In Monday’s (8/1) Fort Wayne Daily News (Indiana), Rick Farrant writes, “Jim Sparrow envisions a day not long from now when downtown Fort Wayne will be a vibrant collection of cultural districts partially supported by consumer taxes, arts businesses launched with forgivable loans and a bustling arts campus that serves as a model for cost-efficient collaboration. An ‘iconic, innovative arts project’ will draw the attention of the nation, more organizations will be the recipients of operating grants, young people will become increasingly active in arts decision-making and public art will be more than merely a grand idea. Those things and more—many of them driven by an entrepreneurial sensibility and treating the arts more like an economic development catalyst—are part of a five-year-strategic plan recently adopted by Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne that one economic development official said could boost the city’s viability—and eventually the region’s. … Arts United will continue to seek that high quality from the 10 core member organizations that receive Arts United operating allocations each year—organizations such as the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and Fort Wayne Museum of Art. “(Those organizations) have become such a vital piece,’ ” Sparrow said.

Posted August 1, 2011