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Events Committee Meeting

June 27 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Details

Date:
June 27
Time:
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:

Organizer

Aurora Downtown

Venue

Metropolitan Coworking
14 W. Downer, Ste. 16 + Google Map

Aurora Arts Centre closer to becoming reality in downtown Aurora

Posted by on Oct 12, 2017 in Featured News | Comments Off on Aurora Arts Centre closer to becoming reality in downtown Aurora

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 designed to support working artists Paramount Theatre guest artist apartments “The Community Builders is committed to the continued revitalization of downtown Aurora, and we’re thrilled to begin the interior work on the Aurora Arts Centre,” said Will Woodley, TCB’s director of development, Chicago. “The center will play an integral role in bringing more jobs, more people and more economic and cultural vitality to downtown Aurora.” On behalf of Aurora Downtown, a non-profit organization of business and property owners in downtown Aurora, community outreach officer Marissa Amoni said that the new arts center is in line with the current upswing in arts and culture in downtown. “We’re excited that people are taking notice of the art scene in downtown. First Fridays has proven what artists can do for downtown foot traffic, and it’ll be great to showcase more local talent as more artists move to downtown,” Amoni...

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First Fridays in October: Cemeteries, Ceramics & Celebrations

Posted by on Oct 2, 2017 in Featured News | Comments Off on First Fridays in October: Cemeteries, Ceramics & Celebrations

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 Showcase: Rod and Michele Kelly, and Franklin Rivera.” 5 to 8 p.m.   David L. Pierce Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Pl., is open with a “Back to School” mini photo exhibit; WWI exhibit continues. 6 to 9 p.m. River’s Edge Cafe, 14 W. Downer Pl. Ste. 18, hosts Chasing Rain with Special Guest: White Chocolate. Ceramic artists including Amy Song will be displaying and selling pottery. 6 to 9 p.m. Aurora Regional Fire Museum, 53 N. Broadway, kicks off fire prevention week and continues hosting a handful of area artisans at its monthly Pop Up Shops. 6 to 9 p.m. Gillerson’s Grubbery, 33 W. New York St., celebrates its second anniversary with an acoustic show featuring Brad Hides from Alt 101. KC Kandles and Garlic Breath Garlic set up shop. 6 p.m. Stop by the GAR Museum, 23 E. Downer Pl., and visit the Museum Shop across the street at 20 E. Downer Pl. 6 to 9 p.m. SciTech Hands On Museum is open with “Chemistry of Light” demos and more from 6 to 8 p.m. A number of downtown businesses are also open with offerings. Zen Loft Wellness Center, 6 W. Downer Pl., is open from 6 to 9 p.m. with $5 mini classes, massage, meditation, and more. The Light of the Heart hosts its annual fundraiser “Art Jam” at Millennium Plaza, 21 S. Stolp Ave., from 5 to 8 p.m. First Fridays maps are available at all venues. Free trolley rides run from 6 to 10...

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“Heart of America” mural created at Santori Public Library

Posted by on Sep 28, 2017 in Featured News | Comments Off on “Heart of America” mural created at Santori Public Library

“Heart of America” mural created at Santori Public Library

The City of Aurora, Ward 2 Alderman Juany Garza and the Aurora Public Library are hosting artist Alejandro Loccoco of Guadalajara, Mexico as he paints a mural, titled “Heart of America,” at the Richard and Gina Santori Public Library of Aurora. The 13-foot by 40-foot mural is being painted on a west wall on the second floor of the library at 101 S. River St. in downtown Aurora. When Loccoco arrived at the Aurora Public Library in early September, he hugged the wall on which he would create the mural, saying that he was happy the mural would be located indoors. “Outdoor murals change over time,” Loccoco said. “This mural will still be here when we’re gone.” The mural was proposed to Second Ward Alderman Juany Garza by Pedro Garcia Aguilar, general coordinator of the Council of Hispanic Communities. The council is working on several cultural exchanges with Aurora, including the mural project. “I’m very happy that after all these months, the mural will soon be a reality,” Garza said. It’s exciting to see that an excellent artist such as Mr. Loccoco is interested in our city. This mural is an awesome blessing.” “Since the mural will be in a public building that is a destination for thousands, it will be an asset that can enrich our diverse community in many ways,” said Dan Barreiro, Chief Community Services Officer for the City of Aurora. Loccoco began creating the mural with a mixed acrylic and charcoal technique on Tuesday, Sept. 12. The public will not be able to view the artist while he works, as he wishes the mural to be viewed in its entirety when it is completed at the end of the month. The mural was inspired by the union of cultures, languages and customs of both people born in the United States and those coming from all of Latin America, Loccoco said, adding that he wants to honor and seek bonds of friendship and dignity between different cultures and races. “We are pleased that Mr. Loccoco chose the City of Aurora and the Aurora Public Library to host this original work,” said Library Director Daisy Porter-Reynolds. “We love that he appreciates Aurora’s diversity and rich Hispanic heritage as much as we do, and we are honored that the Santori Library was asked to provide the canvas for his creativity.” “Heart of America” mural unveiling and ribbon cutting is being held at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 29 at Santori Public Library. RSVP at (630) 264-4124. For more information, please call Aurora Public...

