Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne seeks proposals from qualified firms to prepare a brand identity and a marketing and communications plan for the Arts Campus in downtown Fort Wayne. 

Proposal submissions are due by October 21, 2016. Those received after this date will be disqualified. An electronic copy should be sent to: 


  • Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne 
  • Attn: Arts Campus Advocacy & Promotion Task Force 
  • c/o Jasmine Bejar at  

Please direct any questions to Jasmine Bejar at 260 424-0646 or



Arts and culture is at the forefront of the quality of life movement in northeast Indiana. Our community leaders recognize the impact of a vibrant arts community and continue to integrate it into the regional agenda. As the core of arts and culture activity, the Arts Campus plays a vital role in the community’s momentum, connecting with other downtown development initiatives including Riverfront Fort Wayne and The Landing. The heart of the downtown Arts Campus centers around the Auer Center for Arts and Culture, located at 300 E Main Street, and includes the Arts United Center, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Freimann Square, History Center, Hall Center and Rankin House. Over half a million people in northeast Indiana participate in arts and culture activities on the Arts Campus and through those organizations who call the Arts Campus home. 

The successful proposal will demonstrate the ability to create a unique, inclusive and dynamic brand and marketing/communications plan for the Arts Campus through similar experience with destination branding/marketing and arts organization branding/marketing. The brand will exist to benefit all organizations who reside on the Arts Campus, but will especially prepare Arts United to market and fundraise for the renovation of the Arts United Center. This brand is legacy-level work that requires out-of-the-box thinking and an understanding of Arts United’s history, mission, and direction. 



Since its inception in 1955, Arts United has driven northeast Indiana’s creative sector forward by mobilizing resources. The founders of Arts United created a bold vision for a ten-building Arts Campus, and they hired world-renowned architect Louis Kahn to complete the task. Of Kahn’s initial vision, only the Arts United Center was realized. The facility is the first and only theatre designed by Kahn, and the only Kahn building in the Midwest. Its architectural and historical significance make it the center of the Arts Campus, and of the Arts Campus branding projects.  

Arts United is in the process of announcing an architectural team that will prepare a conceptual design for renovation of the Arts Campus’ Arts United Center. Completed in 1972, the Arts United Center is in need of substantial updates and repair in order to achieve heightened goals for patron experience, handicap accessibility, user experience and theatrical production. The Arts United Center is the permanent home and administrative headquarters of the Fort Wayne Civic Theatre and Fort Wayne Youtheatre. The Arts United Center also hosts other local community-based performing arts organizations including Fort Wayne Ballet, Fort Wayne Dance Collective, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Unity Performing Arts Foundation, Fort Wayne Children’s Choir, Heartland Chamber Chorale, and others. 

The audience of the Arts Campus brand and marketing communication/plan are: 

  •  Civic leaders, business leaders, and elected officials who benefit from the economic impact of cultural amenities and their capacity to bolster talent attraction and retention efforts; 
  •  Current and potential donors and funders of Arts United and the Arts Campus; 
  •  Arts organizations who utilize Arts Campus facilities; and 
  •  Citizens who visit and enjoy the Arts Campus. 



The goals for the brand of the Arts Campus, as a driver of creative energy in our region’s urban core, are: 

  •  To convey the sense that “something is happening here”; 
  •  To create a sense of pride and ownership among the local community as it positions the Arts Campus to receive national recognition; 
  •  To reinforce the connectivity of the Arts Campus to other downtown amenities; and 
  •  To portray the Arts Campus as a creative hub for everyone to experience – not just artists, performers, etc. 


Scope of Work 

Working seamlessly with a team of architects, resource development planners, arts organizations, community volunteers and other stakeholders, the scope of work will include the following items between January 2017 and July 2017. 


Develop a brand for the Arts Campus that is 

  • Reflective of the aforementioned goals; 
  • Is comprehensive enough to be used in all forms of media; and 
  • Can be used to physically brand and connect the buildings on the Arts Campus. 

Create and execute a brand for the Arts Campus that is strongly identifiable within the Arts United brand family, but is removed enough to be an asset to all arts organizations who reside on the Arts Campus. 


 Provide a strategic marketing and public relations plan to communicate about the Arts Campus and its new brand to community. 


 Create/design print and digital assets to be used for: 

  • A marketing and public relations plan for the Arts Campus and its new brand; 
  • Collateral for the “unveiling” of architectural plans to the community; and 
  • Collateral for capital campaign materials for prospective donors. 

