Who’s downtown? This week: Elizabeth Sturm

Meet the people who make downtown tick. Learn who works in some of our architectural treasures, discover who keeps downtown looking beautiful, and see who you might pass on the street when you’re in the neighborhood. Join us in learning about those who are downtown Aurora.

Who’s Downtown Q&A with Elizabeth Sturm

Q: What are you involved with in downtown?

A: I am vice president of the Aurora Regional Fire Museum (ARFM) board of directors. In addition to serving on the board, I also help with exhibits, educational programs, and the Harry Potter Festival. I also help my daughter with Aurora, IL Rocks. We paint positive and/or funny messages and pictures on rocks and leave them in downtown public areas to spread positivity. We recently had a painting night downtown and had approximately 40 people attend. I can’t wait to place all of the rocks around that were painted that night.

Q: What’s your day job? 

A: I am an Assistant Professor of Special Education at Lewis University in Romeoville. I have the privilege of teaching future teachers!

Q: How did you get involved downtown?

A: I moved to Aurora about four years ago. When visiting the museum, I became involved at the urging of the former curator, David Lewis. He then made it his mission to introduce my husband and me around and helped us to fall in love with our new hometown.

Q: What is your background?

A: My background is in gemology and teaching, but I also had a lot of former experience in theatrical design.

Q: What keeps you active in downtown?

A: The energy generated by so many people working to improve Aurora. I love that so much happens at the grassroots level and how passionate people are about making Aurora a cultural destination.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: We have started planning for the museum’s participation in the Harry Potter Festival. Last year we had 2,000 visitors during the festival, and we’re planning on making it bigger and better. We’re also going to have more rock painting parties.

Q: Any hobbies or favorite things to do when you’re not working or volunteering?

A: I am a genealogy buff and spend a lot of time researching in that field. I also love the beach, so I spend as much time there as possible.

Q: What are you hoping to accomplish in 2018?

A: I need to work on achieving more balance in my life, and by that, I mean a balance between work and fun. I tend to be work oriented so I’m trying to build in more fun opportunities that are not work-related. Even though I’ve been a ARFM board member for several years I still haven’t gotten a ride on one of our vehicles so I’m angling for one this year. I’d also like to attend more of Bob Lockwood’s Friday morning Creative Angle meetups. I have learned so many interesting things from those morning seminars and they fill my soul with energy to go out and create.

Q: What is your favorite thing about downtown?

A: We have so many diverse events downtown. We’re Paramount season ticket holders and have attended quite a few RiverEdge Park shows also. I’ve attended the various festivals on Water Street Mall and at RiverEdge Park, such as the Urban Art show and the Puerto Rican Festival. We are members of the Aurora Historical Society and have attended the different seasonal Tanner House Events. I also love the parades and the variety of art and culture during First Fridays. Recently, we also had some laughs at the Two Brothers’ Still Not Friday comedy night. We have a great library and eateries, too.  

Q: Where can people find you downtown?

A: You might find me at the Fire Museum, or having a meal at one of our great restaurants. I also try to attend as many First Fridays and downtown events as possible.

Q: How can people get in touch with you?

A: I can be reached by email elizabethsturm531@gmail.com or through the Aurora, IL Rocks Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/135485273742773/