West Central Neighborhood Holds 35th Tour and ArtsFest

The West Central Neighborhood Association presented its 35th Home and Garden Tour and ArtsFest on Sept. 9 and 10 in downtown Fort Wayne, where people could visit historical homes while consuming music, art and food.

Event Chairwoman Charlotte Weybright said the tour consists of 10 stops to architecturally significant homes and buildings in West Central, the city’s oldest historic neighborhood.

“I think the history is critical,” said Weybright, who also owns a home in the neighborhood.DSC_0158

According to the WCNA website, West Central was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 and was later recognized as a local historic district.

Through such action, Weybright said the neighborhood is protected from deterioration and subject to guidelines, but residents become devoted to the history and architecture.

Suzy Giant, a 29-year West Central resident and artist, said she appreciates old things because of their craftsmanship.

Her husband, Kevin Giant, said he moved into his West Central home 38 years ago and still finds himself appreciating the close community and eclectic atmosphere today.

Since moving in with Kevin, Suzy said she decorates their house with antiques and projects that match her bohemian style.

She also painted it pink.

“You got to be secure in your manhood to live in a pink house,” Kevin said.



So, Suzy said they travel the Midwest to find pretty collectibles and furniture for their home through Craigslist.

“I just like old things that are made right,” Suzy said. “I don’t see that a lot.”


Both Kevin and Suzy said they love going to the home and garden tour each year to experience how people are changing and fixing their homes’ exteriors to remain historic.

From the event, Weybright said the proceeds fund WCNA projects, such as their tree program, or with financial support and expert knowledge to help West Central residents restore their homes. Other programs assistance may be added as the WNCA sees fit.

All three West Central residents said they are excited for the change in their neighborhood because it continues to be unique.

“An old house has character,” Suzy said “and we’re characters.”

Contestants and Committees – An Inside Look of the 2017 Annual Student Research and Creative Endeavor Symposium


The 20th Annual Student Research and Creative Endeavor Symposium took place March 29 in the Walb Ballroom.

The symposium was open to all undergraduate and graduate students from different fields of study. Participants came from the social sciences, humanities, visual arts, business, nursing and more.

Cheryl Truesdell, who has judged the event for many years, said the top-three contestants were chosen based on points awarded by judges for their effort.

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Symposium Judging Rubric

“We’re trained to look at the discipline itself,” Cheryl said, “and to actually base it primarily on, not only the writing, but if they express the research so that anyone can understand it.”

Cheryl, also the retired dean of Helmke Library, said in 2013 the symposium committee changed the symposium format, to draw more interest from students and faculty.

Cheryl said a group of people involved with the symposium decided to make it poster-oriented, because they felt like it was more interactive and visually appealing.


Along with Cheryl, Stephen Buttes is a returning judge. He said IPFW is a comprehensive university and the symposium gives people the chance to see that. The Spanish professor feels the event gives students the opportunity to show what they are learning here at IPFW.

“It’s exciting to learn about the projects that they’ve produced,” Stephan said. “And it’s an opportunity to celebrate students’ success.”

But they don’t work alone.

Each participant was given the opportunity to research with an IPFW faculty member, and many others chose to work with peers as well. Gabriella Romo, a senior IPFW student majoring in biology,  did just that, collaborating with others on her project.

“We needed a big group because we had to collect 99 samples,” Gabriella said. “And that’s why on my poster I have them recognized, and I put all their names, because I couldn’t just say it was all me.”

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For Gabriella’s project she researched cyanobacteria. She became interested because other students were researching it as well. Gabriella said there’s so much research to do on this specific bacteria because it does a lot for humankind.

“Fun fact, they are the reason why we’re here,” Gabriella said. “And what I mean by that is that they’re the ones who allow the Earth to have oxygen. So if it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be here.”

Cyanobacteria was a popular at the symposium. To gather what they needed, Gabriella and five others traveled to the Indiana Dunes this past summer to collect everything for their research.

They spent countless hours digging up soil, covering over a quarter-mile of land, to make their projects possible.