 Create/design concepts for signage and other wayfinding markers to be used for: 

  • Supporting the proposed architectural conceptual design and implementation; 
  • Identifying spaces and facilities within the Arts Campus; 
  • Assisting in pedestrian and vehicular wayfinding; and 
  • Strengthening the visibility, positive perception and identity of the Arts Campus. 


Proposal Submittal Requirements 

Arts United reserves the right to disqualify any proposal that is late or otherwise does not comply with said requirements. Once submitted, proposals will not be returned and will become property of Arts United. Expenses incurred in the preparation of the proposals are borne by the consultant/firm with the understanding that the selected consultant/firm may not apply to Arts United for reimbursement of these expenses. 


Proposal Components 

The proposal should contain the following sections in order: 

1. Company profile 
  1. a. Provide a statement indicating an understanding of the work to be performed 
  2. b. Provide the primary contact person and his/her information 
  3. c. Provide the availability over the period of 6-12 months 
2. Qualifications 
  1. a. Provide a brief description of your firm, including its founding and history; number of employees; service areas and awards or other forms of recognition 
  2. b. Introduce your team members who will work on this project 
  3. c. Describe your team’s experience with and knowledge of destination branding/marketing 
  4. d. Describe your team’s experience with and knowledge of arts and culture branding/marketing 
  5. e. Describe why and how your team is uniquely positioned to create a brand identity and marketing/communication plan for the Downtown Arts Campus 
3. Experience and Project Management 
  1. a. Describe your methodology and approach to the project elements 
  2. b. Provide examples of relevant work/case studies 
  3. c. Provide a proposed work schedule/plan consisting of tasks, timeline, anticipated deliverables and target dates 
4. References 
  1. a. List three (3) references we may contact 
  2. b. Indicate project names and firm’s role 
5. Fees 
  1. a. Provide a schedule of fees for all relevant services described in the Scope of Work including Ongoing Consulting, Management, and Strategy Development 


Evaluation Criteria 

Evaluation factors and point distribution (100 total points possible) to be considered by the Task Force include the following: 

  •  50% – Creativity and logic in design and proposed execution of proposal 
  •  25% – Qualifications/project portfolio provided by the respondent and prior related experience of consultants and staff with specific focus on destination branding and arts and culture experience 
  •  25% – Commitment and ability to complete the project within the time frame specified in the proposal while displaying high quality, efficiency and fitness of proposed solution for Arts United within the available budget 

The Task Force will review, evaluate and rank respondents. The Committee will consider completeness, clarity, experience, focus, creativity, quality/diversity of expertise, fees/hourly rates, and any other additional information provided when assessing RFP respondents. After the review of written proposals, the Task Force will invite finalists to make an oral presentation. Once a choice has been made, Arts United will finalize the scope of work and execute a contract with the selected consultant. The anticipated timeframe for the project is 6-12 months. 


Selection Timeline (Subject to Change) 

  •  Issue of Request for Proposals September 15, 2016 
  •  Questions Due (if necessary) October 3, 2016 
  •  Responses to Questions Returned October 7, 2016 
  •  Optional Tour/Informational Meeting September 27, 2016 1-3 PM or September 29, 2016 10 AM-12 PM  *please RSVP to 
  •  Proposal Submissions October 21, 2016 
  •  Notification of Finalist(s) November 11, 2016 
  •  Finalist(s) Interview and Negotiation December 5 and 6, 2016 
  •  Committee Selects Firm(s) December 9, 2016 
  •  Approval by Arts United Board of Directors December 15, 2016 
  •  Finalize Contract December 30, 2016 



Arts Campus Master Planning Milestones (Subject to Change) 

 Master Planning Kick-Off and Stakeholder Meetings January 18-20, 2017 
 Architectural Planning February – June 2017 
  • First Architectural Conceptual Design Review April 2017 
  • Second Architectural Conceptual Design Review May 2017 
  • Final Design and Cost Estimates June 2017 
  • Public Unveiling July 2017 
Capital Campaign Planning/Feasibility Study February 2017 – June 2017 
  • Case Statement Development February 2017 – April 2017 
  • Feasibility Interviews with Top Prospects May 2017 
  • Capital Campaign Feasibility Report June 2017 
 Capital Campaign June 2017 – tbd 
 Construction tbd 
 Completion tbd