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Octo Street Fest is full of wonder on Oct. 14

Posted by on Sep 22, 2017 in Featured News | Comments Off on Octo Street Fest is full of wonder on Oct. 14

Octo Street Fest is full of wonder on Oct. 14

Octo Street Fest is a new fall festival on Saturday, Oct. 14 in downtown Aurora. Held behind New York Street’s Restaurant Row on Pinney Street, Octo Street Fest brings artists, musicians, and street performers together for an afternoon of wonder. The new festival is unique and one-of-a-kind to downtown Aurora. It features the mystical, the magical, and the absurd. There won’t be any animals, but human performers will entertain with hula hoops, card readings, fire dance, and more. “Aurora Downtown’s events committee wanted to create a new event that paired up with a Saturday in fall and could really show off another side of our arts scene. It’s full of wonder. It’s magical. It’s dark. It’s absurd and mystical. Mostly, it’s entertaining and entirely downtown Aurora,” said Marissa Amoni, events and community outreach director for Aurora Downtown. Octo Street Fest will also showcase the restaurants and businesses along Restaurant Row, including Basement of the Dead, Endiro Coffee, Ballydoyle, Gillerson’s Grubbery, and others. Local artist Josh Schultz designed the event poster, which features an octopus wearing a top hat and holding a wand. “Schultz came up with the octopus idea, and we liked what an octopus represents. It’s not only a play on words with it being a festival in October, but an octopus could be doing so many things with those eight arms. In downtown Aurora, we’re doing a lot with arts and culture, so it seemed to be a great fit,” Amoni said. A dozen artists with a darker aesthetic are setting up along artist row, curated by Teresa Fiehn. Music by Brian Kovacs at 2 p.m., Luis and I at 4 p.m., and The Peachtree at 6 p.m. Katiepillar Performance Art performs throughout the day with a fire dance performance at 5 p.m. Gillerson’s Grubbery is hosting a beer tent, and Ballydoyle will have its Irish Rover serving bratwursts and more. Endiro Coffee is hosting a children’s area on their patio. Pinney Street will be closed for the event. Free parking is available in Lot W on River Street north of New York Street. Octo Street Fest is from 2 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14 on Pinney Street in downtown Aurora. Octo Street Fest is brought to you by Aurora Downtown, a nonprofit group of downtown business and property owners located in SSA #One in Aurora, Ill. Update: Octo Street Fest is rain or shine! Please visit Pinney Street no matter the weather. If the weather turns severe, then visit restaurants along W. New York Street’s Restaurant Row for an indoor lineup. There will be specials and...

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Leland Legends serves up great food, new ownership

Posted by on Sep 22, 2017 in Featured News | Comments Off on Leland Legends serves up great food, new ownership

