Monthly Archives: July 2014

Jul 30

2014 Taste of the Arts Continues to Expand

July 30, 2014 – Fort Wayne, IN – School will be in session but summer won’t be over until everyone gets a Taste of the Arts on the downtown arts campus at 300 E Main Street, Fort Wayne.  This dynamic regional festival caps off summer events on Saturday, August 23 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.  Admission is free.


Always the weekend before Labor Day, the event has grown rapidly into one of downtown Fort Wayne’s largest single-day festivals.  The sixth annual Taste of the Arts brings together more than 25,000 visitors and 650 volunteers, participants and performers for fine arts, crafts, theatre, dance, music, film, culture, history, and food.  It’s a family-friendly showcase of local talent and a chance to participate in a wide variety of engaging and entertaining activities.


Arts United develops, coordinates and supports arts and cultural efforts in Northeast Indiana by connecting cultural groups from across a 12-county region and providing them with leadership funding, facilities, and business support.  Taste of the Arts exemplifies the power of cooperation by showcasing Northeast Indiana’s tremendous talent during this one-day arts extravaganza.


New this year:  PNC is Matching Donations

Admission to Taste of the Arts is free, and the festival is accessible to all participants. Proceeds from donations, sponsorships, and food sales help keep the event free and provide funding for artistic programming throughout the year. Anyone can join the “Friends of the Taste by making a tax-deductible contribution to Arts United. Donors who give $50 or more receive special privileges including access to the PNC Cool Zone in the Ian Rolland Gallery of the Arts United Center, coupons for food tickets, and VIP parking. For the first time, PNC is matching “Friends of the Taste” donations to help Arts United build sustainable support for this regional festival and fuel arts and cultural programming throughout the year. Contributions may be made online at:


Artslab raises the bar to 10 stages

Taste of the Arts stretches to ten performance areas by adding a new stage in Artslab, the black box theatre which opened in January 2014 in the Auer Center for Arts & Culture, 300 E. Main St..  The $1.6 million addition to the Auer Center is flexible and offers an intimate experience for both the audience and performers.


FortArtisan Fine Arts Fair

Check out FortArtisan at Taste of the Arts this year. Fort Artisan is juried art fair organized by Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery and includes artists and crafters who produce innovative, original items using traditional methods. This celebration of contemporary craft features modern handmade goods.  Artists accepted into FortArtisan include:  Elizabeth Balzer, Linnea Bartling, Laura Brandenburg, Matt Breunig, Mackenzie Brockhaus, Melissa Eager, Patricia Eykholt, Justine Hettler, Rebecca Graves-Sweinhagen, Alexandra Hall, Karen Layman, John Margerum, Jason McCall, Joseph Pelka, Rick Reiff, Linda K Sheets, Sarah Thompson, Leigha Vande Zande, Julie Wall Toles, David Webb, and Janet R Webb.


YLNI Barr Street Market

In addition to FortArtisan, more local artists will sell their works at the YLNI Barr Street Market near The History Center. Now celebrating its 10th season, the YLNI Barr Street Market will offer extended hours during Taste of the Arts. Musicians, artists and some vendors entertainment and shopping opportunities until 5 p.m.


Hands on Activities at Busker Square

Dancers, magicians, and music, OH MY! Organized and sponsored by the Downtown Improvement District, Busker Square returns to Taste of the Arts this year to celebrate the street performer! Busker Square will allow you to enjoy the fun, exciting, and unpredictable nature of Buskers as they roam the area displaying their talents. Be on the lookout all day for fun artists like The Harp Condition, Robot Girl, Hindered Folk , and more! In addition to these fabulous acts, Busker Square will feature tarot reading, face painting, and balloon animals throughout the day.


Buskers will mix and mingle among forty activity-rich booths around Freimann Square. Taste of the Arts was founded with a goal of helping residents connect with local arts organizations. The festival provides a fun and easy way to get involved in the arts through kid-friendly, hands-on activities and opportunities to learn more about local cultural programs.  Random acts and performers will mix and mingle among forty booths around Freimann Square.  Participating organizations include:



all for One productions

Appleseed Comics and Art Convention


Carson’s Department Store

Downtown Improvement District

Embassy Theatre


Fort Wayne Artists Guild

Fort Wayne Ballet

Fort Wayne Children’s Choir

Fort Wayne Civic Theatre

Fort Wayne Community Schools

Fort Wayne Dance Collective

Fort Wayne Philharmonic

Fort Wayne Scottish Pipes & Drums

Fort Wayne Youtheatre

Friends of the Phil

Friends of the Third World

Heartland Chamber Chorale

IPFW Community Arts Academy

Miss Fort Wayne Scholarship Program

Musical Arts at Trinity Episcopal Church

New American Youth Ballet

Noble Co. Convention & Visitors Bureau

Northeast Indiana POETS

Old Crown Brass Band

Painting with a Twist

Roanoke Arts Council

Science Central


TekVenture, Inc.

The Bach Collegium

The History Center

Trinity English Lutheran Church

University of St. Francis

Visit Fort Wayne

Wine & Canvas

Wunderkammer Company




Bike Valet

An increasing number of people ride their bicycles to Taste of the Arts.  Last year, volunteers from Fort Wayne Trails counted over 200 bicycles in their Bike Valet parking area.  They will offer Bike Valet service for the festival again this year by Freimann Square.



