Arts United unveils plans for updates to the Arts United Center, launches public capital campaign

On Tuesday, Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne shared its plans for the future of the Arts United Center, a 50-year-old venue owned and operated by Arts United located on Main Street, Downtown Fort Wayne.

Arts United President and CEO Dan Ross says the plan is to expand and modernize the building, making it more accessible for guests and participants. Renovations will also address the functionality of spaces for local theatre, dance, and musical productions while preserving the work done by the building’s architect, Louis I. Khan. 

The announcement was part of the launch for the organization's public community giving phase of A Soaring Vision, the capital campaign funding the Center’s updates. 

According to the press release, private donors and public funding have funded the majority of the $40 million capital campaign, and now Arts United is asking the community to help raise the remaining $2.5 million needed to complete the project. 

At the press conference, Ross also announced AWS Foundation and the Do it Best Foundation were providing matching grants. Because of those grants, gifts made during the community giving phase will be matched dollar for dollar up to $1.25 million.

“AWS Foundation and Arts United are committed to making the Arts United Center a creative hub where everyone, of every ability, can participate in the arts,” says Patti Hays, CEO of AWS Foundation.

The expansion and modernization plans include an accessible Community Arts Center lobby, Community Scene Shop, administrative space for resident organization Fort Wayne Civic Theatre, enhancements to the parking lot, modernized operational systems, and theatre technology throughout the venue. 

“Our ‘soaring vision’ elevates Arts Campus Fort Wayne as a regional hub for community, inclusivity, and accessibility,” says Ross. “With the support and generosity of our community partners, the Do it Best Foundation and AWS Foundation, we are another step closer to this reality.”

Currently, Arts United plans to begin construction in the summer of 2024 and aims to finish the renovations by fall 2025.

For more information about the capital campaign and plans for the future of the Arts United Center, click here.

Design renderings of the Arts United Center:

A rendering of the Arts United Center Auditorium.A rendering of the Arts United Center lobby.
A rendering of the Arts United Center studio.A rendering of the Arts United Center stage.
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Read more articles by Brittany Smith.

Brittany Smith is Input Fort Wayne's Managing Editor. Previously she served as Assistant Editor and participated in the College Input Program. She also volunteers for Northeast Indiana Public Radio.