Monthly ‘First Friday’ art event kicks off with an evening of drumming, hip-hop, and works by local Black artists at Texture


SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY — Art After Dark returns in 2024 with more venues than ever before. 

The SLO County Arts Council is excited to welcome back dozens of annually participating venues and tons of new monthly locations. The spotlight for February is Texture Salon’s “Black History Month Lounge: Celebrating Arts and History.” The lounge will include drum circles led by Tracy Morgan at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., a digital gallery of works by local Black artists, a history of hip hop between drum circles, and Black history visuals and conversation starters. This event is a collaboration between R.A.C.E. Matters and SLO County Arts Council.

In March, Art After Dark will highlight Arts Education Month with a neighborhood block party in the Mo-Jo neighborhood, featuring an “instrument petting zoo” from SLO Youth Symphony, alongside Raku (ceramics) firing demonstrations outside Anam Cre Pottery Studio. More spotlights will continue throughout the year.


“Art After Dark is more than just looking at paintings or listening to live music,” said Programs Director Jordan Chesnut. “You can meet business owners, neighbors, and artists or showcase your work. Each month has its flavor and energy. The event is gaining a lot of momentum and spreading out past downtown SLO.” 

“These events will engage the community here in San Luis Obispo County with the arts sector as well as the work of local organizations and businesses in a very exciting way,” adds Programs Coordinator Summer Truschke.

Art After Dark is a free monthly art walk celebrating local creativity with visual exhibitions, live music, and community gatherings. Artists of all backgrounds and disciplines partner with local businesses to showcase their creative practice. The event is from 5 to 8 on the first Friday of each month, countywide.

For the list of participating venues, visit

About the San Luis Obispo County Arts Council

The San Luis Obispo County Arts Council, as the local partner of the California Arts Council, advances the visual, literary, and performing arts through programs that promote public access to the arts, arts in educational settings, local arts planning and collaboration, and opportunities for artists and arts organizations. More information is available at

About R.A.C.E. Matters

In 2016, R.A.C.E. Matters formed in response to the killing of unarmed Black men by law enforcement. A group of like-minded people began to meet, seeing a need for local engagement around racial and social justice. They have responded more directly to the lack of Black-centered spaces and cultural content in the San Luis Obispo area. Their mission is to create artistic, cultural, educational, and social experiences that amplify Black voices and matters of racial justice.