FORT WAYNE, IN – In partnership with Fort Wayne’s NBC, Arts United Awards: Art Unites Us will feature the presentation of the 2021 Mayor’s Arts Award to Art This Way and the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award to Dave Meyer. Recipients of the Mayor’s Arts Award are individuals and organizations who have greatly impacted arts and culture in the city of Fort Wayne. The Lifetime Achievement Award is granted to individuals and organizations who have continued to make significant contributions through arts and culture throughout the span of their career or lifetime.

Art This Way 
Following the George Floyd demonstrations and subsequent breaking of downtown windows, Art This Way, a downtown public art alley activation project led by Alex Hall, paired with local artists to paint the wood boards over the broken windows with messages celebrating the positive aspects of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

This temporary activation helped local artists, particularly artists of color, have an outlet for their voices about a subject that they were passionate about and had a huge community impact. This involved more than thirty different murals, and more than fifty artists. These were paid for and facilitated by the Downtown Improvement District. The murals are currently on display at Wunderkammer Company and will be the inspiration for the upcoming Scholastic Art and Writing awards sponsored by Fort Wayne Museum of Art.

“I am pleased to present Art This Way with my Mayor’s Arts Award this year, recognizing the way our local artists created a positive message of dialogue for our community out of the frustrations that were expressed by the racial protests in May,” said Mayor Tom Henry.

David Meyer
David Meyer is a quiet yet passionate supporter of arts, culture, and education in Fort Wayne through his role as Trustee of the Edward D. and Ione Auer Foundation. David began his professional career at Fort Wayne National Bank, was a founding partner of Monarch Capital in 1994, and has led the Edward D. and Ione Auer Foundation for the past two decades. With David’s leadership, the Auer Foundation has made extraordinary investments in the community’s arts and culture nonprofits in memory of Ione Auer and her devotion to the arts and arts education. 

In response to the financial crisis of arts organizations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Auer Foundation provided the lead gift of $1 million to Arts United’s Arts & Culture Nonprofit Resilience Fund. The Auer Foundation’s gift inspired other philanthropic leaders to contribute to the fund, which is nearing a total of $2.9 million, to sustain eighteen anchor arts and culture nonprofits during the pandemic. The Auer Foundation will sunset in early 2022 and will leave a legacy of a growing arts and cultural scene for Fort Wayne for generations because of David’s leadership. 

The awards presentation will be broadcast on January 16, 2021 at 7pm on Fort Wayne’s NBC and on January 17, 2021 at 7pm on MyTV Fort Wayne. The Arts United Awards are presented annually to celebrate individuals and organizations that are making significant contributions to arts and culture in Northeast Indiana. As COVID-19 has impacted the majority of arts and culture activity throughout 2020, Arts United, in partnership with Fort Wayne’s NBC, celebrates those who have continued to contribute to our creative community in the midst of uncertainty in lieu of the traditional awards ceremony.

To learn more about the 2021 Arts United Awards and view a full list of nominees, 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 advance the creative sector by mobilizing resources to elevate our community’s quality of life. For more information, visit