The Van Wert County Courthouse

Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022

Variety Is The Best Flavor

Everyone savors a different flavor. This is known all too well by the cook in the kitchen preparing a Thanksgiving feast. Mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, baked potatoes, cheesy potato casserole, potatoes julienne, any way you slice and dice them, you can bet there is a favorite for every palette. Entertainment is much the same. Van Wert Live aims to please by serving up a diverse selection of experiences for our esteemed audience. This also makes gift-giving a breeze with tickets that reflect the musical styles of those on your list. And if there is still any doubt, a Van Wert Live Gift Card makes Christmas shopping complete. A “choose your own entertainment adventure” is hard to beat.

2022 has been filled with thrills that began with two sold-out Girl Named Tom and a roaring successful Lion King Jr. collaboration with The Van Wert Civic Theater. Other featured highlights included Michael Bolton, Blue Man Group, Marie Osmond, Trace Adkins and so much more. Star power to the Niswonger stage has been restored and there is still more! David Phelps has beckoned the Gospel audience to return with a nearly sold-out concert this 7 p.m. Sunday We then close out the Christmas season with The Midtown Men at 7 p.m. Sunday, December 11. These former Jersey Boys are adored for a reason with their masterful performance of songs from the Four Seasons.

Air Supply is just one of the big acts coming to the Niswonger Performing Arts Center in 2023. Photo submitted

The beat goes on in Van Wert and so do the songs. The Van Wert Live audience continues to grow. On any given performance night, nearly 30 percent of our guests are first-time ticket buyers traveling from an average of 30 miles away. This adds fuel to the mission considering the Van Wert Live vision is to make Van Wert an entertainment destination by providing experiences that are so good they demand a return.

We are giving many reasons to come back in 2023 with a roster that is filled with diversity that includes Puppy Pals, Menopause The Musical, Air Supply, The Newsboys, Sister Hazel, The Gaither Vocal Band, and the 2023 Enrich Series!

As we close out the final month of 2022, the Van Wert Live family salutes you. We are surrounded by a community that comes from far and wide to experience the magic that happens inside. The stage was intended to inspire. And to that end we commit to fulfill your entertainment desires. But we do recommend mixing it up with a bit of diversity. Who knew a potato was complimented so perfectly with sour cream unless their imagination was set free?

POSTED: 11/29/22 at 10:56 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment


Ring in the most wonderful time of the year with virtuoso tenor David Phelps at 7 p.m. Sunday, December 4, at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center. Hearts will be filled with Christmas spirit as we revel in the nostalgic, jazz-infused renditions of favorites including Go Tell It on the Mountain, Sleigh Ride, The Little Drummer Boy, We Are the Reason, Feliz Navidad and more.

Known for his show-stopping, electrifying vocals—both as an award-winning solo artist and a former member of the world-renowned Gaither Vocal Band—singer/songwriter David Phelps boasts an incredible holiday catalog with a plentiful scope in quantity and quality. Phelps’ vocal talents provide him with an unmistakable gift in delivering classic songs for the season—songs both sacred and secular and tinged with healthy doses of jazzy fills for which the artist’s voice seems tailor-made.

David Phelps will fill the Niswonger Performing Arts Center with the sounds of Christmas on Sunday, December 4. Photo submitted

The concert set list will also include a reworked arrangement of Tennessee Christmas, allowing Phelps to croon through the warmhearted lyrics while originals Christmas Rush and Catching Santa offer up playful moments that capture the heart of the season. Fall On Your Knees, is a worshipful and memorable concert high point that pays tribute to the reason for the season.

On his third return to the Niswonger stage, his popularity remains strong. Less than 150 tickets remain for this Christmas experience. Tickets range from just $29-$55 at

On our Van Wert Live list of gratitude, featuring David Phelps in Van Wert ranks right up at the top. We hope to share the delight with you.

POSTED: 11/22/22 at 12:09 pm. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment

Holiday kickoff….

