So This is Your First Time at… the Fort Wayne Philharmonic
Jan19

So This is Your First Time at… the Fort Wayne Philharmonic

With well over 70 arts and culture organizations in Northeast Indiana, it’s probably safe to say that there are PLENTY you haven’t experienced yet. Galleries, theatre, dance, music, festivals… the list goes on. And not only are there so many things to do, but some of them you may not know what to expect. Sometimes, there are preconceived stereotypes around some of these events that are barriers to one considering even trying them. What do I wear? Is there a certain way I’m supposed to act? I’m definitely not going alone!  Well, my friends, here at Living Fort Wayne, we’re going to break down some barriers in our newest series: “So This is Your First Time at…” That’s right. We’re tackling any reservation you may have about going out and experiencing any one of the amazing arts and cultural amenities that our community uniquely offers. And to start, we’re issuing you your first challenge: So this is your first time at the Fort Wayne Philharmonic? The Fort Wayne Philharmonic (more endearingly known as the Phil) is a symphony orchestra that has been around for a long time… like, founded in 1924 long time. But a long history of classical music doesn’t mean that the orchestra is something for an older generation. An orchestra builds on the classics of course, but they’re not limited. In fact, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic enjoys marrying modern and classic, especially with their Pops series. My first experience at the Fort Wayne Philharmonic was on Halloween of last year. I received tickets as a gift from some great friends who knew me very well, and although I wasn’t sure I would enjoy a symphony, they knew something I did enjoy: The Nightmare Before Christmas. And this special Halloween presented by the Philharmonic was them playing the score live alongside the film in the historic Embassy Theatre. And I have to admit… it was magical. The combination of live music (which is something I generally enjoy, but had no exposure to orchestra-wise) and my favorite movie was an AWESOME experience. That being said, let’s get to debunking the myths: Symphony orchestras are for older generations. MYTH (An orchestra is an enchanting experience no matter how old you are, I’m proof) Symphony orchestras only play classical music. MYTH (Hello, Nightmare Before Christmas and many other performances, especially in the pops series, they’ve done) I have to get all dressed up in a tuxedo to attend a performance. MYTH (Or half myth. If you want to wear a tuxedo, by all means, go for it! There’s no standard of dress here. You won’t be scoffed at if you’re...

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Amplify Art!: A New Way to Support Arts and Culture in NEI
Oct09

Amplify Art!: A New Way to Support Arts and Culture in NEI

Hi. Can I just say something? I love Fort Wayne (this is my favorite picture I’ve ever taken).   If you know me, you already knew that. In fact, if you know only ONE THING about me, it’s probably that. Since I moved here in 2011, it’s continued to grow on me. One of the reasons I’m so passionate about our city is that I’ve seen and experienced a sense of community that I hadn’t experienced in my hometown. This may be due to what I call the “hometown epidemic,” you know, the whole “I can’t wait to get out of this town” that most adolescents experience. But my “hometown epidemic” blinders are off, and I’m here to stay in Fort Wayne. Fort Wayne is rich in so many different communities. But we’re here to talk about my favorite: arts and culture. This month, Arts United launched a new crowdfunding platform called Amplify Art! So, what exactly is a crowdfunding platform, and why did Arts United create it? Well… Crowdfunding is a new approach to raising money – and it’s directed at all of us Internet users that care about the place we live. Instead of chasing those hundreds of thousands of dollars from big corporations or foundations, someone one day stopped and said, “Hey… We have this tool that lets us reach millions of people in a matter of seconds. Why don’t we not only use this tool to raise money, but let those people who have an investment in what we do have a voice?” And thus, crowdfunding was born. Arts United created Amplify Art! as a way to help our local arts and culture organizations ramp up the amount of projects that are done in our community and to get the people of the community involved, giving you the opportunity to help make projects that otherwise might not happen HAPPEN! Here’s how projects were chosen and what the process is for this crowdfunding campaign: 1. Arts United invited arts and culture organizations in Fort Wayne to submit project proposals for their Amplify Art! program. 2. A group of super cool talented people got together and reviewed all of the applications and chose four for this Fall campaign cycle. The four projects chosen were automatically given a grant of $1,000 toward their project. 3. Arts United built the online platform on their website where you can actually go online and donate. 4. The four projects were announced to the community at the final Living Fort Wayne Film Series on September 26. The organizations whose projects were chosen are channeling social media to spread the word about their projects –...

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Entrepreneurship Spotlight: CO.STARTERS Fort Wayne
Oct06

