News release from Arts United:
Arts United Announces Name for New Arts Facility
Downtown Fort Wayne’s newest arts facility now has a name. Arts United leaders announced the “Auer Center for Arts and Culture” will be the name of the building they recently purchased across from the Arts United Center. It will soon serve as a shared space for arts and cultural organizations in the heart of the cultural district.
At a news conference today, Jim Sparrow, Executive Director of Arts United, explained how the name was selected. “We are very grateful for the $1 million contribution made by the Edward D. and Ione Auer Foundation, which made the purchase of this building possible,” says Sparrow. “Several foundations contributed to the purchase and remodeling of the building at 300 Main Street, but the significant gift from the Auer Foundation made our dream a reality.”
“The Edward D. and Ione Auer Foundation is honored to participate in the purchase of this building and the creation of a campus for the arts in downtown Fort Wayne.” commented Katherine Moenter with the Auer Foundation. “We are delighted to partner with Arts United and all the arts organizations involved. Ione Auer was especially passionate about the arts and education and would have been proud to see her foundation contribute to the purchase of this wonderful Arts United building.”
When asked about donating to the arts during an interview, Mrs. Auer once said, “it’s one of the intellectual pleasures that are so important to everybody. It does good in a general way. And certainly it improves the quality of life for lots and lots of people.”
Arts United is planning to develop an area of downtown into an arts campus, creating a centralized hub of artistic activity that will spur social, economic and cultural growth for decades to come. Arts United’s leaders have been in negotiation with several organizations interested in occupying the building and are currently estimating costs for remodeling the space to accommodate the Fort Wayne Ballet, an art gallery, and offices. Initial transitions may begin almost immediately, while moving major organizations such as the Ballet will happen this summer.
“The beautiful Auer Center for Arts and Culture is a vibrant addition to our downtown,” said Mayor Tom Henry. “We have been working with staff to look at ways to enrich our downtown and to expand the arts campus and the cultural district that surrounds it. As more attention is focused on downtown for work, living and socializing, the Auer Center will serve as another resource for the community and visitors to share positive experiences.”
Arts United is currently in the midst of their annual fund drive to support arts and culture in the 10-county region. The mission of Arts United is to enrich the community by supporting the arts with funding, services and facilities. Small arts non-profits can operate more efficiently when provided with affordable office, rehearsal and performance spaces and are able to retain and attract high quality staff by utilizing Arts United’s services such as health insurance benefit administration.