by Quincy Thompson

The Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation, the esteemed non-profit organization committed to delivering exceptional entertainment experiences as Van Wert Live, extends its heartfelt appreciation to its esteemed sponsors for their invaluable support during the Spring season at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.

Springtime in Van Wert has been illuminated with captivating performances, thanks to the generous contributions of both businesses and individuals alike. These sponsors have not only demonstrated a profound commitment to the arts but have also played an instrumental role in fostering a vibrant cultural landscape within our community.

We extend our deepest gratitude to the following businesses and individuals for their unwavering support:

Jim and Mary Pope, who have been instrumental in many shows over the years at the Niswonger, have sponsored the likes of Blue Man Group, Eli Young Band with Jana Kramer, Girl Named Tom, and more.

JoAnne Wolford is the power behind the continuously sold out David Phelps concerts we are able to bring throughout the years. Her giving has helped us bring THE OSU Marching Band, Fortune/ Walker/ Rogers/ Isaacs, and Gaither Vocal Band, to name a few!

Gary Taylor has been a donor before the venue was built. He continues to support the arts in our community, and the Niswonger is no exception to Gary’s contributions. Over the years his sponsorships had brought LeAnn Rimes, Michael Bolton, Marie Osmond, and the list could go on. 

Ken and Marilyn Merkle’s names greet every entertainer who enters a dressing room backstage. While Marilyn may be gone, her legacy lives on, and they continue to support the Niswonger and arts in Van Wert. 

Roger and Kay Okuley have supported Van Wert Live and its mission through giving to a variety of inspirational shows and programs at The Niswonger. Their smiling faces are at many of the shows they have funded, including Hotel California, The Beat Goes On: Cher Tribute, Reza the Illusionist, and The Texas Tenors, to start.

Business Sponsors making Live Entertainment possible for all of Northwest Ohio include the invaluable Danfoss, Laing Family Dentistry, Van Wert Federal Savings and Loan, TekniPlex, and Mercy Health. Thank you to these area businesses for their dedication as partners, bringing the performing arts to Van Wert!

Their generosity has empowered Van Wert LIVE to curate an eclectic array of performances that have captivated audiences and enriched the cultural fabric of our community. Their commitment to the arts is a testament to their dedication to enhancing the quality of life for all residents of Van Wert and beyond.

With their support, we continue to fulfill our mission of providing entertainment experiences that are SO GOOD they demand a return, inspiring audiences and fostering a deep appreciation for the arts.

Van Wert LIVE is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing exceptional entertainment experiences at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center and Fountain Park. Through a diverse array of performances, Van Wert LIVE seeks to enrich the cultural landscape of Van Wert and surrounding communities, fostering a deep appreciation for the arts among residents of all ages. Stop out to the Niswonger during Box Office Hours from Tuesday - Friday 10AM - 3PM in person or call at 419-238-6722. Get your ticket 24/7 at