Northeast Indiana’s vibrant quality of life is no small reason why Fort Wayne is the fastest-growing community in the Great Lakes region.
We are drawn to communities where arts, culture and creativity are valued by the people who live, learn, work and play there. Our region is experiencing significant dividends from those investments in the form of a growing workforce and thriving economy.
In a recent survey by Greater Fort Wayne, Inc., 90 percent of businesses indicated that downtown Fort Wayne’s revitalization has a strong impact on talent attraction and retention, and the strength and diversity of arts and culture has contributed mightily to its success. In the same survey, nearly 80 percent of businesses said that arts and culture have a strong impact on their ability to attract and retain talent.
More than 18,500 jobs in northeast Indiana are part of the creative industry. Major employers like Sweetwater and Vera Bradley were founded by creative entrepreneurs.
Despite being disproportionately impacted during the pandemic, the future remains bright for arts and culture nonprofits in northeast Indiana. Arts United recently surveyed 30 of these nonprofits about attendance in 2015, 2020, 2025 and 2030. In 2015, total attendance was more than 1.3 million. In 2020, attendance dropped 33 percent due to the pandemic in addition to experiencing steep revenue losses. However, by connecting us in new and innovative ways, our region’s arts and culture nonprofit leaders project the full return of audiences with forecasted attendance of more than 1.4 and 1.5 million in 2025 and 2030, respectively.
Staying active in the community is important and there are several ways to do so depending on what is meaningful to you. Supporting arts and culture nonprofits, local artists and makers, as well as letting elected leaders know the importance of building a vibrant future for Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana are all ways to help our community thrive.
Thank you for supporting the many ways in which art unites us.