Arts United and NIPSCO announced the 2024 recipients of the Community Connections: Southeast Arts Project Grants program. This program, administered by Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne and energized by NIPSCO and the NiSource Charitable Foundation, is designed to bring together residents in Southeast Fort Wayne through unique artistic experiences that enhance a sense of pride and community. The grants will provide funding to support arts and culture projects in Southeast Fort Wayne. 


“We are honored to partner with Arts United to support these cultural projects across Southeast Fort Wayne,” said Dana Berkes, NIPSCO Public Affairs and Economic Development Manager. “Art experiences provide powerful opportunities to strengthen community bonds and connectivity, an essential parallel to economic development efforts of business investment and job growth.”


The recipients of the Community Connections grants are:


  • Bridge of Grace Compassionate Ministries Center – $5,000 for three cultural celebrations in partnership with Levan R. Scott Academy
  • Fort Wayne Dance Collective – $5,000 to continue and expand the Dance for Community partnership at Renaissance Pointe YMCA, Southeast Allen County Public Libraries, and McMillen Park Community Center
  • Fort Wayne Urban League – $2,700 for a Summer STEAM Camp partnership with Fort Wayne Civic Theatre and artist Lyndy Bazile
  • MLK Montessori (Martin Luther King School, Inc.) – $5,000 for Nature’s Creations program with artist Lyndy Bazile during the seven-week STEAM camp
  • Northeast Indiana Positive Resource Connection – $5,000 for a  mural installation by artists  Phresh Laundry and AfroPlump on the agency’s building
  • Rachel Kesar, Idee Fixe Music Corp – $4,500 to expand the East Allen Community Youth Band program
  • Steve Manus (Overcoming Through Music) – $5,000 for Soul Day Festival featuring family activities and live performances
  • StudioLife Tour – $5,000 for Music Seminar Tour, a week-long event for teenagers focused on the music industry
  • The Shepherd’s Hand Community Outreach Center – $5,000 for the partnership with Fort Wayne Children’s Choir to continue the First Steps in Music for Infants and Toddlers program
  • Vincent Village – $2,750 for a Summer Youth Art program for young residents who have experienced being homeless
  • Vwazen – $5,000 for establishing a photography studio with Vwazen, an art space located in Southeast Fort Wayne


For more information about the Community Connections grants, visit

About Arts United

Arts United is a private, nonprofit local arts agency that serves Northeast Indiana through arts advocacy and promotion, fundraising and grantmaking, back-office business support, community and economic development, and Arts Campus Fort Wayne coordination. Arts United’s mission is to mobilize resources to develop, coordinate, and support arts and culture, enhancing the quality of life and the economic vitality of Northeast Indiana.


About NIPSCO: 

Northern Indiana Public Service Company LLC (NIPSCO), with headquarters in Merrillville, Indiana, has proudly served the energy needs of northern Indiana for more than 100 years. As Indiana’s largest natural gas distribution company and the second-largest electric distribution company, NIPSCO serves approximately 859,000 natural gas and 483,000 electric customers across 32 counties. NIPSCO is part of NiSource’s (NYSE: NI) six regulated utility companies. NiSource is one of the largest fully-regulated utility companies in the United States, serving approximately 3.7 million natural gas and electric customers through its local Columbia Gas and NIPSCO brands. More information about NIPSCO and NiSource is available at and