Garrison Murphy ’15
The first Friday of every month Roosevelt Avenue from 7th Street to 7th Avenue lights up in a vibrant display of art, music and culture.
People from all over the Valley swarm the streets throughout downtown in order to support small art galleries, listen to local bands and enjoy food produced by some of the many unique food trucks and restaurants that lace the busy street side.
This monthly downtown function hosted by the Phoenix based non-profit “Artlink,” dubbed “First Friday,” has been occurring since 1994 in an effort to create culture in the budding city.
“First Friday has been around for a long time…to help promote downtown businesses and arts and culture,” said Adrian Fontes, the owner of Bodega 420, a locally based grocery shop on Roosevelt that partakes in the First Friday festivities.
With “the nation’s largest self-guided art walk,” according to Artlink’s website, drawing more people every month, Brophy students are slowly becoming a part of the trend.
“Brophy is becoming more artistically minded … and a lot of students have embraced their artistic side,” said Will Harris ’15. “First Friday has changed and become more open and accepting … If not now, in the future Brophy will really see (First Friday) as an opportunity to showcase their art and have their culture changed by it.”
Harris and his band “We Wanted to be Explorers” performed on the back-side stage of Bodega 420 during the November First Friday event.
Many small businesses and restaurants like Bodega 420 support the First Friday cause by transforming into music venues and art galleries.
“Business cooperation around 5th Street and Roosevelt is so important … part of that is putting the venue out, putting the stage together…we actually have a really good time with having local bands and high school bands,” Fontes said.
Although several students have performed at First Friday most come to simply enjoy the festivities.
“Brophy students come to First Friday for a unique experience that they wouldn’t get at a strictly Jesuit high school,” said Jim Welty ’14 who attended First Friday for the first time this November in support of a friends band. “I think that I will definitely be going again.”