On Friday, June 25, Downtown Wabash was designated an Indiana Cultural District by the Indiana Arts Commission (IAC).
This designation is a prestigious milestone in the Creative Community Pathway Program. According to the IAC, “an Indiana Cultural District is a well-recognized, labeled, mixed-use area with a unique, authentic art and cultural identity.” The IAC provides project funding for designated Indiana Cultural Districts, facilitates statewide collaboration through the Indiana Cultural District Consortium, and provides other capacity-building opportunities for cultural district leadership.
“The City of Wabash and its community partners collaborate to make Wabash the best city to raise a family and work,” City of Wabash Mayor Scott Long said. “This designation exemplifies the collaboration between organizations within Wabash to make our community a destination. I’m proud to lead a community that strives to be better every day.”
Downtown Wabash is honored to be recognized as one of the newest Indiana Cultural Districts.The Wabash Cultural District spans from river to rails between Paradise Spring Park and the Honeywell Center. Downtown Wabash is the hub of arts and culture with assets such as Eagles Theatre, Wabash County Museum, Honeywell Center, Wabash River, Make It Your Own Pottery Studio, public art, First Friday events, Wabash Woollen Works, and so much more. To date, only 12 Cultural Districts have been designated across the state by the IAC.
“Receiving this statewide designation from the Indiana Arts Commission is a tremendous honor. Wabash joins a distinguished list of Indiana communities that uplift arts and cultural assets,” Honeywell Arts & Entertainment CEO Tod Minnich said. “Wabash is a remarkable city and the Cultural District represents how extraordinary our community is.”
In the application process beginning in 2020, Wabash was selected as a Spotlight Community within the Creative Community Pathway and was invited to apply for the Cultural District Consortium. Wabash’s application nominated the Wabash Cultural District with an 85-page dissertation.
The application also focused on the vaudeville roots of the community that began in the early 1900s and can be seen today at the recently renovated Eagles Theatre.
The Wabash Cultural District will continue to market the modern-day “Vaudeville Vibe” of arts and culture activities. Next steps for the Wabash Cultural District will be determined by the local committee, led by Wabash Marketplace. Additional community partners include the City of Wabash, Honeywell Arts & Entertainment, Grow Wabash County, Visit Wabash County, Wabash County Museum and a panel of artists.
“Downtown Wabash is excited to join Arts Campus Fort Wayne as a Northeast Indiana Cultural District,” Wabash Marketplace Executive Director Andrea Zwiebel said. “How exciting is it that of these newly designated Cultural Districts are cities located in Northeast Indiana? The accomplishments of both communities further prove that both Wabash and Allen Counties are excellent places for people to live, work and experience arts and culture.”