First Fridays on April 5: Comedy, Poetry & the Bunny

On April 5, First Fridays adds comedy, the Easter bunny, and poetry readings to its night of art, music, and more in downtown Aurora.

On The Fox Comedy Festival presents “Alt,” a showcase of alternative stand-up comedy from 8 to 10 p.m. at Aurora Public Art on the first floor of the David L. Pierce Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Pl.

As part of the On The Fox sampler festival happening the first weekend in April in downtown Aurora, “Alt” will feature comics Megan Stalter, Cameron Gillette, Christopher Santiago, Meredith Kachel, Lily Schulder and Devin Middleton.

Arcana Studios, 5 1/2 W. Downer Pl. (upstairs), will open to the public from 7 to 11 p.m. for its inaugural First Fridays featuring spoken word and intimate poetry readings starting at 8 p.m. Multi-talented locals Teresa Millies and Annie Baldwin recently moved into the space.

The night also includes new studio openings and highlights local artists and musicians in downtown Aurora.

Enjoy several venues open to the public. Ride a free trolley from 6 to 10 p.m. Aurora Downtown’s First Fridays’ Photo Booth will be mobile this month with photographer Jason Arthur visiting several venues and snapping pictures available for free download.

Aurora Public Art, 20 E. Downer Pl., will open “Reanimation through Painting and Sculpture: Stephen Signa-Aviles and Jamiah Calvin” with sounds by DJ Maker on the third floor. The first floor Flexspace will host new paintings by Kristen Beneke. 6 to 9 p.m.

Gary Brown Art Gallery and Studio, 7 S. Broadway, will be open with an auction of “There’s a New Sheriff in Town!” Enjoy viewing and exploring Gary Brown’s multi-media art pieces, drawings, and photo creations. Live music by Joe Eddy-Brown and Rob Gurka. 6 to 10 p.m.

Golden Fox Studios, 52 W. Downer Pl, 2nd Floor, will be open with new works, conversations, and prints by resident artists Gerardo Madrigal, Juan Paco, and Lisa Gloria. 6 to 9 p.m.

All Spoked Up Aurora, 14 W. Downer Pl. Ste. 12 will host artist Kim Fredericks. 6 to 9 p.m.

Endiro Coffee, 29 W. New York St., will feature music by The Lazarus Rocket, new art by Malay Anoulak in the Brick Gallery, and henna art by Katie. 6 to 9 p.m.

Aurora Tap House, 134 W. Downer Pl., will be open with a one-night pop up “Local Artist Showcase” featuring 12 local artists displaying a variety of styles and mediums of artwork. 5 p.m. to midnight

If These Walls Could Talk Custom Framing and Gallery, 32 S. Stolp Ave., will open its April art show “eARThtistic: Mary C. Parks,” a solo exhibit opening featuring works from artist Mary C. Parks. In Mary’s words, eARThtistic means “allowing the earth to open your eyes to truth, honesty, beauty, spirituality and love.” April’s eARThtistic exhibit runs through May 1 and is also a featured location during the Fox River Arts Ramble on April 13 and 14. 7 to 10 p.m.

Balderas Beauty Salon, 25 N. Broadway, will open with an urban art show featuring art by Fisk and live body painting by Jose Art. Stop by one of First Fridays’ newest venues that is getting rave reviews. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The ArtBar at Two Brothers Roundhouse, 205 N. Broadway, will feature “ArtBar: Saturday Morning Cartoons” at the monthly pop up gallery in the Tavern. 7 p.m. to midnight

Aurora Arts Initiative, 61 S. Stolp Ave., will be open with an art show at their studio space. They will also host “Aurora Arts Initiative presents: Aurora University Senior Show” at Gallery 1912 in the lower level of the former library at 1 E. Benton. 6 to 9 p.m.

Tredwell Coffee, 14 W. Downer Pl. Ste. 18, will host “An evening with the Bunny.” The Easter Bunny will make an early appearance at Tredwell Coffee. They will have a fun, family-friendly evening with special drinks, cookie decorating, and a small egg-hunt for prizes. 5 to 9 p.m.

SciTech Hands On Museum, 18 W. Benton St., will present the Jeff Ford Quintet from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The quintet is presented by the Fox Valley Jazz Big Band and Fox Valley Orchestra and sponsored by Windfall Group—Pacifica Square Development. At 7 p.m., “Jazz and Tell” education session for the audience. 6 to 8 p.m.

Gremlen Recording Studios,130 W. Downer Pl., will open with Hands on Mini Recording Sessions. The community is invited to get a hands on experience of what goes into a basic recording session. Ongoing mock sessions, with doors open, will showcase the possibilities of digital instruments and vocal recording. 6 to 9 p.m.

Payton’s Photography, 14 W. Downer Pl. Ste. 8B (entrance on Stolp Avenue), will celebrate its grand opening with goody bags filled with treats and coupons for all visitors. An Easter/Spring photo booth will be set up for one free photo by CeCee Nedrow, Award Winning Master Photographer, to be emailed to guests. 5 to 9 p.m.

Aurora Historical Society, 20 E. Downer Pl., Second Floor, will continue its “Aurora Story” exhibit, a walk-through history of Aurora. They will also host a temporary exhibit, “Crosses for Losses memorial,” honoring the victims of the Henry Pratt shooting. 6 to 9 p.m.

Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Museum, 23 E Downer Pl., will be open with a temporary exhibit that showcases Aurora’s own Sgt. George Dahlin, and his service in the First World War. 6 to 9 p.m.

Waubonsee Community College Aurora Downtown campus library, 18 S. River St., will host “Do Men Cry?: The Many Faces of Toxic Masculinity,” an open dialogue around toxic masculinity including how to identify it and address it, and provide a space for individuals to share their experiences as womxn/men. The Latinos Unidos and MEChA student groups will host. 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Calla Lily Victorian Tea Room, 83 S. LaSalle St., will open with tea tasting and a photographic art display by Nimble Fox Creative. 6 to 9 p.m.

Branch Gardens, 77 S. Lake St., will open with a spring open house in its newly expanded space next door in the old fire house. Stop in and see the amazing collection of vintage finds and beautiful house plants. 5 to 9 p.m.

Wyckwood House, 14 W Downer Pl. Ste. 16, will celebrate First Fridays with live music featuring Nick Gutierrez from 7 to 9 p.m. Stop in for a spring cocktail, fresh baked goodies to purchase from Goodness Me Artisan Bakery, and lots of new items from over 40 local artisans. Visit the Untamed Roots truck parked on Downer Place. 5 to 9 p.m.

Aurora Regional Fire Museum, 53 N. Broadway, will be open for free with two floors of interactive exhibits chronicling the history of firefighting and fire safety. 5 to 9 p.m.

Collier Community Center, 36 S. Stolp Ave., will host a dinner fundraiser to support their “Save Our Youth Fundraiser.” Tacos 3 for $5; catfish or fried chicken dinners $10 donation. 5 to 9 p.m.

Mutual Ground, 418 Oak Avenue (Tanner Historical District), will host “LIT: Light It Teal for SAAM,” promoting awareness and empowering communities. Tie a ribbon or make a luminary in honor of victims and survivors of sexual assault. Building lighting at 7:30 p.m. Activities for all ages. 6 to 8 p.m.

First Fridays maps are available at all venues. Free trolley rides from downtown parking areas run approximately every 15 minutes from 6 to 10 p.m.

RSVP on Facebook: HERE.

Photo credit: Jason Arthur.

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