Gabriella said even though they all used the same samples,  people did different studies, and found different outcomes.

Gabriella gives credit to everyone on her team. She said without them, she wouldn’t have been able to finish her research and compete in the symposium.

“Just imagine one person trying to do all of that. There’s no way!” Gabriella said. “I can’t imagine doing it all alone. You need people.”

Winners Courtesy of Jim Whitcraft
2017 Winners- Courtesy of Jim Whitcraft

Symposium Provides Unique Opportunities for its Participants

More than 90 students gained the skills necessary to present research in a professional atmosphere as they participated in the 20th Annual Student Research and Creative Endeavor Symposium in the Walb Classic Ballroom on March 29.

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Stephen Buttes, assistant professor of Spanish and symposium judge, said there are three awarded winners in each division, and student has the opportunity to turn their projects into a professional platform.

IPFW Visual Communication major Paige Robertson is one such student. Robertson’s research focused on special education for deaf children and incorporated pieces of her original photography. Being deaf herself, Robertson has first-hand experience with her topic.

“I went through it myself. I’m a deaf student, and I have been a deaf student ever since I have been going to school,” Robertson said, “and so I really put my own knowledge into it.”

pic paige 2

Associate Professor of Sociology and Symposium Judge Donna Holland reached out to Robertson after seeing her presentation to ask if she would be willing to present it in class.

“She actually wants me to present my poster for her classroom,” Robertson said. “She has some experience talking about people with disabilities, and she was always looking for someone who could be an example. I did my poster and she was really excited about it.”

Not only will Robertson be presenting her research in the classroom, but she was also invited to share some of her photos in a showcase in Indianapolis this June.

Another resource that symposium participants have is IPFW’s online scholarly repository, Opus.

Susan Anderson, director of Library Academic Resources, said the students have the option to archive their poster and abstract onto Opus for future use.


“What that means for the students is it becomes a permanent url, and they can list that on a cv or on a grad school application and say this an example of the work I did,” Anderson said. “So it’s a real polished way to present that kind of work.”

Former Dean of Helmke Library and Symposium Judge Cheryl Truesdell said the event also provides the opportunity for undergraduate students to conduct their research with Ph.D. professors.

“You cannot replace that with any kind of money,” Truesdell said.

Truesdell also said working directly with Ph.D. faculty is rare in other universities.

“I’ve been to R1 institutions, IU and Purdue, and you don’t get in the lab,” Truesdell said. “You don’t get to work with Ph.D.s until you’re a graduate student.”

In addition to help from faculty, another resource these students have is Studio M. John Nicklin, Studio M Coordinator, conducted workshops to teach students how to present their research in a visually appealing way.

“It was designed for students who weren’t familiar with graphics programs to give them a framework and ideas on how to create a poster that is more visually captivating,” Nicklin said.


Nicklin said he thinks it is valuable for a participant to have a well structured poster, but what is most important is the quality of a student’s research and presentation.


While the Student Research and Creative Endeavor Symposium has been showcasing student projects for 20 years, Nicklin said this is the third year that Studio M has been involved and he looks forward to the years to come.


Student Research and Creative Endeavor Symposium Continues to Evolve


On a Wednesday, March 29, 125 IPFW students prepared for a presentation they had one chance at.

The mixture of undergraduate and graduate scholars lined the Walb Classic Ballroom, standing next to various poster boards.

Judges assessed the work of each student’s presentation and their poster’s content and appeal, as the 2017 Student Research and Creative Endeavor symposium got underway.

This year, student and faculty participants have noticed how the educational conference continues to change.

Biology student Patrick Selig entered the competition for his third year in a row. He said he noticed an increasing number of the undergraduate students had entered, especially seniors.

According to IPFW symposium participation data, 71 students participated in 2014 which increased to 127 in 2016.

Before participation could thrive, former Dean of the Helmke Library said the format needed adjustment.


Cheryl Truesdell said the event’s structure evolved because it drew less interest.

