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I&M Donates Art This Way Paintings to Non-Profit Agencies in Fort Wayne

March 18, 2021

March 18, 2021

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Art that demonstrates support for a diverse and inclusive community is now on display at several local social service agencies in the Fort Wayne area, thanks to Indiana Michigan Power. 14 local artists created the artwork -- 15 art panels on plywood -- during a weekend in September last year at Indiana Michigan Power Center, demonstrating support for a diverse and inclusive community as part of the Downtown Improvement District’s Art This Way program. 

The live art-creation event in downtown Fort Wayne came in the wake of protests over social injustice that took place earlier in the summer. Some protests turned violent, with damage to some buildings. The art event was a way to give back to the downtown community and demonstrate the city’s diversity. All artists and other participants followed CDC guidelines for physical distancing, wearing masks and sanitizing surfaces.

“Public art has the ability to create dialogue and force a viewer to look at the world through another lens,” said Alexandra Hall a local artist who coordinated the event for Downtown Improvement District. “In June 2020, our Downtown served as the podium for public discourse, but real change does not happen overnight. Art This Way was honored to facilitate a temporary art installation at the Indiana Michigan Power Center Plaza which continues the conversation about social justice reform and societal change.”

I&M recently donated the 15 paintings to 11 local social service agencies, including Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana, Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana, and the Auer Center. (Full list at bottom of release). Some of the panels are already displayed; plans are pending for others; and some may be used as auction items to raise money for a non-profit.

 “We are delighted to receive the Pilkinton painting and want to thank Indiana Michigan Power for donating the inspiring artwork that showcases local talent,” said Lena Yarian, president of Junior Achievement (JA) of Northern Indiana. “The students who visit the Junior Achievement facility will very much enjoy the painting and its vibrant colors, which complement the JA interior.”

A painting created by Jailyay Rice was donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Fort Wayne. “We are so grateful for the creative talent of Jaliyah Rice and her ability to create an inspirational art piece to be displayed at our club,” said, Joe Jordan, president and chief executive officer of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne. “The hard work and support of Indiana Michigan Power made these panels possible, and we are so thankful for its giving spirit,” Jordan added.

The club plans to display the panel in its outdoor playground area.

The artwork is so large that some facilities are still preparing for its placement. The maintenance staff of the Auer Center is preparing to install Drece Guy’s panel so it’s prominently seen from the lobby, said Dan Ross, vice president of Community Development for Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana is displaying its four panels for now but plans to use them to raise money to help the children and youth they serve.

“We can’t thank I&M and the artists (Sarah Moloney, Nigel Roper, Sara Scott, Steven Savick) enough for involving us in this,” said Elijah Rider, marketing director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana.  “Art involves a freedom of expression that our programs seek to empower in our youth. We look forward to using some of the artwork in future events as auction pieces to further our mission and serve more kids waiting for a mentor. For the time being, they serve as a reminder of the generosity and creativity of the communities we operate in. An added bonus is that everyone that sees it stops for a minute to admire what’s been gifted to us.”

“These paintings exemplify what happens when our diverse and talented community comes together. The partnership between I&M, Art This Way and other area nonprofits put local artists’ voices on display, resulting in artwork that makes an impact and beautifies our home,” said Kim Sabrosky, director of external affairs of Indiana Michigan Power. “Whether on display for their patrons or sold to benefit their cause, the artwork donated to local agencies will continue to share important messages and benefit our neighbors in the Fort Wayne area for years to come.”

These organizations received panels created by the following artists:

Artists Organization
Jaliyah Rice Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne
Isis Shaw   Greater Fort Wayne Black Chamber of Commerce
Jeff Pilkinton AMANI Family Services
Jasmine Pilkinton  Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana
Drece Guy   Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne
Sedrick Lorick  Center for Nonviolence
Terrance Jackson Greater Fort Wayne Black Chamber of Commerce 
Sarah Moloney  Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana
Nigel Roper (balloons)   Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana
Nigel Roper (trees) Brightpoint
Theopolis Smith  Fort Wayne UNITED
Sara Scott  Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana
Steve Savick   Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana
Madison Wallace   Girlz Rock
Christina Augilar    Growing Minds

 

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Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is headquartered in Fort Wayne, and its approximately 2,100 employees serve more than 599,000 customers. More than 85% of its energy delivered in 2020 was emission-free.  I&M has at its availability various sources of generation including 2,278 MW of nuclear generation in Michigan, 450 MW of purchased wind generation from Indiana, more than 22 MW of hydro generation in both states and approximately 15 MW of large-scale solar generation in both states. The company’s generation portfolio also includes 2,620 MW of coal-fueled generation in Indiana.

American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP’s approximately 17,400 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 221,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.5 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with more than 30,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including approximately 5,300 megawatts of renewable energy. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana, east Texas and the Texas Panhandle). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners, and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide. For more information, visit aep.com.

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