Before moving to Fort Wayne, I was totally unaware of just how much the city had going on in the realm of fine arts. And in the years since then, our arts community has only continued to grow – in not only the number of artists, exhibits, events, productions, festivals, and more, but also in the amount of support, awareness, and sheer momentum – it’s an exciting time to be here!
When it comes to the ballet, I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I hadn’t attended a single performance until we saw the Fort Wayne Ballet‘s production of The Nutcracker this past holiday season. Just minutes into the opening scene, I was whispering to Jeremy that we had to snag an event schedule and come back for more. From the dancing to the set design to the beautiful soundtrack performed by the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, every bit of it was mesmerizing and magical.
I was fortunate enough to spend a day volunteering at the Fort Wayne Ballet a few months later, and see all of the hard work that goes into not just the dancers’ intense training, but also the day-to-day, behind-the-scenes tasks that keep the organization moving forward. From completing tedious forms and filing completed documents to organizing a massive amount of costumes, jewelry, make-up, props and set design materials, from dance floor maintenance to multiple meetings with community partners often going late into the evening, it’s tough work running a non-profit!
Needless to say, it was quite a treat for us to be able to support this incredible local organization at their fundraiser event, Beer & BarreBQ, this weekend!
We’re huge fans of this fundraiser because it’s not a stuffy, who’s-who kind of affair. First off, it’s held at the beautiful Fort Wayne Museum of Art (if you haven’t been, GO!)
Secondly, as you may have gathered from the name of the event, it’s full of great food and equally great beer that you can pick and choose, leisurely, at your own pace.
Local restaurants were spread throughout the museum, ready to fill our plates with healthy-sized samplings of their best cuisine. Jeremy enjoyed several forms of barbecue (ribs, pulled pork, pulled chicken), meatballs, baked beans, and bacon-wrapped jalapeño bites while I sampled the veggie options, which included delightful salads, mac and cheese, and my favorite treat of the night – rosemary scones filled with a brandy reduction sauce, drizzled with caramelized honey, and completed with a lemon zest… take me back, please!
Additionally, we were never without a beer in hand. Fat Head’s, New Holland, Chapman’s, Sun King, Mad Anthony, and Upland were all on-site with a couple of brews each. I fell in love with Fat Head’s Bumble Berry Honey Blueberry Ale and Jeremy kept going back to their Head Hunter IPA and Chapman’s Englishman brown ale.
The silent auction items were top-notch. I fell head-over-heels for a bike donated by Human Motor Works and we put a bid in for a wheelbarrow full of beer, but alas, were beat in the end (by one of my own co-workers, no less!)
It was great to see so many ballet supporters coming together in one place to learn more about, and support, the organization.
Of course, we got to experience a few performances, too! It was such a unique environment and atmosphere to take in a short piece of ballet and get to chat with some of the dancers and the people who work for the non-profit day in and day out.
Everyone plays a different role, yet all are equally passionate about the work they do and fully believe in the beauty and significance their art brings to our community.
Have you been to a FWB performance before? We’d love to hear about your experiences!