Fort Wayne HeART of the City Hosts First Event at Three Rivers Festival
Jul06

Fort Wayne HeART of the City Hosts First Event at Three Rivers Festival

The local art scene is alive, and it has a pulse. Fort Wayne HeART of the City is an artist-run initiative that collectively supports artists of all types, mediums, and skill levels in the greater Northeast Indiana area. The group hosts its first event at the Three Rivers Festival on July 8th and 9th in the Freimann Square parking lot, where festival-goers can check out an assortment local art, music, and food. To learn more about Fort Wayne HeART of the City and their upcoming event, I spoke with Daniel Church and Tricia Cavender, two of the founding artists who are involved with coordinating events and operations.     It all started when group of artist friends wanted to bring attention to other local artists. However, they noticed a divide in the community. “From what I’ve experienced in the local art scene here in Fort Wayne, there is a great disconnect. The established artists and galleries are on one end of the spectrum and the newer unestablished artists are on the other. I would love to see those two worlds come together and learn from each other,” said Tricia. To bridge that gap, Fort Wayne HeART of the City was born. Local artists are supporting other local artists through new events and an online database.     Emerging into the art scene can be daunting. Often, newer artists don’t know where to start, and there aren’t many opportunities to showcase their work. To resolve this issue, HeART of the City is connecting established artists with new artists. “We want to help them learn how to better promote their work and give them events that will provide opportunities for them to show their work,” Tricia said. “We want to make some super fun events without the pressure of meeting juried requirements and booth approval. We want artists to be able to be themselves and show the art the way they choose to in a creative and free way. I think that is what makes HeART of the City special.” The group also offers ways for artists to promote themselves online. Their website hosts a calendar of art events and maintains a local artist directory, where anyone can submit examples of their work and links to their social media and websites. “It’s a hub for local artists to support local artists and a way to connect with each other and our community,” said Daniel. “Due to information overload, things can get lost in the mix, and you don’t even know what’s in your own backyard.”     Though this weekend is their first event, HeART of the City is already seeing their efforts pay off. Tricia...

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FWCS Magnet Schools Series: Education in the Arts
Jan28

FWCS Magnet Schools Series: Education in the Arts

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...

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