Rows of books line the walls of Culture Stock in Aurora. Some chairs are nestled into corners, while others bask in the early spring sunlight coming in from windows overlooking the Fox River.
This room is one of the more chic, cozy and colorful locations here.
It is easy to spend hours in the spot.
And there is no telling what kind of events you will find in this little riverside bookstore.
From poetry open mics nights to weekly music performances, Culture Stock is truly an exciting place to be a part of.
According to its Facebook page, Culture Stock is “a social venture that operates as a hub for cultural activities and community programs while serving as a used book and media reseller, offering a full line of books and media (music, movies, etc.) for adults and children.” An operation like this requires commitment, passion and creativity.
Culture Stock is a project that was founded by the nonprofit group L.I.F.T Aurora in 2012.
Nicole Mullins is founder and executive director of the organization.
“I oversee all operations, including oversight and management of Culture Stock,” Mullins said. “We’ve been extremely fortunate to gain volunteers who have taken the lead on our inventory management and other operational tasks, so it’s freeing up my time to focus on our organization’s next big project.”
What that next big project is, we will just have to wait to find out. Plans still are in the works.
Mullins said, “Culture Stock’s inventory is 100 percent donated from the community and is run 100 percent by volunteers within our community.”
The inventory includes the books, music and media that Culture Stock resells.
That alone is an amazing feat for a business, but it doesn’t stop there.
One of the ways Culture Stock encourages the growth of communities is by hosting events for artists, families and children.
For example, Culture Stock hosts a different local musical performance every week at 6 p.m. as part of its M.U.S.I.C. Monday series.
In addition, it hosts storytime and crafts for younger children at 10:30 a.m. Thursdays, and Family Fun Night is the third Friday of every month at 6:30 p.m.
Also, in July, Culture Stock will host an Urban Arts Festival.
“Our new mission is to provide free and affordable arts education, programming and performances to our community,” Mullins said about Culture Stock and the L.I.F.T Aurora organization.
Culture Stock brings together people from the local and surrounding communities for the purpose of education and the arts.
The importance of an organization like this is priceless in our culture today and people like Mullins and the volunteers at Culture Stock are vital to keeping these organizations running.
Culture Stock is at 43 E. Galena Blvd. in Aurora. More information can be found on its Facebook page and at www.liftaurora.org.
• Micah Andersen is a senior at Geneva High School who will be attending Judson University in the fall. She loves poetry, stories and has a blog at never-stop-writing.com. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.