Leland Legends serves up great food, new ownership

By Brendon Kolodziej and Victoria Alexander Leland Legends is renowned for serving up some nostalgically-hip libations, as well as exquisite meals ranging from ribeye steaks to a wide variety of sandwiches. Located at the base of the iconic Leland Tower in downtown Aurora, the restaurant also recently welcomed its new owner, Ron Woerman. The proposition was offered to him one day out of the blue, he said. “Within weeks it went from a conversation—to us taking over (Leland Legends)” from its previous owner, David Karadema. No novice to the restaurant industry, Woerman is also the general manager of the popular Spartan House, located at 1032 Prairie St. in Aurora, as well as O’Malley’s Pub and Eatery, an Irish sports bar on Hill Ave. Currently focusing his energy on this new venture, Woerman, when asked about possible changes, explained, “Short-term, we’ve changed the menu,” condensed it, and “made it more practical for the size of the kitchen.” He mentioned that the previous menu was fairly extensive, but that a wider selection of beers is being adopted as well as new cocktails. He has no immediate plans to alter anything drastically, he said, such as changing the name or restyling the overall image, citing that the previous owner had done a “great job” with the restaurant’s direction. Woerman also expressed a willingness to be flexible in regards to the menu, stating, “If we put something [in it] that doesn’t work then we can always take it [out] and reprint it,” obviating at his readiness to tailor their menu towards what he thinks will better reflect the preferences of his clientele.   Woerman also understands that the rich history of the tower is something people cherish, and he fully plans to uphold its legacy while still embracing change. An advocate of progress and new development, he nonetheless believes strongly in retaining a historical building’s distinctive character, a credo he no doubt applies to the restaurant. He said that to a certain degree, he does feel inspired to promote the rich history of the former Leland Hotel, mentioning also how he loves the old building’s many “quirks,” unique design qualities, and architecture. The tower, built as a modern and fashionable hotel in 1928, has boarded the likes of Al Capone, Big Joe Williams, and John Dillinger. Nods to its bluesy, infamous past can be seen through posters and photographs adorning the restaurant’s walls. Such a celebration of bygone times even worked itself into the new drink menu, which keeps in style the classic and old fashion drinks the younger crowd has seemingly learned to embrace, while still retaining a balanced selections of wines and more modern staples. But when it comes to the atmosphere at Leland Legends, there’s something oddly satisfying about sitting at a table drinking the same drink as did Al Capone (a Tom Collins) in the very same building in which he did so. After spending fifteen years in Chicago, Woerman developed an appreciation for the exciting and artistic feel of city life, which he says is clearly reflected in the culture of downtown Aurora. To most people, running this modestly swanky restaurant and bar out of such a historic building may seem like the ultimate realization of a set goal. But Woerman has much more ambition than the average...

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Painted lightbulbs shine a light on suicide in downtown Aurora

Posted by on Sep 13, 2017 in Featured News | Comments Off on Painted lightbulbs shine a light on suicide in downtown Aurora

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 city organizers the go-ahead to finalize the installation of the 20 lightbulb sculptures.    Liza Oliva, of Simply Destinee, founded the Shine the Light campaign last year.  “It originally started with the concept of lightbulbs because we want to shine a light on suicide; and last year we had no budget at all, we literally asked for mounds of donations of art supplies [to] try to find the most cost-effective way to make a lightbulb with the kids… It was essentially a group project,” Oliva said. “The point of the project was to have inspiring messages, to shine their light and spread positivity,” she added. Oliva explained that the project allowed kids to discuss the touchy subject. The initial aim, she said, was to get the artwork into schools and displayed in public places, where it could serve as conversation pieces, around which people could openly “talk about suicide and not have to feel ashamed or uncomfortable.” But this year, the Dunham fund, which encourages positive, educationally innovative community programs, chipped in to patron the building of the lightbulb art sculptures. “This way,” Oliva explained, “the lightbulbs would open the door to people speaking about the subject and for people to feel comfortable to speak up and address concerns [of their own]. The biggest stigma for suicide is that people feel embarrassed to reach out and ask for help. We know we don’t have all the answers, but if we can get people to talk about the subject, that’s half the battle.” One participating artist,...

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First Fridays welcomes two outdoor events, over 20 venues on Sept 1

Posted by on Aug 29, 2017 in Featured News | Comments Off on First Fridays welcomes two outdoor events, over 20 venues on Sept 1

