Taste of the Arts
WHAT: A one-day festival featuring arts, crafts, theater, dance, music, film, culture, history and food.
WHEN: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Downtown Arts Campus, 303 E. Main St.
COST: Admission is free.
Nurture your soul with a sampling of arts Saturday, and then nourish your body with delicious foods from local restaurants.
Now in its sixth year, Taste of the Arts is the perfect fusion of fine arts and local cuisine.
The family-friendly festival organized by Arts United is 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday on the Downtown Arts Campus, which encompasses Artlink, the History Center, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Arts United Center and outdoor spaces including Freimann Square. Main Street will be blocked off between Lafayette and Clinton streets, and Barr Street will be blocked off from Main Street to the Barr Street Market.
Talented local musicians, artists and performers will showcase fine arts, crafts, theater, dance, music, film, culture and history. This year, there will be 10 performance areas, including in the new black box theater called ArtsLab in the Auer Center for Arts and Culture.
“The increase in stages and expansion of evening activities puts us over 70 acts scheduled this year,” said Tena Woenker, coordinator of Taste of the Arts. “There is something for every preference, whether that is theater, dance, music or poetry reading; and the event is a great way to ‘sample’ the arts.”
New this year is FortArtisan, a juried art fair organized by Artlink contemporary art gallery. Open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. along Main Street, the event includes 25 artists whose original artwork will be for sale and on display. Art media include photography, textiles, stoneware, jewelry, paintings, wood, textiles and mixed media.
Freimann Square will turn into Busker Square as dancers, magicians and musicians take over the park, thanks to sponsorship by the Downtown Improvement District. Keep your eye out for street performers such as Robot Girl and the Harp Condition. Also check out 40 booths with kid-friendly, hands-on activities.
It’s a good day to visit downtown museums and galleries, too — Artlink, the History Center and the Fort Wayne Museum of Art all will offer free general admission. Entrance to special exhibitions at the FWMoA will cost $5.
The History Center will have an old jail-cell photo booth set up outside for selfies.
Food vendors range from Mexican (Qdoba) to Irish (J.K. O’Donnell’s and O’Reilly’s Irish pubs) to barbecue (Shigs in Pit) to desserts (Purple Mountain Cheesecake), to name just a few of about 30 that will be on hand.
Some activities and food vendors close down at 7 p.m., and then Dessert starts, with live music and theatrical performances. Woenker noted a new event this year is the local fire dance troop Pyroscope, which will perform at 9 p.m. in the Arts United Plaza. “That is a little spin-off of acts from Busker Fest,” she said.
At 10 p.m., Cinema Center will provide a free outdoor screening of “The Sandlot,” a PG-rated movie from 1993.
See a list of participating restaurants, arts activities and the entertainment schedule at www.tasteoftheartsfortwayne.org.