can be. And we hope that you'll consider supporting VAE by bringing an art donation along with you tonight! Besides that warm fuzzy feeling of a good deed done, other benefits of donating your work include the opportunity to connect with great curators and collectors, discounted gala tickets, and promotion of your artwork! . Pictured: "Goodbye" - @bmcordrey

About First Friday

Next First Friday: March 2, 2018

First Friday, presented by the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, showcases the vibrant art and creative community in downtown Raleigh on the first Friday of every month from 6-9 pm. The free public event features a variety of local art galleries and studios, museums and exhibitors that stay open late, put on special events and often offer refreshments. Retailers and restaurants participate by showcasing art, music or offering a First Friday special.

For a list of participating venues, please visit our venues page and check out our venue map. Pick up a printed First Friday map and guide at participating venues. Look for First Friday flags hanging outside venues on First Friday to easily locate participating galleries, stores and restaurants.


Due to current weather conditions, some First Friday venues may be closed or have limited hours. Please call ahead the venues you plan to visit to confirm hours. The following venues will be closed tonight:

311 Gallery

City of Raleigh Museum

HagerSmith Design, P.A.

Moondog Fine Arts


The Mahler Fine Art

Closing Early:

Retro Modern Furnishings

The Flourish Market (closing at 7pm)

Voda Boutique (closing at 7pm)


Join us for First Friday on Friday, January 5. To kick off 2018, we have new venues and specials. We'll also have a GoRaleigh giveaway. Here's what you could win:

A GoRaleigh bag filled with a steel mug, two long-sleeve shirts, GoRaleigh temporary tattoos, a free day pass for the bus, and a brand new GoCard (valued at $2) which can be electronically loaded and used over and over again! Start your First Friday evening early because these bags are limited! The bags will be available at the following new First Friday locations:

Designed For Joy

Sir Walter Coffee

White-Holman House

To receive one of these bags at the participating venue, you must either A) show your valid GoRaleigh ticket from January 5 or B) share a photo on social media of you riding any GoRaleigh bus into downtown, including the R-LINE, and tag it with @GoRaleighNC and #FirstFridayRaleigh.

First come, first served. Bags are limited!

Contact Us

Are you a downtown art gallery or business interested in joining the First Friday program as a member? Are you interested in sponsoring or advertising with First Friday? Or are you an artist, musician, or performer looking to exhibit your work or perform? For all the above and for general First Friday inquiries, please contact Kathleen Louis, Director of Business Development at the Downtown Raleigh Alliance at 919.821.6972 or


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