Artist and Venue Participation in Art Walk

First Friday Art Walk

One of the primary goals of the Michigan City Mainstreet Association (MCMA) is to infuse the downtown with artwork to create a sense of community identity and to bring people together through public dialogue. This process also has the proven effect of catalyzing economic activity and vitality which is perhaps the most important goal of the Main Street Approach.

We hope that by renewing the event’s focus on the artworks themselves and by standardizing the process by which artists and businesses alike can participate, the artist offerings will become more numerous, fresh, and exciting for people visiting the downtown during the event. We believe that the more people that visit the downtown during this well-known event, the more likely it will be that they will return even when there isn’t an event taking place. This is the overarching goal of the event.

To that end, MCMA will promote venues and artists on its UAD Facebook page, its First Friday Art Walk Facebook Event page, and in print media, and it will give venues access to special signage that will designate their special participation and location in the event as long as the following requirements are met by the venue:

Venue Requirements

1. Venues must be open from 5:00-8:00

2. The venue must highlight a featured artist which is unique to the First Friday Art Walk. We will not promote a venue if the artist is the same two months in a row. This will keep the event exciting for patrons by keeping the artwork fresh.

3. All artworks that are for sale must be clearly tagged with a label indicating the price of the item.

4. All deadlines indicated on the attached calendar must be met.

5. Musicians highlighted as a featured artist must perform live.

6. Special Art Walk signage must be picked up at the designated UAD location between 3:00 and 5:00 pm and dropped off between 8:00 and 8:00 pm on the First Friday of the month that you are participating. Signage not properly returned to MCMA will result in a replacement fee charged to the venue.

Current Suggested FFAW Demo Artists List:

MCMA suggests the following artists to feature for exhibitions as well as live demos during the First Friday Art Walk. If you are a venue and are interested in hosting an artist, please consider contacting these artists below:

Suggested Considerations for Artists and Venues

MCMA is not responsible for coordinating an artist and a venue. All arrangements between the artist and the venue need to be worked out between that artist and the venue. With that being said, we would like to offer the following suggestions all venues and artists should consider before agreeing to participate in the event:

1. Business owners will typically be providing the space for the artist, but the artists should plan to supply their own tables, racks and other materials that are necessary for the display of their artworks.

2. Participating business owners should develop guidelines for their artists regarding the hanging of artworks such as: whether nails can be used to hang items on walls; which walls can be used for hanging; and how an artist must repair any damage done to walls or other surfaces due to the hanging of the artworks. (nail holes/paint)

3. Business owners and artists should decide well in advance of the event what times and methods are acceptable for setting up and taking down the artworks depending on the nature of the Artist’s work and the venues. This will help ensure that neither the artist nor the business venue is negatively impacted on the day of the event.

4. Artists should plan to have completed their setup by no later than 4:00 pm on the night of the First Friday Art Walk to avoid disturbance to the business venue.

5. Artists should be prepared to accept money and make change for artworks sold. Monetary transactions should be the responsibility of the artist. This should be discussed and agreed upon in advance of the event such that patrons are not confused on how they can purchase the artworks.

6. Artists should plan to be present from 4-8pm to engage with patrons as they visit each site. Attendance is recommended, but not required.

Calendar Deadlines

10th of the Month: Business owners request connection with artist through MCMA if needed

18th of the Month: Business owners send confirmation of featured artist, store logo, artist logo, and brief artist description

23rd of the Month: MCMA creates online event and print advertisements


Any musicians, bands, or other individuals or groups interested in performing on sidewalks or other portions of the City’s public street right of way, should contact the Michigan City Mainstreet Association by sending an email to