Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Broadway to be lined with creatives

Local businesses team up to host art event

Olivia Hennessey

Whatzup Features Writer

Published July 6, 2022

The Broadway corridor is ever-changing. Within the past few years, the number of locally owned businesses that reside there has only grown, and the street now sees a wealth of artistic shops and galleries.

To bring exposure to this stretch of creativity, shop owners have joined forces to create Art on Broadway, a recurring family friendly event that has a lot to offer.

This summer’s Art on Broadway is bigger than ever. Come and see what it’s all about on Saturday, July 9, from 5-8 p.m.

Continual growth

In 2016, Julie Wall opened her art studio, The Hedge, on Broadway. She saw potential there, spearheading the first Art on Broadway. Even though she played a huge role in its inauguration, she said she cannot claim that the idea was entirely hers. Other Broadway businesses had interest, and the idea had been floating around prior. 

Only a handful of businesses participated in the beginning, but it just kept growing. Now, there is an entire stretch of businesses that participate. 

“It gets better and better every year,” Wall said. 

Art on Broadway was a success. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the function typically gathered a couple hundred people. Unfortunately, like everything else, the event went on hiatus. 

“We were hitting a good peak before COVID happened,” Wall said. “I’m just excited for things to get back to normal.”

The event came back in 2021, with a holiday edition in December. 

“People seemed to miss it,” Wall said.

More than art

The next Art on Broadway will have open houses, galleries, activities for both children and adults, cash bars, and pop-up shops from local artists. It’s hard to pin down everything that will be offered, as each business contributes something different.

The Hedge, 1016 Broadway, will be open to the public with a studio space, a kid-friendly make-and-take printing activity, and artwork available for purchase. 

Besides The Hedge, participating businesses and artists include Davey’s Delicious Bagels, Sassie Cakes, Fancy & Staple, Hopscotch House, Terry Ratliff, Aaron’s Fine Rugs, Gallery K, and Ruth Koomler. But that’s not all. Many of the businesses will be hosting pop-up artists and vendors to sell their crafts. 

Something for us all

Taber Olinger, owner of Fancy & Staple, 1111 Broadway, and Hopscotch House, 1301 Broadway, will host pop-up artists at both of her businesses. Hopscotch House, a store that specializes in children’s toys and art, will focus on kid-themed activities. 

“There will be a bounce house, sidewalk chalk, complimentary kids’ drinks, and five local pop-ups: Jelly Chu, Gilleyflower Baby, Talitha Shipman, Mirth Garden Bakery, and Bows and Arrows,” she said. 

Fancy & Staple will host a group art show called “Year 6.75,” their first indoor art opening since COVID, curated by Josef Zimmerman. There will also be a cash bar from Trubble Brewing and pop-ups selling a wide variety of goods, including pottery, art prints, and jewelry. 

One local pop-up is Kristen Watrous, who creates ceramic mugs and pots that are “sometimes a little vulgar,” according to Fancy & Staple. 

It seems attendees and business owners are looking forward to this event. 

“I’m really just excited to see people out and about,” Olinger said. “We used to do so many events pre-COVID, and I miss all the energy it creates. It really connects our community and gives us all a sense of camaraderie.”

Art on Broadway not only supports locally owned businesses that line Broadway, but also props up Fort Wayne-based artists and creatives. 

If you’re looking for an enjoyable way to support local, be sure to check out Art on Broadway.

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