Backthird Throws Party for New Adventures...

We’re saying so long to the Backthird studio – and to founder Benjie Hughes, who leaves for Boston August 1 – with a night of music and revelry at Backthird Audio starting at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 10. The party will take an “open house” format at 67 S. Stolp Ave. Stop by after work, or wait and join us later in the evening. We’ll have a few snacks and a cash bar. RSVP here. We’ll also show a brief retrospective of Backthird photo and video at 6 pm and again at 9 pm. Benjie’s quartet, Twin Strings, will play a little music just for fun. And if you’ve got any favorite Backthird stories to share, we’ll give you a chance to do that as well. After the party is over, Backthird is packing up and moving their wedding services to an office in Geneva. The recording studio is being shuttered, but their DJ and wedding music services will remain. Keep up with Benjie here. So, what’s moving into the Backthird space? Artist Kit Sunderland is moving her studio and her family to the spot. Downtown Aurora continues to be a welcoming place for artists. Follow Aurora Downtown on Facebook to keep up with the arts scene in...

Summer ‘Top 10’ in Downtown Aurora (for families!)...

Are you wondering what you’ll do with the kids this summer? Here is a list of mostly free summer fun for you and your family in downtown Aurora. Grab the kids and go enjoy these great, local activities. SciTech. It’s fun and educational. A perfect place for the kids this summer. You can make a day of it and do lunch in downtown Aurora. Super SciTech Saturdays are free for kids with adult admission on the last Saturday of the month. If you’re downtown during First Fridays in Downtown Aurora, it’s free for the whole family to get in from 6 to 8 p.m. Swimming Stones. Across from SciTech on Benton Street are fabulous swimming stones that are kinetic and wet. Wonderful fun for free. Aurora Farmers Market. They’ve never been more fun. There’s fresh produce plus a whole lot more every Saturday morning (June through Oct). There’s often live music, kids crafts, and more. Santori Public Library. Check out the website and find lots of kids activities including storytime, Lego Club, crafts, and more. If you’re looking to meet other parents, the library is the best place. The new library offers lots of room for young ones to explore, learn, and discover. River’s Edge Cafe. Grab a latte and lunch. The back deck is a piece of paradise overlooking the Fox River. David L. Pierce Art and History Center. With three floors of art and history, it’s a hit with all ages. The second-floor is fun for school age children with lots of fun relics like old candy machines and bicycles. Fox River Trail. A perfect summer weekend includes a bike ride along the river, and a stop at All Spoked Up for some bicycle TLC. Aurora Regional Fire Museum. The fire museum...

Summer Camps in Downtown Aurora: Art, Theater & Science...

It’s summer! Time for a little exploring, learning, and fun! Sign up for one of these summer camps in downtown Aurora and experience a great summer in your own backyard. Riverfront Playhouse: Children’s Theatre Camp This is a 2-week camp which will culminate with 3 performances on The Riverfront Stage! Through fun games, instruction and rehearsal, students will learn the ins and outs of acting including stage etiquette, projection and acting techniques, stage direction terms and all aspects of what it takes to put a show together. The camp will be led by Jen Connon and Cara Schuster – both are certified teachers with 30+ years of experience on the stage. Jen Connon first hit the Riverfront stage at the ripe old age of 12. Since then she has been an actor, stage manager and director for a large variety of shows at the Riverfront and beyond. She is a certified elementary school teacher and loves working with students on and off the stage. The camp is open to children 8-12 years of age and the cost of the (two week/three performance) camp is $125 per child with a sibling discount of $15 ($110). The camp is open to 10-15 aspiring actors and registration is on a first come, first served basis. The camp runs from July 20-31. Registration ends July 6th. Register HERE.  Kit Sunderland: Sunney Art Center Summer Camp Artist Kit Sunderland opens up her studio for learning this summer with her Sunney Art Center camps.  All camps meet at Kit’s studio, 14 W. Downer Place, upstairs from River’s Edge Cafe in the New Hites Studios and Gallery. The camps are one week long – Monday through Friday, 1 pm – 4 pm – and open to 1st through 8th grade students who are jonesing for some...

First Fridays Go BOOM! in July: Art, Music, & Fireworks...

Make no mistake. There will be explosions at First Fridays in Downtown Aurora on July 3. Along with free, live music and several art openings, patrons can look up to the sky for the city’s fireworks display.   Live, outdoor concerts at Millennium Plaza on Stolp Avenue feature music from Melissa Olson and Max Benson starting at 6 p.m.   In July, the following venues are open for First Fridays.   The Künstlerhaus, 114 S. River St., features The Sculpture and Sustainability Show with work by Soterios Gardiakos, Gary Brown, and Martin Soto. 6 p.m. to midnight.   Soto also announces the opening of Fotohof Fine Art Photography Studios and Gallery, 201 N. Lake St. Ste. 206, featuring photographers Maritza Partida, Zaida Rodriguez, and Jason Delancey.   Emergent, a pop-up gallery at 14 W. Downer Pl. Suite 16, shows the works of several guest artists. 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.   Fresh Tee Boutique, 8 N. Broadway, is open with fun fashions, sneakers, and art. Open until 9 p.m.   If These Walls Could Talk, 32 S. Stolp Ave., displays the exciting work of Greg Zanis that expresses sci-fi fantasy narrative, underground railroad systems, and more. 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.   The Light of the Heart, 52 W. Downer Pl., is open with A Midsummer’s Night, works by local artists. 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.   Culture Stock, 43 E. Galena Blvd., hosts open mic and previews On the Wall, their outdoor hip hop festival. 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.   New Hites Studios and Gallery is open for browsing upstairs at 14 W. Downer Pl. Visit the studios of artists Martín Soto, Kit Sunderland, Toty Pix, and others from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.   YM Boutique, 5 W. Downer Pl., and...

Downer Place Closed for Sewer Work starting June 15...

Downer Place will be closed between Lake Street and River Street for three weeks starting on Monday, June 15.  Detours will be posted using Benton Street as an alternate route.   The temporary closure is part of a larger sewer replacement project on Lake Street. During this project, crews have been replacing 2,400 feet of sewer with a separated sewer system designed to separate rainwater and sewage during storms and alleviate sewage backups in basements and pollution discharged into the Fox River.   The Downer Place closure is expected to last approximately three weeks. The entire Lake Street project is anticipated to be complete by the end of...