Leaders from Arts United and several Northeast Indiana arts organizations were joined by elected officials and business leaders at an event to provide an exclusive look at how community support and investment Arts United is seeking will modernize and expand the Arts United Center, as well as positively impact all of Arts Campus Fort Wayne.
Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, Fort Wayne City Councilman Tom Freistroffer, State Senator Liz Brown and State Representative Phil GiaQuinta all spoke in support of community support and a public-private partnership to renovate the Arts United Center and ensure strong, sustainable stewardship of arts campus facilities and grounds. The event also featured an in-depth tour of the iconic, Louis Kahn-designed Arts United Center, the focal point of Arts Campus Fort Wayne and, as such, the heart and soul of arts and culture in Fort Wayne, Allen County and throughout Northeast Indiana.
“Fort Wayne is becoming a known entity around the country for innovative public-private partnerships that drive economic development and talent attraction,” said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry. “This partnership in particular will demonstrate what the arts mean to our community and the critical role they play in our incredible quality of life here in Fort Wayne.”
The downtown-based Arts Campus Fort Wayne, which is now designated as one of only 12 Indiana State Cultural Districts, has been included in nearly every economic development plan created over the past 10 years for a reason. In 2019, seventeen resident and performing organizations reached more than 500,000 people, generated $28.6 million in economic impact, and supported nearby businesses and developments.
“The presence of a vibrant arts and cultural scene positions Fort Wayne and Allen County as a place of choice to live, learn, work, and play – and it supports our region’s goals for talent attraction and business investment,” said Susan Mendenhall, president of Arts United. “Our region has been emerging as an arts and cultural hotspot for several years, and the future is bright. This public-private partnership will help Arts United play a foundational role in ensuring that arts and culture is present every day, everywhere, for everyone in northeast Indiana.”
Arts United is a private, nonprofit local arts agency that serves Northeast Indiana through arts advocacy and promotion, fundraising and grantmaking, back-office business support, community and economic development, and Arts Campus Fort Wayne coordination. Arts United’s mission is to mobilize resources to develop, coordinate, and support arts and culture, enhancing the quality of life and the economic vitality of Northeast Indiana.