Cape Town’s embrace of First Thursday, a global phenomenon in the art world, is attracting new people to art galleries and adding a new dimension to the city experience, local organizers said.
The event – introduced to Cape Town in 2014 by Gareth Pearson who is responsible for several Cape Town initiatives such as the Cape Town Bicycle Commuter and East City Alley – takes place every month on the first Thursday and allows Capetonians to experience art galleries, museums and other cultural events until late.
Since its introduction, the event has brought change to the city’s central business district with restaurants, bars, food trucks and street performances joining in on the cultural idea – encouraging city dwellers to walk around areas which are usually quiet in the evening and bringing these parts of Cape Town alive.
“In fact, most of the participating galleries have noted that at the monthly event they’ve seen a totally new crowd and a lot more people in those few hours than they would usually see on an ordinary day,” mentioned Pearson.
Pearson said the idea to bring First Thursday to Cape Town came about after attending his first, First Thursday in London and the once-a-year event called Lange Nacht der Museen (Long Night of Museums) held in Zurich, where all museums are open until late and tourists and citizen alike are able to explore these until the early hours of the morning.
“It was just amazing. I like the idea of different attractions in the city at night beyond restaurants and bars,” said Pearson.
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