Education

This Week in Entrepreneurship – 10/17/17

Posted by on October 17, 2017 | 0 comments

This Week in Entrepreneurship – 10/17/17

  Click here for this week’s Q&A with Aaron Robles of Reactiv Social. Are you an entrepreneur or small business owner interested in participating in our popular “Entrepreneurship Spotlight” survey? Visit our Entrepreneurship Spotlight page for more information about how to submit your information. New Q&As will go up weekly at the top of “This Week in Entrepreneurship” as they come in. Click here for a complete listing of past spotlights.   Last Week at 1 Million Cups Fort Wayne 1 Million Cups is an event for local entrepreneurs to meet and present their startups to the thriving peer network of founders in Fort Wayne. The events occur every Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. at Sweetwater. Check out their website for information and to learn about more area entrepreneurs. Last week’s presenter was Crossroads Kombucha. Notes from Around the Region Upcoming Events 1 Million Cups Fort Wayne Recurs Weekly on Most Wednesdays The presenter for Wednesday, October 18 is Thomas Eggleston of M25 Group. 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Accelerating the Growth of Greater Fort Wayne’s Startup Community  Wednesday, October 18, 2017 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM “Launch Your Dream: The Thrill of Entrepreneurism” with Jamal Robinson Thursday, October 19, 2017 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM Get Local: Atrium Turns One Thursday, October 19, 2017 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM SCORE Chapter 50 Intro to Business Workshop – Warsaw Thursday, October 19, 2017 5:30 PM Lunch & Learn: Overcoming the Six Unique Challenges of Emerging Businesses Friday, October 20, 2017 Starting at 11:30 AM SCORE Chapter 50 Intro to Business Workshop – Angola Tuesday, October 24, 2017 5:00 PM SCORE Chapter 50 Lean Canvas/Business Idea Evaluation Workshop – Warsaw Wednesday, October 25, 2017 3:00 PM Business Start-Up 101 Thursday, October 26, 2017 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM Social Media & Marketing Breakfast Fort Wayne Tuesday, October 31, 2017 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM Announcements Start Fort Wayne Celebrates One Year of Coworking From Start Fort Wayne New Social Innovation Microlending Program (For select Indiana college students and alumni) From Indiana Campus Compact   Submit Your Entrepreneurship Events and Announcements Do you have an event coming up? Submit your details to our Living Fort Wayne calendar here. All other announcements may be directed to...

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This Week in Entrepreneurship – 10/10/17

Posted by on October 10, 2017 | 0 comments

This Week in Entrepreneurship – 10/10/17

Living Fort Wayne has been a supporter of local entrepreneurship in Fort Wayne since 2014. As part of our continuing efforts to curate timely information about events, resources and business owners, we are introducing our first weekly “This Week in Entrepreneurship.” If you or your organization has anything you would like to add to the next “This Week in Entrepreneurship,” please email us at info@livingfortwayne.com. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s going on in the area. Are you an entrepreneur or small business owner interested in participating in our popular “Entrepreneurship Spotlight” survey? Visit our Entrepreneurship Spotlight page for more information about how to submit your information. New Q&As will go up weekly at the top of “This Week in Entrepreneurship” as they come in. Click here for a complete listing of past spotlights. Last Week at 1 Million Cups Fort Wayne 1 Million Cups is an event for local entrepreneurs to meet and present their startups to the thriving peer network of founders in Fort Wayne. The events occur every Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. at Sweetwater. Check out their website for information and to learn about more area entrepreneurs. Last week’s presenter was Open Sign Productions. Notes from Around the Region Upcoming Events 1 Million Cups Fort Wayne Recurs Weekly on Most Wednesdays The presenter for Wednesday, October 11 is Crossroads Kombucha. 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Accelerating the Growth of Greater Fort Wayne’s Startup Community  Wednesday, October 18, 2017 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM “Launch Your Dream: The Thrill of Entrepreneurism” with Jamal Robinson Thursday, October 19, 2017 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM Get Local: Atrium Turns One Thursday, October 19, 2017 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM SCORE Chapter 50 Intro to Business Workshop – Warsaw Thursday, October 19, 2017 5:30 PM Lunch & Learn: Overcoming the Six Unique Challenges of Emerging Businesses Friday, October 20, 2017 Starting at 11:30 AM Announcements Business Notes – Cat People Press Launches in Fort Wayne  From Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center Business Notes – In Touch Salon Breaks Ground on Second Location From Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center Business Notes – Capable Sensory Products Advances in Business Challenge From Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center Submit Your Entrepreneurship Events and Announcements Do you have an event coming up? Submit your details to our Living Fort Wayne calendar here. All other announcements may be directed to...

