First Fridays on Sept 2 feat. Art, Food Trucks, Roots Festival...

First Fridays on September 2 is perhaps the biggest yet. Roots Aurora, an annual celebration of cultures, joins the lineup along with art openings, food trucks, and live music. First Fridays brings art, music, dancing, and more to downtown Aurora on the first Friday of the month. Join your friends and neighbors in downtown. Food trucks: Grumpy Gaucho; Gobble Doggs; Taco Grill from 6 to 10 p.m. Live music feat. Summer Monkeys and Noah’s Arcade at Millennium Plaza from 6 to 10 p.m. Sept 2 Venues: – Art – Paramount Theatre Art Gallery (7-9 p.m.) Allen + Pepa Architects* (“Lines & Spaces” ~ 5-9 p.m.) Lines and Spaces, the basic drawings for written music, inspire this exhibit of oil, ink and encaustic paintings.  Until recently and for the past thirty years, I was a piano teacher, helping students to read and play music from the lines and spaces of the grand staff.  Together, my students and I have explored how composers picture the sounds that we love to play. Positive and negative spaces, natural and musical patterns that imitate nature have always inspired my art. I believe in a master design; we who create music and art participate in it.   For this exhibit I use the familiar medium of oil and ink on canvas and panels.  I also use encaustic, which consists of melted beeswax, damar resin and pigment on panels and on paper. Pat Lagger is an artist and musician. She has shown her work nationally and internationally, and has had her artwork chosen for a magazine cover and for set decoration on a nationally syndicated reality television series.  Pat lives in Aurora, Illinois. If These Walls Could Talk* (“Eyes of the Beholder” ~ 7-11 p.m.) Join us for our opening “Gallery...

Kids Invited to Explore Downtown with new Kid-friendly Passport...

Children who visit downtown Aurora on a Saturday or any other day are invited to pick up a free Kids’ Passport at a downtown museum. The new passport features mostly free and kid-friendly locations throughout downtown. There are 14 stops on the passport including places to read books, museums to visit, public art to see, parks and cool buildings. The kid-friendly passport is an initiative of Downtown Saturdays, a campaign sponsored by the Aurora Downtown special service area that serves downtown Aurora. Downtown Aurora is unique in that it has four museums that are all family-friendly. When families stop by the museums, they can pick up a passport and check off the locations they visit that day. Passports can then be returned at a downtown museum for a coupon to use downtown. Downtown museums include SciTech Hands On Museum, David L. Pierce Art and History Center, Aurora Regional Fire Museum, and GAR Memorial Museum (passports available across the street at 20 E. Downer Pl.). Downtown Saturdays is a day for the whole family to enjoy downtown Aurora between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Other offerings include a kids eat free special at Gillerson’s Grubbery. On Aug. 27 between noon and 5 p.m., children can pick up the passport at Alley Art Festival on Water Street...

Alley Art Festival is back!...

A grassroots art and music festival is coming back to downtown Aurora this summer.   After taking a hiatus in 2015, Alley Art Festival is once again showcasing local artists on the last Saturday of August.   Alley Art Festival is a unique, fun-filled afternoon in downtown Aurora that highlights the local, creative community and brings out all ages to enjoy a day of art, music, and spectacle.   More than 65 artists will be part of this year’s festivities along Water Street Mall, a tree-lined walkway sandwiched between Aurora’s City Hall on Downer Place and Culture Stock on Galena Boulevard.   The pedestrian-only area has been home to the festival since its debut in 2010.   Artists set up tables along Water Street Mall to sell their art. Artisans and makers are also part of the festival. Everything from original paintings, hand-crafted drums, pottery, jewelry, and plastic monster figurines can be found at the festival.   Musicians including Jake Mack Trio, Max Benson, and Rob Anderlik perform in the adjacent Mundy Park. There will also be stories, poetry, kids’ art, Luigi’s Pizza, and much more. The Human Library of the Fox Valley will be set up to converse with patrons and listen to stories.   The festival grows every year and this year is the largest yet, however, Alley Art Festival stays true to its roots and continues to be non-corporate sponsored. The festival is completely funded by city of Aurora festival funding and artist contributions. The contributions are based on their sales at the festival. Alley Art Festival is from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27 at Water Street Mall in downtown Aurora. For more information, visit Alley Art Festival on...

Hike for Hesed House in Downtown Aurora on Sept. 17...

The Twelfth Annual Hike for Hesed will take place on Saturday September 17th, 2016. Walk alone or with a team of co-workers, family or friends through downtown Aurora, a journey that many individuals staying at Hesed House take daily. Benefits raised will go to Hesed House – Illinois’ second largest homeless resource center and shelter in order to help provide shelter, food, life-changing services, hope and dignity to poor and homeless individuals and families in the Fox Valley. Registration for the hike will begin at 9:00 a.m. and end at 10:00 a.m. when the hike officially begins. The hike happens rain or shine! Join in the festivities immediately after the hike: food, live music (by Twist of Faith), and fun activities for the whole family. Registration for Hike for Hesed is free, teams and individuals are encouraged to set and meet their own fundraising goals. An individual that raises $25 is given a Hike for Hesed t-shirt at the start of the event. – See more at:...

Paramount Kicks Off 2016/2017 Season in Downtown Aurora...

Starting the new season off on a happy note is a tradition at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora. On Friday, Aug. 19, the historic downtown Aurora theater is once again inviting patrons to take a trip through the golden age of rock-and-roll with the artists behind all those 1960’s and 70’s favorites. The Happy Together Tour 2016 is bringing together Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, The Cowsills, Mark Lindsay from Paul Revere & The Raiders, The Spencer Davis Group starring Spencer Davis himself and, of course, Flo & Eddie from The Turtles – all live on the Paramount stage. Before the Happy Together performance, the theater is throwing a season kick-off party. For $20, guests can sample phenomenal food from around the Aurora area, check out incredible silent auction prizes and enjoy a fully-stocked cash bar, all right in the gorgeous, newly renovated Meyer Ballroom directly across the street from the Paramount. The party frequently sells out. The Paramount invites patrons to make a night of it and celebrate the new season with them. Purchase tickets here. The new Broadway season includes Mamma Mia!, The Little Mermaid, Sweeney Todd, and Jesus Christ Super...