After three years of looking for a permanent home for the Fox Valley Music Foundation, we have found a place to hang our hats and coats. We looked near and far, from Elgin, to the north, and Aurora to the south, and all points in-between. As fate would have it, Aurora turned out to be the place. Perhaps it can be thought of as being appropriate since the impetus for the formation of the Foundation was founded in the knowledge and love of the Bluebird recordings that took place in downtown Aurora during 1937 and 1938.
The historic recordings were the match that lit the fire that lead to the formation of the Fox Valley Blues Society in the mid 1990’s. The Fox Valley Blues Society begat the Blues on the Fox festival, which was an huge factor in the development of the valley’s premier outdoor music venue named RiverEdge Park located just north of downtown Aurora. The Blues on the Fox festival was a playground for the members of the Foundation before the Foundation became a Foundation!
Since our formation in 2014, we have “helped” with the music part of the Blues on the Fox festival and have worked with Batavia MainStreet and Water Street Studios in the creation of another blues festival called the Blues & Roots on Water Street festival. We have sponsored Singer/Songwriter Workshops and have conducted seminars and lectures at Fox Valley area libraries and Fermilab in Batavia.
The Foundation is in the beginning stages of developing a Music Education program that includes, in part, a Living Music History Video project and the creation of a Fox Valley Music Encyclopedia to be distributed on line, for all to see, and by way of hard copy formats to educational institutions.
All of this has transpired within the last couple of years while working out of the back seat and trunk of the Foundation’s Pink Cadillac (it’s a figure of speech). However, that is soon to be a thing of the past as we have finally found a home.
The Foundation’s headquarters will be located at 19-21 South Broadway in Aurora. The building is south of Galena and just north of Downer and adjacent to Mundy Park. At one time, it was known as the Woolworth building.
As of this moment, we don’t have a name for the place. We’re working on that. But what we do know is that, in addition to being our administrative headquarters, the location will also serve as a 250 seat music venue with a small area dedicated to music retail and the entire space having a museum quality and vibe to it as well.
Our target date for opening is June 1, 2018. There’s a lot of work to be done to properly open up our doors. Interior demotion … build-out … stage … lighting … sound system … remodeling of the bathrooms and the “lunchroom” area … liquor license … electrical … painting … flooring … the list goes on.
Money has to raised to help defray some of the costs. Music schedules have to be put together. We need to go to “music school” to learn how to run live music events. We also have to go the “movie school” to learn how to video tape, edit and produce those events. It’s mind boggling when we stop to think about everything that needs to be done (as in yesterday)!
Nevertheless, we are excited about our future and what tomorrow may bring. Hope that you hop on board that northbound train and join us in our journey. And just to whet the whistle, we’ve included some artist renditions of what the space may look like when she’s finished. Check it out and let us know what you think. Hit us up on Facebook and give us a shout out. And, by all means, like us if you would!
Imagine Summer in the City … thousands of people wandering about checking out the goings on at Culture Stock and the Plaza of North Island … hundreds are gathering in RiverEdge Park before an mid-evening McCartney show and heading towards downtown Aurora along the River Walk to check out the musicians performing at the Music Foundation’s outdoor stage situated within Mundy Park. Food vendors and street artists abound … music in the air … the sun glistening on the waters of the Fox River … love is in the air and peace permeates the Fox River Valley. It’s a perfect picture!