From the Manchester College Archives

News Release


“Conversation”  on building audiences

for the arts will draw educators, arts leaders

from throughout northeast Indiana to MC


A conversation on building audiences for the arts is expected to draw at least 70 people to Manchester College’s new Wine Recital Hall on Friday, Dec. 3. The gathering – hosted by the presidents of eight colleges and universities in northeast Indiana – will include educators, arts officials and others interested in the arts in the region.

“We are concerned about building robust audiences and other support for cultural events,” notes Parker G. Marden, president on leave at Manchester College. The conversation will be just that: not lectures or a seminar, Marden noted. Participants will break into smaller groups to discuss topics they bring to the table as well as a few suggested topics. Lunch and a closing session also are planned. Geoff Gephart, president of Arts United, will assist in the conversation, set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 3.

The group will attempt to define the issues, try to understand the challenges and identify resources and next steps. “We invite the participation of anyone interested in the strengthening of our cultural and artistic organizations by preparing fuller audiences from those students whom we prepare for society in other useful ways,” notes Marden.

Among topics expected to be discussed:

        What are the arts interests of today’s college students?  What are their interests in what others define, support, preserve, and celebrate as the arts?  Where, and what, are the audiences of tomorrow?

        What and where are the new audiences for the arts?  In a world that increasingly finds meaning in diversity, how do we welcome new audiences to what is traditional and how do we welcome traditional audiences to what is new?

        How can we connect colleges and universities, with their student and other populations, that represent impressive “demographics” for the arts community?  How can we do so in the Fort Wayne area? 

        How do we pay for whatever might be done?  How do we build whatever case needs to be built for what needs to be done?

Colleges hosting the conversation include: Huntington College (G. Blair Dowden, president), Indiana Institute of Technology (Arthur E. Snyder, President), Indiana University Purdue University, Fort Wayne (Michael A. Wartell, Chancellor), Ivy Tech State College Northeast (Jon L. Rupright, vice president/chancellor), Taylor University Fort Wayne (David J. Gyertson, president), Tri-State University (Earl D. Brooks II, president), University of St. Francis (Sr. M. Elise Kriss, president), and Manchester College (President Jo Young Switzer and Parker G. Marden, president on leave).

Manchester, an independent liberal arts college with 1,075 students from 23 states and 30 countries, offers remarkable opportunities and adventures in the arts – from choral performances in St. Peter’s Basilica in Italy and in Carnegie Hall to studying ancient sculptural techniques in Central America. Theatre students travel in troupes to elementary schools in other states and a U.S. Professor of the Year teaches painting and photography. Students experience and perform in concerts of classical and popular music in a 1,300-seat auditorium and recitals in the new Wine Recital Hall. Weekly convocations, artists in residence, college-sponsored community programs and lecturers help all students reach, explore and enjoy the arts. For more information about Manchester College, visit


Manchester Media Relations

News Releases

Mission Statement