The Aurora Historical Society is throwing a party on Friday, July 20, 2018 from 5:30-8pm to highlight the extension of their summer exhibit, “Ethnicity and Diversity in Aurora, 1834-Present” through the middle of August. Admission is free but donations are appreciated. Music will be provided by The Internationals, an accordion-mandolin duo with eastern European roots, and there will be complimentary refreshments.
The exhibit, which opened on May 4, features photographs and artifacts from the dozen ethnic communities which built the city from its founding in 1834.
Subsequent to native habitation, Yankees of English descent acquired the land and welcomed Irish, French Canadian, German and Luxembourger settlers to work in the factories and provide goods and services to an ever-growing population. After the Civil War, African Americans arrived in numbers. Around 1900, Eastern European Jews, Romanians, Italians, Greeks, Mexicans and Puerto Ricans arrived. The most recent immigrants arrived in the late 1900s from the Indian sub-continent and South Asia.
The materials on display are drawn from the museum’s collections, and constitute a sort of family album, according to Executive Director John Jaros, who curated the show. “Visitors sometimes find their relatives or even themselves in the pictures. And they really enjoy showing their children the faces of their ancestors or pictures of the old neighborhood as it used to be. This would be a great evening out for church groups, or for family reunions”, he said.
In addition to the party on July 20, the exhibit is open Wednesdays-Saturdays from Noon-4pm through August 18 at the Pierce Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer in Aurora. Admission is free. For more information call 630-906-0650.