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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Hobnobben Film Festival Preview
Jun14

Hobnobben Film Festival Preview

After an impressive inaugural year, the annual Hobnobben Film Festival is back and more eclectic than ever before. That’s a good thing too, because even more so than the year prior, the festival has such a generous offering for film buffs to devour and a handful of community based gatherings to stumble upon for those casually walking around downtown. Make no mistake about it – your June 15th through the 18th should be spent near and around the Main Street area to watch movies, celebrate the city, and experience one of the most unique film festivals in the entire region.   I was privileged to serve as a member of the 5 person jury for this year’s crop of movies, which altogether added up to 47 entries in every category except for the headlining “Eye-Opening” films. As someone who has seen just about all the festival has to offer, I have to say that you’re in for a treat. especially when you factor in all of the extra events Hobnobben has in store over the course of the weekend. Thursday night gives filmgoers a chance to meet and greet at the opening night gathering. Friday evening is be dedicated to Blocknobben in the Arts United Plaza featuring food trucks, local vendors, and live music. The night is capped off by an outdoor screening of the ’07 Coen Brother’s classic film, No Country for Old Men, accompanied by a live score. Saturday is the most loaded and diverse day of the weekend, featuring the Awards Ceremony at the Arts United Center as well as two Sound & Shadow Redux showings of classic silent films. As for the last day, there are four wide-ranging and well-received pictures to enjoy at the Cinema Center.   The festival program is available in digital format and can be downloaded at Hobnobben.org. Two breakouts from this year’s Sundance Film Festival – Dina and The Hero – both screen on Thursday and are must-sees for the weekend. I’d also recommend Lemon, One Week and a Day, and Lost in Paris. On Saturday afternoon there is the “Class Act” collection of student made short films, and they are a mightily impressive group. The same goes for the “Short Haul” and the “Hoosier Spirit Showcase.” Some of the very best entries in this year’s festival were short films either made locally, by up-and-coming talents, or from universities around the state. I’ll be reviewing the big “Eye-Opening” films on my personal website LoganBushey.com, but make sure to check out the smaller offerings on the schedule as well; some of them are truly outstanding.   If you happen to be downtown grabbing a meal on a patio or sharing a drink with friends,...

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Get Real: The Real Group in Concert
Mar14

Get Real: The Real Group in Concert

  “A ca-what-a?” Several years ago, you might have been met with this question when talking about a cappella music. But with the recent mainstream phenomena like Pentatonix and Pitch Perfect, a cappella has surged in popularity. While the art of a cappella is nothing new, it’s exciting for me to see others begin their love affair with it. If you haven’t, you need to get real. Well, with The Real Group that is.   Based in Sweden, the five member group has been touring the world and transforming a cappella for over 30 years. Their combination of vocal perfection, personality, and wide repertoire from jazz, pop, and folk has made them a mainstay in the vocal music world. They’ve produced over 20 albums, opened for the FIFA World Cup, and sang for state officials all over the world – including the Emperor of Japan. The Real Group is kicking off another North American tour. Their next stop? Right here in Fort Wayne! A ca-scuse me? Well, a ca-believe it!     On Friday, March 24th at 7:30pm, The Real Group performs at the IPFW Auer Performance Hall. The concert will feature their original arrangements, plus special musical guest features with Heartland Sings, a nonprofit company of Vocal Artists and ensembles based in Fort Wayne.     This isn’t your typical concert. There’s something to be said about the human connection with vocal music. With the voice as the sole instrument, a cappella music creates an entirely different experience from other types of music. The Real Group steps it up another level. Heartland Sings’ Director of Development Stephanie Carlson and General Manager Eric Miller are both vocalists themselves and self-proclaimed The Real Group superfans. They’ve both followed their music for years. Carlson said, “The thing that is incredible about The Real Group is that they have the ability to tell stories and paint pictures with just their voices.” How they do this is through their unique style of a cappella. The Real Group sound. “I’ve been a fan for over 20 years. The Real Group is able to take any song, no matter the genre, and still make it sound like their own.” Both Carlson and Miller have seen them in concert before and agree that it’s a must-see and must-hear musical experience that’s sure to leave an impact on audiences as it has on them.     So, what brings The Real Group to Fort Wayne? It started with Heartland Sings. President & Executive Director, Maestro Robert Nance and Eric Miller had the opportunity to have dinner with The Real Group after a performance last year. In that conversation, Miller said that it was a chance...

