Press Release – September 19, 2019

District’s arts programs, offerings recognized by IAPD as ‘Best of the Best’

AURORA – The Fox Valley Park District today announces that it has received a “Best of the Best” award from the Illinois Association of Park Districts.

The Art Walk at the Fox Valley Park District’s Blackhawk Park features seasonally rotating sculptures from local artists.

The FVPD captured the honor in the category of Arts in the Park – an award that recognizes agencies (park districts, forest preserves, conservation, recreation, and special recreation agencies) that support the arts and partner with artists and arts organizations to enhance the quality of life in their communities.

“The Fox Valley Park District is a leader in providing innovative programs and services to its residents, and its commitment to promoting the arts is unparalleled,” said Peter Murphy, the IAPD’s president and chief executive officer. “Winning the Arts in the Park Award is an outstanding accomplishment and validation that they are among the top park districts in the state for enhancing the quality of life in their communities through a premier arts program.”

The FVPD showcases its commitment to the arts in many ways, including a thriving performing arts program which encompasses theater, dance and music offerings; a public art walk at a two-year-old district park; neighborhood art summer camp experience; summer concert series, and hundreds of annual programs across the arts and other media.

“The most gratifying component of this award is that it represents the collective commitment of so many individuals, teams and departments across the district,” said Chuck Anderson, president of the FVPD’s Board of Commissioners. “The arts touch so many of our programs and activities, and we remain committed to delivering a premium experience to our residents and visitors to the Fox Valley Park District. Though our district offerings are wide-ranging, our staff operates with a tight-knit, team mentality and this award acknowledges the value of our approach.”

The FVPD embraces all mediums of the arts and maintains a conviction that they represent a vital component that enhances the vibrance of the community.

Several district programs, performances and initiatives were highlighted in the Arts in the Park award, including the district’s:

  • Strategic alliance, formed in 2019, with the newly-opened Paramount School of the Arts
  • Art Walk at Blackhawk Park, featuring seasonally rotating sculptures from local artists as a point of visual interest and for resident enjoyment
  • Integration of art into its Creative Play and Nature Play preschools’ regular Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math (STEAM) curriculum, teaching children core concepts at an early age
  • Popular Neighborhood Art summer camp experience, which offers a free, two-hour program held weekly at six different locations throughout the summer
  • Partnership with the Village of Montgomery to offer a series of six “Concerts in the Park,” which bring free summer entertainment to the community
  • Live ‘n Uncorked events that bring music and more to a 21-and-over crowd at Blackberry Farm, a series that draws more than 5,000 spectators each summer
  • Partnership with the Fox Valley Theatre Guild to connect adults interested in the performing arts, providing opportunities to perform and expand their skills both on and off stage

“The arts scene continues to grow in Aurora, particularly in our revitalized downtown, and the Fox Valley Park District remains committed to supporting the creativity within the community we serve,” said Jim Pilmer, the FVPD’s executive director. “Additionally, this award speaks to the value, credibility and quality of our partners across the district’s arts landscape.”

District officials will receive the Arts in the Park award at the IAPD’s annual Best of the Best Awards Gala, held on Friday, Nov. 1 at Wheeling Park District’s Chevy Chase Country Club.