Niswonger Performing Arts Center
NEW! Step inside on a Virtual Tour of The Niswonger. Virtual Tour
The Vision: To Make Van Wert An Entertainment Destination.
The Mission: To provide entertainment experiences that are SO GOOD they demand a return.
Van Wert Live events are presented by The Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation at venues throughout the city. The crown jewel venue is the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio. Since 2007 the Niswonger stage has been host to hundreds of professional performers, Broadway productions, national and international speakers, dance recitals, school concerts and productions, and numerous rentals. Over 350,000 entertainment seekers from over 40 different states and Canada have attended performances, lectures, and meetings at the Niswonger.
The dream of a professional performing arts center began in 2001 when the Van Wert City Schools received funding from the Ohio Schools Funding Commission to build new educational facilities. The local taxpayers voted to match the funding and plans began. It was the wish of the school board and administration to build an auditorium to host arts education activities and concerts. The dream blossomed when Scott Niswonger, a 1965 graduate of Van Wert High School and current CEO of Land Air Freight and philanthropist, challenged the community to dream bigger. He gave $2 million dollars to the project of making a school auditorium into a regional economic impacting performing arts center.
Six years later, a nearly $10 million dollar facility opened thanks to The Van Wert County Foundation, Scott Niswonger, many businesses, corporations, and hundreds of individuals and organizations. The facility was then gifted debt-free to the Van Wert City Schools, who entered into a lease agreement with the Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation (VWAPAF), the supporting non-profit corporation of The Van Wert County Foundation known now as Van Wert Live.
There is so much more of the story to be written. Please join us in Van Wert and be Entertained!