City of Aurora

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A northern Illinois artist is partnering with a women’s voter organization to ensure that people are casting their ballots for the 2020 Election -- especially younger people.  

Yvonne Boose

A northern Illinois art festival took place Saturday despite the pandemic, but the setting wasn’t as intimate as in previous years.

New Genres

We are officially in Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan. This means summer programs can return but COVID-19 safety precautions must be taken. Some programs were canceled before this new phase. Two northern Illinois communities came up with alternate options.

The Rockford Area Arts Council, New Genres Arts Space and United Way of Rock River partnered to create New Ways. This summer art program is for children ages 11 to 15. The focus is on new media. This includes animation, video editing and audio art.  

She Goes By Devan

Jun 4, 2020
Photo provided by Devan.

Aurora continues to showcast artists during its virtual First Fridays. An artist from Sandwich is making a splash in the city's art scene.

The 27-year old artist simply goes by Devan. She started out doing art when she was six.

Poetry In The Midst Of A Pandemic

Apr 28, 2020
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April is National Poetry Month. Aurora’s poet laureate Karen Fullett-Christensen and the City’s deputy poet laureates talked about the power of poetry and how this pandemic is influencing their writing. The conversation took place Monday on Facebook live.

Fermina Ponce is one of Aurora’s deputy poet laureates. She said she can’t avoid writing about COVID-19.

“I’m not unaware and my creation and my muse is not getting detached or free from what we are living,” Ponce said.

Pixabay

Illinois Mayors are considering how their cities will eventually reopen as the State relaxes coronavirus restrictions. 

On Thursday, Governor J.B. Pritzker announced a modifed stay at home order for the month of May. Earlier this week, some communities were pressured to re-open small businesses. Mayor Greg Jury of Loves Park said any moves should depend on location.

Guy Stephens

Aurora’s downtown is transforming into what some are calling an “arts district.” 

Melissa Mercado is the executive director of the Fox Valley Music Foundation. It runs The Venue, a performance space located in the heart of downtown Aurora.

The Venue opened in 2019.  Mercado said the atmosphere of the 200-seat listening room is casual. Most sit around tables, and food and drink are available, and the offerings are intentionally eclectic.

City Of Aurora Appoints Its First Poet Laureate

Dec 19, 2019
Yvonne Boose

The City of Aurora appointed its first ever poet laureate earlier this month. The new poet laureate is also a Northern Illinois University alumna. 

Karen Fullett-Christensen is most comfortable surrounded by books, like at the Aurora Public Library -- West Branch. She’s written around 3000 poems and has created several collections of her work. She shares these with close friends and family. She flipped through one of her many manuscripts and found a poem to read.

We went out to clean the riverbank,

Big black sacks, heavy gloves, sturdy boots.

Jenna Dooley

The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Office of Tourism, announced several grants designed to increase tourism across the state.  According to a news release, the grants haven’t been awarded since 2015. The office says they will help bolster the state’s tourism industry which generated over $3 billion in tax revenue for state and local communities last year.

Among the recipients:

The Farnsworth House: $10,360