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Arts United announces latest round of Amplify Arts grants

The Arts United Center in downtown Fort Wayne.
Ella Abbott
The Arts United Center in downtown Fort Wayne.

A newly-established youth band in East Allen County Schools, a sensory theater show in Fort Wayne, and modern tintype portraits in Angola are among the projects announced as part of this spring’s Amplify Arts program from Arts United.

The crowdfunding campaign platform supports arts and culture projects throughout Northeast Indiana and is sponsored by PNC Bank. The program relies on support from the community through social media advocacy and small contributions from a large number of donors.

This spring cycle of the program ran from April 8 to May 7 and raised about sixteen thousand dollars for the projects, according to a release from the organization.

Other projects named in this round include free art classes in the 46805 zip code this summer, as well as outdoor painting promotion and workshops in various communities without access to the arts.

PNC Bank matched every gift to the Amplify Arts campaign up to one thousand dollars per project and provided an automatic investment of a thousand dollars for each selected project.

Projects selected in the past included Fort Wayne’s Open Walls mural festival, The Fusion Band: a collaborative instrumental ensemble for middle school students at Purdue Fort Wayne.

Below is the list of this cycle's projects:
East Allen Community Youth Band 
Rachel Kesar, East Allen County Schools 
Raised: $3,550
The project will strengthen a newly established youth band serving East Allen University (EAU) students and the Southeast Fort Wayne community by providing operational funding. This ensemble (EACYB) provides band education to students who otherwise have no opportunity to play in a band after their 8th-grade year due to the high school they attend. Donations will provide the band with instruments, materials, and new music and will help to advertise on social media. Funding will allow local instructors, musicians, and clinicians to work with the ensemble to build toward student performances in the Spring of 2025.

Free ’05 Arts Classes 
Fire & Light Productions 
Raised: $3,190
This summer, Fire & Light Productions will offer kids in the 46805 area a chance to take free arts classes in Improvisation, Broadway Dance, Small Group Singing, Tap Dance and Fight Choreography. These entertaining one-hour classes will take place Friday afternoons, from July 12 - August 2, at LifeHouse Clinic, 2100 Kentucky Boulevard, and are taught by seasoned artists and teachers. Donations for this project will assist Fire & Light in compensating class teachers, paying for classroom supplies, and promoting the Free ‘05 Arts classes to households in this area.

Googly: A Sensory Theatre Experience 
Kitchen Sink Theatre 
Raised: $4,300
Gloria Minnich and Kitchen Sink Theatre are excited to create Googly, a sensory theatre show that embraces the diverse range of ways that humans can connect and communicate with each other. By using the senses of not only sight and sound, but also touch, smell, kinesthetic, and taste, audience participants will go on an immersive and interactive journey exploring the world of the legendary googly eyes. This show is created with the aim of reaching audience members with the most access barriers, including those with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) and/or those on the autism spectrum.

Promoting Future Plein Air Artists in Northeast Indiana 
Northern Indiana Plein Air Artists Association 
Raised: $2,220
The Northern Indiana Plein Air Artists Association brings outdoor painting “in the open air” art events and workshops to communities across Indiana that might not otherwise have access to the arts. Donations will provide the opportunity for the community to learn how to paint and create landscapes on location “in the open air” and showcase competitively in front of, in many cases, large and small festivals.

Modern Day Tintype Portrait Sessions 
Relic Emporium 
Raised: $3,000
Tintype photography is a lost art form from 1851 that captures a unique look through vintage lenses and equipment. For years, the process was used by many to make a permanent image and to preserve a person’s place in history. Relic Emporium, located in Angola, is pleased to present an opportunity to continue the tradition that dates back to the very beginning of portraits while discovering the methods of early development –right before your eyes.

Rebecca manages the news at WBOI. She joined the staff in December 2017, and brought with her nearly two decades of experience in print journalism, including 15 years as an award-winning reporter for the Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne.