Friday, December 9, 2011

Tonight's Art Walk to feature Santa, art markets and new theater

Tonight's Art Walk event on East Colfax will feature new artwork at the Downtown Aurora Visual Arts gallery. (Photo courtesy of the Aurora Arts District).

Official's from Aurora's arts district are hoping tonight's second Friday Art Walk event will prove a watershed moment for the 16-block strip along East Colfax Avenue. With a menu of events that includes a Christmas tree lighting in Fletcher Plaza, a visit from Santa, an improvised marketplace of original artwork and live theater, the community event is designed to kick off a new era for a district that's struggled to succeed in the past decade.
Aurora Arts District Crystal Gardner has hinted that 2012 will see a new brand for the area, and has hinted at the arrival of new restaurants and praised the impact of a new lighting campaign.
The larger fate of the area remains to be seen, but tonight promises plenty of seasonal and creative fun. From a new "Winter Wonderland" exhibit from some of the city's youngest artists at the Downtown Aurora Visual Arts gallery to a temporary marketplace at Fletcher Plaza, the festivities will include plenty of new features.

The district's theaters won't be left out of the festivities. In addition to hosting Kris Kringle, the Aurora Fox theater will host a production of "Escanaba: 1922," the final installment in Jeff Daniels' comedic trilogy about the folklore and characters of rural Michigan. In addition, the Afterthought Theatre Company will kick off its production of "Shakin' the Mess Out of Misery" at the Dayton Street stage. Shay Youngblood's drama tells the coming-of-age story of a young black girl in the South of the 1960s; the Afterthought's production will feature Adrienne Martin-Fullwood, Doris Walker and Tashara May.
Festivities will kick off at 5:30 p.m. at Florence Square. For a full list of exhibitions, theaters and galleries, visit

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