Audiences Unlimited offers a broad range of programs for people in Allen County and Northeast Indiana. Each program is driven by our mission to create cultural experiences that enrich the lives of people with limited access to the arts. The people we serve are diverse in age and ability. The creative arts experiences we provide enhance their quality of life and cultural identity.
From live performances for care facilities residents to skill-building theatre and dance classes for adults with disabilities, we are making a difference in the lives of people in Fort Wayne and the surrounding region.
A more fulfilled life? The arts can do that.
For the aging and ill
When age and illness prevents you from doing what you used to love, we come to you.
Audiences Unlimited was founded with the purpose of bringing entertainment to health care facilities. Performances reduce boredom, increase quality of life, and create community experiences to share with peers. These programs enrich lives and spark memories.
Programs in Care Facilities
In the wake of COVID-19, we have restructured programs to make live music performances as safe as possible. We work with facilities to follow their protocols and match them with appropriate performers. Learn more about our COVID-19 Protocols.
We provide community-oriented performances where our audiences live and receive care. The program encourages interaction and participation through singing along, dancing, and clapping. Our wide variety of artists, groups, and ensembles perform at our partner facilities, bringing smiles and sweet memories everywhere they go. In partnership with The Playfair Group, we also offer a free jukebox that partner facilities can use on monthly rotations.
“Music takes the residents back in their time. The feeling of yesterday – joy, laughter, precious moments shared with loved ones – comes back.” – Facility Staff Member
We bring music directly to the bedsides of those who are room-bound. Our artists have recurring programs at the same facility, allowing them to build relationships with these patients. They learn residents’ favorite songs and encourage them to sing along. This personal interaction brings incredible joy to community members who cannot attend events.
“When an AUI artist visited one of our [bedfast] residents and started playing and singing, the resident opened her eyes, which were sparkling. She gave a smile, her foot began to move to the tune “You Are My Sunshine”, which the artist knew was her favorite. She knows that someone cares.” – Facility Activity Director
We offer our partner facilities access to rich cultural events that take place throughout the community. Our residents can visit the botanical gardens, attend a ballet performance, and listen to a live orchestra. Local arts organizations provide complimentary tickets, and we provide transportation when needed. Some of our partners are Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Fort Wayne Civic Theater, Purdue University Fort Wayne, Embassy Theatre, and Fort Wayne Ballet.
“We have a resident that is severely impaired. She used to play cello for the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. She was out to hear the Phil today. She was smiling, and her foot was tapping.” – Facility Staff Member
Community members in our 50 participating residential and care facilities benefit from these live performances.
For adults with disabilities
At L.I.F.E. Adult Day Academy, we offer music, theatre, and dance enrichment and participation classes.
The My Expressions, or ME, program launched in 2017 to serve adults in the Fort Wayne community with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The academy’s students have access to music, theatre, and dance opportunities that encourage skill development. The program promotes physical, emotional, and social well-being. A free public performance is presented at the Parkview Physicians Group ArtsLab each spring. The ME program is fun for everyone involved!
My Expressions for Adults with Disabilities
Music Enrichment Performances
Daytime performances allows the academy’s students access to live, interactive music during their social hour. Performers encourage participation through shaker eggs, ribbons, and other rhythm instruments. Performances are designed to be completely accessible so that students of all levels of ability can join in the enriching experience of music-making.
In partnership with Fort Wayne Dance Collective, students participate in an 8-week adaptive dance program designed to activate movement for people of all ability levels.
Students learn theatre technique and perform in a narrative theatre production adapted for their abilities. They practice public speaking and build confidence, then perform for their family and the public.
In the wake of COVID-19, performances and classes as safe as possible. Learn more about our COVID-19 Protocols.
Making Neurodiversity Onstage the Norm
Aesop's Fables with FW Youtheatre
Audiences Unlimited and Fort Wayne Youtheatre collaborated with a group of neurodiverse and neurotypical youth to create an ability inclusive theatrical experience that highlighted the transformative possibilities of theatre.
Using the transformative and inventive world of Aesop’s Fables, Audiences Unlimited and Fort Wayne Youtheatre created a unique theatrical experience with a group of neurodivergent and neurotypical young artists. Working side by side for three months this company of middle and high school aged youth explored their creative talents and collaborated on a show that not only entertained but demonstrated the value of the arts for all by enhancing social interaction, communication skills, self-confidence and self-esteem.
Written by Todd Espeland
Directed by Morgan Montgomery
Artists with disabilities partner to install mural
Funded through the AWS Foundation Gilmore Inclusive Arts Grant, a downtown Fort Wayne exterior wall mural will be installed by lead designer Suzi Rhee and 10 individuals with disabilities at the Fletcher, Van Gilder LLP building on E. Wayne Street. The mural will capture themes of inclusion, our diverse community, and the arts. Installation will take place in May and June 2023. Deadlines for artist submissions to participate is April 4. Information can be obtained by emailing a request to: [email protected].
Digital performances from local programs
In response to COVID-19 lockdowns, we launched digital arts programs.
From regular AUI musicians, to dancers, to visual artists, we have a over 60 hours of local talent recorded. Flash drives with these videos are mailed regularly with several setlist compilations. They feature classic oldies, original music, and themed and holiday music as well as other performing arts, such as Nutcracker performances and time-lapsed paintings. These programs are free to all our participating partners.
Give the gift of music.
Your support can make the arts come to life!