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At ART MOVES, FWDC Puts Masterpieces in Motion
Sep07

At ART MOVES, FWDC Puts Masterpieces in Motion

When it comes to annual fundraisers, the Fort Wayne Dance Collective is known for creating over-the-top experiences that guests anticipate all year long. In years past, that meant choose-your-own-adventure theatrical performances in various Fort Wayne landmarks. But this year, under the leadership of Creative Director John Byrne, the organization is trying something new. As in years past, tomorrow’s ART MOVES event will raise funds for FWDC’s community outreach programs, high school dance programs and dance scholarships. But this year, FWDC eschewed the theatrical theme to celebrate creative expression in all its forms. At 6 pm tomorrow night, September 8th, Wunderkammer Company will serve as the backdrop for various choreographed pop-up performances, each inspired by a different iconic fine art works. The ART MOVES event will also include a silent auction, heavy appetizers and a cash bar provided by Club Soda. Tickets are $25 in advance, available through the FWDC website, or $30 at the door. With the event approaching, I talked to John Byrne to learn more about his artistic vision and inspiration for ART MOVES. B: What sparked the idea ART MOVES? J: Fort Wayne is a city just exploding with art and dance, and FWDC is proud to be in the forefront of this cultural movement. We serve such a diverse range of communities, ages, abilities and interests through dance education, healing and performances – more than 43,000 people annually to be specific! The idea for ART MOVES was simply inspired by the desire to bring awareness to what we do, in a fun, laid-back, party environment. For the artistic concept, I wanted to show who we are at the core by deconstructing dance down to its most pure form – movement. Dancers from 10 years old to 60 years old will take over the space in elegant and simple costumes, with beautiful lighting and sets by artist Diane Gaby. The dancers will represent recognizable iconic art works by emulating the essence of the  art works through dance. The performance will be presented in a simply, allowing the movement and personalities of our diverse performers to shine through. B: What kind of art and artists inspired the choreography?  J: There are eight choreographers contributing original dance works to ART MOVES.  This includes Vicki Gallagher, Mandie Kolkman, Sydney Pacula, Corinne Hobbs, Liz Monnier, Ashley Benninghoff and Allison Brandgard. Choreographers chose iconic art work that inspired them and designed their dance works based on these pieces. At the event, you’ll see artists such as O’Keeffe, Magritte, Kandinsky, Van Gogh and Koons represented. Dancers from all branches of Fort Wayne Dance Collective’s programs will be performing the new dance works. Singer/songwriter Kelsie Murray will also be making a special appearance. What can guests expect at the event?  J: Partygoers can expect...

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Entrepreneurship Spotlight: Stonewares
Sep07

Entrepreneurship Spotlight: Stonewares

This entrepreneur spotlight features Laura Brandenburg of Stonewares! Laura makes absolutely amazing earthy, stoneware pottery and jewelry. While she has several stable items, she also does custom orders. I’m in love with her planters. I also have a thing for mugs, and she recently made some of the coolest Indiana  mugs I’ve ever seen! Laura has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics, and to add to her awesome-ness, she recently completed work that she was commissioned to create by internationally renowned interior designer, Kelly Wearstler. The bowls that she created are decorative elements that will outfit the furnished units of Hollywood Proper at Columbia Square—how cool is that?! Here’s what she had to say about doing business in the Fort. What made you decide to open a business in Fort Wayne/Northeast Indiana? In 2004, I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Ceramics from IPFW. My dream was always to have a home studio and start to sell my functional and decorative stonewares locally. I saved up and purchased my kiln and my wheel and the studio slowly came together. My work was selling and I decided to take a leap and dedicate more and more of my free time to creating my work and selling it. Fort Wayne/Northeast Indiana has been so supportive of my work that I am happy to have this location as my roots. What resource in the community has helped you thrive in the community? The people in the community supporting their local artists and shopping locally has been one of the main reasons that my business has survived and thrived. There are so many resources in our community that have had a big impact on me being able to do what I love. YLNI’s Barr Street Market was where I began regularly selling my work in 2008. I have been a vendor there every year since and attribute the bulk of my business growth to that venue and community. Local juried Art Fairs such as the Covington Art Fair and Art at the Riverside have also helped me to share my work with a broader range of customers desiring fine art. The Downtown Improvement District in its creation of HolidayFest and the Holly Trolley has allowed me to continue my work as coordinator and participant of the “Foxy Ladies Art Posse”; an assembled group of local makers’ Holiday Pop-up Show at Artlink Contemporary Gallery. Artlink has hosted the Foxy Ladies Art Posse Holiday Pop-up show for the past 5 years and has been a solid supporter of local artists. Local entrepreneurs have also been a huge reason my work has...

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