Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Join Civic Theatre for season reveal party

Electric Works sign to be illuminated, Black History Month speech at library, new Arts United leader

Fort Wayne Civic Theatre will reveal its 2023-24 season on Feb. 4.

Jen Poiry Prough

Whatzup Features Writer

Published January 25, 2023

You can be among the first to see Fort Wayne Civic Theatre’s plans for the 2023-24 season when they reveal the lineup during their Season Reveal Party on Saturday, Feb. 4, from 6-8 p.m. at Arts United Center. 

At the reception, guests can meet with Civic staff and creative teams, sign up to volunteer, and enjoy complimentary appetizers and a cash bar. 

Admission is a suggested $5 donation. Contact Capri Williams at (260) 422-8641 ext. 3224 or to make reservations.

As for the rest of the current season, the theater company will be putting on Hello Dolly! from Feb. 18-26, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Abridged from March 17-April 2, and Into the Woods from May 6-14.

Electric Works sign illuminated Jan. 30

The community is invited to attend the official lighting of the Electric Works sign on campus on Monday, Jan. 30, at 5 p.m.

“This historic site has truly been reborn for innovation and for the future needs of our community,” said Katy Silliman, senior experience director for Electric Works.

Festivities will include live music from Farmland Jazz Band and food and beverage specials at Union Street Market. A formal program will begin at 6 p.m., held in the Dynamo Alley plaza near Broadway. 

Campus visitors are encouraged to park in the Union Parking Garage, adjacent to Union Street Market.

Arts United introduces new president

Dan Ross has been appointed president and CEO of Arts United. An experienced arts business leader, Ross will succeed Susan Mendenhall and assume responsibilities this month. 

Ross brings more than 35 years of experience in arts administration, nonprofit management, fund development, arts advocacy, and performance operations, including the past 13 years as a member of the Arts United staff. Most recently in his role as vice president of Community Development alongside Mendenhall, Ross has co-led major initiatives like Arts United’s A Soaring Vision capital campaign to modernize and expand Arts United Center since the inception of it at the master planning stage. His previous work as general manager and interim executive director at the Fort Wayne Philharmonic provided him experience in organizational leadership, artistic and administrative personnel management, and program operations. 

Ukraine sculpture installed downtown

The Ukraine-inspired art installation Na Krylah Nadi, which translates to “On Wings of Hope,” has been installed on the south facade of 814 S. Calhoun St., within the Bill Blass Runway, with a dedication held this month.

Designer Torey E. Dunn II of ReVolt Design with Midwest Metal Products, with the help of local artist and designer Lena Balger of Arts United, created the 15-foot-wide piece. 

Balger is a Ukrainian immigrant who worked closely with Dunn to incorporate significant Ukrainian symbolism into the work. Its title was inspired by the poem “Contra Spem Spero” by the notable Ukrainian poet Lesya Ukrainka. Balger painted the stylized headdress, called a vinok, in a traditional Ukrainian folk style. While such a crown has deep historical meaning, it has also become Ukraine’s familiar symbol of peace. Each flower within the crown is representative of aspirations of courage, hope, and strength. Each of the more than 300 individual feathers were laser cut with symbols borrowed from Ukrainian folk embroidery.

This latest public art installation is intended to celebrate the country of Ukraine and adds diversity to the evolving urban landscape of downtown Fort Wayne.

Public library marks Black History Month

The Allen County Public Library will kick off Black History Month on Wednesday, Feb. 1, from 2-4 p.m. with a lecture on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, led by Dr. Kristal Walker, vice president of Employee Wellbeing at Sweetwater. 

The session will introduce participants to the concept of cultural intelligence and how to use this approach to build personal and professional relationships in the workplace, specifically with African-American employees. 

Following Walker’s talk will be a reception in the theater lobby with refreshments served. Space is limited. Register in advance at

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