Fort Wayne Dance Collective celebrates 40 years with free event

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FORT WAYNE — The Fort Wayne Dance Collective will celebrate its 40th birthday with a special event taking place on 6-9 p.m. Jan. 23 at the FWDC offices, 437 E. Berry St. Suite 203, Fort Wayne.

This free event will celebrate FWDC’s 40-year history of promoting diversity, innovation and inclusion through music and rhythm. The event will be set up as a gallery showcasing FWDC’s past, present, and future with various art forms, live performances, and interactive activities. Guests are invited to tour the space freely while enjoying complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.

FWDC has a storied history of offering a variety of programming that serves the Fort Wayne community through onsite classes and outreach programs. Some of FWDC’s outreach programs include Dance in Education, Dance for Disabilities, and Dance for Community. These classes take place at local public schools, service agencies and community centers.

“FWDC allows people to move with their bodies rather than against them. The programs remind students of what they’re capable of rather than forcing them to follow strict rules of movement,” student Merle Miers said.

FWDC is dedicated to collaboration. FWDC partners with many community organizations that promote its mission of inclusion. In 1999 FWDC became a principal partner of Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne, further strengthening FWDC’s regional connections.

“Fort Wayne Dance Collective has worked with dozens of community partners in the past 40 years. Through our relationships, we have positively impacted hundreds of thousands of citizens in our community. The breadth of our impact with community partners has been possible from the encouragement, believe, and documented research that dance education can improve individuals mental, physical and social health,” FWDC Executive Director Elise Alabbas said.

Since November 2013, FWDC has been in a partnership with Parkview Health to present the Healing Arts Program. This program integrates literary, movement, music and visual arts into patient care, healthcare facility design and aesthetics, the health of the caregivers and the community. This program is offered at Parkview Regional Medical Center, Parkview Behavioral Health and Parkview Randallia.

FWDC also features three unique performing groups: the FWDC Touring Company, Fort Wayne Taiko, and the Pineapple Dance Project. These groups have performed at Parkview hospitals, schools, fundraisers, art openings, ribbon cutting ceremonies, in music videos and festivals. Attendees of the 40th Anniversary Celebration will be able to enjoy performances by these performing groups throughout the evening Jan. 23.

Attendees are encouraged to RSVP to the 40th Anniversary Celebration by visiting fwdc.org/event/40th/.

The Fort Wayne Dance Collective is an arts nonprofit located in downtown Fort Wayne. In the 2017/2018 academic year, FWDC served over 45,000 people throughout northeast Indiana and has provided scholarships, work-study opportunities, community programming, classes and performances to this region for the past 40 years.