Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 10.44.26 AM

Image: via

One of art’s many valuable properties is its ability to draw people in, and to unite them in their curiosity and mutual love of culture. Many neighborhoods around the country are able to strengthen their communities by organizing “art walks” – events that promote local artists and galleries and invite members of the community to explore the local art scene. Art walks are a fantastic way to bring a community together, to support local artists, and to celebrate the local culture. Here are four fantastic monthly art walks:

First Thursday Art Walk Pioneer Square, Seattle. Pioneer Square, one of Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods, is also the most culturally rich and dense with art galleries, making it the perfect place for a monthly art walk. The Pioneer Square Art Walk is the first art walk ever organized in the U.S., and has been operating consistently since 1981. Lisa Dixon, the director of marketing and communications for the Alliance for Pioneer Square explains, “The First Thursday Art Walk in Pioneer Square has so much to offer. From tiny studios to well-known galleries, there is something for everyone to see within the 40+ galleries that are open in the evening,” of the expansive opportunities to explore the arts in the neighborhood. First Thursdays from noon-8pm, Pioneer Square.1t_logo_blue-red

First Thursdays DUMBO Gallery Walk, Brooklyn. New York City’s hippest borough is known for its sprawling arts culture, and the First Thursdays DUMBO Gallery Walk brings the community together to experience the arts together. Participating galleries vary each month, but there is almost always live music, photography-heavy exhibits, and many receptions for gallery patrons being held. It’s a “festive occasion each month for art lovers,” explains the Brooklyn Art Project. First Thursdays in Dumbo, Brooklyn, hours vary.

First Saturday Art Crawl, Nashville. More than 1,000 people reportedly come out each month for this downtown Nashville art crawl. Admission to galleries is always free, and many host receptions and live performances to commemorate the occasion. Visitors can explore the 5th Avenue of the Arts and inside the Historic Arcade downtown, taking in art from a diverse array of disciplines. First Saturdays in downtown Nashville, hours vary by gallery.

logoDowntown Art Walk, Los Angeles. This free, self-guided arts happening invites art lovers from all walks of life to explore the ever-changing downtown Los Angeles area monthly. The Downtown Arts Walk is mostly concentrated between 2nd and 9th streets, but many galleries are dotted along the downtown border, sprawling out into the city. Thousands turn out for the art walk to celebrate the rich arts scene of Los Angeles. Second Thursdays from noon-10pm, downtown L.A.

What other neighborhood art walks have you been to?