The Journal Gazette
Friday, September 27, 2019 1:00 am

Sculptures, opera seek money through AmplifyArt

COREY MCMAKEN | The Journal Gazette

Two northeast Indiana projects are seeking funding in the fall cycle of AmplifyArt.

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 during October.

'Invention of Morel'

Manchester University will stage “The Invention of Morel,” an opera by Stewart Copeland, at the Honeywell Center on Feb. 28 and 29. It is the collegiate premiere of the opera by the composer and former drummer for The Police. The work is based on a book of the same name by Argentine writer Adolfo Bioy Casares.

Anne Gregory, assistant director of the office of strategic communications, says the project is a big undertaking for a university of Manchester's size. It has never tackled an opera on this scale.

Debra Lynn, director of choral organizations and vocal studies, is spearheading the effort, which includes eight cast members. Four are current Manchester students, and four are alumni who studied under Lynn.

The university is bringing in stage director Kathleen Smith Belcher from the Metropolitan Opera of New York to work with the students for at least two weeks before the performance.

Copeland will also be involved in the production, working with the cast and being present for at least one rehearsal and performance. He will give a presentation at the university Feb. 27 for university and area high school students. That presentation will be open to the public if space remains.

The Manchester Symphony Orchestra will provide music for the opera.

There is a $5,000 goal for the AmplifyArt campaign. Money raised will, in part, help underwrite the costs of students going to the performance so they don't have to pay full price.

The university is hoping to enrich the cultural experience not just in Wabash County but in northeast Indiana, Gregory says.

“We hope particularly to expose high school students and college students to opera,” she says.

Autumn Sculptures in Angola

As part of an ongoing effort to boost the arts in Angola and Steuben County, the city is adding four more sculptures to its commercial historic district in October.

Angola unveiled four sculptures in its public square in June and wasn't intending to have a second installation this year, says downtown services coordinator Maria Davis. But Decatur artist Gregory Mendez asked whether the city would be interested, and the city jumped at the opportunity.

The sculptures will be in place Oct. 18 along the U.S. 20 West Maumee Corridor, which branches off from the downtown square.

“This will extend the area of the sculptures, and hopefully allow people to meander through the downtown and increase creative expression discourse in our community,” Davis says.

Like the summer installation, the fall sculptures will be on display for a year, and the project is expected to continue annually. Though the first installation focused on welded works, the latest was open to any kind of work.

The city has money to pay an honorarium to each of the artists, but money raised through AmplifyArt will help pay for the manufacturing of bases, plaques and other installation costs, Davis says. The campaign has a goal of $5,000, and any money left over will roll into future Sculptures Angola installations.

“I have heard really all good things,” Davis says about the sculptures from the first installation. “I'm flabbergasted. It's wonderful.”

The push for arts in Angola has been ongoing, in part because the city is far enough away from Fort Wayne that residents aren't always able to travel to visit art projects here.

“We wanted to make sure that art existed here for the community,” Davis says. “Not just ours; we just ended up spearheading it. We want the entire county to be involved in that.”

The spring AmplifyArt campaign raised money for a mural and public alleyway gallery. The mural is on hold while a property is sought to host it, but Imagine Alley is complete. The city put new concrete down in the area, which has tables, chairs and benches. It is adaptable for rotating art projects and can be closed off to create a stage.

Davis says the alley has had great response. Within a few days of its opening, it was the site of a wedding.

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