Art is alive, and it has a pulse. HeART of the City is a collaborative effort of local artists supporting local artists. The first artist-showcasing event takes place at the opening weekend of the Three Rivers Festival on July 8th and 9th. I spoke with Jack Hammer, Executive Director of the Three Rivers Festival, to find out about the organization’s support of this inaugural event.
Create Great Memories. That’s the tagline for the Three Rivers Festival. If you’re from Fort Wayne, chances are you have a few of them. From Junk Food Alley to the fireworks, there’s something to suit everyone, and the goal is to continue providing new opportunities to create great memories year after year.
One of the evergreens within the Festival is Art in the Park. This juried fine art show is popular with local Three Rivers Festival goers and art connoisseurs who make the trip to Fort Wayne each year. As someone who advocates for the arts, Jack Hammer is proud to have seen the growth of the arts within the Festival. “There was just something missing,” said Hammer.
A disconnect existed between local artists and the art show. Because many of artists have already established their name, there was just little participation from local artists. “The event needs to become a representation of the community, and we needed to resolve the dissonance. Art is alive, and local artists embody our community. The event needed something that made it a living, breathing incarnation of local artists. Something different and out of the frame.”
Enter HeART of the City. When the idea was first proposed to him, Hammer knew it was just what the Festival needed. This non-juried art show is a great opportunity for local artists to begin to promote themselves. “The booths are nominally priced for accessibility to those who want to participate. We have over thirty vendors of all mediums participating as an extension of Art in the Park. With the popularity of the established event, it’s the piece that connects us back to the community,” says Hammer.
“We’re coming up on our 50th anniversary, and we treat it like you would any big birthday. You look back at what you’ve made. In order to keep growing and stay relevant, we respect the heritage of the Festival while looking toward the future.”
Here’s to the future.
Written By: Rachelle Reinking
HeART of the City will be at the Freimann Square Parking Lot on July 8 – July 9