With the passing of the state budget recently, organizations around the state can now expect a bit of cash thanks to state grant money. Many groups in Aurora are on that list, including the historic Paramount Theatre, Mutual Ground, and others!
Mutual Ground, a non-profit that serves victims of domestic and sexual abuse, is expected to get $5 million. They plan to use it to expand infrastructure to help them assist more individuals who need domestic violence shelters.
Michelle Myer, CEO of Mutual Ground, said “To better serve our clients, Mutual Ground recently turned to our legislators to help secure funding to renovate and expand our historic, Aurora-based, building. In the wake of the pandemic, there has been a dramatic increase in the need for both counseling and emergency services, causing us to implement waiting lists and even turn away individuals needing emergency shelter. At the same time, the functionality of our building, and the costs associated with maintaining an old facility, was seriously impacting the way we could meet the needs of our community. We quickly found that we had a champion in Leader Barbara Hernandez. She immediately assembled a team of local legislators that rallied to include $5 million of capital funding in the FY24 budget. This funding will allow us to start a campaign to begin the renovation and expansion of our beautiful building, which will allow us to address the growing need for help. We are so incredibly grateful to Leader Hernandez and our local legislators for championing Mutual Ground and securing this vital funding!”
Paramount Theatre will get about $400,000 to help improve elevators, bathrooms, accessibility and other improvements to the aging infrastructure of their near-century old facility.
Tim Rater, President and CEO of the Paramount Theatre, said, “For the last decade, Paramount Theatre has been a driver of cultural and economic activity in Aurora, welcoming nearly 3 million patrons and generating more than $176 million in economic impact in our community. Operating a historic and highly trafficked venue like ours presents unique challenges. Nearly a century of wear and tear have uncovered necessary improvements across our venue. This grant will enable us to provide an inclusive, accessible, and safe environment at Paramount for all patrons, with access to high-quality, affordable arts and cultural experiences for years to come.”
Other organizations receiving funding include Maddie’s Mittens which will get $320,000 to purchase a new building, the city of North Aurora will get $200,000 for water treatment plant renovation, and the Aurora Public Library will get $80,000 for a mini bookmobile.
State Rep. Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora. announced the allocations in a press release, which you can read here.