Next 1st Fridays
will be 'road trip'
PUTNAM ---The American City – it is the heartbeat of a region where art, cuisine, fashion, and music flow into the larger countryside. For the upcoming 6th season of First Fridays, the Putnam Business Association, together with the First Fridays Committee invites the public to join in on an artistic road trip, with stops at six great American cities. The season will explore how our country was shaped by the art, music, and culture of these distinct urban areas. 
The 2016 season will begin with a bang on May 6 with the first stop at The City That Never Sleeps. New York is arguably the world’s most recognizable city with distinct architecture and a reputation for producing iconic art. From the lights of Broadway to the gritty streets and alleys of the Bronx, all the way to the galleries and coffee shops of Greenwich Village, New York has created art with a global impact.
On June 3, First Fridays will make a stop at The Windy City. Chicago is steeped in history and culture with deep roots in blues and jazz music. The city is also known for its improvisational theatre movement, with many comedians and actors graduating from the Steppenwolf and Second City stages. With culinary creations like the Chicago Deep Dish Pizza and Chicago-Style Hot Dogs, this city is known for big flavor, sights, and sounds.
Just in time for America’s birthday, First Fridays will head to Boston 
for the July 1 event. Knicknamed Beantown and the Cradle of Liberty, this favorite New England city is known as much for sports as for arts and culture, with the Green Monster of Fenway Park and the hallowed halls of Harvard prompting the same national respect. Rock bands like Aerosmith, J. Geils Band, and Boston have all made their start here. 
Aug. 5 will move westward to the shores of the Emerald City. Better known as Seattle, this seaport city became the epicenter for the grunge explosion of the early 1990s, making its flannel-wearing, coffee-drinking residents emblems of a musical and cultural movement. However, poetry, independent music, fine & experimental art, and cuisine all have worked to shape Seattle’s culture. From Pike Place Market to the Space Needle and beyond, this city has a personality all its own.
Sept. 2 will celebrate all things country with a stop in Music City, USA. Nashville has long been the center of the country music scene with classic artists like Johnny Cash and modern musicians like Jack White, playing such venues as the Bluebird Café and the Grand Old Opry. Added to this rich history of music, Nashville’s food, including Hot Chicken and Meat & Three, contribute to the flavor of the city. 
The final destination of the 2016 season is none other than The Big Easy on Oct. 7. With its blend of French, Spanish, and Creole cuisine, music, and language, New Orleans is a uniquely cultural American City. Famous landmarks like the French Quarter draw countless tourists each year to experience the blues, jazz, food, and annual events that have made the city legendary. Playing on the voodoo culture of New Orleans, the First Fridays Zombie Fashion Show will return, drawing crowds from across the region.
Over the past five years, First Fridays has grown in size and recognition from a small outdoor art festival, to an award-winning seasonal event. Artists of all ages are encouraged to be on the lookout for information about the 2016 poster contest inviting local artists to submit original artwork using the 2016 theme as inspiration. For more information on First Fridays, the upcoming season, and poster contest, visit 
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