Dating Your City With Amber Stone: Spring Has Arrived In Fort Wayne!
Apr20

Dating Your City With Amber Stone: Spring Has Arrived In Fort Wayne!

Spring has sprung in Fort Wayne! If you catch any bits of my radio show during the week, you’ll hear me say “There is always something going on in Fort Wayne,”quite a bit. It’s true! Now that the warm weather is here, you will see people out and about enjoying the city. I can’t tell you how many creative and exciting events pop up on my Facebook page. Most recently, Fort Wayne has installed bike shares. I think this is an incredible idea. I just had my first biking experience this week and it was fantastic! It’s been over 5 years since riding a bike, and I forgot how much fun it can be. You truly look at the city in a different way, as opposed to a car ride. During my bike riding adventure, I finally made it over to Pedal City. Now, let’s talk about a gem! While at Pedal City, you can sit outside and play corn hole, beer pong, or ping pong. Not feeling sporty? Sit back, relax and take in the patio vibes on a nice. sunny afternoon. We’re now getting into the fun part of the year. Whether you catch a festival, TinCaps game, or day drinking with friends on a patio, get out and enjoy this progressing city! I have seen Fort Wayne grow over the past 8 months, it’s a positive time to live and experience this thriving downtown. We can only hope that outsiders invest and capture how great Fort Wayne can be. This week, I encourage you to partake in something fun around downtown. Get on a bike rental and ride around, catch an art show, or find some live music. Make sure to take in the fun and vibrant feel Fort Wayne has going on. Until our next adventure, cheers!...

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Faces of the Fort Presents: Rick Kinney
Aug13

Faces of the Fort Presents: Rick Kinney

Earlier in this series, I wrote about “being the change you want to see in your community.” This month’s Face of the Fort puts that into perspective, and could stand to show us all a thing or two about chasing our dreams. Living Fort Wayne introduces Richard Wayne Kinney Jr., otherwise known as Rick Kinney. There’s a man with a vision, and then there’s Rick Kinney. Sometimes, half the battle of finding your vision is determining exactly what you want in the first place. For Rick, that came when he was 16 years old, standing in the Riviera Theatre in Chicago, watching the Deftones perform live on stage. At a young age, he began to learn not only what good music sounded like, but what a passion for music felt like. By age 30, Rick was the drummer for a band (Moser Woods actually…they’re good, and they’re opening for The Mersey Beatles in October…I’m plugging it because I’ll be writing about them soon), he became an entrepreneur, and had spent more than a decade dedicating his life to music and bringing outstanding, artful performances to communities throughout the country. He gained experience in lighting design, rigging, sound and video, even stage management and promotions. With that, he founded Even Keel Event Productions and for the next two years, went on to produce, promote and manage multiple local concerts and events. Then he was offered the role of Technical Director for the Fort Wayne Embassy; a job that provided him with the fine tuning he needed in his expert field. “I had all this experience,” he says, “but I needed to find a way to bring it all together.” So finally, in 2012, Rick found just what he needed, and he knew it immediately. The Clyde Theatre was built in 1951 and was designed by the same architect as the Embassy. It’s a grand, beautiful establishment. But it sat quietly in the back corner of Quimby Village on Bluffton Road for approximately 20 years without a single movie-goer to pass through its doors. The parking lot is full of pot holes. The walls and ceilings are dilapidated. Yet there is an energy in this place. I know, because he took me there. Rick saw what The Clyde Theatre could be, and it is exactly what Fort Wayne is missing. So many times, our city is passed up by performers that are looking for standing-room venues like the popular Vogue or Egyptian Room in Indy. But, Rick knew that to get The Clyde there it would take time. And patience. And money. Even Keel Event Productions purchased The Clyde Theatre in...

