Quick Take:

First Friday festivities are blooming all over Santa Cruz County, with the April event including glass-blowing in Davenport, functional art from more than 60 locals at the mall and sculpture at downtown newcomer Minnow Arts.

This story was originally featured in this week’s Weekender newsletter. Be first the first to hear about arts and entertainment news in Santa Cruz County — sign up for Wallace’s email newsletter here and and text alerts here.

It’s been an exhausting and long winter on the weather front, and maybe a good way to shake off those winter blues is to bust out into the streets for First Friday, this Friday across Santa Cruz County. Among the highlights:

— So, the Capitola Mall might not be the place you’re used to going to get with the First Friday vibe. But beginning this week, that might change. Art of Santa Cruz — inside the Capitola Mall (near Target) — will host its first First Friday with the work of about 60 local artists. How is the recolonizing of the mall space by distinctive local artists not a great thing?

— The Santa Cruz Art League will host the closing reception of the “Unapologetically Black” art show, which represents the creative work of Santa Cruz’s Black artists.

— If you want to venture up to Davenport, you’ll be rewarded with a live glass-blowing demo by glass artist Chris Johnson.

— Another closing reception, this one for the accomplished Bay Area sculptor Stan Welsh, titled “Sea, Sea, Si” at Minnow Arts, the downtown art space you’re most likely to have not visited yet.

Those and so many more are all going down simultaneously on Friday from roughly 6 to 8 p.m. (while it’s still light out, finally!). Let’s do this thing, people.

Wallace reports and writes not only across his familiar areas of deep interest — including arts, entertainment and culture — but also is chronicling for Lookout the challenges the people of Santa Cruz...