Everyone knows the Fort Wayne community thrives in the arts. If you’re not familiar, let me just name off a few: Arena Dinner Theatre, Artlink, Civic Theatre, FAME, Fort Wayne Ballet, Fort Wayne Dance Collective, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne Youtheatre, Heartland Sings, Wunderkammer… I could go on. Not many other communities can cultivate the same amount of artistic opportunity and prosperity that this community has.
Fort Wayne is a hub for talent, but it doesn’t just happen over night. Think back to when you first realized a passion of yours. For many people, including myself, it dates back to childhood. I remember discovering my passion for writing clearly—at the age of ten. At this point in our lives as VERY young creatives, having support is crucial. This support can come from a variety of places. We always counted on our friends and family to encourage and nurture our creative cravings—as I know mine did—but we also seek out this support from outside our personal lives: teachers.
The Fort Wayne Community Schools (FWCS) district is doing its part in embracing the creative mindset this city employs not only by making enthusiastic teachers accessible to the students of Fort Wayne, but it also furthers its commitment to the educational advancement of the youth by offering an entire arts route through its magnet schools.
In my last post about FWCS magnet early childhood centers, I briefly touched on the Whitney Young Early Childhood Center, which exposes pre-k and kindergarten students to arts education immediately as they begin their academic careers. But this isn’t the only arts magnet school that FWCS offers. In fact, children can experience an arts-based curriculum for the majority of their education here in Fort Wayne.
After leaving pre-kindergarten/kindergarten at the Whitney Young Early Childhood Center, children can move on to their primary education at Weisser Park Elementary School. They offer curriculum in music, visual arts, theater arts and dance, all of which are based on the National Standards for Arts Education.
Weisser Park’s art concentration feeds into Memorial Park Middle School, which, like Young and Weisser Park, offers music, art, foreign language, choir, speech and drama courses of study. Taking advantage of the many art organizations in Fort Wayne, Memorial Park students are given the opportunity to exhibit their work at Artlink every year. Artlink’s Betty Fishmann Gallery currently displays artwork from Memorial Park students as a feature of its Rock, Paper, Scissors exhibit, which runs until March 4.
Students from Memorial Park Middle School are fed into South Side High School. While this is not a magnet arts school, South Side High School is a Performance Based Accredited school and operates an International Baccalaureate Program, which encourages student success through curriculum that develops inquiring, knowledgeable, ambitious and caring young adults.
The opportunities that FWCS provides to its students enable the creative passions of children, but on a grander scale, it promises the Fort Wayne arts community a vibrant, prosperous future.
To learn more about these school options:
Whitney Young Early Childhood Center: click here or call 260-476-8950
Weisser Park Elementary School: click here or call 260-467-8875
Memorial Park Middle School: click here or call 260-467-5300
South Side High School: click here or call 260-467-2600