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A-Roar-A! The Illinois Town is Making Noise as Newest Arts Hub

By M+E Staff

Hello readers,

When you think of Midwest destinations for the arts, Chicago, Elmhurst and Oak Park might come to mind—but soon you can add Aurora to that list. In September, the city received a whopping $15 million tax credit from the Illinois Housing Development Authority to put toward rehabbing the vacant Waubonsee Community College building to eventually become the world-class Aurora Arts Center.

It’s a major development for the project, steered by the Invest Aurora campaign, which will ultimately cost $35 million, projected to be mostly in the form of contributions from private investors. When finished, it will include the Paramount School for the Performing Arts (it’s adjacent to the city’s Paramount Theatre), a fine dining restaurant and a series of artist lofts.

“It’s not often the City Council gets to consider a $35 million project downtown,” says 6th Ward Alderman Mike Saville in a supplied statement. “This development will insert the arts structurally, laying a foundation for the arts community.”

Here are some other creative hot spots you can check out in town right now:

Paramount Theatre

The gorgeous Art Deco style building was originally opened in 1931 to showcase the talkies created by movie goliath Paramount Pictures. It has since been added to the National Register of Historic Places, and today, offers a regular calendar of comedy, music, and theater, including a popular Broadway series.

RiverEdge Park

This 8,500-seat concert venue is a popular spot in the summer months, welcoming a variety of acts like Hall & Oates, the Beach Boys, Pat Benatar, even Johnny Depp’s band, the Hollywood Vampires. A river walk and pier, bike path, and lush landscaped grounds add to the open air environment.

Riverfront Playhouse

In 1978, this non-profit storefront theatre modestly opened to provide the community with engaging performances and unparalleled acting opportunities. Today, it hosts more than 200 main stage productions, including the latest, “Reefer Madness.”

Happy Planning!
Selena Fragassi
Editor
Illinois Meetings + Events

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