Take a virtual tour of downtown Aurora projects...

Learn what is brewing in downtown Aurora. There is so much growth and exciting transformation to share. Join Derek Conley from Invest Aurora on his virtual tour of downtown Aurora. Take the tour HERE. Virtually visit downtown buildings that are being renewed. See all of the great things that are coming to downtown Aurora. Find out about 35 current projects and opportunities. If you are interested in leasing or purchasing a building in downtown, then contact Invest Aurora to find out...

Fox Valley Music Foundation to open music venue in downtown Aurora...

Fox Valley Music Foundation (FVMF) is pleased to announce it has received a $125,000 redevelopment grant from the City of Aurora. These funds will support the partial demolition and repurposing of property located at 19-21 South Broadway in Aurora. The redevelopment grant will allow the Foundation to repurpose the space leased from the City. The redeveloped space will include offices, a small retail and museum space, and an intimate 250-seat performance venue for live music, including a proposed opening to the adjacent green space in Agnes Mundy Park. “This is the first step in realizing our dream. We imagine our new home in Aurora to be not unlike the Old Town School of Folk Music and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame rolled into one with a little bit of Austin City Limits and City Winery thrown in”, said Steve Warrenfeltz, president of the Fox Valley Music Foundation. FVMF plans to bring in local, regional, and national musicians for performances. Local singer songwriters, poetry and film groups will support the educational component, among other things. The space will serve as a central location for musicians and music lovers to congregate, interact, share, develop, and perform music, as well as for sharing the rich music history of the region with the larger community. Other funding is being obtained through membership, sponsorship, grants, donations, and concert revenue. Board members include Gina Moga, Melissa Mercado, Karen Christensen, Kevin Drendel, and Jeanne Norris. FVMF’s mission is to preserve, promote, and protect the wonderful music of the Fox Valley area of Illinois while providing music education to people of all ages and from all walks of life. www.foxvalleymusicfoundation.org...

Approved! Updated downtown master plan gets green light from City Council...

  Aurora City Council approved the final updated downtown master plan on Nov. 14. Nearly two years after Aurora was awarded a grant through Chicago Metropolitan Agency of Planning (CMAP) to update its downtown master plan, the vision can begin. There are three over-arching themes to the Master Plan recommendations: Preserve, enhance, and build upon existing assets. Make downtown a great place for people who live here. Make it easy to be creative and do business. CMAP’s recommendations recognize buildings, streets, people, transportation, and the Fox River as downtown’s greatest assets. They also suggest focusing less on getting people to come downtown, and more on continuing to make it so wonderful that they want to come. The plan also highlights creating opportunities to help entrepreneurs and artists. CMAP held the first Downtown Aurora Visioning Workshop on January 21, 2016 at Waubonsee Community College’s downtown campus. Almost 200 people showed up, packing the room and requiring some to be turned away at the door. Over the last several months, CMAP’s Lindsay Bayley and her team visited downtown Aurora dozens of times to interview people, hold open houses, meet with city staff, and set up public kiosks allowing downtown residents and visitors to participate in a survey. Now that the plan is approved, CMAP will continue to work with city staff into the coming months (up to two years) to advise the city on implementation. See additional renderings and follow the plan on Facebook here....

Win a family membership to a museum in downtown Aurora...

Aurora Downtown is giving local families the chance to win a free family membership to one of three downtown museums during December’s First Fridays event.   Families are encouraged to stop by Aurora Regional Fire Museum, SciTech Hands On Museum, and Aurora Historical Society at The Pierce Center on Dec. 1 to enter the raffle. You may enter once at each Museum.   Aurora Downtown is awarding a total of 17 family memberships. Winners will be notified after First Fridays. Visit www.auroradowntown.org for hours and participating venues for December’s First...

Go fund downtown: A trio of exciting things is coming to Aurora with your help...

Three big things are coming to downtown Aurora. They just need a little help getting off the ground. Read more about a new arts center, a comedy festival, and a vegan restaurant, and learn how you can help them to grow. An Arts Center Stolp Island Arts Center is a non-profit in downtown Aurora dedicated to fostering the continued growth of visual arts in Aurora and the surrounding areas. The organization’s mission is to be an integral part of the growing art community through mentoring, education, creation, exhibition, and inspiration of artists of all ages and skill levels by providing a creative, collaborative community. The team is led by executive director and artist Kit Sunderland. Board members include Jason Sunderland, Steve Ducharme, Jason Arthur, Gina Salamone, Tim Frederick, and Amy Song. The planned location is the ground floor of The Mayan at Stolp Avenue and Benton Street in downtown Aurora. Go Fund Me link: Click here. A comedy festival On the Fox Comedy Fest is a comedy festival planned for Aurora on September 28 and 29, 2018.  “We will bring an amazing collection of stand-up comedy shows and audiences to Downtown Aurora,” said comic Matt Drufke. Drufke reports that producers include local stand-up comedians as well as people who live in Aurora and “want to see the city host a fantastic event.” Drufke also hosts Still Not Friday, a weekly stand-up comedy showcase at Two Brothers Roundhouse. The groups goal is to crowdfund $5,000 within two weeks (they are currently at over $4,000. The campaign states that the money will go directly to help the organizers 1) contract nationally recognized comedians for the festival, 2) secure performance venues in Downtown Aurora, and 3) show donors and sponsors that an audience of comedy fans are hungry for a...

Pop Up Shops at Winter Lights...

This year, Pop Up Shops are popping up along Downer Place and Stolp Avenue at Winter Lights from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17 Aurora Downtown, a non-profit of downtown business and property owners in Special Service Area #One, is curating Pop Up Shops to coincide with the city’s Winter Lights festivities. More than a dozen vendors were invited to set up shop inside storefronts during the event. Come early and stay late to support local artisans and vendors. The following downtown locations will host Pop Up Shops at Winter Lights. All Spoked Up, 14 W. Downer Pl. Ste. 12, hosts Wheatley Design, a graphic design business selling cards, posters, and more; and Just Devine Foods, a canning and pickling company. If These Walls Could Talk, 32 S. Stolp Ave., hosts Kryspykitty Kreations featuring repurposed jewelry and other accessories. Pure Skin Solutions, 26 S. Stolp Ave., hosts Thriftyupenyu featuring handmade African accessories, Aroma Roots Natural Bath and Body, and doTERRA Essential Oils. Do or Dye Designs, 24 S. Stolp Ave., hosts Frosted Fig with locally baked goods and Mamie’s Toffee. Metropolitan Coworking, 14 W. Downer Pl. Ste. 16, hosts Wyckwood House Holiday Market with a variety of local vendors featuring chic handmade home goods and more. Sergio Furniture, 36 W. Downer Pl., hosts Beans, Greens, and Proteins with oil-infused bracelets and necklaces along with holiday items. Leland Tower lobby, 7 S. Stolp Ave., hosts Usborne Books and Forever After Finds, ornaments and other handmade items. Gallery 1904, 1 E. Benton St., will be open with one-of-a-kind gifts, live music, a henna tattoo artist, face painting, kids crafts, baked goods for sale, and more. Winter Lights is an annual event organized by the city of Aurora’s Special Events office. The holiday festival features...