In 2013, she said the Symposium Planning Committee decided to go from paper to poster presentation, in order to regain attendance and spark curiosity.

Truesdell said the committee focused their attention on drawing more majors beyond the usual suspects of psychology, biology and physics.


According to IPFW statistics, students from those departments participate most often, compared to other majors.

Data shows that biology has increased in number of student presenters each year, while consistently placing in both the graduate and undergraduate levels since 2013.

This time around, the reports show that more arts and humanities departments joined the symposium than in past years.

BreAnne Briskey also participated, her third year in a row, and represented the history department.

She said during her first year, she could tell they were pushing for arts and humanities to get more involved in the symposium. Now, she is glad they did.

“It’s important to acknowledge the creative aspect of human nature, and to just embrace the humanities,” Briskey said.

Now that posters are required, Truesdell said the score given to the students is also based on their visual display, not just their research and presenting it.

John Nicklin, head of the Studio M computer lab, said he assisted with posters helping those familiar with the process of crafting one, and those who are not.

He said majors outside of the arts are less likely to be experienced with the graphic design programs needed to create appealing posters.  But students in visual arts tend to know those applications.

Nicklin said he thinks the students’ presentations are the most important part of their research projects today.

Briskey said since posters are visual and condensed, people unfamiliar with the research can understand it easily.

Now she said she can’t see the symposium being held any other way, and plans on attending next year.

“At the end of the day it’s great,” Briskey said. “You get to meet people, you get to talk about something you’re passionate about, you get a great experience.”

Online Learning Continues to Grow at IPFW

More college students are choosing laptops over lecture halls.

According to the Online Learning Consortium, a continuous growth and enrollment in distance education, in spite of decreased overall enrollment, marks a substantial transition in contemporary learning.

The newest study from Babson Survey Research Group indicates the growing trend, with 5.8 million college students or 28 percent of the college population currently enrolled in online courses.

At IPFW, distance education is experiencing proportionate growth.

“Overall enrollment has gone down a little bit,” said Assistant Director of Continuing Studies James Cashdollar, “while online enrollment has continued to expand.”

According to the Distance Learning website, IPFW provides 220 distance courses per semester, with four bachelor and three graduate degrees offered exclusively online.

Still, the Online Learning Consortium reports despite growth and expanded online programs, overall confidence among faculty members in distance education effectiveness is down.

Cashdollar doesn’t see it that way. Behind his standing desk he admits online learning has been stigmatized in some academic communities as less effective than face-to-face courses, but insists confidence among faculty at IPFW has only progressed.

Professor Adam Dircksen is the online course director for the department of communication. Before teaching online, he devised a thesis surrounding the ineffectiveness of distance courses. His experience teaching shifted that perception.

“If I were to have written my master’s thesis later, it wouldn’t have been an argument based on courses being ineffective due to a lack of interpersonal communication,” said Dircksen, “it would be online courses are more challenging to build connections.”

Dircksen said his present goal is to activate a sense of community in his online courses through strategic design and personal engagement.

“Building community in online courses is a lot of little things,” Dircksen said. “Video updates, smaller discussion groups, and weekly emails allow students to sense that someone is actually there.”

To compliment her busy work schedule, Jenna Fritz, a senior OLS major, said she has taken a third of her classes online.

Based on her experience with distance courses, Fritz considers certain subjects more effective when taught online than others. She said when it comes to online courses, small discussion forums and instructor input are key.

“I took some type of Photoshop class and I had no idea what was going on the whole semester.  I had to email other students for questions,” Fritz said. “She wasn’t there for us.”

Fritz and Dircksen both suggest the importance of engaging students online through contact extending beyond basic correspondence.

“Online learning can encourage an instructor to find more creative ways not only to engage students,” Dircksen said, “but to distribute materials and design assignments.”

Dircksen said it will be the willingness of faculty to embrace and transition into the online format that will define course effectiveness.  IPFW, he feels, is on board.

“We’ve grown tremendously in our online course offerings,” said Dircksen. “Faculty development of online courses is well supported here.”

More Americans Turn to Social Media as a News Source

Forrest Voss rarely found himself on social media until he moved over 500 miles away.

The 23-year-old from Fort Wayne moved to Syracuse, New York, with his boyfriend and their dog. Consequently, he uses Facebook more often to communicate with people from his hometown.

“Facebook becomes more important as a catalog for what you’re doing and for staying in touch with people,” Voss said. “I can’t walk up to a friend and say, ‘Look what we did today.’ So instead, I have to put it on Facebook.”

While social media continues to keep people like Voss easily connected, now it is also used as Americans’ primary news source.

According to Pew Research, 62 percent of U.S. adults get their news on social media. The study was conducted in 2016 and shows Reddit, Facebook and Twitter have the most members who consume news.

Pew Research also reported 64 percent of social media users are more likely to get their news from one site which is most commonly Facebook.

Voss said he sometimes gets news from Facebook, but only if it is posted directly from a news organization he trusts.

IPFW graduate student Samuel Wiesenberg said he consumes news from the radio and Facebook. He spends roughly two hours every day reading articles from news organizations that he follows.

According to Pew, Wiesenberg is among the 67 percent of users who regularly spend at least one hour per day reading news on Facebook.

Voss and Wiesenberg both said they are unlikely to read any article seen in their news feed because they recognize fake news circulates, especially during this past election season.

“It was very obvious that a lot of the statistics people were posting in support of one candidate or the other were just blatantly false and not credible at all,” Wiesenberg said.

Since the presidential election occurred, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, was called to action to prevent the spread of fake news on the social media platform.

Through a Facebook status, he said his network is not to blame for the election results because over 99 percent of Facebook’s content is authentic. But it will do more to prevent fake news from spreading.

According to the Facebook for Developers website, its Network Audience Policy was recently updated to prohibit advertisers from displaying fake news.

Wiesenberg said he agrees with Zuckerberg’s decision to eliminate false articles, because Facebook has a powerful voice across the U.S.

Andrew Casey, a 21-year-old from Fort Wayne, counters this argument.

He said deciphering real and fake news should be based on the viewer’s discretion, not a national incentive.

“My answer is almost always keeping the rights of individuals and corporations as open as possible and making individual responsibility a greater importance,” Casey said, glancing at his phone to see a Facebook notification.

Although, from his experience with the latest election, Casey said, he does want people to keep their political conversations private by discussing the topic in person or in direct messaging.

However, Pew Research Center reported 40 percent of social media users believe online platforms are places they can discuss political issues and current events that they would never say in person.

Kimberly O’Connor, an assistant professor at IPFW, researches the relationship between employers’ social media policies and their employees. Her findings are similar to Pew Research.

A survey conducted for her fieldwork reported undergraduate students are generally unaware or choose to disregard university and employer’s social media policies.

“It’s one of the ways we communicate that’s probably here to stay,” O’Connor said, referencing social media, “and so, because of the widespread major of its use, it undoubtedly impacts peoples’ employment.”

Overall, the way people use Facebook has changed over time.  Pew Research reported between 2013 and 2016, 19 percent more people got their news from Facebook. Another study shows 44 percent of U.S. adults said they learned about the recent election from social media.

“Facebook and its purpose have been pretty clear, people share the things they are going to share,” Casey said. “It’s a platform for people to, within reason, share ideas and stay connected to their friends.”



Social Media Users Participation with News in 2014:

  • 50 percent shared news stories, videos or images.
  • 46 percent discussed a news issue or current event.
  • 14 percent posted photos they took of a news-related event.
  • 12 percent posted videos they took of a news-related event.



Thousands Participate in the Women’s March on Chicago

Over 250,000img_1043-jpg women and allies gathered in downtown Chicago carrying vibrant signs for the Women’s March on Jan. 21.

Event Emcee Fawzia Mirza said the march was cancelled due to the unexpectedly large turnout that created a safety issue, and was instead a standing rally.

