Friends of the Rivers will host their annual Clean Drains Fest on Saturday, Sept. 23, from 1-4 p.m. at Promenade Park. A mural dedication and recognition of Clean Drains muralists will be held at 1 p.m.

Muralist Alexandra Hall has helped Friends of the Rivers manage the drain art mural program, which has brought educational sidewalk murals to Fort Wayne with the message of “Only Rain in the Drain.” 

This is the final year of the sidewalk mural initiative, and Friends of the Rivers decided to fund a Legacy Mural that would continue to carry on the environmental awareness and educational mission. The 2,000-square-foot project by Hall will be installed at TJ Nowak Supply, 302 W. Superior St., directly adjacent to Promenade Park in Downtown Fort Wayne.

There was an open call for paid apprentices to help with the Clean the Drains project, and five local artists were selected to help with the mural project: Karen Bulmahn, Laura Monnier, Bonnie Andrews, Debbie Kuntz, and Lily Martin. Many of the apprentices are also Clean Drains muralists, and all have a strong arts background.

Locally, Hall is director of Art This Way, a program of Downtown Fort Wayne. This will be her fourth large-scale work of public art in Fort Wayne.

Arts United Center marking 50th year

Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Louis I. Kahn-designed Arts United Center with an open house-style event on Oct. 8 from 1-5 p.m. 

The 50th Anniversary Celebration is free and open to the community. It will feature the history of this community theater with pop-up exhibits of performances, events, and experiences since its opening in 1973. There will also be a first look at the building’s upcoming expansion and modernization project.

Attendees will also get behind-the-scenes tours of Arts United Center, including onstage, backstage, and rehearsal spaces. 

Live entertainment and food will be available for purchase by Brooks BBQ, Tocho Snack Bar, Savannah Soul, and Travelin’ Tom’s Coffee Truck. 

A presentation by Arts United will take place at 2 p.m., featuring addresses from Arts United leadership, donors, and community partners. The presentation will be followed by a performance by an ensemble from the Fort Wayne Philharmonic at 2:30 p.m.

Ahead of the celebration, Arts United asks community members to share their personal stories and memories of the Arts United Center for a community history display at the event online at

The Landing streetscape wins award

The Indiana Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects has awarded MKSK Studios and the City of Fort Wayne the Merit Award for exceptional work for the restoration of the Columbia Street Streetscape, also known as The Landing. 

The project was selected in the category of Design: Constructed Works on a project with a construction budget of less than $2 million.

The project aimed to restore vibrancy and identity to this corridor, lined with charming historic buildings. It eliminated vertical curbing, seamlessly integrating the street and sidewalk to allow easy event setup and smooth pedestrian flow. Wider sidewalks were added for outdoor dining, and vertical columns with operable gate arms designated the street as pedestrian-only during events. Safety for all was a priority, with distinct pavement patterns, planters, benches, trees, and furnishings enhancing the space.

The revitalization of Columbia Street honors the city’s history while envisioning a vibrant future for public spaces. It now serves as a thriving civic space supporting local businesses and is a point of destination.

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