Niswonger Performing Arts Center operated by the Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation
The dream of a performing arts center began in 2001 when the Van Wert City Schools received funding to build new educational facilities. The idea blossomed when Scott Niswonger, a 1965 graduate of Van Wert High School, challenged the community to dream bigger when he gave $2 million to the project of making a school auditorium into a regional performing arts center.
A $10-million-dollar facility opened thanks to The Van Wert County Foundation, Mr. Scott Niswonger, many businesses, 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, a supporting nonprofit corporation of The Van Wert County Foundation.
Most recently, The Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio (NPAC) has rebranded to provide entertainment opportunities in a multitude of venues. Van Wert Live, ran by The Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation, has been host to hundreds of professional performers, Broadway productions, national and international speakers, dance recitals, school concerts and productions, and many rentals.
Currently, the Van Wert Live hosts over a hundred concerts, shows, and events yearly in its 1,200 seat Van Wert County Foundation Saltzgaber Music Hall at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center. It has indeed become the entertainment destination of Northwest Ohio and Northeast Indiana.