The Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) locally approved a request for $6 million from the Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) program to advance Arts Campus Fort Wayne by modernizing and expanding the Arts United Center. The project will enhance the accessibility and functionality of the Arts United Center on behalf of local and regional performing arts organizations and their audiences.
Susan Mendenhall, President of Arts United, said:. “We are grateful and thrilled to have been granted a once-in-a-generation opportunity to bring this iconic community theatre designed by world-famous architect Louis Kahn into the 21st century, so it can continue to serve the residents of Northeast Indiana. Funding from the READI program, along with generous community support, will make this project possible.”
The READI program, launched in 2021 by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), aims to accelerate Indiana’s population growth through increased domestic and international migration by supporting the implementation of regional economic development strategies focused on making Indiana cities and towns magnets for talent and to invest in financial partnerships with regions across the state to demonstrate the potential to attract people and accelerate the state’s economic growth. In 2021, the IEDC allocated $50 million from the READI program to the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA). The RDA is a five-member board that oversees the investment of READI funds in Northeast Indiana counties in order to reach the goals of the Growing with Vision plan. The RDA is a five-member board that oversees the investment of READI funds in Northeast Indiana counties in order to reach the goals of the Growing with Vision plan.
The full renovation and expansion of the Arts United Center requires an investment of $42.4 million; Arts United presented a $30 million budget to the RDA that supports the first milestone of the project. Other sources of support include $3 million from the City of Fort Wayne, $3 million from the Allen County Commissioners, $3 million from the Allen County Capital Improvement Board, and private philanthropy from individuals, businesses, and foundations. Arts United will continue to raise funds and seek federal tax credits in 2023 with an anticipated construction start date of June 2024.
Learn more about Arts United and its initiatives at artsunited.org. Learn about the READI program in Northeast Indiana at neindiana.com.
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