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Live Music Venue Series – The Phoenix
Apr07

Live Music Venue Series – The Phoenix

Everything you need to know about the Phoenix is written up on their sign. Food. Drink. Music. Art. There really isn’t any better way to describe what they are all about. Anything else said would just be the details. These are the details: Offering a full menu and bar service, the Phoenix brings in a variety of talented local and occasionally national acts to perform on its stage. Patrons can see musicians perform a variety of genres from jazz to blues to classic rock and more in a stylishly casual atmosphere. This combination of great music and great atmosphere, along with a good selection of options for dinner, has earned the Phoenix a reputation for being a superb all-ages venue. They are open Wednesday through Thursday from 5pm-11pm and Friday through Saturday from 5pm-1am. Sundays they open for brunch from 10am-2pm. You can find the Phoenix on Broadway just south of Jefferson Blvd across from the Brass Rail. It can be easily identified by its spacious patio and signage as you go past. On street parking is available as well as lot parking located on Wilt St (the first right passing the building going South). Parking may be difficult to find directly outside the building, but there is usually a spot nearby. Located on a historic strip of Broadway inside what was once the Sage Traders building, the recently renovated building has a lot of character that lends itself to the overall atmosphere inside. Inside, softly lit hanging local art, exposed brick walls, and duct work give the place an inviting urban tone that you might not expect to find around here. “Our goal is to provide the whole experience,” said general manager Shasta Kuhlhorst. Dining and live music don’t always mix well. Most restaurants just don’t have a good space for it and there are bound to be issues with visibility and sound. Others keep it deliberately low key to avoid disturbing their patrons. Music is meant for the background while you eat at some places, but it’s up front and center at the Phoenix. The dining room is focused towards the stage with the bar in the back. The tables easily have the best view of the stage, but this room was made for live music and there is no bad seat in the house. The stage is sizable and free from obstructions that might block your view. It can be easily seen from any seat and the acoustics in the room are solid. With friendly table service, diners are able to fully experience the show without needing to remove themselves for refreshments. In the summer, they open up their fenced...

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The Classical College Music Scene
Feb04

The Classical College Music Scene

Do you like acoustical guitar? Perhaps a flute concert? Maybe a good brass ensemble or an orchestra would sound good right now. Well, stop and check out some of the collegiate sounds that Fort Wayne has to offer. First of all, be sure to keep a weather eye open for visiting college groups. An example would be the St. Olaf Choir, from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. This group, which features 75 voices, will perform at First Presbyterian Church on Thursday, Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m. If this choir is anything like their television Christmas specials, you won’t want to miss this event! Fort Wayne, home to a variety of universities and colleges, is also the place to experience a good amount of quality music – especially when it comes as the result of university-level instruction. Both students and instructors perform routinely throughout the school year, giving solo, ensemble, and full-out formal concerts that members of the Fort Wayne community are welcome to enjoy. Many of the musical offerings come from the Rhinehart Music Center at Indiana University-Purdue University. Large concerts are held in the Auer Performance Hall, a beautiful stage space that can hold around 1,500 audience members. A smaller performance area, the Rhinehart Recital Hall, is a more intimate setting for solo recitals and ancient music performances. Coming up on February 23, (Monday at 7:30 p.m.), the IPFW/Fort Wayne Community Orchestra will present a concerto and aria concert, featuring recent winners of the University’s concerto/aria competition. Music will include Hummel’s Trumpet Concerto in E flat, three opera solos, and a trombone concerto by the British composer Bourgeoise. If you want to see something on a Thursday night, try out the Wind Ensemble Concert, March 5 at 7:30. It’s always a glittering sight, seeing all those flutes and trumpets lined up in rows before the podium. If quieter, smaller ensembles are more to your taste, then you might want to listen to a guitar studio showcase. IPFW is holding a variety of guitar concerts and recitals – as is the University of Saint Francis. USF will be holding their guitar concert on April 21, at 7 p.m. This concert will be held at their North Campus Auditorium, 2702 Spring Street. IPFW’s guitars will make several performances, including Saturday, March 28 (the Canadian Guitar Quartet, 7:30 p.m.) and the Guitar Ensemble Recital (April 15, 7:30 p.m.). And don’t forget about quality piano music. Maybe you want to sample some of the Summit City’s best piano work – well, look no further. Several piano events are happening this semester at IPFW, including an alumni recital with Jason Simon, (Feb....

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