The swirling of snow has a way of making plans for family memory making grow. The holiday season is quickly approaching and an aura of gratitude and giving finds itself on the top of our minds and deep in our hearts. It’s a time for being together – no matter if that is family or friends that are like family. The Niswonger Performing Arts Center has been the backdrop of holiday memory-making for 15 years. We understand the value of a space where people can come together and share the wonder of extraordinary artistry and talent and leave with a forever memory. The Van Wert Live staff and board are honored to do more than present entertainment. Like Santa’s elves, we are crafting gifts that look like shared moments that become memories. It’s a purpose much greater than ourselves and it continues in a magical way the day before Thanksgiving. 

Cirque Musica Holiday Wonderland is coming to the NPAC on Wednesday, November 23. Photos submitted

Twirling in with daring delight is Cirque Musica Holiday Wonderland, presented by Westwood Behavioral Health at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 23. This must-see holiday event ushers in the magic of the season. Igniting joy and wonder at the Niswonger like never before, Wonderland is an all-new musical journey that will transport audiences to a magical land far away with unforgettable experiences filled with acrobats, aerialists, hilarious hijinks, and holiday cheer. The show blends the spellbinding grace and daredevil athleticism of today’s greatest circus performers with a musical mix of timeless seasonal favorites. Cirque Musica Holiday Wonderland is the premier cirque show in the world and will kick off the holiday season with great fanfare!

Is it possible to add more sparkle to an already dazzling performance? Because “over-the-top” is what we do, in addition to the show, the Cirque Musica Cast also offers a ticketed VIP Meet and Greet Experience with four members of the talented cast to talk and take a photo. The VIP Experience is purchased separately and includes a $30 credit toward any Cirque Musica merchandise such as whirly-twirling lights to use during the main performance.  

This truly entertaining family experience begins at just $35 and is the perfect reward for you and those you love. Whether you are a cirque fan or this is the first time, we promise you are in for a good time. No need to travel far. We are bringing world-class entertainment right to your backyard.  

POSTED: 11/16/22 at 5:44 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment

The power of positivity…

This Friday night at 7:30 p.m., the opportunity for personal growth comes to the Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Van Wert by way of Jon Gordon. His influence has touched millions of lives around the world through his best-selling books and talks that have inspired readers and audiences. His principles have been put to the test by numerous Fortune 500 companies, professional and college sports teams, school districts, hospitals, and non-profits. He is the author of 26 books including 12 best sellers and five children’s books. His books include the timeless classic The Energy Bus which has sold over two million copies, The Carpenter which was a top 5 business book of the year, Training Camp, The Power of Positive Leadership, The Power of a Positive Team, The Coffee Bean, Stay Positive, and The Garden.

Jon Gordon

Jon and his tips have been featured on The Today Show, CNN, CNBC, The Golf Channel, Fox and Friends, and in numerous magazines and newspapers. His clients include the Los Angeles Dodgers, Campbell’s Soup, Dell, Publix, Southwest Airlines, Miami Heat, the Los Angeles Rams, Snapchat, Truist Bank, Clemson football, Northwestern Mutual, West Point Academy, and more.

We talked with author Jon Gordon and discussed the top five most important things that a leader needs to do to create a high-performance culture that doesn’t burn people out. Jon believes that this top five are essential when considering “The Power of Positive Leadership.”

  1. Positive leaders drive positive culture and show appreciation for a job well done.

“Consistency creates culture. The more consistent you are with your words, your actions, with what you think, you highlight what you want and what the culture is all about.” – Jon Gordon

  1. Positive leaders create and share a positive vision.

“We all need a vision and we all need a purpose. We all need a telescope and a microscope. The telescope is our vision, it shows us where we are going and it acts as our why. People don’t get burnt out because of what they are doing, they get burnt out because they forget why they are doing it.” – Jon Gordon

  1. Positive leaders lead with positivity, optimism, and belief.

“Pessimists don’t change the world, nay-sayers say you can’t do it, complainers complain about problem about they don’t solve them, critics write words but they don’t write the future. Throughout history it is the positive leaders, the believers, the dreamers, the doers that change the world for good.” – Jon Gordon

  1. Positive leaders confront, transform, and remove negativity.

“You’ve got to create the framework, the rules of engagement, the standards of behavior that address how everyone will handle difficult conversations and negativity. When you do that, you make it so that negativity doesn’t sabotage your organization.” – Jon Gordon

