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Dance Collective receives $10,000 grant

FW Football Club finds home at Saint Francis, upcoming theater productions

The Fort Wayne Dance Collective will use a $10,000 grant on its Dance for Diverse Abilities program.

Jen Poiry Prough

Whatzup Features Writer

Published January 18, 2023

The Fort Wayne Dance Collective has been approved by the National Endowment for the Arts to receive a Challenge America award of $10,000. 

The Collective will use the grant to support its Dance for Diverse Abilities program, providing movement and rhythm classes and performance opportunities for people who have a disability on a year-round basis, at more than 20 community partner locations. 

This grant is one of 262 Challenge America awards totaling $2.62 million that were announced by the NEA as part of its first round of fiscal year 2023 grants.

During the grant period, FWDC will host more than six performances that include students from the D4DA program. These annual performances include the Choreographer’s Lab, June Family Concert, Collective Expressions, and Halloween Show. 

Central to the D4DA program is the opportunity for people who have disabilities to dance in public performances and have their artistry celebrated. The northeast Indiana community benefits from having access to high-quality, entertaining performances that feature diverse casts of dancers.

“We at the Fort Wayne Dance Collective are grateful for this opportunity through the National Endowment for the Arts,” executive director Lee Rainboth said in a statement. “The support available through Challenge America will allow us to reach even more individuals with diverse abilities in our community through inspirational power of the movement arts.”

For more information, go to

FW Football Club finds home at Saint Francis

The University of Saint Francis and the Fort Wayne Football Club announced a partnership to make Bishop D’Arcy Stadium the professional soccer team’s home. 

“This is a huge step for Fort Wayne FC to become a full professional  soccer  team  in  the  near  future,”  said  DaMarcus Beasley, owner and director of sports operations and former member of the U.S. men’s national team. “The University of Saint Francis has opened up its doors to our club to continue to grow in the right direction, and we could not be happier to partner with such a top-class institution.”

The organizations signed a two-year agreement, with an option for another year, for the team to play its home games on Kevin Donley Field at Bishop D’Arcy Stadium. 

In addition, Fort Wayne FC’s principal owner, Mark Music, will donate a state-of-the-art video scoreboard to upgrade the current scoreboard. 

The 2023 Fort Wayne FC season begins in May.

Upcoming theatrical performances

Fire & Light Productions will present Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical at the University of Saint Francis Performing Arts Center, Jan. 19-21. Matilda is a little girl with astonishing wit, intelligence, and psychokinetic powers. She’s unloved by her cruel parents, but impresses her schoolteacher, the highly lovable Miss Honey. Over the course of her first term at school, Matilda and Miss Honey have a profound effect on each other’s lives, as Miss Honey begins not only to recognize but also appreciate Matilda’s extraordinary personality. Matilda’s school life isn’t completely smooth sailing, however: The school’s mean headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, hates children and just loves thinking up new punishments for those who don’t abide by her rules. But Matilda has courage and cleverness in equal amounts and could be the school pupils’ saving grace. Tickets are $13 and are available at

Arena Dinner Theatre will present The Ladies Man from Jan. 20 to Feb. 4. Dr. Molineaux is impotent, but his wife thinks his lack of performance must be due to his infidelity. The doctor, recently married to his beautiful, young wife, Yvonne, cannot admit his problem and lies about it, arousing her suspicions further. The problem is exacerbated by a cast of characters completely uninterested in anything except their own selfish maneuverings. Tickets are $45. Go to for showtimes and dinner menu.

News and Venues covers Northeast Indiana’s music and arts organizations, venues, and colleges, from large to small. Send your news items to

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