On Friday, June 25, 2021, the Indiana Arts Commission designated Arts Campus Fort Wayne as a Statewide Cultural District during its Quarterly Business Meeting.

Coordinated by Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne, Arts Campus Fort Wayne includes seven venues and 17 presenting and resident arts and cultural organizations. Arts Campus Fort Wayne is the first state-designated cultural district in Northeast Indiana and will join 11 other cities throughout the state with cultural district recognition.

“We greatly appreciate the support from our community for this designation,” said Dan Ross, VP of Community Development for Arts United. “We see this as more than an acknowledgment of the work of Arts United, but as recognition by the State of the great work happening in Fort Wayne and Allen County.”

Established in 2010, Indiana Cultural Districts are well-recognized, labeled, mixed-use areas of a community, in which high concentrations of cultural assets serve as the anchor. Indiana Statewide Cultural Districts promote the exploration of and participation in the arts and humanities through cultural experiences that are unique to their communities. Marketing and promotional opportunities are available to cultural districts through state designation; work is currently underway at the state level for potential funding opportunities in the future.

“Fort Wayne is a community committed to collaboration. With a wealth of creative organizations, there is an incredible amount of opportunity for community engagement,” said Anna Tragesser, Indiana Arts Commission Artist and Community Services Manager. “Regional leaders have done a wonderful job of working together as they establish opportunities for tourism and downtown development as a strategy for near-term growth.”

The City of Fort Wayne and Arts United were invited to apply for designation of Arts Campus Fort Wayne after being recognized as a Spotlight Community as part of the Creative Community Pathway program. In May, Fort Wayne City Council unanimously approved Arts Campus Fort Wayne for city recognition as a cultural district