Want to support regional art projects?

Want to support creative ideas transforming Fort Wayne’s art and culture scene?

This May, a local crowdfunding platform called Amplify Art! is once again raising money for three local projects.

Amplify Art! was created in 2015 by Arts United as a way to increase community participation in creative projects through grassroots community contributions.

“Arts United wanted to create a platform that gives local arts and culture projects support financially and through advocacy,” says Rachelle Reinking, Communications and Community Relations Manager of Arts United. 

According to Reinking, Amplify Art! has helped fund more than 20 projects, a majority either meeting or exceeding their fundraising goal.

Some of its past projects include creating interactive art installations at Middle Waves Music Festival and providing portable seating for participants of “Meet Me at FWMoA” Alzheimer’s tour program.

Through the program, applicants receive 100 percent of the funds raised for their projects at no charge. Arts United also provides $1,000 in seed money for each project.

During the 2018 spring cycle of Amplify Art!, 3Rivers Federal Credit Union has also agreed to match donation dollars up to $1,500.

Reinking says this is an opportunity to make an even greater impact.

“You don't have to contribute a large amount to make a difference,” she explains. “Amplify Art! provides an opportunity for anyone to help propel the vibrancy of art and culture in northeast Indiana, no matter the gift size.”

Three local projects seeking funds this spring are a Clinician and Composition program by the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir, a Theatre Arts Day by the Fort Wayne Civic Theatre, and the Blocknobben Block Party by the Fort Wayne Cinema Center.

Enriching student choirs with original works of music

Fort Wayne Children’s Choir practice.With a goal of $5,000, the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir (FWCC) plans to commission composer and Professor of Music at Butler University James Mulholland to write new music for local high school and university choirs.

The funds will also allow Mulholland to instruct each choir and prepare them to perform at the annual Three Rivers Choral Festival.

“Providing hundreds of young singers an opportunity to work with James Mullholland and perform an original piece written especially for them is an experience they would not otherwise get,” says Amber Bouthot, Managing Director of the FWCC. “True to FWCC's founding mission to provide supplemental and complementary music education, we feel this opportunity will enrich their choral music experience.”

Inspiring the community to get involved in local theatre

A "Newsies" workshop held at the Civic Theatre.
The Fort Wayne Civic Theatre hopes to raise $4,000 for an educational event called Theatre Arts Day.

Elise Ramel, Marketing Director of the Civic Theatre, says the day will include workshops free of charge for anyone 14 and older who wants to learn more about theatre through break-out sessions on auditioning, dancing, costuming, scenic building, and backstage work.

The day will conclude with a panel discussion and Q&A with an NYC-based professional actor.

The Civic Theatre has previously hosted Q&As with professional actors and a pre-audition workshop for the hit Broadway musical Newsies. Ramel says the positive response to these events makes the Civic Theatre eager to provide similar opportunities through a comprehensive Theatre Arts Day.

“Fort Wayne is blessed with over a dozen theatre and dance groups that rely in great part on volunteers to stage their productions,” Ramel says.

The Civic Theatre staff believes the event will give individuals the experience of working behind the scenes and inspire them to volunteer in the city’s productions.

Increasing awareness about regional films and filmmaking

The Blocknobben block party of the Hobnobben Film Festival.For their fundraising goal of $6,300, the Cinema Center plans to host a free downtown block party called Blocknobben, as part of its Hobnobben Film Festival celebrating local film and film-making.

Blocknobben will be the largest event of the three-day film festival, taking place on the second day, Friday, June 8, at 6 p.m. at the Arts United Center plaza and Freiman Square.

Margaret Reeder, Executive Director of the Cinema Center, says Blocknobben is a family-friendly event that invites all of Fort Wayne to experience what the third annual film festival has to offer.

It will feature vendors, artists, local brewers, food trucks, and organizations sharing their work with the community. Entertainment will be provided by local bands and a selection of films from the festival playing on a loop throughout the block party.

“Fort Wayne citizens (and other regional guests) have an opportunity to see work that they might not otherwise have access to, hear from makers of film about the process, and craft of bringing stories to life on screen,” Reeder says.


For more information about Amplify Art! and donating to one of these projects, visit artsunited.org/amplify/.

Read more articles by Ali Brand.

Born and raised in Fort Wayne, Ali Brand graduated from the University of Saint Francis with a bachelors degree in English. For as long as she can remember, she has always loved writing, and she aspires to use her passion to promote her hometown.
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