First Friday in the Crossroads Arts District

Some come for the exhibits, and others come to party, but everyone agrees the Crossroads Arts District is the best place to be on the first Friday of the month. From 6-9pm, galleries offer free glasses of wine to visitors browsing new exhibits from talented local artists. Free appetizers, meal and drink specials are offered in several unique bars and restaurants around the Crossroads, many featuring live bands and performance artists. During the summer months, festivities hit a fever pitch as crowds fill the streets for vendors and street performers, morphing First Friday into a full-bodied feast for the senses. So, no matter what you have in mind for a Friday night adventure, the Crossroads Arts District has it!

* Art Galleries

Everything from traditional oil paintings to outrageous can opener sculpture can be found in over 60 art and design showrooms.

Arts Incubator
115 W 18th St

In the heart of the Crossroads Arts District, the Arts Incubator of Kansas City offers training, business classes and gallery space for recent graduates of the local Art Institute. Here, new artists find work space and supportive mentors to aid in refining their craft. Visitors are welcome to tour the artist’s studios and Cocoon Gallery on First Friday.

Belger Arts Center
2100 Walnut

The Belger is the largest gallery in the area, running seasonal exhibits in the Spring, Summer and Fall. All exhibits are free and open to the public.

* Shopping

If art isn’t your thing, the Crossroads Arts District also has a wide range of clothiers, jewelers, and furniture craftsmen offering one-of-a-kind designs in unique boutiques and showrooms.

Film Row Arts Building
1815-23 Wyandotte

This famous building was fully renovated 2002-04. Current residents include Black Bamboo and Aesthetica, two of the best shops in the city for furniture, home decor and interior design.

* Food and Drink

Food is also considered art in the Crossroads, and there is no shortage of options for lunch and dinner. If you’re too full to eat your way through the entire Crossroads area, take home a box of decadent treats and organic pastries.

Christopher Elbow Chocolates
1819 McGee St.

Elbow’s beautiful chocolate creations were recently featured in Food & Wine Magazine. Each piece is hand-crafted on-site with the finest ingredients, many locally grown.

The Cashew
2000 Grand Blvd

This breezy hip ‘n sleek restaurant/bar offers casual lunch and dinner fare in the ground floor of a converted warehouse building. Come out for unique cocktails or just to people-watch on Friday nights.

* Parking and Transportation

The Crossroads District borders a busy downtown business district, so there is no shortage of metered parking after-hours. If you prefer to skip the traffic, take the Metro bus to any one of several local stops.

The Metro Trip Planner – http://www.kcata.org/maps_schedules/trip_planner/
Use Google Transit from the Metro website to find stops near your Crossroads destination.

* Events Calendar

Crossroads District resident, Pitch Magazine, maintains a weekly events calendar. Pick up a Pitch at any merchant or gallery location in the Crossroads, or review the Events Calendar (http://www.pitch.com/events/region/downtown-133615/) online.

Thanks to a grassroots effort by the owner of the Dolphin Gallery, this once blighted passageway between Downtown and Crown Center is now a thriving arts community. In lieu of rising concern over the Soho Effect pricing out the local arts community, the city recently implemented tax abatements for galleries and art centers. So come out and support the arts visit the Crossroads!