First Fridays welcomes two outdoor events, over 20 venues on Sept 1

  DOWNTOWN AURORA – First Fridays hosts two outdoor events plus more than 20 venues open with art, music and more on Sept. 1. Stolp Island Block Party, hosted by the Aurora Downtown organization of downtown business and property owners, features live art, live music, an outdoor market, a beer tent, and more from 6 to 10 p.m. on Stolp Avenue from Galena Boulevard to Downer Place. It’s the second block party of the year with the first one in August bringing more than 1,000 attendees. More than a dozen artists will once again create live art on Stolp in front of If These Walls Could Talk, who is curating the art portion of the evening. The First Fridays summer concert series caps off with The Desperate Bastards at 6 p.m. and Miles Nielsen and the Rusted Hearts at 8 p.m. at the gazebo at Millennium Plaza. Aurora is the last stop for Nielsen’s summer tour before heading back to Rockford, Ill. An outdoor market features fresh, locally grown produce from Renewed Roots Initiative; baked goods by Frosted Fig and Atrevete Confections; homemade soaps from Aroma Roots; essential oils and more from Illuminate Space; and pickled goods from Just Divine Foods. Food vendors include Grumpy Gaucho, Wurst Kitchen, and . Gillerson’s Grubbery is setting up a beer tent at the festivities. Additional food vendors including Joe’s Street Kitchen, Yum Dum, and others will be set up on Water Street Mall from 5 to 9 p.m. for the annual Roots Aurora, a cultural celebration benefiting Family Focus. Roots Aurora offers a variety of diverse entertainment including Simply Destinee, youth performers from Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, and Ballet Folklorico Quetzalcoatl. A talent show showcasing local youth begins the evening. Art openings, live music, and more are featured at First Fridays on Sept. 1 at several locations throughout downtown including: Paramount Theatre’s Grand Gallery, 23 E. Galena Blvd., kicks off a new season of art featuring the work of Dan Capo, Maureen Gasek, Chris Hodge, Leah Mitchell, Laura Lien Svencner, and Master Oil Painter David Hettinger. 7 to 9 p.m. Santori Public Library, 101 S. River St., is open with the Aurora Art League Annual Show and Sale. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. If These Walls Could Talk, 32 S. Stolp Ave., opens “Art of Nature: Danielle Ebersole.” 7 to 11 p.m. Culture Stock, 43 E. Galena Blvd., hosts Respect the Mic spoken word. 8:30 p.m. Gallery 1904, 1 E. Benton St., features “Four Artists in One Space.” 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The ArtBar at Two Brothers Roundhouse, 205 N. Broadway, kicks off a new season with The Lucha Libre Show. 6 p.m. to midnight Repertoire Reservoir Studios, 14 W. Downer Pl. upstairs, is open with “Intonation Acclamation.” 7 to 10 p.m. Indie Studio Space, 105 E. Galena Blvd., hosts “Member Showcase: Michael Mulvaney & Robert Renteria.” 5 to 8 p.m.   David L. Pierce Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Pl., continues its WWI exhibit. 6 to 9 p.m. River’s Edge Cafe, 14 W. Downer Pl. Ste. 18, hosts Dan Becker and the Tourists CD release party. 7 to 9 p.m. Aurora Regional Fire Museum, 53 N. Broadway, continues hosting a handful of area artisans at its monthly Pop Up Shops. 6 to 9 p.m. Stop by the GAR Museum,...

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Alley Art Fest returns to Water Street Mall on Aug 26

Posted by on Aug 9, 2017 in Featured News | Comments Off on Alley Art Fest returns to Water Street Mall on Aug 26

Alley Art Fest returns to Water Street Mall on Aug 26

Alley Art Festival returns to Water Street Mall in downtown Aurora from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26.   Alley Art Festival will fill the tree-lined, pedestrian-friendly mall between Downer Place and Galena Boulevard with local art, music, food, spectacle, and fun for the day.   The festival continues to be one of the largest gatherings of local artists in the Fox Valley, bringing more than 60 artists to display their original works, prints, and creations.     “Alley Art Fest continues to provide an opportunity for the community to support local artists while enjoying a fun day downtown,” said organizer Marissa Amoni.   Joining the hip and eclectic lineup of art this year is Dept., a group of teachers from Naperville Central High School including Daniela Cirone, Danielle Figueroa, Becky Mancuso, Amy Murphy, and Greg Padgett. Fox Valley Robotics will be demonstrating robots and have a Lego build activity. A children’s art tent will also feature hands-on, creative opportunities.   Alley Art Festival was started in 2010 by Marissa Amoni, Jen Evans, Lisa Green, and Nate Miller. The festival is supported by artists and volunteers, and is sponsored by Downtown Auroran Magazine, Aurora Downtown, and the City of Aurora’s Neighborhood Festival Funding.   The day-long festival is family-friendly, and welcomes patrons of all ages to patronize local artists, listen to local music, and support local food vendors.   To find out more about Alley Art Festival, visit Alley Art Festival on Facebook or online at...

