Although downtown Dayton’s treasured galleries, restaurants, bars, shops, and eclectic businesses are closed, the First Friday tradition is proceeding today, April 3, with the first ever virtual “Stay at Home” edition. CONTRIBUTED
The Partnership did make some changes for May's First Friday, which is again a virtual experience. This time, they wanted to make the event more focused on a particular subject, so this month's feature is on the arts. They're also trying to make the experience more engaging, so they've been seeking ways for people to bring "live" experiences to people's homes.
“The arts have always played an important role in the culture and entertainment of downtown Dayton,” said Sandy Gudorf, president of the Downtown Dayton Partnership. “So over the past weeks we’ve brought together key art organizations and asked them to participate in our virtual First Friday.”
One example is the live art opening being hosted by tend&flourish — an entrepreneurial collective of local women-owned art and wellness businesses — on its Facebook page. The unique art experience, entitled "Meet Me Home: An Art and Poetry Exhibit," will showcase the talents of artist Marsha Pippenger and poet Aimee Noel, both of Dayton. Pippenger is a visual artist, specializing in collage. Noel is a poet and teacher at Tippecanoe High School in Tipp City.
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The event, which will run from 7 to 10 p.m., will be split into two parts, with the first being dedicated to the art and poetry exhibit and the latter portion, beginning at 9 p.m., that will feature a musical performance by Novena, a folk-rock band from Dayton, and a fire-dancing performance by Jess Fecke.
Some other examples of live experiences planned for May 1 include the Dayton Society of Artists opening reception for "Intertwined," which will be live on Facebook. Jonathan McNeal from The Neon is giving a behind-the-scenes tour of the theater.
Organizers are hoping to give people experiences that they wouldn’t have been able to experience if it was a normal night out on the town for First Friday.
The downtown Dayton arts and small business community hopes you'll schedule a "virtual date" with friends and family to interact with the Virtual First Friday together, while apart. Whether it's ordering takeout from a restaurant, shopping from local retailers, exploring galleries, museums, or watching musicians perform from home, there is still much to experience downtown this Friday.
For the full list of activities scheduled for May 1, click here.
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