Art for All! master plan revealed by City of Fort Wayne

(Heather Starr/WOWO News)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO) – A public art master plan filled with “big ideas” was revealed Wednesday night by the City of Fort Wayne Public Art Commission.

The Art for All! plan talks about nine possible art projects to implement in the city over the next decade as an attempt to advance the community’s public art program.  These projects would only be developed if the funding is available.

The ideas in the project include:

  • Arts and Culture Corridor Fort Wayne – This may be developed along Rudisill Boulevard from Foster Park and the Rivergreenway to McMillen Park.  This stretch of Rudisill Boulevard has business activity, community interest and new market opportunities.
  • Discovery Walk – This walk will allow people to explore the downtown area while searching for small and medium sized icons.  The icons explain something about Fort Wayne and its history.  The icons could also have a QR code that could be scanned to tell a story about northeast Indiana.
  • Faces of the Fort – Large murals of local faces around the community to help elevate the stories of civil rights and social justice leaders, along with new Americans that have moved to the Fort.
  • Fort Wayne Gateways – This is an addition to the Front Door Fort Wayne Plan, to help enhance and improve primary gateways and commercial corridors. Fort Wayne Gateways calls for including public art around corridors and promote a positive image for residents and visitors.
  • Grand Wayne Monumental Sculpture – The idea is to create a large-scale public art piece at the Grand Wayne Center.  This will be to attract visitors and increase tourism like other cities all over the world have done.
  • Neighborhood Gateways and Gathering Spaces – This project is aimed at enhancing neighborhood identities with the use of murals, signs and small sculptures that would be placed in key locations in the neighborhoods throughout the city.
  • Open Walls: Fort Wayne – This idea will give street artists an opportunity to legally create murals all around the community on walls that are owned by the city.
  • Riverfront Public Art Trail – This plan would place art along the riverfront that would include large-scale sculptures, murals and interactive pieces that would highlight the people of northeast Indiana and those who first settled along the rivers.  This would create gathering and recreational opportunities for all residents and visitors along the riverfront.
  • Topographic Light – This idea will feature artist-designed light installations that could showcase important architecture throughout the city like the Lincoln Tower, Louis Kahn building, bridges, overpasses and more.

The celebration took place at the Arts United Center and included a small presentation.  Residents also had the opportunity to visit nine separate interactive stations that gave details on each of the proposed projects.

The event was hosted by the City of Fort Wayne Pubic Art Commission and Arts United as a way to celebrate the completion of the year-long planning process for the master plan.  Designing Local, a consulting firm that specializes in public art planning, was hired to assist the Public Art Commission in the creation of the plan.

The creation of the plan was based on input from over 2,000 residents in the city.  The commission along with the consultants, interviewed stakeholders, collected online survey responses and analyzed data provided by residents on the Fort Wayne Public Art website, and hosted pop-up events and focus groups.  A large variety of people provided feedback on the plan such as, immigrants, elected officials, local artists, neighborhood leaders, non-profit leaders, refugees and students.

Mayor Tom Henry stated “I am excited by the innovative and diverse project ideas presented in Art For All!  As Fort Wayne continues to grow, public art will play an even larger role in creating a welcoming environment, boosting tourism and contributing to economic growth in the region.”



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