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Support the Fort: Help Students Get Back to School

Posted by on July 17, 2017 | Comments Off on Support the Fort: Help Students Get Back to School

Support the Fort: Help Students Get Back to School

It’s just beginning to feel like summer in the Fort but some people are already planning for the new school year. From uniforms, shoes, backpacks, classroom supplies and more, getting kids ready to head back to school can be expensive and a hardship for families. There are groups in the Fort that are preparing supplies and events for the whole family as well as two groups still collecting and asking for your help. Christ Child Society asks for a donation of $50 to provide backpacks for homeless children and children in need through the Foster Care Family Association. The Society’s website says that these backpacks are filled with “age appropriate personal items, school supplies, books and a stuffed animal.” They also state that these backpacks are often the only thing these children own personally. You can donate here. Another group looking for donations is the Salvation Army. They have red Tools for School donation barrels around the city at most Walgreens and other sites through August 2. Their ability to supply K-12 students with school supplies is based on the donations they receive. You can check out their website to find donation spots, a list of things to donate, and how to receive supplies. If you’re ready to celebrate the new school year or need supplies, the Renaissance Pointe YMCA and Fort Wayne UNITED partnered with Fort Wayne sponsors, like BrightPoint, present Summer Celebration: Celebrating the Life of Our Community. The event is July 22 from 11am – 2pm at the Renaissance Pointe YMCA at 2323 Bowser Ave. They’ll have games, giveaways, free school supplies and more. The rain date is July 29 from 11 am – 2 pm. Caring About People, Inc. is throwing a Family Fun Day on Saturday, July 8th. The event will be held in the northwest corner of Lakeside Park from 11 am – 2 pm. They’ll be giving away 300 backpacks to elementary kids only, but kids of all ages are welcome. There will be games, prizes and free lunch. The 3rd Annual Back to School Fatherhood Initiative, hosted by the Fort Wayne Commission on African American Males will be held on August 8th at the McMillan Park Community Center. The center is located at 3901 Abbot St. and the even is held from 10 am – 1 pm. The event will give away 400 backpacks and supplies to father and male figures who take the Fatherhood Initiative Pledge. Wireless Zone at 4201 Coldwater Rd. will be giving away free backpacks filled with supplies from 1- 4pm on Sunday, July 23rd. Their Backpack Giveaway promises to be “good Family Fun.” Check out the Facebook event for more details. Lifeline Youth and Family Services will be distributing backpacks and school supplies during their Backpack Round Up at Brookmill Court Apartments on Thursday, Auguat 3rd from 5 – 7 pm. This event also celebrates Project Initiative’s 30th anniversary, as a free-of-charge preschool and outreach to parents.   Know of an additional event that we haven’t covered? Please email us at...

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Fort Wayne Food Tour – Eat, Walk, Enjoy!

Posted by on March 27, 2017 | Comments Off on Fort Wayne Food Tour – Eat, Walk, Enjoy!

Fort Wayne Food Tour –  Eat, Walk, Enjoy!

