December 14, 2020, FORT WAYNE, INDIANA – Arts United will celebrate a year of adaptability and resiliency among the arts and culture community in northeast Indiana by adapting its signature annual awards event.

As COVID-19 has impacted the majority of arts and culture activity throughout 2020, Arts United is adapting its 2021 Arts United Awards celebration in a way that recognizes individuals, teams and organizations that have remained responsive and proactive. 

In partnership with Fort Wayne’s NBC, the 13th Arts United Awards will celebrate those who have continued to contribute to the region’s creative community in the midst of uncertainty through a reimagined program that will air on TV in mid-January. The 2021 Arts United will be presented as a half-hour special hosted by members of the Fort Wayne’s NBC news team.

“The Arts United Awards presentation is Northeast Indiana’s premier celebration of the people, organizations and businesses that make significant contributions through arts and culture to communities throughout our region,” said Susan Mendenhall, president of Arts United. “While this year has brought significant challenges to our arts and culture community, it’s also brought inspiring examples of their resilience and strength. We’re honored to recognize their efforts and give our community reason to celebrate their resiliency and creativity.”

Categories of recognition for the 2021 Arts United Awards include:

  • Individuals, teams, and/or organizations that demonstrate significant work to improve Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and/or Access (IDEA) through arts and culture.
  • Individuals, teams, and/or organizations that contribute to our community in ways that are innovative and/or creative, as well as those who demonstrate exceptional artistry within their medium of art.
  • Individuals, teams, and/or organizations that have found unique and/or notable ways to be both resilient and adaptive during COVID-19.

2021 Arts United Awards nominees are:

  • Alicia Pyle
  • Alyssa Dumire and Katy Thompson
  • Andre Portee
  • Andy Lott
  • Art This Way
  • Audiences Unlimited
  • AWS Foundation
  • Brock Eastom
  • Chalk Walk at Home
  • City Utilities – Three Rivers Water Filtration Plant
  • Cornelia Schulz
  • Fort Wayne Ballet
  • Fort Wayne Civic Theatre, Fort Wayne Parks Department/Foellinger Outdoor Theatre, Sweetwater Sound
  • Fort Wayne Civic Theatre’s 1776
  • Fort Wayne Community Schools
  • Fort Wayne Youtheatre
  • Foundation for Art and Music in Elementary Education (FAME)
  • Francisco Reyes
  • Heartland Sings, Inc.
  • Jonathan Busarow
  • Lyndy Bazile
  • Matt Kuntz
  • Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership
  • PUNCH Films
  • Rachael Driscoll
  • Terrence Doran
  • The Honeywell Foundation
  • Unity Performing Arts Foundation

The 2021 Arts United Awards are scheduled to air at 7pm on Fort Wayne’s NBC on January 16 and at 7pm on January 17 on MyTV Fort Wayne. Additional air dates are expected to be added in the coming weeks. 

About Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne, Inc. is a non-profit united arts fund and local arts agency that serves the communities of Northeast Indiana by fueling the momentum of more than 70 arts, culture and quality of life initiatives each year. Arts United’s strategic investments position arts and culture organizations to achieve higher levels of excellence and quality, to improve access to the arts for all community members and to support regional priorities for growth and development. For more information, visit