Museums and attractions on the Arts Campus including Artlink, the History Center, and the Fort Wayne Museum of Art will offer free general admission.  Artlink will be featuring The Members’ Show — Artlink’s annual exhibit featuring one piece each from artist members in the Sauerteig Family and Mirro Family Foundation Galleries. This is a media exhibit featuring a large quantity of fantastic work!

The Fort Wayne Museum of Art will host two performance areas and a special exhibit with local sound and visual artist Michael Rhodes. Museum exhibitions include abstract artist Donald Martiny: Freeing the Gesture, photographs of gonzo journalist Hunter Thompson in Al Satterwhite: Fear and Loathing on Cozumel and Sculptures by Robert Pulley. Entrance to the special exhibitions, including the 42nd Annual International Glass Invitational Award Winners and Peter Bremers: Inward Journey, are available for an additional $5.

The History Center will also have free admission and an old jail cell photo booth set outside for festival selfies.  The jail cell will be located near the Barr Street Market and Dessert stage.


Cinema Center

Cinema Center will show several movies in their theatre at the Hall Community Art Center Films including Richard Linklater’s BOYHOOD, a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (a breakthrough performance by Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Rated R, BOYHOOD was filmed over 12 years with the same cast.


Festival Fan Fare Warehouse

Patrons can purchase Taste of the Arts t-shirts, carry bags, sunglasses, and albums from local musicians at the Fan Fare Warehouse in front of the Arts United Center box office.


Food Vendors

It wouldn’t be Taste of the Arts without the culinary talents local chefs and restaurants.  Some of these food vendors will leave as the daytime activity of Taste of the Arts winds down at 7 p.m. About twelve restaurants will stay for the night shift, known by Taste aficionados as Dessert. The list of participating restaurants is still growing and currently includes:


B Antonio’s

Baker Street

Banh Mi

Club Soda

Crackerjack Catering


Friendly Fox

Granite City

Green Bean Delivery

JK O’Donnell’s Irish Pub

Kona Ice

Mad Anthony

Main Street Bistro

Naked Tchopstix Food Truck

O’Reilly’s Irish Pub

Palmetto Poppers

Purple Mountain Cheesecake


Shigs in Pit


Sweets So Geek

The Venice

Vanilla Bean

Waiter on the Way




WBOI Dessert Stage

For the past two years, WBOI, the local public radio station, has recorded “Meet the Music” live with radio host Julia Meek during Taste of the Arts. A great success, the evening concert will again be recorded with popular and purposely diverse acts from the Fort Wayne region. The show will be broadcast on the radio later in the fall.


6p: Ken Jehle & Fernando Tarango. Each of them masters in their own field, Ken’s classical guitar meets Fernando’s savvy pop vocal for an amazingly diverse & entertaining sound.


7p: Shelly Dixon & Jeff McRae.  Acoustic rock duo divine! Shelly Dixon & Jeff McRae are veterans of the Fort Wayne music scene. Each has served time in successful rock and country/rock bands over the past decade, but they were recently liberated to pursue the more pure and demanding – yet more satisfying – acoustic sound.


8p: The Wickersham Brothers. Fronted by Fernando Tarango, the Wickersham Bros. boasts an eclectic combination of Americana Roots, Jazz, Rock and Funk that is always as danceable as it is entertaining.


9p: Breaking Tradition, a young, up and coming, brother /sister, country band from northeast Indiana. The band has a strong emphasis on vocals with two and three part harmonies. They rock everything from classic tunes to the latest hits with a few surprises in between. Inspired by country and southern rock music, their song selection and sound represents a mixture of individual styles with a shared passion for country music.


Evening Activities at the Arts United Center Plaza, ArtsLab at the Auer Center and Fort Wayne Museum of Art

The party continues with Dessert at 7 p.m. after the daytime stages, Busker Square, and some food vendors close down. Furthering last year’s expansion of activities into the evening, Dessert takes the event into the night with live music, theatrical performances, and an outdoor film screening. About twelve food and beverage vendors will stay open. Highlights include:

7 p.m.: Caleb Herber will perform in the Auer Center, Josh Ogle and Lydia Tremaine will perform in Artslab, Fort Wayne Summer Theatre performs in the MoA auditorium


7:30 p.m.Dance Tonight will lead the crowd with lively music and dancing lessons followed at dusk by local fire dance troop “Pyroscope” at the Arts United Center Plaza.


10 p.m. Outdoor Movie: Cinema Center will provide a screening of The Sandlot, a free outdoor movie. Audience members are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs for comfort.  About The Sandlot: Scotty Smalls is the new kid in town and all he wants is to make friends before summer. During the summer he gets neighborhood boys into a huge pickle when he hits a baseball signed by Babe Ruth into the “Beast’s” backyard where nobody has ever gone over the fence for fear of being eaten. The classic family movie from 1993 is free, rated PG and is sponsored by Shaffer Media.


Festival sponsors make it happen

New sponsors are supporting Taste of the Arts this year, along with a few who have loyally supported the festival since its inception. These sponsors include:  PNC, BAE Systems, Fort Wayne Metals, Emley Design Group, Sweetwater, Carsons, Current Mechanical, Xfinity, PHP, Downtown Improvement District, Indiana Michigan Power, Aalco Distributors, Shaffer Media, WMEE.  Without sponsors, Arts United could not build the infrastructure that makes the event a success.


For the complete line-up of acts, to sign-up as a volunteer or artist, or for more information about Taste of the Arts go online to



Attached:  Stage Schedule

Photos are available on Facebook.


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