Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Violins of Hope’s local television specials

Michele DeVinney

Whatzup Features Writer

Published November 7, 2019

Heads Up! This article is 4 years old.

As detailed in last week’s issue, Violins of Hope is about to land in Fort Wayne in a big way. There have already been many events as part of this extensive collaboration — including workshops and docent visits to various rotary, school, and church groups.

But in addition to the events that will take place at multiple venues throughout the city in the next two weeks, there are plenty of ways to learn more about the project thanks to PBS 39 and WBNI.

Among many options on PBS 39 are an interview with author and musicologist James Grymes who chronicled this project in his book Violins of Hope. The program airs 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 8.

Eva-A-7063 tells the story of a woman who survived the Nazi camps and the horrific work of Dr. Josef Mengele, airing at 9 p.m. on Nov. 14.

Third-generation luthier and son of the man who first began restoring and preserving the Violins of Hope, Avshalom Weinstein, is also the subject of a show which airs at 7:30 on Nov. 15 .

Fort Wayne Philharmonic associate conductor Caleb Young will be part of a discussion that airs on WBNI at 9 a.m. on Nov. 8, and the Philharmonic’s music director Andrew Constantine weighs in with his thoughts on WBNI at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Nov. 20.

Visit for a complete list of programming.

HOliday Train Block Party

The love of trains and train travel is pervasive. Many people still enjoy the romantic notion of traveling the country on the rails. Still others just enjoy visiting old trains and train cars or seeing trains speed by on a lonely railway.

For those who enjoy the latter, and who are looking for unique ways to celebrate the holidays, look no further than the Holiday Train Block Party on Nov. 30, a celebration that has taken place in Waterloo for more than 20 years. Each holiday season around that time, the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train makes its way through Canada and rides through Waterloo’s historic depot, the region’s Amtrak stop.

This year the train comes through around midnight (give or take) to the delight of those who gather to cheer its passage. As you wait, there are snacks, drinks, and entertainment to help pass the hours waiting to see the brightly lit neon decorations that adorn the train.

Portillo’s opening announced

And finally for those who are waiting with bated breath, the opening of iconic Chicago eatery Portillo’s new Fort Wayne location, which already looks pretty finished to anyone driving by Glenbrook, is set for Dec. 5.

At that time, Portillo’s revolving door will be open and ready for business. Those first weeks are sure to be busy, but mark your calendars all the same. You don’t want to be the last person on your block to check out this highly anticipated opening.

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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