But people were still marching. Supporters formed small groups and marched independently through the packed streets, where other supporters were participating in the standing rally.

“If a woman’s right is affected or at stake, it’s important for everyone to show up,” Mirza said. “That’s why we’ve been hearing from the organizers that allies are welcome. Allies are needed. Allies are important.”

img_1164-jpgHundreds of these allies filled the provided seats to watch an array of speakers and performers present onstage.

These speakers included Broadway performers Ari Afsar and Karen Olivo from the cast of “Hamilton”.

One of the performers, Vernon Mina from So Chi Voices, said his group was there to represent issues that minorities and women face.

Mina said he was told to expect around 3,000 people, and was shocked when he heard there were hundreds of thousands in attendance.

“You see little girls and little boys with signs that say ‘stand up for my mom,’ or ‘women’s rights,’” Mina said. “It tells you that despite what’s happening in the government right now, there’s so many people here ready to fight for all these rights.”

Volunteer Betimg_1093-jpghany Williams said the event, held the day after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, was meant to create a sense of unity and support amongst women and minorities whose rights are being threatened.

President Trump recently proposed plans to build a border wall with intentions of keeping immigrants out, as well as targeting women’s healthcare.

Two days after the marches, President Trump reinstated the “global gag rule,” banning U.S. funding to international healthcare organizations that provide abortion information or services.

Men, women and children were carrying signs with positive messages on them, but not all of the signs were as optimistic.img_1281

Some signs included more negative messages, such as one sign that said “sexual harasser in-chief” and “not my president.”

Despite some of the pessimism displayed on the signs, Mirza said she considered the march a success.

The Women’s March on Chicago was one of hundreds of women’s marches that were held worldwide. The total attendance was in the millions, making it one of the largest marches in history.

“Women’s rights are human rights,” Williams said.

The phrase was chanted loudly by the thousands of women and allies, reinforcing the inclusive message of the march.


John Kaufeld – Expecting the Unexpected

John Kaufeld’s entire demeanor is joyful.

He welcomes a complete stranger with a big smile and a friendly handshake, and within minutes he begins talking in funny accents.

John is a published writer and like many of his stories, when asked about his life, he is an open book.

But he never planned to be a writer. That aspect of him, like the majority of his life, was unexpected.

John went to Ball State University to become a professor. He said he had it all planned out: get his undergrad, his master’s degree, and finish with his Ph.D.

But that never happened.

He overslept the graduate management admissions test his senior year, and that one misstep changed his life-long plans.

So, instead he graduated with a business management degree and got a job.

Right out of college, John’s first job was working with PC tech support in Indianapolis.

“I’ve always been a people person,” John said. “But, I had a passion for computers. With this job, I got the opportunity to work with both.”

After that, John’s career started its rollercoaster ride of unexpected twists.

He worked for a network installation company, a computer graphics firm, did system analysis work for a few companies, PC programing, and analysis report writing.

During that time he got married and had two children, a boy and a girl.

“And then the story takes a very weird turn,” John said. “A past coworker of mine asked me if I would be a tech editor for a ‘For Dummies’ book.”

This book was supposed to be a “do it yourself” troubleshooting guide.

John said that when he went to edit it, the book was awful and the original author didn’t have the expertise on computers that he did.

So, they asked him to help write it.

Little did he know that this would lead to him writing “For Dummies” books for 10 years.

“I have 36 books published for the company,” John said. “With just under 3 million books in print, and a total of 15 languages around the world.”

He said he loved this time in his life, but it was very stressful. Each book was about 385 pages and they had to be written on an 8-week schedule. John said that’s about 5 pages per day.

After a decade of writing “For Dummies” books, and homeschooling his two children with his wife, John felt like it was time for a change.

So, on a whim, he decided to open a retail store in 1997.

His store, “More than Games,” sold American and well-known European board games.

John said he loved having the store open because it gave him the opportunity to work with people after being behind closed doors writing for so long.

