To provide a premier venue for a wide variety of performing arts, concerts, lectures, meetings, and special events which will inspire, educate, and entertain residents of and visitors to Van Wert County, and to provide an economic catalyst by increasing cultural tourism, creating new jobs, and generating business for the region.
The Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. It is a supporting organization of The Van Wert County Foundation. It has its own board of directors and Executive Director. Currently there is a staff consisting of a marketing director, facilities coordinator and a technical and production director hired by VWAPAF to manage the day to day operations.
In 2001, the Van Wert City School District was awarded matching funds from the Ohio Schools Facility Commission to build a new educational facility when the taxpayers passed a levy to support the new building. A vision was shared by a number of people. Leaders of that vision included the current high school superintendent, Cathy Hoffman and Scott M. Niswonger, a Van Wert High School alumnus, businessman, and philanthropist. The idea of providing an enhanced auditorium for the schools and community grew to become the legacy vision of a Performing Arts Center when Mr. Niswonger committed $2 million to the project. This gift acted as a catalyst that excited the community and alumni of Van Wert to build a state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center that would become not only a cultural center for northwest Ohio, but also an economic catalyst for the area. The result is a beautiful $9.6 Million building and facility that is due to open in March of 2007.
The Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio was built in conjunction with, and attached to, the new Van Wert High School/Middle School. The NPAC is being built entirely with private donations, but is owned by the Van Wert City Schools. A separate foundation was established, through leadership of the Van Wert County Foundation, to operate the facility. The Van Wert City Schools have entered into a lease agreement with this new organization- the Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation (VWAPAF).
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