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The Journal Gazette

  • File photos The Fort Wayne Ballet will be among dozens of organizations at Taste of the Arts on Saturday.

  • Food and drink tastings will be available at Taste of the Arts tonight and Saturday on the arts campus. Tickets cost $1.

  • Artists will be working on paintings downtown this weekend.

  • Children can try out different instruments at Taste of the Arts this weekend.

Friday, August 24, 2018 1:00 am

Get a Taste of the Arts this weekend

If you go

What: Taste of the Arts

When: 5 to 10 p.m. today, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: Downtown arts campus, 300 block of Main Street

Admission: Free; food and drink tickets are $1 each

If you're looking for a snapshot of the arts in Fort Wayne, head downtown tonight and Saturday. Dozens of artists, musicians, organizations and food vendors will be on the arts campus this weekend during the free Taste of the Arts festival.

“Sometimes people who aren't actively engaged in the arts already may not realize how much we actually have right here in the heart of our city, and this is a chance to experience it,” says Rachelle Reinking, communications and community relations manager for Arts United.

More than 40 organizations will have activities Saturday in the kid-friendly STEAM Park in Freimann Square.

Fort Wayne Ballet will have a barre for anyone that wants to test dance skills. There will be an instrument playground where kids can try out different musical instruments. Children can also take home art created in some activities such as a bike that sprays paint when ridden or a watercolors created by using a squirt gun.

Reinking says Taste of the Arts is a way for the community to be introduced to local arts organizations. When your child is playing with something in Youtheatre's booth, for example, you might learn more about the program and decide to have your child participate.

“It's a different way to connect people with the arts and culture in our community,” she says.

Elsewhere on the arts campus, local musician Hope Arthur has donated several pianos that festival-goers can mark with paint. The pianos will be donated to area schools and churches.

The gallery inside Arts United Center has an exhibition from FAME and Canterbury students, and the Fort Wayne Museum of Art has free admission during Taste of the Arts.

Pyroscope Entertainment will have a fire performance on Main Street tonight, and buskers will roam the arts campus Saturday.

There will be more than 70 dance, comedy, music and theater performances Saturday on nine stages throughout Freimann Square and the arts campus, which includes Arts United Center and Fort Wayne Museum of Art on the north side of Main Street and the Auer Center for Arts and Culture on the south side.

Reinking laughs when it is mentioned that Main Street is a bit torn up right now.

“Yeah, just a tad,” she says, adding that Arts United has been in contact with road officials to make sure the festival can work around the construction that has Main Street closed in and near the arts campus.

“On the bright side, we usually have to close down the streets on Friday night, and they've done that for us already,” she says.

The festival is free, but attendees can buy food and drink tickets for $1 each. A dozen food vendors will be on hand tonight and more than 20 will serve up tasting options Saturday. Most food and drink items require two to four tickets. Participating vendors include Sweets So Geek, Hop River Brewing Co., Shigs in Pit, Banh Mi Pho Shop and BrainFreeze.

For a list of restaurants and schedule of performances, go to artsunited.org/tasteofthearts.

More art is on display at the arts campus this weekend as part of the separate Kekionga Plein Air Paint Out, which includes more than 40 regional artists. The event organized by the Fort Wayne Artists Guild includes live painting and an art sale.

Artlink is also hosting its Art Market from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday with 35 artisans and their crafts and handmade goods.

The History Center will also have free admission with art activities Saturday.

– Corey McMaken, The Journal Gazette