FAME Festival goes on as opera tour is canceled

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School groups from Fort Wayne and beyond will perform at the 30th annual Foundation for Art and Music in Education, March 18 and 19 at the Grand Wayne Center.

More than 15,000 children and adults are expected to perform or attend the FAME Festival at the Grand Wayne Convention Center in Fort Wayne.

The Foundation for Art and Music in Education will celebrate its 30th annual arts showcase from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, March 18, and noon-5 p.m. Sunday, March 19. Admission is $5 for adults; ages 18 and under are admitted free. The Grand Wayne Convention Center is at 120 W. Jefferson Blvd., Fort Wayne. Parking is available at the Hilton and Harrison Square garages and at the Anthis Career Center.

At 3 p.m. Sunday, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Youth Symphony and Youth Orchestra and Fort Wayne Children’s Choir in collaboration with FAME and the Fort Wayne Ballet Youth Company will perform the Celebration of Youth Concert. Student artwork inspired by music selected for the China-theme program will be presented as a slide show while the musicians and performers present the music.

The Taizhou Opera’s visit to the festival was canceled. A FAME statement said the March visit was canceled due to the performers’ and accompanying officials’ inability to obtain the appropriate type of visa to enter the United States.

Taizhou, China, is a sister city of Fort Wayne, and this would have been the group’s first trip to the United States.

“Arts United remains committed to supporting Fort Wayne Sister Cities as they plan this tremendous cultural exchange for a later date,” FAME said in a statement. “The Amplify Art! grant agreement with Sister Cities states that if the funded program is not completed as planned, Fort Wayne Sister Cities will repay funds raised through Amplify Art! to affected donors.”

Arts United staff will be in contact with donors that are affected.

Highlights of the two-day FAME Festival include:

• 60 schools displaying art and sculptures, with over 6,000 pieces of art.

• 45 choir, band, dance and drama performances by local schools and organizations representing over 3,000 student performers.

• The Imaginarium, an area where many hands-on art projects will be set up for families to create their unique cultures. There will be 15 make-and-take projects for the kids to do in the Imaginarium. Hours are Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, noon-4 p.m.

• The Instrument Playground, where children may try out new instruments from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday, with Quinlan &Fabish. Children also can learn to rock ‘n’ roll at the Sweetwater Rock Academy, sponsored by Sweetwater Sound and Mynett Music.