Written by Savannah Pickard
As a lot of you might already know, Benson First Friday was inspired by the monthly artist driven event by the same name in the Crossroads district of Kansas City, Missouri. While our First Fridays here only occupy a few blocks of Maple Street, Kansas City's has a radius of almost half of a mile.
In order to get an idea of how things work down there, I was sent on an elaborate recon mission to find out their secrets and recruit artists! Guided by an old friend who just so happens to be a KC native, I set off to explore the streets to draw some inspiration and gather info to bring back to the masses.
At first, I was taken aback by the wonderfully diverse hordes of people that ventured out to enjoy art in their city. First Fridays turn the Crossroads district into a melting pot of people from all over. It helps keep art alive in the city and expose people to artists and goods that they normally wouldn't get to enjoy otherwise. The sheer size of this event is something that we can only hope to achieve one day!
We also got to enjoy a lot of street performers and musical acts that had set up on various street corners. Local businesses also serve as artist spaces for those needing/wanting to set up inside! I think this would be a great thing to bring back home as it would help artists and business owners in Benson area.
I didn't expect to make as many connections as we did during our time there; so many artists were eager to give us their business cards and spend time talking to us about our mission with Benson First Friday. Hopefully we get to see some of the people we talked to make the trek to Omaha to get some exposure and help us grow as an event and organization as a whole!
With a fat stack of business cards and new friends, we plotted the course back home with new knowledge and ideas to implement into BFF. Down below you can view a slideshow of some of the super rad artists we met and art pieces we liked!
Our Newsroom editors are current interns of BFF - most are students at UNO.