January 3, 2018 - On January 20, 2018, the tenth annual Arts United Awards will feature the first-ever Mayor's Arts Awards presented by Mayor Tom Henry. Recipients are individuals and organizations who have greatly impacted arts and culture in the city of Fort Wayne. The 2018 recipients are Ben Eisbart and Fort Wayne Youtheatre's Young Heroes of Conscience Series.

Ben Eisbart has served the Fort Wayne community with distinction for over 45 years. Ben recently culminated his professional career as Vice President for Human Resources and Chief Compliance Office at Steel Dynamics, but he

continues to serve. Ben has led the boards of the AWS Foundation and Quest, and has also served on the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission, Metropolitan Human Relations Commission, and Capital Improvement Board.

Ben has combined his leadership skills with his appreciation for the arts to lead the boards of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne Civic Theatre, and most recently the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. As chair of the Philharmonic, Ben helped to lead an organizational transformation that now sees the Philharmonic as an organization on the rise. Ben currently serves on the board of Arts United and continues to make a significant impact on Fort Wayne through his leadership.

Started in 2014, Fort Wayne Youtheatre's Young Heroes of Conscience Series premieres biographical theatre that educates, entertains and captures the human experience. Each production spotlights young people who have had an impact on the world. The series is brought to thousands of school students and comes with curricular activities that connect with area classrooms. The series also partners Fort Wayne Youtheatre with area social service agencies, using theatre to expand and enrich their reach and mission.

The program, developed by Fort Wayne Youtheatre executive director Leslie Hormann and local playwright and director, Gregory Stieber, has allowed young actors and audience members to embrace challenging topics such as the holocaust through Remembering Anne, the AIDS epidemic through The Kid from Kokomo, The Ryan White Story, and the struggle for integration of our schools through Ruby Bridges. The Fort Wayne Youtheatre's Young Heroes of Conscience Series is a truly unique and life-enriching experience for the young students of Fort Wayne.

The award presentation takes place January 20, 2018 at the Arts United Center, 303 E. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802 from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm. The Arts United Awards are presented annually to celebrate individuals and organizations that are making significant contributions to arts and culture in Northeast Indiana.