COOL Cultural Organization of Lowell

Cool Ideas

Downtown Lowell First Thursdays


 Art! Music! Food! Canals! History!

Visit our changing panorama of more than 20 arts, music, shopping, and dining venues as Downtown Lowell comes alive from 5-8:30pm on the first Thursday of the month.

Maps and info available at the Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center, 246 Market Street.

Next First Thursdays Event: September 1, 2016

Special events this month:

6PM: A special Lowell Walks with Richard Howe, showcasing the city's canal system. Meet at the Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center. This walk will end at the Swamp Locks, just in time for....

6PM: Light Up the Locks is the first-ever dramatic lighting of the Swamp Locks Canal Complex near Dutton and Thorndike streets, where you can enjoy live music, sample ethnic cuisine at the food truck round-up and experience a musical pathway until 9PM. You can also view artwork, listen to music, enjoy live art demonstrations all on the first floor at 110 Canal Street (Innovation Hub), and witness the illuminated "Veils of Color" public art project by Barbara Poole at the Appleton Mills. Lighting of the canals begins at sundown.

Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center
246 Market Street

The Visitor Center, with free parking at 304 Dutton St., is your hub for maps, information, and schedules for First Thursday activities and venues. 

Arts League of Lowell
307 Market Street

5-8:30pm: View our latest show "Numbers, Letters & Symbols" in the main gallery. In the John Greenwald gallery, Paul Richardson will be exhibiting his works, entitled "Sidewalks of Lowell".

6:30pm: Eva Glazebrook, Gallery Show Chairperson, will talk about Astrological symbols and their meanings in the solar chart.

Arts Research Collaborative
82 Prescott Street

6-8:30pm: Opening reception for "Folded Mountain": A selection of paintings and prints by Laurel McMechan.

Greater Lowell Community Foundation
100 Merrimack Street, Suite 202

5-7:30pm: "Connections Matter: Speaking Up For Community," an invitational exhibition of work by five artist members of the Loading Dock Gallery. Artists include Michele Boll, Laurie Simko, Linda Branch Dunn, Ann Lee, and Michal Truelsen.

The Brush Art Gallery & Studios
256 Market Street

5-8pm: Artists' Studio "Yard" Sale! Brush Artists are cleaning out materials/inventory they no longer need and hope someone will be inspired to use them in their artwork.

Whistler House Museum of Art
243 Worthen Street

6:30pm: The WHMA presents Moonglow, a new play by Lowell playwright and a finalist for the Neil Simon Playwriting Award Jack Neary, featuring Gordon Clapp, acclaimed Emmy-winning actor from the long-running ABC series NYPD Blue. The reading will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience. Refreshments will be served.

The Luna Theater at Mill No. 5
250 Jackson Street, 4th floor

8:05-11pm: Luna Sessions: Live Jazz on the theater stage! Have a seat in one of our plush armchairs, sip a craft brew, and enjoy the musical stylings of some of the most talented players in the area. Drop by early to visit our independent shops and grab a treat at Coffee and Cotton.

LTC (Lowell Telecommunications Corporation)
246 Market Street

UnchARTed Gallery
103 Market Street

Gallery Z
167 Market Street

Ayer Lofts Art Gallery
172 Middle Street

The Loading Dock Gallery
at Western Avenue Studios
122 Western Avenue, 2nd floor of the A-Mill

Mandarin Asian Bistro
24 Market Street

Lowell Gallery
219 Central Street

HyperText Bookstore
107 Merrimack Street

El Potro Mexican Bar & Grill
124 Merrimack Street

: Delicious dining and listening to the vibrant sounds of our Mariachi band!

Athenian Corner
207 Market Street

8pm: Concerts on the Corner!

Inside, find Greek & Middle Eastern Music with Bellydancing.

Bishops Legacy Restaurant
143 Merrimack Street

Local artists and delicious food.

Tremonte Pizzeria
112 Middle Street

Lowell Makes
115 Merrimack Street

5:30-8:30pm: Come see the amazing things our members make and sell at our company store.
The Hearing Room
119 Chelmsford Street

6-10pm: Acoustic Jam for all ages and skill levels. Donations accepted.

If you are a gallery or business who is interested in participating in this event, please contact Mary Hart at 

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Lowell Cultural Council, a local agency, which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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