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Michelle Davies | The Journal GazetteThe new name of the ArtsLab at the Auer Center on East Main Street is unveiled Thursday.

Parkview name attached to Arts United's ArtsLab

The new ArtsLab downtown has been renamed in recognition of Parkview Physician Group’s $500,000 donation for the expansion of the Arts Campus, Arts United President Susan Mendenhall announced Thursday.

The $1.6 million black box theater will now be known as Parkview Physicians Group ArtsLab. A bright orange sign outside the theater’s lobby commemorated the new name, just in time for Arts United’s Taste of the Arts festival Saturday.

The gift was part of the $4.5 million raised through Arts United’s “A Home for the Arts” capital campaign. Arts United used Parkview’s donation to target the ArtsLab, which opened in January.

“We see a real connectivity between Parkview and its mission concerning the overall wellness of persons within the community. It’s more than just about your physical health, so to speak,” said Dick Robinson, senior vice president of Parkview Health.

“When approached and given the opportunity to support this project and the connectivity of Parkview and its mission, it just was a really good fit.”

The ArtsLab is a versatile facility that can be used for theater, dance, concerts and art displays. It is equipped with a 4-by-4 grid overhead for different lighting and sound configurations. The main floor and balcony can seat almost 200 people, depending on seating configurations.

“I think our community has an incredible momentum right now, and that’s momentum made possible by our partners at Parkview Physicians Group and by the incredible group of arts and cultural assets we have in this community and people who are interested and eager to come down and experience arts and cultural activities and community wellness activities. It’s just fun to see it all come together,” Mendenhall said.

Arts United partners, including the Fort Wayne Ballet, Fort Wayne Civic Theatre and the Fort Wayne Youtheatre, expressed their gratitude to Parkview for the donation and announced their plans for next season.

Civic Theatre Executive Director Phillip Colglazier said the Civic will return to the ArtsLab for its next production, “Over the River and Through the Woods,” in September.

In addition, the sixth annual Northeast Indiana Playwright Festival will also use the ArtsLab for the second time in May.

“It allows us to break the fourth wall,” Colglazier said. “Each setting will be new and creative when we do productions here.”

kcarr@jg.net

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