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International Paralympic Athletes Are Invited To Experience Local Art And Entertainment

The northeast Indiana community has embraced the upcoming 2019 IBSA Goalball and Judo International Qualifier event which will draw nearly 600 international guests from 43 countries and will provide them with entertainment options throughout Fort Wayne. Finding inspiration from the rich arts community of northeast Indiana, local artists and arts organizations will play an integral role in the 2019 International Qualifier.

Elite goalball and judo athletes and their guests will be invited to participate in a variety of artistic experiences throughout the week of July 1st. These events will take place throughout downtown at locations including the Grand Wayne Center, Embassy Theatre, Parkview Field, and the “Art this Way” art exhibit.

A piano, painted by residents of Lutheran Life Villages, will be stationed at the Grand Wayne Center between July 1 and 5. The piano will be programmed with pianists from Lutheran Life Village but will also be open for guests to enjoy playing.

Visual Artist, Heather Miller, will display three large relief pieces constructed from plaster and gauze. Visitors are encouraged to explore the work tactually which will lead them to discover both spatial changes as well as fine textures. “I’ve always wanted to show this work in a venue that encourages visitors to touch and explore. This is the perfect audience for this series,” says Miller.

The Fort Wayne Dance Collective will offer mindful meditation sessions for the athletes at the Grand Wayne Center during the competition.

A walking tour of downtown murals will be available to the Paralympic athletes and their guests between July 1 and 9. Art This Way, a program operating under the Fort Wayne Downtown Improvement District, is actively installing public artwork throughout the downtown’s alleyway network. Art This Way is incorporating tactile signs to their installation program, which will allow visitors with visual impairments to experience the exhibit.

“The Art This Way program and the Fort Wayne Downtown Improvement District are excited to contribute to the vitality and energy of downtown by activating Fort Wayne’s alleyway network with public art. It is important to us that these projects be inclusive; we feel that art should know no limitations and should be able to be experienced by all” says Alexandra Hall, Manager of the Art This Way program. “This event is a unique opportunity for us to showcase elements of Fort Wayne culture and share local art with international guests.”

The Welcome Ceremony for the 2019 IBSA Goalball and Judo International Qualifier will take place at Parkview Field on July 2. This event will welcome and introduce the international athletes to Fort Wayne. This evening will be filled with local live entertainment from the internationally acclaimed Voices of Unity Youth Choir, directed by Marshall White and the Sweetwater All Stars band formed by Sweetwater Sound Founder and CEO, Chuck Surack.

In addition, international visitors will be guests of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic during the Fort Wayne favorite Patriotic Pops at the Parkview Field on July 3.

The Embassy Theatre is also opening their doors for a community performance of the Grande Page theater pipe organ on July 5, from 7:30-8:30 p.m., free to the public. Organist Cletus Goens will perform.

Finally, the Fort Wayne Comedy Club is welcoming Brett Eastburn to their stage on July 6. The comedy club is offering fans the opportunity to support Turnstone by purchasing tickets using a group code. A portion of the proceeds from tickets purchased with this code will be donated back to Turnstone in support of this week’s events.

Rena Shown, Chief Development Officer at Turnstone Center for Children and Adults with Disabilities, has had a key role in coordinating the participation of local artists for this event.

Shown says, “We, at Turnstone, are ecstatic to welcome guests from around the world and we hope to share with them all that Fort Wayne has to offer,” says Shown. “We believe that Fort Wayne’s arts and culture scene is a unique asset to our community we are proud to share with guests.”