News from the Aurora University community

Arts and Ideas series ramps up for another exciting season

Posted by on June 7, 2016


Chanticleer performs as part of the 2015-2016 Celebrating Arts and Ideas series at Aurora University.

A record 8,000 members of the greater AU community took advantage of the university’s free Arts and Ideas events during the 2015-2016 season.

That popularity, according to Sarah Russe, vice president of community relations at AU and the series organizer, is a testament to the program’s continuing quality and diversity.

Founded in 2006 the Arts and Ideas series each year presents lectures, concerts, plays, films and exhibits. More recently, AU faculty members have been added to the mix, speaking on topics as diverse as criminal justice, political science and environmentalism.

“The Arts and Ideas series is based on the concept that the AU campus should be a place where students, faculty and the community come together to encounter some of the country’s best thinkers, performers and artists of the day,” Russe said.

“Arts and Ideas taps into the real desire our audiences have for these kinds of cultural opportunities,” she said. “The strong support we receive from businesses, foundations and other organizations also attests to the value that Arts and Ideas brings to the community. Because all of our events are free and open to the public, our sponsors remain critical partners in our continued success.”

Highlights from last year’s seasons range from an evening with Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian David McCullough to a concert by the internationally renowned men’s vocal ensemble Chanticleer and even a showing of the 1927 silent movie “It,” complete with live organ accompaniment.

This year’s Arts and Ideas promises an exciting mix of intellectual and cultural opportunities, including a sure-to-please Homecoming concert with Micky Dolenz, drummer and vocalist behind the 1960s pop sensation the Monkees, and an evening with physicist and string theorist Brian Greene, best-selling author of “The Elegant Universe” and host of the NOVA television series of the same name.

For a sneak peek at the 2016-2017 Main Stage events, visit