.South First Fridays Brings a Shower of Free Culture in April

After a long, wet winter followed by April showers, it’s looking like the rain will stay away this Friday. That’s good news for anyone looking to take advantage of a packed schedule of free entertainment at the South First Fridays Art Walk, a monthly celebration of art and culture in downtown San Jose.

On April 5, more than a dozen galleries and museums will welcome art lovers from 5 until 9pm. Friday festivities at MACLA (Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana) include a performance by Bubulú, performing music from Venezuela and the Caribbean in the Castellano Playhouse. Expect calypsos and salsa, as well as cumbias, sones, guarachas, gaitas and more. The show marks the opening of the 2024 Latinx Art Now! Exhibition & Auction at MACLA (510 S. First). The curated exhibition features work by 30 California-based artists that will be sold at a May 18 closing auction.

Another chance for collectors to acquire artwork can be found at the Community Art Auction at Works/San Jose (38 S. Second). More than 100 artists and 150 artworks are featured in what Works bills as the South Bay’s most accessible art auction. This survey of local art can be seen on Friday, followed by a live auction on Saturday.

San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art (560 S. First) is showing P L A C E: Reckonings by Asian American Artists, an exhibit celebrating 20 years of work created by artists-in-residence of the Lucas Artists Program at Montalvo Arts Center, which runs through August 11.

Closing the next day is “Maverick Photographers” at the Art Ark Gallery (1035 S. Sixth), featuring work by Alex Baranda, Annette LeMay Burke, Michael L. Boyd, Dan Fenstermacher, Dan Forzano, Agnieszka Jakubowicz and Jacque Rupp.

The San Jose Museum of Art (110 S. Market) marks South First Fridays with Hip Hop(e), an evening of jazz and storytelling the represents the second in a three-part residency with Francis Experience Quartet. The performance series uses varied media—including projected imagery from Illuminate SJ Now!—to engage disparate audiences with one shared experience. Poet Rosanna Alvarez will join the musical quartet.

At the California Theatre (345 S. First), South First Friday will bring a sneak peek at Opera San José’s upcoming production of Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas. In addition to performances by the singers from the production, organist Jerry Nagano will tickle the keys of the theater’s Wurlitzer and there will be performances by mariachi musicians and a folklorico dance group.

Find information on all events at southfirstfridays.com.

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