Entrepreneurship Spotlight: CO.STARTERS Fort Wayne

Join Living Fort Wayne as we explore the resources available to you as a resident of this area and some of the new businesses that are shaking things up in the area. This week we check out CO.STARTERS program at Artlink Contemporary Gallery. Turn your business idea into action right here in Fort Wayne! Recognizing the entrepreneurial spirit in Fort Wayne, Artlink Contemporary Gallery, a “non-for-profit” art gallery, licensed the CO.STARTERS program with the entrepreneurial artist in mind, but the beauty of CO.STARTERS is that the program is versatilely made to help guide aspiring entrepreneurs of all disciplines to realize their dreams. CO.STARTERS is a Tennessee-based company that licenses its nine-week course and materials to businesses or organizations who then in turn lead the course in their own cities. The program has graduated over 3,000 entrepreneurs from more than 50 locations in the United States  and New Zealand. The nine-week course meets once a week for three hours and is facilitated, not taught, by a local, connected business leader. The CO.STARTERS course helps entrepreneurs by connecting them with other entrepreneurs and bringing in guest speakers to help them get a thorough and comprehensive understanding of all aspects of their businesses. Graduates of Artlink’s CO.STARTERS program cross all fields, from artists to photographers to connectors to brewers. No matter the industry, CO.STARTERS offers its graduates invaluable connections and experiences. These graduates review these experiences as highly positive – helping them figure out what they do and DO NOT want to do, which was the valuable and surprising lesson for Dianna Chadd. The program helped Chadd refocus all of her time and energy from starting her own business into concentrating on producing more of her paintings. CO.STARTERS helped Amber Sturgis, whose business idea was to create an online platform for artists to share and sell their artwork called Focal Nova, assess her current understanding of business and guide her to areas where she needs to focus to develop a more rounded understanding of starting a business, which helped her bring Focal Nova to where it is today. Artlink’s CO.STARTERS program, facilitated by Steve Franks, lasts nine weeks and costs $250 for Artlink members (becoming a member is easy and open to artists and non-artists, just contact christina@artlinkfw.com) and $275 for the general public. Artlink’s CO.STARTERS program has successfully graduated two classes, and anyone interested in joining the next class should be on the lookout for the next application session in the Spring of 2016. Stay up to date on this timeline by checking back on Artlink’s website or by following Artlink of Facebook, Twitter and...

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Be A Tourist In Your Own Hometown!
Sep09

Be A Tourist In Your Own Hometown!

It can’t be that time of the year already, can it? Summer is winding down, the weather is swiftly turning, everyone’s back in school, and… it’s almost time for another Be A Tourist In Your Own Hometown (BAT) event! Make that the 17th annual BAT, that is. For 17 years now, this event (put on by Visit Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne’s Convention and Visitors Bureau) has been giving locals the opportunity to experience some of the best attractions our city has to offer–for FREE. Here’s how the program works: 1. Pick up a passport at any Fort Wayne Kroger or Old National Bank location or download a printable one-page Be A Tourist In Your Own Hometown Passport online. 2. On Sunday, September 13th from noon – 5 p.m., you and your friends and family will be able to visit 12 of Fort Wayne’s participating attractions and museums for FREE. Just use your passport to gain free admission to all attractions. (You only need one passport for your entire party). Here is the list of attractions and museums participating: African/African-American History Museum The African/African American Historical Museum holds exhibits on Africa, African-American inventors, musicians, and local entrepreneurs, as well as pioneers in business, education, social work, and health. Exhibits also feature general local history, the Underground Railroad, and a sports archive featuring athletes who started their sports careers right here in the Fort. Allen County Courthouse This is the only time during the year you’re allowed to take a camera into the Courthouse! Visit this National Historic Landmark and learn about its cultural legacy. This building is a premier example of Beaux Arts architecture and is one of the largest and most elegant courthouses in the nation. Artlink Contemporary Gallery Artlink is more than just an art gallery, it’s an organization that connects artists with the community and the community with the arts. Artlink hosts 28 exhibits each year and has a robust education programming schedule for both kids and adults. The gallery will feature “Maurice Papier: A Retrospective” during BAT. Cathedral Museum Located on the lower level of Archbishop Noll Catholic Center, the Cathedral Museum houses religious artifacts dating back to the times of Jesus Christ and Abraham. The Cathedral Bookstore, located on the first floor, carries a large selection of books, gifts, religious articles, and church supplies. Embassy Theatre Built in 1928, the historic Embassy Theatre features Broadway productions, headliner concerts, educational programming, community events, and cinema. Experience a self-guided tour of the Embassy and Indiana Hotel Lobby and listen to the famous sounds of the Grande Page Organ. Plan extra time for an all-ages scavenger hunt activity, too....

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Barr Street Market Vendor Series: The Girl of Sandwich
Aug31

Barr Street Market Vendor Series: The Girl of Sandwich

  You know what they say, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” That’s exactly what Heather and Jeff Shively did. They took their love for food and turned it into The Girl of Sandwich (website coming soon). (You may also formerly know them as Smoke and Honey!) If you’re wondering where you can find these mobile foodies, you probably guessed it right, at the YLNI Barr Street Market. And I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you’re looking to get a taste of all of the wonderful Barr Street vendors, you’re going to have to work a little harder to locate them, as the Barr Street Market’s last day of the season is going to be September 12! But while you still can, mosey on down to the Barr Street Market, located downtown on Barr Street between Berry and Wayne and visit the lovely folks at The Girl of Sandwich for a fresh taste of truly unique and fresh products in the form of sandwiches, tartines, savory pastries and their famous Smoke and Honey beef jerky! The Girl of Sandwich serves you some real food, and by real, I mean handcrafted, fresh and original. The Girl of Sandwich make nearly everything they serve you – from their personally smoked and roasted meats to their handmade sauces, condiments and marinades. To give you a glimpse of the kind of items you might see at the Market, previous menus have included items such as Italian Sausage, an Herb Roasted Pork Loin, Buffalo Chicken Meatball Sliders, Beef Barbacoa and so, so much more. All of their sandwiches are serves on freshly baked artisan baguettes (and they also have the option to turn any sandwich into a salad on a bed of spring greens). Make sure you stop by and share your love of food with the peeps at The Girl of Sandwich on your next trip to the Barr Street Market. While they love making and sharing great food, they also love meeting new people! You can contact The Girl of Sandwich on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or by email at hello@girlofsandwich.com for more information on their products and...

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