Shopping with us for Virtual First Friday?


April 28, 2020

Contact: Claire Swinford, Director of Urban Engagement

719-201-1630 |


Virtual First Friday Challenge is back and bigger than ever!

$4,500 grant spurs consumers to help local galleries survive COVID-19


Colorado Springs, CO – Virtual First Friday, the booster initiative for local galleries and creative businesses, generatedover $20,000 in sales at 15 local businesses in just 3 hours on April 3. Now, Virtual First Friday returns with even more featured venues and challenge funding. On First Friday, May 1, join over two dozen local art venues for interactive videos, demos, artist talks and online shopping.


Who: Local consumers and art lovers

What: Virtual “art walk” event to support local galleries & creative businesses


When: Friday, May 1, 5-8 p.m. MST

Why: Local artists and artisans, and the businesses that represent them, are struggling during COVID-19. Sustain these pillars of local culture and the economy by making a remote purchase on First Friday.


Thanks to a $4,500 grant from Bee Vradenburg Foundation and Downtown Development Authority, when a remote purchase of $50 or more is made from any of the venues listed at, the venue will receive a $50 “tip” to help cover their costs while business remains impacted by COVID-19. $1,500 in challenge dollars will be available at the top of each hour from 5-8 p.m., so patrons are encouraged to buy early and often. Challenge grant applies only to purchases made 5-8 p.m. MST on Friday, May 1. View full FAQ here:


    • Any purchase of $50 or more is eligible, as long as it is transacted between 5-8 p.m. MST on Friday, May 1and proof of purchase is IMMEDIATELY sent to (see below).
    • Eligibility will be determined based on the timestamp listed on the proof of purchase (e-receipt or email exchange with gallery owner).
    • Proof of purchase must be IMMEDIATELY sent to with the subject line “BVF ❤ VFF.” Submissions will be honored up to 24 hours following the end of the event.
    • Purchases of $50 or more will be matched at $50 per purchaser, per gallery.
    • Bee Vradenburg Foundation and Downtown Development Authority’s gift is capped at $1,500 per hour ($4,500 total for the evening), which will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis on the top of every hour (5, 6 and 7 p.m.).


Members of the public can access short videos, shopping links and more information at, part of the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region’s Peak Radar Virtual hub for remote access to cultural content.


The effort to support local galleries with virtual content was launched by Downtown gallery Art 111, Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs, Shop Old Colorado City, and the Manitou Art Center with assistance from Peak Radar, Support the Springs and graphic designer Noel Dolan. Bee Vradenburg Foundation and Downtown Development Authority are funding the Virtual First Friday Challenge as part of their ongoing efforts to directly support local business and the Pikes Peak Region’s cultural sector during the challenges of COVID-19.



Local artists and arts venues are a vital part of the Pikes Peak Region economy, contributing $153 million in revenues; 5,070 full-time equivalent jobs; and nearly $16 million in tax revenue to local and state government every year. Event-related spending by art and cultural audiences totaled $102.1 million in 2015, the last time the Pikes Peak Region was studied by the Arts & Economic Prosperity (AEP) initiative of Americans for the Arts. Please note these figures reflect only the impact of the nonprofit arts and culture industries; the cumulative impact of the Pikes Peak Region’s creative industries, for-profit and non-, is much greater.



Under normal circumstances, First Friday Downtown features FREE monthly cultural events throughout Downtown Colorado Springs. Galleries, museums, cultural organizations, and retailers host art openings, artist receptions, performances, and more the first Friday of each month, from 5 - 8 p.m. Additional details


Downtown Colorado Springs is a Certified Creative District in the Colorado Creative Industries Creative District Program. Included in the district are cultural landmarks, award-winning outdoor sculpture, independent galleries, and other one-of-a-kind cultural and entertainment opportunities. First Friday Downtown is supported in part by Colorado Creative Industries, the Boettcher Foundation, and National Endowment for the Arts. For more information, visit


Please note: Our staff is working remotely, so it’s easiest to reach us by email. Click to learn how you can support Downtown businesses during the COVID-19 situation.