The northeast Indiana community has embraced the upcoming 2019 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Goalball and Judo International Qualifier which will draw nearly 600 international guests from 43 countries to Fort Wayne from 2-9 July.
Finding inspiration from the rich arts community, local artists and arts organisations will play an integral role in the competition, being held in the USA and a key qualification event for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Elite goalball and judo athletes and their guests will be invited to participate in a variety of artistic experiences throughout the week, beginning on 1 July. These events will take place throughout downtown at locations including the Grand Wayne Center, Embassy Theatre, Parkview Field, and the “Art this Way” art exhibit.
A piano, painted by residents of Lutheran Life Villages, will be stationed at the Grand Wayne Center between 1-5 July. The piano will be programmed with pianists from Lutheran Life Village but will also be open for guests to enjoy playing.
Visual Artist, Heather Miller, will display three large relief pieces constructed from plaster and gauze. Visitors are encouraged to explore the work tactually which will lead them to discover both spatial changes as well as fine textures. “I’ve always wanted to show this work in a venue that encourages visitors to touch and explore. This is the perfect audience for this series,” said Miller.
The Fort Wayne Dance Collective will offer mindful meditation sessions for the athletes at the Grand Wayne Center during the competition.
A walking tour of downtown murals will be available to the Para athletes and their guests between 1-9 July. Art This Way, a programme operating under the Fort Wayne Downtown Improvement District, is actively installing public artwork throughout the downtown's alleyway network. Art This Way is incorporating tactile signs to their installation programme, which will allow visitors with visual impairments to experience the exhibit.
"Breathe" by Matthew Plett is one of the murals on display.
“The Art This Way programme and the Fort Wayne Downtown Improvement District are excited to contribute to the vitality and energy of downtown by activating Fort Wayne’s alleyway network with public art. It is important to us that these projects be inclusive; we feel that art should know no limitations and should be able to be experienced by all” says Alexandra Hall, Manager of the Art This Way programme. “This event is a unique opportunity for us to showcase elements of Fort Wayne culture and share local art with international guests.”
The Welcome Ceremony for the 2019 IBSA Goalball and Judo International Qualifier will take place at Parkview Field on 2 July. This event will welcome and introduce the international athletes to Fort Wayne. This evening will be filled with local live entertainment from the internationally acclaimed Voices of Unity Youth Choir, directed by Marshall White and the Sweetwater All Stars band formed by Sweetwater Sound Founder and CEO, Chuck Surack.
In addition, international visitors will be guests of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic during the Fort Wayne favourite Patriotic Pops at the Parkview Field on 3 July.
The Embassy Theatre is also opening their doors for a community performance of the Grande Page theatre pipe organ on 5 July, from 7:30-8:30 p.m., free to the public. Organist Cletus Goens will perform.
Finally, the Fort Wayne Comedy Club is welcoming Brett Eastburn to their stage on 6 July. The comedy club is offering fans the opportunity to support Turnstone by purchasing tickets using a group code. A portion of the proceeds from tickets purchased with this code will be donated back to Turnstone in support of the week’s events.
Rena Shown, Chief Development Officer at Turnstone Center for Children and Adults with Disabilities, has had a key role in coordinating the participation of local artists for this event.
Shown says, “We, at Turnstone, are ecstatic to welcome guests from around the world and we hope to share with them all that Fort Wayne has to offer,” says Shown. “We believe that Fort Wayne’s arts and culture scene is a unique asset to our community we are proud to share with guests.”
About the 2019 IBSA Goalball and Judo International Qualifier
Fort Wayne 2019 will provide some of the world’s best athletes with visual impairments the chance to book their ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Events will be held at Turnstone Center, Indiana Tech and the Grand Wayne Center. Over 40 countries will be represented by nearly 600 athletes, coaches and delegation staff in addition to the international delegates who will be participating in IBSA’s General Assembly also being held in Fort Wayne in conjunction with the competition.
Tickets for the Welcome Ceremony are available at the Parkview Field Box Office and online
. Ticket cost is 5 USD per person. Children 12 years old and younger will be admitted free, but do require a ticket that can be acquired at the Box Office and online.
Gates will open at 6:00pm. Attendees will be able to enjoy an evening downtown at Parkview Field with access to the stadium concessions and the Parkview Field Kid Zone.
Individuals and groups interested in volunteering can find more information online at www.ibsafortwayne2019.com
The competition is also being shown live on IBSA Goalball and IBSA Judo’s Facebook pages and at IBSA’s YouTube channel.