First Fridays is March 6: Trolley is Back! New Venues & Austrian-inspired The Künstlerhaus Opens Feb26

First Fridays is March 6: Trolley is Back! New Venues & Austrian-inspired The Künstlerhaus Opens...

First Fridays, a monthly open house of art galleries and businesses in downtown Aurora, is welcoming inspiration from Austria this March with the opening of The Künstlerhaus, a gallery and cultural center on the ground floor of the Metropolitan Business College building at 14 W. Downer Pl. Suite 16.   Artist Martin Soto, who helped launch New Hites Studios and Gallery last fall on the second-story of the same building, said the new ground-floor gallery will exhibit fine art paintings, photography, and sculpture and be “stylishly minimalistic.”   The Künstlerhaus is part of the Soto Art Project, which Soto founded with a mission to promote and facilitate a cultural dialogue, and nurture the creativity and growth of talented local artists and artisans.   The opening exhibit will feature new works from Soto, along with works from guest artist Jeff Thompson, a sculptor who merges a multitude of various images to capture the characteristics found in each of his haunting works or art. Guests also include Aroma Roots, an Aurora-based natural and handmade soap company, and Fox Valley Homebrew and Winery with tastings and demonstrations.   Soto’s new works can also be seen at Chef Amaury, 33 W. New York St., at the opening of the new art show, “Food.” The show will also feature fine culinary creations from Chef Amaury and paintings by Juan F Sepulveda II, another resident artist at New Hites Studios and Gallery. Other March 6 First Fridays venues include: The Yetee Gallery at 110 Cross St. will once again be open with pinball and other fun games. The Yetee fortress throws great parties, and patrons can purchase local t-shirts and First Fridays tote bags from 7 to 11 p.m. If These Walls Could Talk, 32 S. Stolp Ave., is announcing the...

2016 Rent Subsidy Program for Businesses...

Build your business in downtown Aurora. Aurora Downtown’s Business Attraction and Retention Committee (BAR) announces its 2016 rental assistance program to help bring businesses to the city center.  What is the program? It’s a rent subsidy program worth up to $6,000 to encourage and support new businesses to locate in downtown Aurora. What are the goals of the program? We are looking for new business start-ups as well as established businesses who want to move or open a second location in downtown Aurora. What do we want you to know about the rent program? This is a rent subsidy program in its second year worth up to $6,000 or $6 per square foot per year, whichever is less. The program is intended to help a business get established during its first year, which can be the most challenging time period for a new business. It is for new, first-year tenants only. The funds are for businesses seeking a ground-level location with a visible storefront. How do you apply for assistance from the new program? There are some requirements and restrictions, but nothing arduous if you are serious about launching your business in downtown Aurora. For further information, contact Bob Reuland at bobreuland@gmail.com. What if I already own a business in downtown Aurora? We are also offering other financial assistance to companies in downtown Aurora, who are needing help growing their businesses through marketing or other programs. For further information, contact Bob Reuland at bobreuland@gmail.com. Learn more. Download an informational PDF. BAR Guidelines BAR...

Library Art Contest Announces Winners on March 6...

Original artwork by Aurora residents will be unveiled as winners in the Aurora Public Library’s “Art of Technology” competition during March’s First Friday “Art Crawl” event at If These Walls Could Talk (ITWCT) gallery located at 32 S. Stolp Ave. in downtown Aurora. The winners of the competition will be announced in a 6 p.m. press conference on Friday, March 6. All of the entries are slated to be on display in the gallery, but only the top four pieces in each of four categories will be hung in the new Richard and Gina Santori Public Library of Aurora. Aurora residents submitted artwork on January 11 for the “Art of Technology” competition sponsored by The Dunham Fund. Entrants were invited to develop unique, high quality, one-of-a-kind, 2-D art pieces that reflected the “Art of Technology” theme. Judges have chosen a first, second and third place winner in each of four classes: first through fourth grade; fifth through eighth grade; ninth through twelfth grade; and adult. First place winners will receive $500 Visa gift cards and their artwork will be displayed in the Richard and Gina Santori Public Library of Aurora, set to open this spring. Second-place winners will receive $250 Visa gift cards, and third-place winners will receive $125 Visa gift cards. Artists submitted pieces in a variety of media, including drawings, collages, photographs, paintings and mixed media. ITWCT owners Jen Rauch and Tim Frederick said they feel honored to have been asked to host the event which will promote the arts in Aurora. “ITWCT actively encourages all forms of creativity, and since its opening in 2013, has been inspiring the community to take a greater interest in its own betterment, igniting a new awareness of the magnificence that the arts can bring,” Frederick...

Ballroom Opens in North Island Center, Downtown Aurora...

The Paramount Theatre recently unveiled the new, just-renovated Meyer Ballroom in the North Island Center, 8 E. Galena Blvd. Meyer Ballroom is available for private rentals, weddings, receptions, expos, and more. It serves up to 350 people. From the Paramount website: “The impressive, newly renovated Meyer Ballroom in the North Island Center next to the Hollywood Casino is the largest space of Paramount Events with endless possibilities. With three individual ballrooms that join into one massive space, the Meyer Ballroom is available for ceremonies, cocktails and receptions. The jaw-dropping space includes floor to ceiling windows with panoramic views of the historic Paramount Theatre and beautiful Fox River.” More info here.   You’re invited to the “I Do” 2015 Paramount Gala at Meyer Ballroom this April. The evening includes open bar, amazing dinner, live music from “Wedding Banned,” auctions and raffles to help support our Dreams Do Come True program, which gives underprivileged children the opportunity to experience live theatre. Get that hideous bridesmaid dress out of the closet, dust off your powder blue tuxedo or just dress as a wedding guest. Retro wedding attire highly encouraged…go for it! Join us and say “I Do” to the 2015 Paramount Gala! Tickets are $100. To reserve your space, please call 630-896-6666 or order tickets athttp://paramountaurora.com/events/gala-2015/ by March 30. Arrival & Cocktails 6 p.m. Dinner & Live Auction 7 p.m. Live music from “Wedding Banned,” Dancing, Entertainment & Silent Auction 8:30 p.m. The Meyer Ballroom transformation and remodeling was made possible by a grant from the Paramount Arts Centre...

“Deus Ex Machina” Wins Library Proposal for Public Art...

Jim Jenkins’ sculpture entry, Deus Ex Machina, was awarded the “Art for Technology” commission. Jenkins, of Jenkins Arts, Batavia is a local sculptor who responded, along with four others, to the Aurora Public Library’s Request for Proposal for Public Art. Read Jenkins’ proposal...