This past Friday I was privileged to be a part of the inaugural Fort Wayne Food Tour, which was founded by Fort Wayne native and historian, Randy Harter and his daughter/digital marketing guru, Sarah Arnold.  The tour takes you through downtown Fort Wayne to eat tapas style portions at various local restaurants. Join me on my journey as I eat and tour the Fort! My tour, which consisted of 12 guests and Randy as our fearless guide, started at Don Hall’s Gas House. While I am a huge foodie and love to eat out, I normally choose the Deck (the outdoor patio across the parking lot of the Gas House overlooking the river) or even Takaoka (the entertaining Japanese hibachi restaurant upstairs) so I was excited to try something new. Our first course did not disappoint! Don Hall’s Gas House is famous for its steak and potatoes so that is exactly what they served.  A perfectly cooked filet mignon broiled at 1800 degrees topped with a garlic-herb butter, flavorful melt-in-your-mouth mashed potatoes, and sautéed mushrooms seasoned to perfection. Also included was a sample tasting of a 2011 Footbolt Shiraz that paired very nicely with the steak. My favorite part was when Don Hall’s grandson Ben came out to regale us with tales of the restaurant. Apparently Don Hall was obsessed with a restaurant in Chicago called George Diamond Steakhouse. So much so that he copied it right down to the uniforms and chairs. In fact, the chairs are the original from when the restaurant opened 59 years ago! It is in the site of a historic gas plant, which is where its name comes from. After sampling our first dish, it was great to stretch our legs and start the walking portion of our tour. As an added bonus it was a sunny 74 degrees, but Randy assured us that if it ever did rain he came equipped with ponchos.  The tour covered a 1.25 mile loop and was a very easy walk –  I did it in heels! (Although I am a professional shorty…the recommendation is to wear shoes that would be comfortable for a mile walk.) Randy brought history to life as he regaled us with stories about the Wabash and Erie Canal (we literally stood in the middle of where the canal used to be), the former German-American bank, which was renamed Lincoln National Bank & Trust Co due to anti-German sentiment during WWI, and perhaps the most harrowing was a story of how Anthony Wayne’s bones came to their final resting place after the flesh was boiled off of them. While I am not from Fort Wayne so a lot of the tour was new information for me, my friend Thao Le is a Fort Wayne native so I was curious to see what she thought of the tour. “Taking the tour enabled me to meet new people and experience Fort Wayne from a different view point. I love that we were able to take a stroll through the city and learn facts about Fort Wayne that I apparently missed in history class!” Our next food stop was The Hoppy Gnome, which is one of my favorite downtown restaurant spots. Managing Partner, Pete Shuey, explained the history behind both Hoppy Gnome and their newest addition, Gnometown Brewing,...

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Seeing Is Believing @ FWCS

Posted by on March 8, 2017 | Comments Off on Seeing Is Believing @ FWCS

Seeing Is Believing @ FWCS

Want to get to know a major education innovator in Fort Wayne?  A school system that excels in skilled trades, arts and sciences, and communication?  A school system that offers project- and inquiry-based learning models to help develop new types of thinkers through the New Tech teaching model?  That has the only high school in Northeast Indiana with the globally renowned International Baccalaureate program (and for over 20 years)? Who boasts its diversity with students from 6 continents and 70 home languages spoken?  Ready to find out who is excelling at education in your back yard? It’s your 160 year old public school system, Fort Wayne Community Schools!  Surprised?  Read on to find out how you can learn more. There’s been a lot of talk about the state of public education recently – about quality, effectiveness, and choice.  School choice is a buzzword now, but FWCS has been promoting choice for nearly 40 years.   We all have a variety of ways to get information to help us make that choice – whether that be social media, a website, or just a chat with friends over coffee.  But, really, what’s better than seeing for yourself?  That’s why, annually Fort Wayne Community Schools invites local business and community leaders on their Seeing is Believing tour to see how FWCS is preparing students for their futures in businesses and organizations in Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana. Seeing is Believing is a four-year partnership with Greater Fort Wayne, Inc., Excursions Trailways, and the Fort Wayne Area PTA.  Why does Greater Fort Wayne want more community members to see what goes on in their public schools?  Cheri Becker, Vice President of Investor Services, Programs & Marketing describes it this way, “The Seeing is Believing tour gives business and community leaders an opportunity to see what’s happening inside our schools and connect with educators and students. … GFW Inc.’s role is to be a connector. For the business community, understanding our school system is helpful when recruiting new talent to the area. Those families and individuals with children want to know that their children can succeed in the educational system before they decide to relocate. Likewise future business success depends on a well prepared workforce, Seeing is Believing allows the business community and the educational community to understand each other’s future needs and to work toward that successful end.” This year’s Seeing is Believing tour will be on Thursday, March 23rd.  The tour promises to be very exciting with participants meeting with FWCS Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson and FWCS Board of Trustees President Julie Hollingsworth.  Participants will also learn about schools and programs on student-lead tours of Wayne High School and the New Tech Academy @ Wayne.  Finally, they will interact with the principal, assistant principal, and Wayne and New Tech students over lunch. In a world of information overload, learn about your public school system with your own eyes.  As Becker says, “Our community’s future is in our schools and our youth.”  Sign up for the Seeing is Believing tour today!  The program is FREE, but space is limited.  To register and to learn more, click here or visit www.greaterfortwayneinc.com. Full disclosure: The author is employed by Fort Wayne Community...