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The Beatles and barbecue at Santori Library on Aug 26

Posted by on Aug 9, 2017 in Featured News | Comments Off on The Beatles and barbecue at Santori Library on Aug 26

The Beatles and barbecue at Santori Library on Aug 26

Released on June 1, 1967, the music of the Beatles’ eighth album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, was different, exciting and colorful.   That’s the idea behind the Aurora Public Library Foundation’s Beatles Barbecue, set for 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26 in the Richard and Gina Santori Public Library’s Parker Garden.   “Two librarians – Robb Winder and Dan Smolla – suggested a 50th anniversary-type party with Beatles music, 60s fashions and a cookout, and the event committee loved the idea,” said Foundation President Kelly McCleary, who is busy working on themed décor for the outdoor celebration.   “This is a fundraiser to support early literacy and scholarships as well as delivery of library materials to the homebound,” McCleary said. “It will also help purchase technology and STEM tools for all library locations.”   But like the 1967 album, the event will be different from past Library Foundation events.   “We will have a live band (the Dog and Pony Show), dancing, karaoke, raffles, trivia and prizes,” said Foundation Manager Laura Stoney, “but there will not be an auction at this time. We just want people to come out and have fun and support their library.”   Tickets are available online at http://www.santorilibrary.com/beatles-barbecue-tickets/ for $50 each, which includes an on-site barbecue with all the trimmings by Reuland Food Service. Beer, wine, and a specialty cocktail created just for the occasion are included in the ticket price.   Call 630-264-4124 for information or...

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First Fridays plus a Block Party on Aug 4 in downtown Aurora

Posted by on Aug 3, 2017 in Featured News | Comments Off on First Fridays plus a Block Party on Aug 4 in downtown Aurora

First Fridays plus a Block Party on Aug 4 in downtown Aurora

Stolp Island Block Party adds some outdoor fun to First Fridays on August 4 and September 1. The block party, hosted by the Aurora Downtown organization of downtown business and property owners, features live art, live music, an outdoor market, a beer tent, and more. The block party is from 6 to 10 p.m. on Stolp Avenue from Galena Boulevard to Downer Place. About a dozen artists will create live art on Stolp in front of If These Walls Could Talk, who is curating the art portion of the evening. The First Fridays summer concert series continues on Aug. 4 with Ron Porter Trio at 6 p.m. and Scott Tipping Trio at 8 p.m. at the gazebo at Millennium Plaza. An outdoor market features fresh, locally grown produce from Renewed Roots Initiative; baked goods by Frosted Fig; homemade soaps from Aroma Roots; essential oils and more from Illuminate Space; and unique fresh air topiaries from Aurora Botanicals. Food vendors include Grumpy Gaucho, Taco Grill, and Gobble Doggs. Gillerson’s Grubbery is setting up a beer tent at the festivities. Art openings, live music, and more are featured at First Fridays on Aug. 4 at several locations throughout downtown including: If These Walls Could Talk, 32 S. Stolp Ave., opens “Pencils and Pallets,” art from Eva Balek & Jennifer Hunger. 7 to 11 p.m. Culture Stock, 43 E. Galena Blvd., hosts an annual urban art show from 4 to 9 p.m. Spoken word starts at 8:30 p.m. Gallery 1904, 1 E. Benton St., features “Three Artists in One Space.” 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Indie Studio Space, 105 E. Galena Blvd., welcomes director Andre Boyd and photographer Ryan Lynch. 5 to 8 p.m.   David L. Pierce Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Pl., is currently exhibiting “Aurora Story; With the Colors of Aurora.” 6 to 9 p.m. River’s Edge Cafe, 14 W. Downer Pl. Ste. 18, welcomes musical act Chasing Rain. 7 to 9 p.m. Leland Legends, 1 S. Stolp Ave., is open with karaoke starting at 8:30 p.m. Fox Art Gallery is open in the lobby from 6 to 10 p.m. A number of downtown businesses are also open with offerings including AKA Dance, All Spoked Up, Zen Loft Wellness Center, and Rocktown Adventures. Rocktown Adventures, 107 Spruce St., offers free 15 minute paddle rides from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Please note that river levels could affect rides. Aurora Regional Fire Museum, 53 N. Broadway, continues hosting a handful of area artisans at its monthly pop up shop. This month, they also feature a fire demonstrations. 6 to 9 p.m. Stop by the GAR Museum, 23 E. Downer Pl., and visit the Museum Shop across the street at 20 E. Downer Pl. 6 to 9 p.m. SciTech Hands On Museum is open with their indoor planetarium StarLab from 6 to 8 p.m. Joining the First Fridays lineup, Christ Community Church opens Community Coffeehouse, 78 S. LaSalle St. with live music, coffee, and tacos from 6 to 9 p.m., and Endiro Coffee, 29 W. New York St., is open with Fresh Fridays, a mix of local produce and local art. First Fridays maps are available at all venues. Free trolley rides run from 6 to 10...

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