Meet the Local Archive, a new creative workspace in Fort Wayne

“The big goal is to highlight the little people.”

That’s Amber Reid, a photographer and event planner in Fort Wayne, talking about a new collaborative creative workspace she’s launching with her friend Mariah James, who is also a local photographer and calligraphy artist.

Reid and James have been friends for years and have each struggled to find an attainable professional workspace in the city. They’ve desired a place where artists can not only create, but also network and meet with clients in a professional setting that’s not a coffee shop.

James and Reid have been friends for years and have each struggled to find an attainable professional workspace in Fort Wayne.

Putting their hopes and passions together, Reid and James developed the idea for a rentable studio workspace called the Local Archive (@thelocalarchive), which opened Friday, March 5, at 1501 East Berry Street, Suite 207, near Summit City Brewerks.

“We wanted to utilize this space in the most efficient way possible for creatives to be more professional and to feel like this is their home, too, for their business,” Reid says. “It opens a door for anybody who isn’t sure where to start.”

The Local Archive is inside of the renovated Old East End building, formerly known as the "Wayne Candy Factory."

Along with workspace, Reid and James say the Local Archive will offer everything from meet-ups and informational events to opportunities to connect with other Fort Wayne professionals and mini markets, highlighting vendors from across the city. The main intention is to create a space where all can feel welcome and further establish themselves in their industry.

“With having the name ‘archive,’ I really liked the fact that it didn’t just specifically say the ‘loft’ or ‘studio,’ because we don’t want to direct this space toward photographers only,” James says. “We want to expand to different types of artists and creatives here.”

The Local Archive is a workplace for creatives of all crafts.

Guests can interact with the Local Archive in two ways: Either renting space by the hour or day, or purchasing a six-month membership. Reid and James encourage the membership option to establish a consistent community of Fort Wayne creatives who invested in connections and engagement.

“We want to be a key part of the Fort Wayne community. Period,” Reid says. “Since we grew up here, we want people to be excited about it, and no matter what type of industry you’re in, we feel like there should be a place for you.”

Inside the Local Archive at 1501 East Berry Street, Suite 207, near Summit City Brewerks.

For more information on the Local Archive’s rental options and memberships, visit www.thelocalarchive.com.