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The Literacy Alliance Fights Illiteracy in Fort Wayne

Posted by on December 16, 2016 | Comments Off on The Literacy Alliance Fights Illiteracy in Fort Wayne

The Literacy Alliance Fights Illiteracy in Fort Wayne

When you wake up, what is the first thing you do? Do you head downstairs to read the morning paper or your favorite online news source to catch up on what’s going on in the world? Do you read e-mails, text messages, or a book? Now imagine you can’t read well enough or fast enough to do any of that. Life would become pretty difficult, right? It’s scary to think about. Did you know over 30,000 people in Allen County can’t read and don’t have a high-school diploma? That’s even scarier. The Literacy Alliance, formerly known as Three Rivers Literacy Alliance, is a non-profit organization founded here in Fort Wayne in 1988 by the late Judy Stabelli. Located at 1005 W. Rudisill Boulevard in Suite 307 at The Summit campus, The Literacy Alliance was formed to battle illiteracy in Fort Wayne and the Allen County by offering assistance to adults age 18 and older. There are 9 learning centers in Fort Wayne that offer classes at various times for accessibility. Their services include basic adult education, small group reading classes, and prep for the High School Equivalency diploma (formerly GED). The agency uses professional teachers and trained tutors, and coordinates outreach services including free child care and transportation because their mission is to do whatever it takes to make learning and improving possible for everyone. Mike Landram, Executive Director, said “We’re in the business of helping adults get a second chance.” Some of those students who are looking to become self-sufficient, want to read to their families, or obtain better jobs who test at or above the fifth grade level will be placed in one of the High School Equivalency (HSE) centers. Other students who test below the fifth grade level have a different curriculum and are placed in pre-HSE classes. These classes are offered free of charge. Currently, The Literacy Alliance has helped approximately 7,000 adults improve their literacy and 700 adults achieve their HSE that they need to live, work, and play in Fort Wayne. “People are surprised when I’m asked how many adults in Fort Wayne and Allen County are without a high school diploma and there’s over 30,000 adults in our community. That’s about 11% of the population that is without a high school diploma, and so when you look at that in the community that is a fairly extensive problem,” said Mike Landram, Executive Director. The move to The Summit from Clay Street assisted with visibility, accessibility, and recruitment which led for The Literacy Alliance to hold an Open House that included a ribbon-cutting ceremony in partnership with Greater Fort Wayne with special guests such as Mayor Tom Henry and students Norma Salas and Chad Smith. “The new location at The Summit is home to numerous other nonprofit agencies, which makes sense,” Executive Director Mike Landram said. “It is also in a spot that is in the center of a concentration of individuals who have a lack of high school education.” With the change in location, more people in Allen County can have the capability to get their GED/HSE and better their lives. The Literacy Alliance fights illiteracy and offers classes and services for students for free in hopes to reduce the number of people in Fort Wayne and surrounding Allen county that do not have their high school diploma and can’t...

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Entrepreneurship Spotlight: RESPECT360

Posted by on October 7, 2016 | Comments Off on Entrepreneurship Spotlight: RESPECT360

Entrepreneurship Spotlight: RESPECT360

I’m not that far away from my teenage years. I remember what it was like. I remember trying to navigate the changing world, sometimes feeling lonely, unsure of myself, and always feeling bombarded with pressure to fit in with my peers. Let’s be honest, once we are out of that phase of our lives, very few of us would jump at the chance to go back. Those years were hard. When I learned about RESPECT360 and the powerful things they are doing to help teens navigate those hard-but-important-years, I thought it was incredible. I think you’ll agree. That’s why today we are speaking with Amy Hanna, co-founder of RESPECT360, a local organization that exists to encourage teens to have a healthy respect for the self and a healthy respect for others. They do this by going into area middle and high schools and educating students on things like healthy self-image, what it means to know who they are, and cultivating healthy relationships. I think the value in their presentations is that they are real with their students. They are open and honest, and (of course) respectful. Students respond to that, and often open up to the presenters in a way they haven’t opened up to anyone else. RESPECT360 also offers Parent Empowerment sessions, teaching parents how to understand different things their teenagers are dealing with, and giving them tools to help them deal with hard things in their teens’ lives. RESPECT360 is an awesome organization doing wonderful things. The impact they are having on the youth in Fort Wayne isn’t something to shrug off. Amy Hanna has spent her life working with youth, but founding and expanding a non-profit organization isn’t any easier than founding and expanding a small, for-profit organization. What made you decide to open a business in Fort Wayne/Northeast Indiana? One of the most common complaints that we hear parents and teachers say about teens is that they lack respect. But somehow, the idea of respect seems to have been completely forgotten in today’s entire culture. We at RESPECT360 seek to change the perspective of respect from being something that is set aside to something that is applied.  We do this by first helping students to understand that they are extremely valuable and need to respect themselves and their bodies.  Then we teach them how to respect others, and finally we teach them the importance of being respected by others.  Ultimately our goal is that students will learn that respect has the power to change their lives for the better. Respectful teens make respectful adults, and in turn create a respectful community.  It’s the RESPECT360 way: Respect yourself. Respect others. Respect all.  What resource in the community has helped you thrive in the community? Because we are a non-profit, we rely upon grants, fundraisers, corporate sponsors, and personal donations.  We could not do what we do without the support of people in the community who believe in what we do and desire to make a positive difference in the lives of thousands of area teens. What is the biggest challenge you have worked to overcome in starting your business? As with starting any business, especially a non-profit, there are learning curves. We came into this business with high expectations and a blinded view that it would be easy. We have since learned...

