First Night ArtWorks! Outreach

ArtWorks! Project

Our community spirit is best exemplified by First Night ArtWorks!, our year-round arts outreach program culminating on New Year's Eve. We've engaged hundreds of young people and families who participated with professional artists in hands-on creative workshops in the visual, performing and multimedia arts at community sites all around the county.

This year's theme "Art Connecting Communities"features outreach projects using art to promote non-violent resolutions to problems, such as gangs, bullying, and domestic violence with a goal of connecting communities and building positive healthy attitudes. FNM will presents artwork completed this past year by youth and community members within this project at our annual festival on New Year's Eve.


First Night Monterey established this center last November and we have been busy with the community to create an inclusive arts center for participation in the visual and performing arts. Classes and workshops include: drawing and painting classes for youth, art camps, art exhibitions, dance classes in line dancing, Folklorico, Flamenco, Salsa, Aztec. Local groups also presented traditional Oaxacan dance and drumming classes, as well as sewing projects creating dance costumes.

Azomali Aztec Dance

Ramon Hernandez formed Azomali Aztec Dance group in 2009. The group started with only Ramon's family members. Today the group has 30 dancers. Ramon is teaching the dance classes at the GCAC Tuesday and Thursday evenings. The group currently has 30 members; classes are open to the public.

La Union Indigena

The Union Indigena Group was formed with the Triqui indigenous communities from the Mexican state of Oaxaca living in Greenfield. They formed their group in 2005 to pass on their cultural, language and family values to next generations. Presently they have meetings with dance, language and drumming at the GCAC on Fridays and Saturdays every other week. Meetings are open to the general public - must be willing to learn their native language.

Acoiris Dance Team

Arcoiris Cultural dance team was formed to reach out to the Greenfield community with the help of the Arts Council for Monterey County and First Night Monterey. Pilar Mendoza teaches folk, line and flamenco dancing for children The dance group has their practice at GCAC Wednesday and Friday evenings.


Free art camps for Middle School students. Activities included digital art, drawing, watercolor and painting using traditional mural techniques. Read more below.


Art Camp

Greenfield Summer Art Camp:

Eight weeks of free art camp for Middle School students, held at the GCAC. Activities included digital art, drawing, watercolor and painting using traditional mural techniques. Young artists designed and painted street banners for display on El Camino Real in downtown Greenfield.
Exhibits: Art Show and reception at Greenfield Cultural Arts Center, Greenfield Harvest Festival, First Night Monterey 2015

Alisal High School Engineering Academy:

Students from Alisal High School Engineering Academy traveled to San Francisco's Exploratorium for a day of inspiration and returned to their class workroom to create "automata", whimsical mechanical moving sculptures, made out of recycled materials.
Exhibit: You are sure to enjoy the Alisal Automata exhibit at First Night Monterey 2015!

CSUMB Design Students

We engage the students into a creative competition to create the annual First Night Monterey Poster and Buttons. Working through concept to design with the students for five weeks in class to final poster design.

Interim, Inc.

Participants from the local Interim organization created murals, sea puppets, and recycled plastic materials to create large sculptures and a plastic albatross.

Greenfield Harvest Festival:

Held on October 19th, 2014 with over 5,000 attending, this free community arts festival celebrates the harvest and farming community. Activities included a 5K/1K fun run, community parade, 6 bands, 7 dance troupes, interactive art activities, pony rides, a petting zoo, a pumpkin patch and 55 vendors showcasing the many cultures and arts of Monterey County.

Scholze Park Senior Center

Local artists and Center patrons created traditional folk paper flowers for the festivals and you will see them on display at various stages at First Night Monterey 2015.


First Night ArtWorks! introduced a fee-based Summer Art Day Camp at the Archer Park Community Center in 2010, and followed up with a Fall Break Art Camp, where drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, puppetry, mixed media, printmaking and performance art happened! FNM Staff are professional artists and teachers and our goal is to nurture creativity and enhance art skills in a non-competitive, safe, fun environment. Each Friday we have a "performance or gallery exhibit" of the work completed during the past week.

Some projects included:
  • Learning the "ten key words" of drawing!
  • Puppets - Large Walkable Moving Puppets, using recycled materials.
  • Introduced American artists to kids while offering hands-on art experiences in the styles of Great American Masters!

If you are interested in the Summer Art Day Camp or the Fall Break Art Camp for school children, see more details here.


FNM’s Art Works! presents year-round, free arts workshops to introduce the visual and performing arts to children and adults throughout Monterey County and makes their work an integral part of the region’s largest New Year’s arts celebration. These workshops encourage an active involvement in and love of the arts. Young people and their families directly participate in hands-on workshops conducted by artists/educators in the months leading up to First Night. Often, these workshops offer important enrichment programs for community organizations with whom we partner to offer the workshops. The creative workshops culminate in exhibits and/or performances that become part of the First Night Celebration and are exhibited in other public venues throughout the region, such as the Monterey Peninsula Airport Gallery, Sunset Center, The National Steinbeck Center and Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts in San Francisco. These exhibits give voice to the viewpoints and philosophies of all our residents and illuminate the commonality of our world views.

Collaboration is woven into our philosophy of engaging both the artistic community and the greater community, bringing them together to enrich lives and promote understanding. We collaborate with approximately 50 artists, more than 20 schools and community and arts organizations, and hundreds of volunteers in order to be able to present our workshops and the Celebration. We collaborate with business partners such as MST to provide free transportation and with Del Monte Shopping Center to offer free parking and shuttles to our audience on December 31st, and with CSU Monterey Bay for design work for each year’s fresh new look. We also rely on many sponsors and donors in our community to be able to present these workshops and the celebration year after year.

The ArtWorks! Outreach Program is a wonderful example of our success

We are especially grateful to all of the donors and sponsors who so generously contributed to our success:
Arts Council for Monterey County, The California Arts Council, James Irvine Foundation, Target Stores, WESTAF, National Endowment for the Arts, Nancy Buck Ransom Foundation, Harden Foundation, Monterey Peninsula Foundation- AT&T Charities, the Robert and Virginia Stanton Endowment Fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County, First Five Monterey County, Driscoll's.

Thank you!

To become a sponsor or outreach partner, call the First Night Office at 831 373-4478.

To become an Artist/Instructor, please email: info[at]firstnightmonterey[dot]org

First Night ArtWorks!

First Night ArtWorks! is made possible by the following organizations and foundations:

Arts Council for Monterey County
The California Arts Council
James Irvine Foundation
Target Stores
National Endowment for the Arts
Nancy Buck Ransom Foundation
Harden Foundation
Monterey Peninsula Foundation- AT&T Charities
The Robert and Virginia Stanton Endowment
Community Foundation for Monterey County
Pebble Beach Foundation
First Five Monterey County
Driscoll's Berries

See all of our 2015 sponsors

You can help bring these outreach programs to underserved communities!

      © First Night Monterey 2015