The Venue opens in downtown Aurora, adds to live music offerings

The Venue, a new 200-seat music performance space in Aurora, celebrated its grand opening on Saturday, June 1 with rising Chicago Blues star Toronzo Cannon, Grateful String Band, Chicago singer/songwriter Nicole Amine, and local artist Noah Gabriel.

The Venue, now open at 21 S. Broadway, features international, national, and local music performers. The Venue plans to also provide educational symposia, workshops, and films about the music of the Fox Valley.

The Venue was created and built by the Fox Valley Music Foundation with significant grants from the City of Aurora, Invest Aurora, and The Community Foundation of Fox Valley as well as numerous donations from music lovers and businesses in the community. The space was almost completely renovated by local volunteers.

The Venue is now open at 21 S. Broadway in downtown Aurora. Photo by James Cardis

The modular arrangement of the acoustically engineered space provides a flexible arrangement that supports general admission shows as well as special reserved seating. The intimate setting offers a spectacular spot to see and hear performing artists up close and personal.  

A public entrance is accessible from Water Street Mall, a pedestrian-friendly space between Downer Place and Galena Boulevard. The Venue is adjacent to Agnes Mundy Park, a city-owned park. The Venue plans to utilize the space when weather allows, and the park will also be used as a stage for events such as Alley Art Festival on August 31 and Roots Aurora on September 6.

A retail storefront off of Broadway (the musician and accessible entrance) provides promotional brand merchandise, vintage blues posters, and a selection of music from local artists. Musical instruments, memorabilia, unique artwork and collectibles are exhibited throughout the building.

The Fox Valley Music Foundation hopes that The Venue will serve as a gathering place for local musicians to meet and share songs and ideas during daytime hours on weekends.

Blues and Roots Festival at The Venue on June 1 featuring
Toronzo Cannon. Photo by Marissa Amoni

The grand opening was also the popular Blues and Roots Festival that formerly was housed at Water Street Studios and Kiss the Sky in downtown Batavia. Many of the shows that Kiss the Sky would host will now be welcomed at The Venue since owner Steve Warrenfeltz is the president of the foundation.

Future performers for The Venue include Nashville greats Annie Sellick and Pat Bergesen, Bluegrass sensation Jonas Friddle, local singer/songwriter Kevin Presbrey, International artist Los Ignitos y Ignota, Bluesmen Dave Specter and Smiley Tilmon, The Accidentals, the Fox Valley Orchestra Big Band and more. The Venue is also planning a 50th anniversary celebration of Woodstock on August 16 and 17. For recently added shows or to purchase tickets, visit https://themusicvenue.org/.

The Fox Valley Music Foundation plans to offer a wide variety of music genres at The Venue ranging from Orchestral and Big Band to Jazz, Roots, Blues, Rock, Soul, and Funk as well as World Music. According to foundation members, The Venue will be a go-to destination for music lovers.

The Fox Valley Music Foundation is a nonprofit organization comprised of music lovers, music educators, arts enthusiasts, and those in the music business. The Foundation’s reason for being is to preserve, promote and present the wonderful music of the Fox Valley area of Illinois while providing music education to people of all ages and from all walks of life.

Learn more at http://foxvalleymusicfoundation.com/.

Photo by Amy Nelson Photography