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LFW Weekly Fun File

Posted by on June 9, 2016 | Comments Off on LFW Weekly Fun File

LFW Weekly Fun File

Looking for fun things to do in Fort Wayne? Look no further! LFW compiles a list of ongoings and events that we’re excited about every week! This is by no means an exhaustive list, and if you don’t quite see what you’re looking for, check out our events calendar. If you’d like to see your event featured in the Weekly Fun File, or added to our events calendar, let us know! Email us at info@livingfortwayne.com or you can go ahead and submit your event to our calendar! Click on the event for more information about times, locations, cost, etc. 1. MKM Thursday, June 9 from 4 pm to 7 pm           Enjoy food from Affine and check out some great art while exploring MKM’s Boundaries exhibit. “Boundaries: Exploring Meaningful Thresholds — to see how our creative process is exploring the relationship between place and perception.” 2. Cupcakes and Cocktails for a Cause Thursday, June 9 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm           Cupcakes and signature cocktails provided by CS3 and live jazz music by the Phil Schurger Trio. The event benefits FWCS Study Connection, an after-school tutoring program serving children in need. 3. Distillery Experience Tour Friday, June 10 from 6 pm to 9 pm           Tour the distillery! Tours will run in 15 minute intervals from 6:00pm to 7:00pm with a cash bar in the outdoor pavilion. Get some food from the food trucks and have a great time! 4. Art & Soul Friday, June 10 from 8 pm to 12 pm                 This Art & Soul benefits the Voices of Unity USA Choir Olympic Team‘s 2016 European Tour, “Journey to The Vatican.” There will be live painting and pieces for sale, and appetizers from Club Soda! 5. Arena Dinner Theatre: South Pacific Friday and Saturday, June 10 and 11 at 6:15 pm             This is a great musical. The show should be great, and the food is great. Don’t miss opening weekend! (But if you do miss opening weekend, then go next weekend!) 6. Yoga at Wunderkammer Saturday, June 11 from 9 am to 10 am         Yoga and Art! Go! 7. Heroes and Hot Rods Saturday, June 11 at 9 am           Cool cars for a great cause. There will be food, music, a silent auction and more. All proceeds will benefit Wounded Warriors Project and Lutheran Military Veterans and Families Ministries Inc. 8. Pedal, Paddle, and Play Saturday, June 11 from 11 am to 7 pm           Outdoor family fun! Explore the local water and land trails in Fort Wayne in order to raise funds for the Northeast Indiana Water Trails to improve access to outdoor recreation on our waterways! Face painting, Henna, food, concerts, drinks and demonstrations — the list of reasons to attend is endless! 9. Historic Old Fort: 200th Anniversary of Indiana Statehood Saturday and Sunday, June 11-12, 2016 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 11 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 12             Military drills, demonstration, good food … all celebrating 200 years of history! 10. Giraffe Birthday Party Tuesday, June 14 during zoo hours           Oh my gosh you guys! Kiango...

