Aurora Theater: 10 Years Later

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To mark the passage of 10 years since the Aurora theater tragedy, we chose the theme Metamorphosis. Our selection comes to honor the transformation of our community and the lives forever changed. The event was a unique version of our annual Reflection Garden on Tap Beer and Chalk art festival, with a special focus on the healing power of the arts. In addition to our signature beer garden features, our FREE family-friendly event included art experiences, wellness booths, musical entertainment, and more ! Hundreds gathered in support of one another in celebration of the resilience that we have discovered, cultivated, and earned over the past ten years.

Here are some videos from the events:

- Midnight Vigil 7/20/2022

- Great lawn Reflections Ceremony 7/23/2022

- Metamorphosis Immersive art experience

Live version on 7/23/22

Events on July 23, 2022

Heroes Journey 5K

The Hero's Journey relates to any person who faces a challenge, encounters struggles to overcome it, and returns home a Hero. The 5K was a transformative experience as supporters participated in a run/walk together; whether you are a veteran runner or this is your first 5K. We chose to start the run across from the theater and end in the 7/20 Memorial in the Reflection Garden as your return home/finish line to honor the journey from tragedy to hope. It is the perfect place for each of us to honor and celebrate our collective accomplishment as well as our heroes from the 7-20-12 event. Over 13,000 was raised for the Zack Golditch opportunity scholarship. Zack is an Aurora, CO native who, though in the adjacent theater, was in wounded in the 2012 Aurora Theater Shooting. Zack spent parts of two seasons in the NFL before coming back to the Front Range. He now follows the path of those who came to his aid 10 years ago, with his career as a firefighter at South Metro Fire.

Reflection Ceremony- Aurora City Hall Great Lawn

We wanted to acknowledge the continued healing journeys of survivors, first responders, and community leaders. A remembrance of the 13 taken, as well as stories of courage and hope, was shared through the voices of those who were affected. We hope to inspire all to remember that together we are stronger.

Following is the poem created by Assetou Xango that she shared at the remembrance:

I often wonder if butterflies ever miss the ground

When they emerge from the darkness

where everything they’ve known


Do they ever wish they could take it back?

There is a loneliness in the sky,

the people you knew,

Can no longer reach you.

A theatre can be a dark place

a forced cocoon

The metamorphosis

Is abrupt,

It comes before we are ready

a sudden call

a fear that confuses

a restful night

We find ourselves trying to catch our breath in a butterfly net

Taking deep breaths through netted lungs

Trying to put everything back

the way it was

What can be said to stop the phantom ringing

Do butterflies ever feel like that

Like they didn’t get the chance to say goodbye?

And when they emerge

A resurrection

We can never again hold

Their wings don’t fit our hands

In the moments after they change form

They remain close to the ground

we can still feel them here

like it did not happen

like we will see them tomorrow.

But as time passes

they learn their wings

no longer the novice butterfly,

but the masterful crane

Flying across continents

Painting the sky

An art form

on a boundless canvas.

Here in the dirt,

change can feel senseless

An opened wound where the connection was severed

we sow seams where flesh broke

discover the wisdom of the crane

build our own flock

support one another

hold the hurt

that has already

begun to transform

Of course, they miss the ground

But it is freedom

to know the sky.

Beer Garden

Our favorite local breweries and others from around the state poured unlimited samples for patrons 21 and older who donate to the foundation to receive a wristband. Breweries: Resolute, Baere, Bent Barley, Bierstadt Lagerhaus, Waldschänke Ciders + Coffee, Jagged Mountain, Peak View, 4-Noses, Lone Tree, Cerebral, Lady Justice, Chain Reaction, Boulevard, Two22, Dry Dock, A Bit Twisted, Six Capital, Spice Trade, Launch Pad, Living The Dream, Tivoli, ...and more to come!

Live Bands -Aurora City Hall Great Lawn

They are like family to us and were a returning crowd favorite -Brushfire was slated to perform. Some of the band fell ill and lead singer Joel Dusek saved the day as soloist A local favorite, and always from the heart- Latin Sol was energetic and brought the crowd to their feet-We love that they began their sets with a tribute to those who serve. They will had a special remembrance for the servicemen that were taken from our community on 7/20/2012.

Variety of wellness and community outreach booths. Check back soon for a list of partners

Live Chalk Art- Reflection Garden in Aurora's Water-Wise garden on the south east side of City Hall

A variety of local talent including our return favorites created sidewalk art with the theme "Metamorphosis". Check out pictures of the amazing art on our facebook page!

Live Immersive Orchestra 7:20 PM-Reflection Garden in Aurora's Water-Wise garden on the south east side of City Hall

The Stratus Chamber Orchestra and Life/Art Dance performed Metamorphosis: An immersive art experience in the memorial garden. With the aid of poetry by Assetou Xango, a live immersive orchestra, dance, video and visual art by DAVA students. We acknowledged tragedy and pain, love and compassion, community and healing.