Aurora Arts Centre closer to becoming reality in downtown Aurora...

With a real estate closing early in October, the former Waubonsee Community College building in downtown Aurora will soon become a regional destination arts center. As crews begin interior rehabilitation this week, officials are planning for a new era in the resurgence of the arts in the City of Lights. “Downtown is evolving right before our eyes, and we are all eager to see what it becomes,” said Mayor Richard C. Irvin. “As the Aurora Arts Centre project moves forward, so does the progress of the entire downtown area. The opportunity to take vacant property and transform it into a multi-use complex provides a blueprint for future projects throughout our city.” Vacant for more than five years, the former college is located directly next door to the Paramount Theatre. Invest Aurora purchased the building last year for $350,000 in order to facilitate the development of the Arts Centre. The 80,000 sq. ft. Aurora Arts Centre is a $35 million investment and the next major milestone in Downtown Aurora’s revitalization effort. “We have been working to make this happen for two years and are excited to see construction begin,” says Tim Rater, Paramount Theatre President & CEO. “This is an important opportunity in making the performing arts accessible for every age and socioeconomic background, while contributing to the future growth of Aurora’s downtown.” In partnership with the Paramount Theatre, the City of Aurora, and the Illinois Housing Development Authority, The  Community Builders, Inc.(TCB)-a leading nonprofit developer of affordable, mixed-income and mixed-use developments-will transform  two conjoined historic buildings into the Aurora Arts Centre, which will provide: Paramount School of Performing Arts (25,000 sq. ft.) Rehearsal space for the Paramount Theatre (8,000 sq. ft.) Restaurant adjacent to the Paramount Theatre (4,000 sq. ft.) 38 affordable apartments specifically...

First Fridays in October: Cemeteries, Ceramics & Celebrations...

First Fridays welcomes fall with cemeteries, ceramics, and celebrations. Waubonsee Community College opens “Students Ceramic Exhibit,” an exhibition of ceramics by students in the Waubonsee Community College Ceramics Club, at the Aurora Downtown campus library location, 18 S. River St. from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. “Going in Style – The Art of Cemeteries,” a photo exhibit of curious, quaint, and quirky tombstones from the Midwest is up from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Santori Public Library, 101 S. River St. The exhibit highlights photos by Robb Winder. “The Dread Show” is the monthly theme at The ArtBar, a pop up art gallery from 6 p.m. to midnight at the cafe inside Two Brothers Roundhouse, 205 N. Broadway. Step into the Lounge Bar for “Susan May Romano: A Celebration,” a special show that applauds a local, living treasure after her recent battle with breast cancer. Art openings, live music, and more are featured at First Fridays on Oct. 6 at several locations throughout downtown including: If These Walls Could Talk, 32 S. Stolp Ave., opens a solo show with Geo Alderson. 7 to 11 p.m. The Web, 134 W. Downer Pl., hosts “Black and White,” a show with work by Noah Gabriel and Chris Hodge. 6 p.m. until close Culture Stock, 43 E. Galena Blvd., celebrates the one-year anniversary of Respect the Mic spoken word. 8:45 to 10:30 p.m. Gallery 1904, 1 E. Benton St., features “Three Artists in One Space,” with Bill Austin, Joe Gagnepain, and Michael William Foster. DJ Marco will be spinning music. Shop at handmade artisan pop-up shops. 6 to 9:30 p.m. Repertoire Reservoir Studios, 14 W. Downer Pl. upstairs, is open with “Actions Speak Louder than Words.” 7 to 10 p.m. Indie Studio Space, 105 E. Galena Blvd., hosts “Member...