In 2000, John and his family decided to move away from Indianapolis. John closed the store in Indy, but opened a new one here in Fort Wayne.

He kept the store open for a few years in Fort Wayne but eventually ended up closing in 2005. After that, John worked for a trade association. For that company, he helped buy and sell different types of games.

During that time John, unsurprisingly, had yet another twist in his life. In 2003 John and his wife welcomed another baby girl to the family.

John said after all of that, and much more, he ended up at a university. Since 2009, John has worked as the chief communications officer at IPFW.

He said that his favorite part about this job is the social media aspect and getting a chance to work with students.

“There are times that I feel like I live in your back pocket,” John said. “I hear the thoughts that are posted out there that have IPFW in them, and I get to help them even when they don’t ask. They have no expectation that I’ll actually respond to them.”

John said he never would have imagined that he would be working with social media the way it is today.

“When I got out of college I remember the first time that one of my friends explained to me, ‘Dude there’s this crazy thing called the internet and computers connect,’” John said laughing, mimicking his friend’s voice. “And I remember being like, ‘No way! That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard!’”

A lot has changed since then in John’s life, and in the technological world. Now-a-days, John likes to call himself “the secret voice of IPFW.”

When people complain about a problem they’ve had with the school or the school itself, John now has the ability to reach out and help students.

He said, even though it is through social media, John loves his job because he gets to work with people and help them solve any issues they might have.


Megan Dues – One Woman’s Mission to Reach Happiness

Megan Dues hunched over the bathtub and cried out in pain as Piper, her 2-year-old daughter, sat in the water.

Dues quickly removed Piper from the bathtub in fear of something worse happening, but Piper did not leave her mother’s side.

“Piper held my hand and patted my back and said, ‘It’s going to be okay, mom,’” Dues said.

It was the only time she experienced a ruptured cyst alone with Piper, but Dues said she specifically remembers the situation as the first time she realized Piper was there for her.

Dues unexpectedly became pregnant with Piper when she was 18 years old. She said this changed her plans in life and more struggles arose accordingly, but she thrived during adverse times.

For instance, Dues said she struggled with diet restrictions from her endometriosis — what causes cysts to grow and rupture — and having 32 food allergies. But she adjusted to her limitations and saw the silver lining — she has to be healthy.

“Dieting has definitely changed my life for the better,” Dues said. “Even though I have all my restrictions, it makes me feel healthier.”

When Piper was almost three, Dues’ boyfriend broke up with her after he spent the first years of Piper’s life as her father figure, even though he is not a biological parent. Consequently, the family they created split apart as Dues and her daughter moved into her parents’ house.

She said this transition was the lowest point of her life, but she was tired of letting adversities consume her.

“I just decided one day that things weren’t going to get better unless I focused on myself,” Dues said, “like getting out of my parents’ house, getting back on my feet, getting back to having my own things. I just couldn’t sit there.”

To get out of her depression, Dues said she set new goals and began working as a baker in a hotel resort. She enjoyed her job, and it helped her discover a passion for cooking. It also lead her to meeting her soulmate, Bill Dues, another chef at the resort.

“I was thinking how ridiculous she looked with her tall chef hat on and her retro-framed glasses on,” her husband said, as he smiled talking about the first time they met. “She asked me to make her a salad, and I thought, ‘Who is this girl?’”

Since meeting Bill, Dues said her life has improved tremendously. He is the piece she had been missing, and today, they have a daughter together, Willow, who Dues said takes the highest priority in her life along with Piper.

She hopes her daughters will grow into strong, ambitious women.

“If you aren’t passionate about something then where are you going to go in life?” Dues said, while holding Willow’s hands to help her stand. “I just want them to be happy with where they end up in the future.”

One passion in Dues’ life is horses. When she was in seventh grade, her parents gifted her Sophie. She said her life began to improve by having an outlet to help release her stress and anxiety. To this day, she still has Sophie.

For her future, Dues said she hopes to own a horse farm in Michigan, and bake for people who have numerous allergies like her.

