Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne Inc. is moving to the next stages of redevelopment surrounding the city’s downtown Arts Campus. After a nationwide search, the cultural organization has announced a team made up of architecture and planning firms from Cleveland, New York City, Indianapolis and Fort Wayne to the lead design and cost estimation process. The plan initially involves improvements to the Arts United Center, but the bigger vision could include additional space designed to better connect sites downtown through a "pedestrian-centric" zone.
Arts United President Susan Mendenhall tells Inside INdiana Business a vibrant cultural community is big for the region. "This is a community that is investing in quality of life initiatives, because we know that it is a major factor in attracting and retaining talent and business investment in our region." She says the goal is to connect the Arts United Center and other key venues and landmarks to other points of interest already being redeveloped like the Riverfront and the Landing.
Mendenhall says annually, organizations located within the Arts Campus serve some 500,000 patrons, "and so what we want to do is increase that experience, increase the visibility of these organizations and, ultimately, put these organizations in a place where they’re going to serve more people." She says visibility, patron experience and accessibility are all key considerations for the plan.
The design team is made up of:
- Westlake Reed Leskosky, architecture and engineering firm from Cleveland
- MKM architecture + design, architecture firm based in Fort Wayne
- MKSK, a landscape and planning firm with offices in Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio
- The North Group, a fundraising and management firm based in New York
The consultants will begin work in January and organizers expect conceptual designs and cost estimates to be complete by July. You can connect to more about the process by clicking here.
Arts United President Susan Mendenhall tells Inside INdiana Business a vibrant cultural community is big for the region.