Painted lightbulbs shine a light on suicide in downtown Aurora...

By Brendon Kolodziej September 1 marked the start of National Suicide Prevention Month. To help spread awareness, a local organization kick-started a campaign utilizing the unique blend of art, culture, and community for which the city is widely known. Shine the Light on Suicide showcases the works of local artists in the form of large, masterfully-painted lightbulb sculptures, which can be discovered scattered around downtown Aurora. The artists’ work serves as a reminder to people, and the community at large: Suicide is a serious epidemic that cannot be ignored. In addition to the twenty art sculptures out on display on the streets of Aurora (14 are found in downtown Aurora), the Shine the Light on Suicide campaign created by Simply Destinee, a youth dance team whose mission is to encourage awareness and understanding when it comes to suicide, is sponsoring a slew of events all month long. Such events, from poetry readings on Sept. 19, to informative presentations by the Kane Co. Sheriff, Suicide Prevention Services, and Simply Destinee on Sept. 20, both at Santori Library, will focus on promoting both the awareness and prevention of suicide. The events and festivities began at Aurora Downtown’s First Fridays in September. Aurora Downtown, an organization of business and property owners within SSA #One is also a sponsor of the project.  More community events focused around Shine the Light on Suicide kicked-off Sept. 2 at Fox Valley Mall with a public meet and greet with the artists, as well as performances and speeches by Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, Hope for a Day, and the Aurora Police Department. On Sept. 5 at Aurora’s City Hall, Mayor Richard Irvin signed a proclamation allowing for the erection of street art associated with the cause. This proclamation officially gave artists and local...