The arts will be on full display this weekend in downtown Fort Wayne for Taste of the Arts.
The annual event kicks off tonight with a block party at Arts United Center Plaza. Events for the evening include a PBS39 screening of “Country Music: A Ken Burns Film” at 6:30 p.m. in ArtsLab. Luke Capasso headlines a Maumee, Mary and Joseph Comedy Festival show, which starts at 7:30 on the Arts United Center stage. Food and drinks will be available from 12 local vendors tonight.
New this year is a beer tasting from 5 to 8 p.m. today with 3-ounce pours from Mad Anthony Brewing, Chapman's Brewing, Summit City Brewerks, Hop River Brewing and cocktails from Three Rivers Distilling. Tickets for the beer tasting are $25 at tickets.artstix.org.
Arts United is excited for the new tasting event, communications manager Rachelle Reinking says. Tickets come with a commemorative glass.
Events begin Saturday at 11 a.m. with tickets available to buy food and drinks from more than 20 vendors.
Reinking says Taste of the Arts is a nice showcase of the arts in northeast Indiana as multiple stages will feature more than 70 performances from groups such as Fort Wayne Ballet, Civic Theatre, the University of Saint Francis School of Creative Arts, Youtheatre and Fort Wayne Dance Collective. There will also be music performances.
A 10th stage has been added this year with interactive activities such as learning belly dancing, salsa and juggling. That stage, in the Barrett McNagny parking lot at Barr and Berry streets is also home to a youth talent showcase Saturday evening.
Miss Indiana 2018, Lydia Tremaine, has worked with the stages committee to program the interactive stage and showcase. The Kendallville woman's platform is keeping the arts alive.
“She really wanted to give another opportunity for kids to experience the arts in another way,” Reinking says of Tremaine's work.
The STEAM Park – actually spread across Freimann Square and Barrett McNagny lot this year – will have 40 booths Saturday with activities for children.
One booth that is sure to entertain is Heart of the City's squirt gun mural where kids are invited to spray watercolors at a canvas.
Booths run the gamut from visual and performing arts to activities involving engineering.
“It's really cool to see kids get excited about all of it,” Reinking says.
Also happening at Arts Campus Fort Wayne this weekend is the Fort Wayne Artists Guild's Kekionga Plein Air Paint Out and Sale. Starting today, painters will be set up to draw and paint, with art being sold Saturday afternoon.
On Saturday, the Downtown Improvement District will present buskers roaming Arts Campus Fort Wayne, and Artlink's Art Market will feature over 30 artists selling art, crafts and homemade goods.
If you go
What: Taste of the Arts
When: 5 to 10 p.m. today, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Arts Campus Fort Wayne, 300 E. Main St.
Admission: Free; tickets for food and drink are $1 each
More information: ArtsUnited.org