Make It Your Own Mural Fest Transformational for Northeast Indiana
Marketing Northeast Indiana a Destination for Talent
Northeast Indiana’s first Make It Your Own Mural Fest was announced on February 13 at a media conference hosted by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne Inc. with strong support from Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and Elaine Bedel, the Secretary and CEO of the state’s new Indiana Destination Development Corporation. This is an exciting opportunity for Northeast Indiana and Fort Wayne residents on many levels.
Over the years, our region has become replete with festivals, events and celebrations throughout the year; all to the thorough enjoyment of residents and tourists across the Midwest. Recently, Middle Waves and Weather the Fort have emerged and gained strong followings. Last summer was the 5th year for dragon boat races. Fort Wayne was also recognized as one of the hardest-working cities in the U.S., and still, we love fun with our families and friends!
So, one might wonder, why another festival and how will this be different than other gatherings over food, rides and exhibitors?
As it turns out, there is a higher and compelling purpose for this festival. Make It Your Own Mural Fest is all about talent and national publicity.
Over 11 days, regional, national and international artists will create 11 high-quality murals—one in each of the 11 counties of Northeast Indiana. The murals will all be unveiled on the same day, with celebrations and events taking place throughout the region and the duration of the festival to recognize the artists and the communities.
This first year, the Mural Fest will run from September 8 to the 18. No doubt, a large undertaking for any single community in a block or two in a vibrant downtown. In Northeast Indiana together, we aspire higher.
11 days, 11 counties, 11 murals.
A true demonstration of regional collaboration, quality of place and a script for national public attention to a one-of-kind event.
One year ago, the Regional Partnership launched the Make It Your Own brand designed to lay a foundation to build a strong reputation to attract, retain and develop talent.
There is no more challenging issue constraining the growth of this region’s employers and our 11 county economy, than finding sufficient numbers of skilled talent necessary for us to compete in the global economy. Whether you are in manufacturing, construction, medical devices, insurance, healthcare, education or any other business, the battleground for growth is all about talent.
For as much as I love the brand and all of the supporting materials, a brand is not about marketing collateral. Our brand in a competitive talent market is all about reputation; the ability to deliver on a brand promise of economic opportunity and high-quality living and amenities. Beyond great jobs, have we achieved the quality community that others not only enjoy visiting but would also consider moving here for the right opportunity? Admittedly, this is a combination of many factors requiring a unique blend for every individual and situation.
Make It Your Own Mural Fest captures character, imagination and the reputation of the entire region around public art. As one of the winning communities of Indiana’s Regional Cities Initiative grant for $42 million, our region converted that grant into 28 major quality of place projects valued at nearly $265 million.
It is time for us to activate the Make It Your Brand for thousands of visitors and residents who will experience the amazing transformation of our region. We have walked away from a dated past with revived hope in the certainty of a promising future.
Now is the time! We must breathe life into the brand that invites visitors and residents alike, “Make It Your Own.”
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