But, today, Dues said she is content with her life, and proud of herself for overcoming the obstacles she has faced.

“I’m glad that everything happened, because even though I am not where I want to be yet, I am happy with who I am, who I am with, and what I now know,” Dues said. “This is just the happiest I have been in my entire life.”

Cinema Center – A Unique Experience for Fort Wayne

Cinema Center is not your typical theater.

Instead of showing major studio releases, the non-profit organization focuses on giving Fort Wayne natives a unique experience.

They feature indie, experimental, foreign, and classic films, since it was founded in 1976.

Currently residing at 437 E. Berry St., moves are a part of its history.

“Going from space to space severely limited the types of films that could be shown,” Jonah Crismore says.

Jonah, the current executive director for Cinema Center, says it is always changing.

Cinema Center was formed after The Spectator Theater was shut down, and film enthusiasts wanted to see movies that were different from what were shown at regular theater chains according to its website.

Prior to finding a home in the Hall Community Arts Center in 1991, the Cinema Center debuted films at any location available.

It showed “The Big Sleep,” their first film, on Sept. 11, 1976, in the Fort Wayne Art School auditorium in West Central according to the website.

After their first event, they continued to show films in the Allen County Public Library, One Summit Square, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, and the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House, according to the website.

Kathy Bock, currently an adviser to the Board of Directors, says she found the organization shortly after coming to Fort Wayne.

“I was very happy to have a place like Cinema Center to go to myself,” she says.

Kathy says she had her first Cinema Center experience around 1980 at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House, but the quality was not ideal.

She says they sat on regular chairs right next to the projector, which was almost louder than the movie itself.

This did not stop her from going back to Cinema Center.

“That was before you could rent movies to see on your VHS or your Betamax player or whatever it was,” she says.

Similar to Kathy, Jonah first encountered Cinema Center when he was a teenager. Though he says the experience was different from what he was expecting, it still had an impact on him.

“This is truly where I learned to love film,” he says.

Because of the movies that they show, Cinema Center has been able to differentiate themselves from larger nearby theaters.

“Cinema Center is more about showcasing film as an art form,” Kathy says. “I think and if you come to movies there, you’ll definitely notice a difference in the kinds of films you see.”

Tammara Cornett, the director of office administration and bookkeeping at Cinema Center, says she appreciates the diverse collections of films they show, which is how her and her husband found out about the organization.

At its current location, Cinema Center houses only one screen, but has a number of other commodities.

They have upgraded to a digital projector in recent years, as well as adding brand new seats and Dolby sound, and also featuring a wine bar section for concessions, Kathy says.

Even though they are not a theater like Carmike or Regal, Jonah says they still feel the consequences of the industry.

He says that with fewer people going to see movies now, Cinema Center is looking for new ways to bring people to their location.

“We’re constantly having speakers come in to generate excitement,” Jonah says, “as well as just create more awareness that we’re here.”

But guest speakers and unique films are not the only things that make Cinema Center unique, Kathy says.

They will sometimes have food trucks stationed in their parking lot ahead of special screenings, or will hold discussions after the credits have rolled as well Kathy says.

Kathy says all of this is part of making the trip to Cinema Center more than a film experience.

“To get people to come to the theater,” Kathy says, “its more about making it an event and making it an occasion to come to the theater.”

Jonah says this is not the typical community for independent art theaters, but they have supported the organization continuously.

“The community has always rallied around and helped Cinema Center persevere,” Jonah says.

Moving forward, Cinema Center will continue to bring new events for members such as Hobnobben, Fort Wayne’s first film festival that they hosted for four days last year, Kathy says.

Jonah says they are happy with their current location, but one with more screens, foot traffic, and in the heart of downtown Fort Wayne would be ideal.

For now, Cinema Center will stay in the same location it has been in for over 15 years, and Jonah urges more citizens to visit.

“If you haven’t been here give it a try,” Jonah says. “I mean, there’s no reason not to. We show better films than anybody else and we show films that, you know, are definitely more likely to make you think.”