The new Fort Wayne Ballet space in the Auer Center for Arts & Culture is so nice that it would be the great place to film a really depressing movie.
Of course, it would also be a great place to film a wacky ballet comedy, but I am sort of hoping Hollywood has decided to stop making those.
I have never taken a ballet class (in fact, I was recently voted Least Limber Man in America by Ligament magazine), but I imagine that the sterling quality of the ballets new digs will spur students to greater levels of enthusiasm and artistry.
The ballets four new state-of-the-art rehearsal studios are greeting-card gorgeous with long banks of windows that let in light, nature and views of downtown.
Even better, this setup will allow passers-by to gaze up to the second floor of the Auer Center at dusk or later and see dancers rehearsing.
Now if that sight doesnt cheer you up and make you feel like you live in a vibrant city, you are either an irrecoverable curmudgeon or you lost all your money in a leotard startup.
Youll get a chance to preview the new space during the first weekend of October when the ballet presents a production for children there based on Eric Carles The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Reserve tickets by calling 484-9646.
By mid-October, the Auer Center for Arts & Culture (formerly the Fourth Wave Building) should be up and running at near-full capacity.
Artlink Gallery will move in at the end of September, and a new eatery called The Pembroke Bakery and Café should be open for breakfast and lunch by then.
Arts Uniteds executive director, Jim Sparrow, says the next big move for the non-profit arts-funding organization will likely involve attaching a black box theater to the Auer Center.
A black box theater is technically a bare-bones playhouse used to stage experimental plays, but Sparrow says the 200- to 250-seat performance space will have many applications.
He sees it as a place for Youtheatre productions and dance recitals but also for educational programs like a choreography institute or a sculpture symposium.
In the lobby of the Auer is an artists rendering that depicts the proposed theater as a freestanding structure.
Sparrow says those plans have since changed.
A new drawing of the theater will be released in about a month, Sparrow says, and a major announcement related to Arts Uniteds fundraising efforts on behalf of the theater will be made at that time.
The addition will add 5,000 square feet to the building, Sparrow says.
The Auer Center currently has 1,800 square feet of unused space, and Sparrow says there is a plan for using it if no perfect partner is found.
The whole concept behind the Auer (and everything arts-related that subsequently happens on the east end of Main Street) is to create an epicenter for artistic activity in Fort Wayne, the sort that architect Louis I. Kahn envisioned four decades ago but the city was unable to fund.
Certain controllable and probable factors should bring that arts campus (concept) to life, Sparrow says, including more drop-in activities at downtown arts organizations, more downtown programs involving arts organizations that arent located downtown and an increase in retail and restaurant activity in that area.
In addition, Sparrow says, We are working with the city to cut a large pedestrian crosswalk across Main (Street) to connect the Arts Center/Museum lot and on a master signage and connector system program that will have coordinated signage, landscaping, parking signage and walking/bike access.