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LFW Weekend Fun File

Posted by on April 21, 2016 | Comments Off on LFW Weekend Fun File

LFW Weekend Fun File

Here’s a quick peek at some of the things we are looking forward to this weekend! This is by no means an exhaustive list, and if you don’t quite see what you’re looking for, check out our events calendar. If you’d like to see your event featured in the Weekend Fun File, or added to our events calendar, let us know! Email us at info@livingfortwayne.com.   1. YLNI Hot Spot Thursday, April 21 at 5:30 p.m.           This month YLNI is celebrating the leadership institute class of 2016. John Sampson from the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership will be the keynote speaker and will discuss what leadership means to him and how young leaders can help impact change in Fort Wayne. 2. Pique: Issue Two Release Party Thursday, April 21 at 6 p.m. (Hope Arthur at 8 p.m.)           After the hot spot, head over to Club Soda for some food, drinks, music and celebration of the release of Pique Issue Two! Hope Arthur plays at 8 p.m. 3. Unwanted Medication Collection Friday, April 22 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.             TRIAD and a few local volunteers are hosting medication collections at various Walgreens around town. Bring in your old medication so that it can be properly disposed of! 4. Design Week Closing Party Friday, April 22 7:30 – 10:30 p.m.         Send Design Week Fort Wayne out with a bang! Ticket holders receive one free drink ticket and appetizers by Club Soda. Attendees can hang out in a gallery-type atmosphere and enjoy the live performances of a variety of artists! It’s free for DWFW passport holders or $20 (plus fees) for non-passport holders. 5. The Color Run Saturday, April 23 at 9 a.m.         Get your colorful running on! It should be a beautiful day for this super fun 5K! 6. Touch-a-Truck Saturday, April 23 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.               Free event for the kiddos! Explore a variety of vehicles and chat with their drivers! 7. ZOO Opening Day!! Saturday, April 23 All Day                 I could not be more excited! The Zoo is opening for the season! There’s new animals, baby animals (have you seen the pictures of the baby penguins?) the Australian Outback has undergone more renovations, and it will be awesome! 8. Autism Awareness Event Saturday, April 23 from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.         It’s Autism Awareness Month! There will be a variety of sensory activities for the kiddos, as well as experts in the field available to talk to parents. 8. Earth Day Fort Wayne at Eagle Marsh Sunday, April 24 from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.         A fun event for families celebrating Earth Day! Activities for kids, educational presentations, and free t-shirts! What more could you want? 9. Tapped INto the Fort Monday April 25th at 5:30 p.m.                 Stop by Dash-In after a long day of work Monday and support our local breweries! Remember, this isn’t all Fort Wayne has to offer. Check out our events calendar, and get out and have some fun this weekend! We can’t wait to...

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Preview: The Last 5 Years

Posted by on March 31, 2016 | Comments Off on Preview: The Last 5 Years

Preview: The Last 5 Years

So I’m sure we’ve all attended at least one musical in our lifetimes, at least I hope we all have. But – have you ever seen one with only two actors, who perform together for just one scene in the middle of the musical? It’s a story by Jason Robert Brown, about five years of a marriage, from intense love to a final, painful separation. The man lives the five years from beginning to end, but the woman lives the five years backwards, from end to beginning. Thus, their timeline crosses only once, and they meet together for one duet. Premiering this Friday, April 1st, Three Rivers Music Theatre is presenting The Last 5 Years at the Parkview Physicians Group Artslab. Not only is this the first time Fort Wayne will see a production of The Last 5 Years, but this will also be the first time Fort Wayne is seeing a production from Three Rivers Music Theatre. Three Rivers Music Theatre, the parent company of Triple Threat Performing Arts Academy, is Fort Wayne’s first professional theatre company. This is a dream that has been a long time coming for Executive Artistic Director Andy Planck, and not just in regards to the theatre and the academy, but the production itself as well. For Billy Dawson playing Jamie in The Last 5 Years, this is a “dream role” for him. He is not only an accomplished actor and singer, but is also a Co-Founder of and the Director of Social Media for Three Rivers Music Theatre. He has been with this project since its inception, and states that the theatre is “a step in the right direction for this town.” I had the courtesy of attending a rehearsal earlier this week, and this is definitely a “must-see…and hear.” I’ve attended, and participated, in many musicals through my lifetime, but I’ve never seen anything quite like this. It may be that I can’t quite get over the fact that there are only two characters in the entire production. Or it could be that I’m in awe that we finally have a professional theatre company in Fort Wayne. But most of all, the music from The Last 5 Years touches upon so many different feelings, pulling you from romance, to comedy to heart-break. Whether you’ve been to many musicals or none at all, this is not a production you will want to miss out on! Shows run April 1st -10th: 8pm Fridays and Saturdays, and 2pm Saturdays and Sundays. Purchase tickets here on the Arts United website, or call the Box Office at 260-422-4226. For more information about Three Rivers Music Theatre, visit their website. And stay in the loop through updates on their Facebook, Twitter and...

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