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The Journal Gazette

  • Elizabeth Wyman | The Journal Gazette This wall in downtown Angola will soon feature a mural, part of the Paint the Town campaign.

  • Courtesy Lorelei VerLee, right, founder of Creative Women of the World, travels the globe to train people who want to build businesses.

Friday, April 26, 2019 1:00 am

AmplifyArt unveils projects for spring campaigns

COREY MCMAKEN | The Journal Gazette

Arts United's crowdfunding program AmplifyArt has been used to help get murals off the ground in Fort Wayne. In this spring's cycle, which begins Wednesday, Angola is getting in on the action with a project that will create public art in the city's historic downtown district.

It is one of three projects looking to raise money through donations in May.

Each project will receive a seed investment of $1,000 from Arts United and will have donations from the public matched dollar for dollar up to $1,500 by 3Rivers Federal Credit Union. Donations can be made at artsunited.org/amplify.

Here's a look at the projects:

No Alley Left Behind

Organization: Paint the Town

Goal: $5,000

Angola High School juniors Brooklynn Shively and Teryn Stanley are spearheading an effort to create a mural and an alley gallery. Both spaces are off the downtown traffic circle in Angola.

The mural will be painted on a panel that will be affixed to the side of Realty PRO Hansbarger Realty. A design competition will be held with members of the public submitting designs. The Mayor's Arts Council, which Shively and Stanley are a part of, and building owners will review designs to decide which one best fits the city.

The art club from Angola High School will assist in creating the mural from the chosen design. It is hoped the mural will be complete by the end of the summer.

Also in the works is transforming an alley into a gallery with art on wood panels that will be set into recesses that used to be windows and doorways. The panels can be replaced, allowing various artists from the community to be featured in the space on a rotating basis. The goal is to unveil the space Aug. 3 during the Angola Art Festival.

The Paint the Town arts initiative began at the start of the year.

“I was very inspired by a lot of our neighboring cities like Fort Wayne,” Shively says. “The culture of art is kind of becoming a larger thing in our world today and we thought that Angola deserved to be a part of this movement. We have a lot of artists in our community, so we were hoping to give them a spotlight where they can express themselves.”

Stanley says she has been surprised by how everyone has gotten involved in the project, something she didn't anticipate when Shively brought the idea to her. She hopes to add even more art, including more murals.

The city of Angola is helping the teens navigate ordinances. Because the spaces they are planning to transform are in the historic downtown area, there are rules to make sure the buildings are preserved.

“Angola's really starting to blossom as far as the arts go,” says Maria Davis, downtown services coordinator.

The city is hoping to keep momentum going and bring more artists into the area.

The mural and alley projects are an example of that, as is the new “Sculptures Angola” project. Four pieces will be unveiled June 15 in the downtown area. The project is designed to be ongoing with sculptures going on display for a year before being replaced with a new set of works.

The Brilliance – Dreamer Concert

Organizations: Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic and Fort Wayne Rising

Goal: $6,000

A concert by the Brilliance scheduled for 7:30 p.m. May 30 at Clyde Theatre will serve as a fundraiser for the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic, which provides free legal services to those in need.

Immigration outreach attorney Laura Pontius says the clinic has seen increased demand for immigration services and funding is needed to support programs including the Immigrant Outreach Program, which provides “know your rights” presentations throughout northern Indiana as well as educates non-immigrants about issues immigrants face.

Josh VonGunten of Fort Wayne Rising says his organization believes in the message of peacemaking and hospitality shared by the Brilliance.

“It's a bridge-building message that affirms listening and empathy for one another rather than the ways that politics of the day handle this conversation – demonizing, attacking, labeling people,” he says.

The Brilliance is a New York group composed of David Gungor and John Arndt.

After the concert, attendees can walk through a showcase of area nonprofit groups that work with immigrants.

“They have their hearts and minds moved, but then we're giving people action steps – tangible ways to connect locally wherever they see fit,” Pontius says.

Money raised through the AmplifyArt campaign will help offset costs of the concert, she says. Remaining funds from the campaign and concert will support clinic programs.

Tickets for the concert are $20, available at the Clyde Theatre box office, 800-514-3849 or ClydeTheatre.com.

Unlocking Your Design Workbook

Organization: Creative Women of the World

Goal: $5,500

Creative Women of the World is looking to add a workbook to the tools it uses to train people how to use their creativity to build business in its Unlocking Your Design curriculum.

People that have participated in the class get a printout of the PowerPoint presentation. But founder and executive director Lorelei VerLee hopes to create an actual workbook that will serve as a reference guide. She travels abroad to do training and has presented the class in 11 countries, including the U.S.

The workbook will include examples and pictures as well as interactive charts that can be filled out and areas for personal writings. Money raised through AmplifyArt will be put toward hiring a graphic designer for the project and covering the cost of an initial printing.

VerLee expects the project will help Creative Women of the World to reach 750 people.

“One of the things that I'm really targeting in ... AmplifyArt are the local artists that want to turn their art into a personal business,” she says. Some local artists are already featured in the organization's downtown shop.

VerLee hopes to eventually hire a translator and produce workbooks in different languages including Burmese.

cmcmaken@jg.net