Fort Wayne Looks to 'Creative' Incubators

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Fort Wayne is looking to inject new life into its downtown cultural district. The city will host an event next week to collect feedback on a strategic plan. Ideas include the creation of culinary and creative business incubators, which would be designed to help chefs and local artists turn their skills into successful business plans.

July 1, 2013

News Release

Fort Wayne, Ind. -- The Fort Wayne Cultural District will host a "Pop UP" event to encourage the public's participation in planning the future of downtown Fort Wayne. The event will be held from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, July 10 on the Arts United Center Plaza, 300 E. Main St.

During the Pop UP event, citizens will have an opportunity to review and react to a drafted "Platform for Action" that highlights eight initiatives: public market, public art, culinary incubator, creative business incubator, creative storefront development, activity, connectivity, and telling our story. Community feedback will be collected and incorporated into the final plan for the Cultural District.

The drafted plan was developed through a strategic planning process that began with the initiation of the Cultural District Advisory Council in 2010, an Indiana Arts Commission consultancy in fall 2012, and focus groups involving 60 community leaders in February 2013. The plan aligns the Cultural District with the City of Fort Wayne’s Blueprint, economic development initiatives, regional planning efforts, and entrepreneurship in key creative industries.

"The Pop UP event will provide a taste of everything our region’s cultural core has to offer – food, art, music, green space and people," said Dan Ross, director of community development, Arts United, one of the four managing partners of the Cultural District. "It's also a great opportunity for people to share their ideas for creating a more vibrant, eclectic and inclusive downtown Fort Wayne."

"Downtown is the center of our region. This is an extraordinary opportunity to expand the positive momentum in our downtown," said Mayor Tom Henry. "We're seeing growth and investment that makes our community attractive and unique to residents, visitors, and businesses."

The Fort Wayne Cultural District is a partnership between Arts United, Downtown Improvement District, the City of Fort Wayne, and Visit Fort Wayne. The mission of the Fort Wayne Cultural District is to mobilize our artistic, cultural and social capital to create a vibrant urban core.

Source: City of Fort Wayne