At the time it was founded over 30 years ago, First Night Monterey was a novelty locally: a family-friendly, alcohol-free celebration for New Year’s Eve featuring performances including live music and dance as an alternative to the bar scene. Over time, First Night has expanded its passion for families and the arts to be a year-round experience, with workshops, festivals and kids’ programming. Our outreach project, Artworks!, brings together young people to take part in performing and visual arts in a hands-on manner at community sites in Monterey and Greenfield. Through the year-round Artworks! program – culminating in the New Year’s celebration of visual and performing arts – First Night hopes to encourage involvement and love for the arts.

Help us keep the Arts in children's' lives! Read more about some of our past ArtWorks! programs here.


First Night Monterey is a nonprofit charitable organization 501(c) and your donation may be tax deductible. You will receive a letter from First Night Monterey acknowledging your donation for tax purposes.

How Your Company Can Be a Sponsor at First Night Monterey

Contact Executive Director Ellen Martin for details by email or call the FNM office at 831.373.4778. Levels of Sponsorship and corresponding marketing opportunities vary. Let us find an opportunity that complements your company image and fits within your budget!

Your sponsorship is the key to keeping our award-winning programming affordable for all children and families.

First Night Monterey brings together people of all ages, races and backgrounds. Last year, nearly 20,000 people sampled jazz, folk and classical music. There were venues that introduced our community to a variety of dance styles, supplied opportunities to design and build masks, hats, and puppets. Each year participants see themselves, each other, and our community in a brand new way ... In an atmosphere electric with joy and hope.

Your support is needed now more than ever as we expand our outreach workshops, extend our celebration 'footprint', and plan for the 31st annual First Night Monterey celebration.

Thanks to the leadership and generosity of our past donors and sponsors, First Night Monterey has become a treasured family tradition. The New Year's Eve arts celebration showcases hundreds of talented visual and performing artists. Through our Outreach workshop programs, hundreds of young people work together under the guidance of professional artists to produce larger-than-life puppets, murals, original poetry, and more.

First Night Monterey has been honored by the following associations:
  • The Arts Council for Monterey County
  • The California Arts Council
  • First Night International
  • The Monterey County Herald
  • The Monterey County Weekly ('Best Community Event')
  • The Salinas Californian
  • The San Francisco Chronicle (#5 in article 'Ten Reasons to Visit Monterey County Now')