City Council will discuss Fort Wayne Cultural District

Downtown Improvement District logo

Press release from the Downtown Improvement District:

City Council votes to introduce Fort Wayne Cultural District into discussion at July 13th meeting

(July 14th, 2010) – Fort Wayne City Council members voted in favor of introducing a resolution for the Fort Wayne Cultural District, Tuesday.

The Fort Wayne Cultural District is a collaborative partnership between Arts United, the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB), the Downtown Improvement District (DID) and the City of Fort Wayne.

The impetus for this partnership is the Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) Cultural District Program, which asks communities with an interest in creating a state recognized district to apply through their municipality. A unique aspect to the Fort Wayne Cultural District are the four partnering organizations that have been promoting and organizing arts and culture on their own.

“I am excited by the process and the opportunity the Cultural District presents for Fort Wayne,” Jim Sparrow, Executive Director of Arts United said. “The cooperative partnerships that form the anchor for the Cultural District’s long term sustainability are essential for its success. This will align the momentum of multiple organizations around community cultural initiatives helping to sustain our ability to make progress in areas such as a public art plan, gallery development downtown and marketing our cultural assets and downtown as a draw for the region.”

The designation of the Fort Wayne Cultural District does not include any public funding at this time. This will allow for the partnering organizations to leverage their own programs and funding towards the shared larger goal of a thriving and vital arts community in downtown Fort Wayne.

“Designating Fort Wayne’s Cultural District goes a long way to promote the collaboration of the arts and humanities which are unique to our community while also supporting community life and economic vitality.” Jeanne Mirro, Chairperson of the Indiana Arts Commission and Fort Wayne resident, said.

The Fort Wayne Cultural District will reside within the same boundaries as the Downtown Improvement District and will bolster community efforts to revitalize Fort Wayne’s urban core. It is hoped to accomplish some of the goals set for downtown in Blue Print Plus and other community plans.

“The arts and cultural institutions have long been one of the strongest assets in downtown Fort Wayne, and an asset that we have underutilized. Establishing a Cultural District both acknowledges the arts and cultural institutions as the anchor for downtown that they are, and, literally, puts them on the map.” Paula Hughes, President of the Allen County Council, said.

The immediate benefits of this designation are predominantly local. However, the Fort Wayne Cultural District will also act as a regional hub and give the outlying areas access to an increased number of cultural experiences. This increase in cultural activity will be a beneficial economic development tool.

The cultural district structure aligns with Vision 2020’s model for Northeast Indiana. This model responds to the need for an enhanced quality of life that will allow Fort Wayne to attract higher paying jobs created by new industry.

Mike Packnett, President and CEO of Parkview Health said, “The Fort Wayne Cultural District is a needed structure in Northeast Indiana’s vibrant cultural landscape. I am pleased to see these organizations taking the initiative to partner in this manner as it is in direct alignment with Vision 2020s goals in regards to Quality of Life.”

Related Images:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here