Frequently Asked Questions
In the winter of 2009, several local artists & small businesses decided to join together to support local economy & continue the waning First Fridays tradition in Boulder. Due to the 2008 economic recession, downtown real estate closures and Broadway street construction, many artists and small businesses were struggling. Danice Crawford of Marisol Imports got in touch with local civically minded artists Annette Coleman & Carol Garnand and they began reaching out to artists & businesses along the Broadway corridor, hosting monthly meetings, creating a map of linked First Friday art shows, launching publicity, and coining the phrase “The NoBo Nite Out.”
Soon key members of what would become the NoBo Art District came on board to voice their opinions and share their art, including Sally Eckert, Judi Lesta of the Amazing Garage Sale, John Horner of Studio 108, Vivian Jean of the Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery, Carol Schwartz, and many more. With the advice & support of Charlotte LaSasso of the Boulder County Arts Alliance, the NoBo Nite Out transitioned from a collaborative First Friday-focused event into a membership based arts organization, under the leadership of Annette Coleman, Lisa Nesmith, Carol Garnand, Diane Stum Fekete & many members of the First Congregational Church.
Today NoBo Art District is a grassroots, artist-centric organization, supporting the 200+ creative businesses and professional artists working in the area. The current NoBo Art District board president Lisa Nesmith and board members, Barbara Beasley, Susan Jotblad, Cindy Mueller, Marco Montanari, Steve O’Bryan and Jeanny Russell continue the tradition of First Friday open studios, art exhibits, and community projects and have taken the organization to new heights of inclusivity. They have the city recognition winning a 2016 Boulder Art Commission Operational Grants for mid-sized orgainzations. Over 70 First Friday events have been presented in the NoBo Art District over the past 7 years, involving hundreds of local & guest artists.
The NoBo Art District is located north of downtown Boulder along two visual corridors: North and south along Broadway from Pearl St. to US 36; east and west along Lee Hill. NoBo Art District is a collection of 200+ creative industries and professional working artists in private studios.
Creative industries are an important piece of Colorado’s economy, and many Colorado towns and cities are engaging artists, creative entrepreneurs and local cultural organizations to help vitalize their community and strengthen their local economy. The result: new jobs, animated public spaces, rejuvenated structures and streetscapes, and opportunities to bring diverse people together to celebrate, inspire, and be inspired.
Check us out on Facebook or Twitter, go to our website at NoBoArtDistrict.org, or email us at NoBoArtDistrict@gmail.com. Visit the NoBo Art District from 6-9pm the First Friday of every month to check out our NoBo First Friday Studio Openings. Or visit the NoBo Art District anytime! Many artists open their studios or teach classes by appointment. Please check with your favorite artists to schedule a time that works for both of you. There are many great restaurants, shops and art in North Boulder, so plan to visit on a First Friday or anytime!
Please contact us at NoBoArtDistrict@gmail.com, and we can help you either open your studio for the first time, join another NoBo artist or find a First Friday venue. You can show your work at another artist’s studio or gallery. You must be a member of the NoBo Art District to run an ad in our First Friday group ad or listing on the on the map.
Visit NoBoArtDistrict.org/membership for information about our different levels of membership.
First Friday Artwalks, a cooperative event in north Boulder and surrounding art studios, offering a fun, relaxing night out on the town each first Friday of the month.
PLACE Project a series of six murals painted on the sidewalks along Broadway.
‘PaintAbout’ is a unique mini-workshop held at various studios each First Friday. For a $25 class fee you can learn the art of silk painting, collage, pastel, oil or watercolor painting.
NoBo Little Libraries built, installed and stocked with books in North Boulder. These sculptural libraries are created for the exchange of books using the honor system; take a book, artwork or game, enjoy and return, or leave one of your own.
Habitat for Artists a mobile art kiosk where artists engage with the public in art-making and dialog.