Monthly Archives: January 2016



Jan 20

Art & You: Arts United Awards Recipients

Thank you to all of those who attended the 2015 Arts United Awards Ceremony! We are enthralled to have the opportunity to recognize this community’s dedication to making Northeast Indiana a national destination for arts and culture (which many would argue that we already are).

We would like to especially thank ALL of the Arts United Awards nominees and the thousands of other artists, staff members and volunteers who deserve recognition for their commitment to increasing our region’s quality of life through a vibrant arts community. We truly wouldn’t be here without each and every one of you, culminating to equal a force that demands attention for all of your talent and ambition.

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2015 Arts United Awards Recipients

Outstanding Advocate/Supporter: AWS Foundation

Outstanding Artist of the Year: Gregory Stieber

Outstanding Collaboration: Fort Wayne Civic Theatre/Science Central and End Times Spasm Band

Emerging Leader: Jonathan Busarow

Margaret Ann Keegan Award: Rick Cartwright

Outstanding Volunteer of the Year: George Bartling

Lifetime Achievement Award: Foellinger Foundation

At this year’s awards, we also officially announced The Platform for Cultural Advancement, which is the result of a 14-month strategic planning process that engaged more input from more than 2,000 diverse individuals in our community. The Platform is a community cultural plan to springboard our creative community with a shared vision and actionable strategies.

This process yielded this community vision:

Northeast Indiana will claim its place as a national destination by driving forward its creative sector with a regionally collaborative, dynamic, inclusive and innovative spirit.

What does this mean? It means we’re in this together, and we’ve got work to do. We as a community are going to drive forward our creative sector and position ourselves as a leading destination for arts and culture in so many different ways. Our region is comprised of well over 70 arts and culture organizations; and with that force we will lead our community to achieve even greater things than we already have. The strategic imperatives yielded from The Platform are:

1. Excellence: Together, we will stake our claim as a nationally recognized destination for creative businesses, nonprofits and aspiring and professional artists.

2. Access: Together, we will heighten access to the arts so that all citizens can engage in diverse, relevant and compelling creative experiences and places.

3. Regional Priority: Together we will position the creative sector as a regional priority.

These high-level imperatives and ideas say a lot about where we’re heading, but not as much as the actual stories of the people and organizations who are fulfilling them are. This is no easy feat; our community members and leaders put endless hours into making a feat like this a reality. It’s one thing to say that Fort Wayne is excellent in arts and culture; it’s another to tell the success stories of the students of Unity Performing Arts Foundation who travel the world to share their culture; it’s another to tell the story of a little girl who finds a mentor in her ballet teacher; it’s another to tell the story of the AWS Foundation’s programming that allows access to arts to those with disabilities who are often excluded from such an experience. THESE are the stories that make art so important to a community – to each person in the community’s quality of life. Art enriches our experience. It builds bridges of understanding and unites diverse people. It’s about how ART impacts YOU.

It’s about Art & You.

We’re going to tell our community’s stories. Stay tuned as we explore the true impact that art has on our community, individually and as a whole.

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