An Eye for Art

How DAVA is changing Aurora's Artistic Youth Community

Their mission is simple, " strengthen the community through visual arts with youth engagement as a primary focus". However, the Downtown Aurora Visual Arts (DAVA) does so much more. Located at 1405 Florence Street, in Aurora, DAVA provides a space for kids ages 3 – 17 to develop artistic skills but also important life skills.

Founded in 1993, DAVA is rooted in creativity and community involvement. Most of their after-school programs are designed with kids in mind. However, visitors are welcome at many of their annual exhibitions and holiday shows. Here’s a rundown of DAVA.

Why visit?

Aside from being one of Aurora’s foundational organizations for artistic exploration, DAVA is nationally-recognized. In 2014, DAVA was awarded the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award by the Obama administration. Not to mention its other recognitions and the recipient of high-level sponsorships, including the largest Paper Fashion Show in the nation. Also, all projects and artworks are created by community members, which offers each and every visitor a taste of Aurora’s community culture, often unseen by non-locals.

What can I expect?

DAVA is an interactive learning environment for students and kids ages 3 -17, so expect creativity! From drop-in classes, scheduled exhibitions, and holiday-themed shows, there’s always something going on.

What’s offered to visitors?

Visitors are often welcomed at most exhibition events! From students to teachers, DAVA showcases dozens of handmade pieces. Most exhibitions and events are open to the general public. You can check out their upcoming events here. An upcoming happening to keep in mind is the Aurora Public School Art Educators Exhibition open Jan. 25 – March 16, 2018.

Is it DAVA family-friendly?

Yes! Most exhibits are created by students or with students in mind. Staying in Aurora awhile? DAVA offers free drop-in programs for students ages 7-17. These programs are well-rounded in a variety of projects including ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpting and mixed media. A full list of classes, including dates and times, can be found here.

What are their hours like?

While there’s always something happening at DAVA, their hours vary. We suggest looking at their events calendar when planning your visit. Often, the studio hosts well-executed exhibitions in the evenings, which are ideal for visitors or those looking to see what DAVA is all about. Basic gallery hours are open from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and Open Studio hours Monday – Thursday from 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm and Friday 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm.

Keeping the community creative is one of DAVA’s main missions, and you can see their work in action! For more information, visit their website or Facebook page.



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