FIRST FRIDAYS BRINGS OUT THE DERBY AND THE DEAD (PLUS FREE MAC N CHEESE) on October 2...

  Roller derby art, Day of the Dead imagery, and free macaroni and cheese. It’s an odd combination, but that’s what makes First Fridays so much fun.   On October 2, First Fridays in Downtown Aurora features the Art of Derby at the Yetee Gallery, Day of the Dead photography is on display at If These Walls Could Talk, and free macaroni and cheese with toppings courtesy of Prisco’s Family Market is available at Family Counseling Service.   First Fridays continues the fun with more than a dozen venues to visit, a pop up shop on LaSalle Street, a variety of food trucks along Downer Place, and free trolley rides.    Pick up a free First Fridays passport at any venue. Return the punched passport at the last venue visited for a chance to win a First Fridays goody bag.   In October, the following venues are open for First Fridays.   Pop Up Shop, 59 S. LaSalle St., is back with a handful of local vendors selling their wares. 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.   Allen and Pepa Architects, 121 W. Benton St., welcomes artist Ann Cooper. 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.   Family Counseling Services, 70 S. River St., is open with a free macaroni and cheese bar with toppings supplied by Prisco’s Family Market. 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.   The Light of the Heart, 52 W. Downer Pl. Suite 204, hosts the Illinois Art Therapy Association exhibit, “Hello, My Name Is…” It is a visual look at the stigma attached to mental health and counseling. 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.   Yetee Gallery, 110 Cross St., opens the “Art of Derby,” a collaborative show with works of art created by individuals a part of the Roller Derby community. 7 p.m....

Cock-A-Doodle Brew Fest Kicks Off in Downtown Aurora on Oct. 10...

Introducing Cock-A-Doodle Brew fest, a one of a kind festival celebrating craft beer, wings and live music and benefiting Operation Support our Troops. the inaugural event will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 10th 2015 at the Hollywood Casino parking lot in downtown Aurora. Get ready because this October it will be time to Cock-A-Doodle brew. The outdoor festival will include an artist village, live music, and more. Operation Support our Troops has been providing support to the American forces by providing comfort, resources and education to them and their families both while they are deployed in harm’s way and after their return. As a volunteer based non-profit organization, they have provide the opportunity for our community members to express their appreciation and also offer support for our troops. Engaged in the longest war of our country’s history and with our servicemen and women completing multiple tours of duty, they are committed to showing them that “We Have NOT Forgotten.” More here. Please note: This is strictly a 21 and over event. Everyone entering the fest must present a valid government issued...

Art in City Hall Opens New Show featuring Local Artists...

  Art in City Hall opened a new exhibit featuring 11 Aurora-area artists for its 2015 Art in City Hall Fall Invitational Exhibit, presented by the Aurora Public Art Commission and guest curator Jorie Senese. The exhibit includes paintings, pastels, prints and mixed media works from Carolyn Abramofsky, Cassidy Alexander, Jen Evans, Erica Baram Fasano, Chris Hodge, Ryan Hogan, James G. Jenkins, Gerardo R. Madrigal, Rosa Nevarez, Anton Witek and Bart Woodstrup. This year marks a decade of Art in City Hall, established by Mayor Tom Weisner in 2005 as a means of creating a more dynamic and welcoming environment on all five floors of Aurora City Hall. The Art at City Hall Fall Invitational Exhibit is now open and will run through March 4, 2016. It will be open for viewing during regular City Hall business hours, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondaythrough Friday, at Aurora City Hall, 44 E. Downer Place. Admission is free. Many of the pieces on display are also available for purchase. For more information, call the Aurora Public Art Commission at...

Rock the Heart at Ballydoyle this September...

To further the mission of educating the community about heart health, Rush-Copley will host the sixth annual “Rock the Heart,” – a fundraiser on Friday, September 25, from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Ballydoyle Irish Pub and Restaurant in downtown Aurora. The event will offer a casual and fun way to support and understand the mission of the Rush-Copley Fox Valley Heart Fund — promoting cardiovascular health while reducing gender and economic disparity. Attendees will be treated to live music from:   Singer/Songwriter Showcase (featuring Brent Brown, Kevin Presbrey, Gregory Hyde and Matthew Nanke) Kali Ma (Beatles) Shark Sandwich (90’s rock) Mason Rivers (Country) This End Up (Dance)   The celebration will include raffles and complimentary appetizers and drink specials. About the Fox Valley Heart Fund The Fox Valley Heart Fund was founded in 2004 to help men and women from every racial and socio-economic background overcome the unique challenges and barriers they face to living heart-healthy lives.  One of the most important accomplishments was the creation of the Aurora Community Heart Clinic, a partnership with Rush-Copley and VNA Health Care.  During the past year, 227 patients were seen in the Clinic.  These patients received preventive screenings or follow-up care and learned how to lead a heart-healthy lifestyle. The Fox Valley Heart Fund also supports community outreach programs related to cardiovascular risk reduction topics, offering screening and risk assessments, an Annual Women’s Heart Symposium, donations of AEDs to local churches and nonprofits and supports the efforts of the Heart Sisters support group. To Purchase Tickets Ticket prices are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, and include live music and one raffle entry.  Free Rock the Heart t-shirts for the first 250 people. Tickets to Rock the Heart can be purchased online at...

Opening at the Riverfront Playhouse: Come Back to the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean...

The Riverfront playhouse will present the drama “Come Back to the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean“ on Friday and Saturday nights at 8 pm Sept 11 through October 17, 2015. Small towns can harbor big secrets and McCarthy, Texas certainly has its share. When members of the “ Disciples of James Dean” get together for their twentieth reunion, none of them have the slightest idea of how their friendships will be tested and what secrets will come out of the closet in “ Come Back to the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean” by Ed Graczyk. In 1955, Mona was cast as an extra in the James Dean film, “Giant”. She came away from the experience with more than she ever expected and it changed her life, but is everything what it seems to be? In 1975 Mona and her lifelong companions, Sissy and Juanita, are awaiting the arrival of the rest of the “Disciples” when a stranger, Joanne, stops in the Kressmont 5 & Dime only to reveal that she is hardly the stranger they believe her to be.  Life in this small town will never be the same again. Written in 1976 and under the direction of Gene Scheffler and Cherilyn Winters “Jimmy Dean” deals with some very modern and relevant themes. “I don’t want to give away too much” says Winters “but, in part, this is a show about how attitudes can change when you have people in your life who can look past who you used to be and who simply accept you for everything you are.  That is the core of true friendship.” “A year ago when we first started talking about doing this show, our thought was to coincide with the 60th anniversary of James Dean’s death, a kind of...