Arts United’s Art Campus: A Place Where Life and Art Meet
A grandmother and her granddaughter walking through a gallery with local and national blown glass.
Children and professionals going to and from ballet practice in layers of warmups and leotards.
Former theatre majors producing a Shakespearean masterpiece in a modern black box theater.
A young couple enjoying date-night film at an art house theater.
Middle school kids chancing Pokemon Go! characters nestled in and among public sculptures.
Food trucks serving up weekday lunch to area employees and families.
These are just a few of the everyday activities that happen in the Arts Campus, located on Main Street in Downtown Fort Wayne.
As the epicenter for creativity in northeast Indiana and downtown Fort Wayne, the Arts Campus brings collective focus to the region’s growing creative sector. The Arts Campus is a place where local arts organizations meet the demands of a growing community for diverse, unique, and accessible arts and culture experiences just beyond their doorsteps.In fact, few districts in the United States offers the opportunity for residents and visitors alike to plan for one entertainment experience and stumble into two or three others along the way. The purposeful density of the Arts Campus creates opportunities for social collisions, for chance encounters, for new discoveries.
Arts United’s founders originally envisioned an Arts Campus in 1955 with support from world-renowned architect Louis Kahn. Kahn dreamed up a ten-building arts campus right in the heart of downtown, including amenities such as a 2,500 seat concert hall, a school for performing arts, a blackbox theatre, and more. Of Kahn’s initial design, only the Arts United Center was initially realized (then known as the Performing Arts Center, partially number 4 on Kahn map). However, over the last 40 years, the Arts Campus came to life due to a culmination of efforts and collaboration between many community members, leaders, organizations, corporations, and more. Fort Wayne’s downtown Arts Campus has grown to seven facilities that house 12 resident arts and culture organizations. More than 30 other organizations perform in the 660-seat Arts United Center auditorium and 200-seat Parkview Physicians Group ArtsLab black box theater throughout the year. The Arts Campus also celebrates outdoor events throughout the summer including Taste of the Arts, Downtown Improvement District’s Lunch on the Plaza, Three Rivers Festival, Kickstart and Fort4Fitness Spring Ride, and Hobnobben Film Festival.
- By Jasmine Bejar of Arts United