  1. Positive leaders build great relationships and teams.

“It’s all about communication, connection, commitment, and caring. You have to communicate and make sure to fill the voids. Where there are voids in communication, negativity will fill it. It’s not just about communicating, it’s about communicating to connect. We have to demonstrate commitment, and commit to serving and sacrificing by putting the team first. If you show you are committed, you will have a committed team. You have to care about others, you have to care about your team. A leader who shows they care, builds a team who cares.” – Jon Gordon

Jon Gordon’s humble beginnings laid the groundwork for his enlightened growth mindset.

“I have experienced many ups and downs in my life and found that every time I talked about positivity and encouragement, I felt energized, and I knew that is what I wanted my life’s work to focus on. At the time, I had no idea that I would write about leadership, but I just jumped, and it led me to all these other things I could never have imagined.”

“Oftentimes, people think you have to have it all figured out when you start. Just go with your gut, and when you’re on the right path, it will lead to other things. Eventually, it will all come together in time. Everything prepared me for future ventures, and it’s crazy to see how far I’ve come.”

“I found my calling and purpose around 30 years old and didn’t become “successful” in my chosen career until I was closer to 40, so it took a long time to get there. One thing will teach and lead you to the next. Just be patient. Ask yourself ten years from now what do I want to create, what am I doing and what does it look like? Is it part of my core purpose? Don’t waste time ad energy on things that aren’t.”

Jon is a graduate of Cornell University and holds a Masters in Teaching from Emory University. He and his training/consulting company are passionate about developing positive leaders, organizations, and teams. This Friday night, any seat left open in the 1200-seat auditorium is a missed opportunity to be part of positive change. If you want to change the world, start with your local community. If you want to impact your local community, begin with positive leadership. Jon Gordon inspires the power of positive influence this Friday. Now is your chance. Tickets from $25 at

POSTED: 11/08/22 at 2:22 pm. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment

Whole Lot of Shakin’…

Get ready for a night of rockabilly, country, gospel and pure 1950’s rock and roll with One Night in Memphis this Sunday night at The Niswonger. This high-energy concert takes you back to December 4, 1956, the night when four of the biggest names in early rock and roll, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash, gathered together for an impromptu jam session at the legendary Sun Studios in Memphis.

Created and directed by John Mueller from the highly acclaimed show, Winter Dance Party, which played at The Niswonger in February of 2020 to a nearly sold-out crowd and standing ovations. One Night In Memphis gets off to a rocking start with Carl Perkins performing hits like “Honey Don’t,” “Brown-Eyed Handsome Man,” and “Blue Suede Shoes,” while offering up anecdotes about life as a sharecroppers’ son and his musical influences. Midway through his set, Carl invites session musician Jerry Lee Lewis to join him and he seizes the opportunity to front the band and lead the audience on a musical journey from New Orleans to Nashville and eventually into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“Elvis” will be one of the legends performing at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center on Sunday. Photo submitted

As Jerry puts the finishing touches on a set that includes “High School Confidential”, “Breathless, “Whole Lotta Shaking Goin’ On,” and “Great Balls of Fire,” the audience will have an opportunity to catch their breath as Johnny Cash is welcomed to the stage with his signature “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash.” The musical journey continues through Cash’s timeless catalog including smash hits like “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Ring of Fire,” and “I Walk the Line.” Next up…Elvis Presley electrifies the audience and transports them back to his beginnings where he went from driving a truck to delivering eleven No. 1 hits between 1956 -1959 including “Shake, Rattle & Roll” to “All Shook Up,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Don’t be Cruel,” and “Hound Dog.”

This tribute to that memorable night in Memphis when Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded at Sam Phillips’ Sun Studios features nationally acclaimed cast members who have an uncanny sound, look and feel of the honored legends. The production also features an authentic and energetic rockabilly backup band. The audience gets to live the night as if they were witnesses to a rock and roll royalty jam session with the legendary performers whose music has stood the test of time.

Legends live on at the Niswonger is set for 7 p.m. Sunday, November 6. Tickets from $25-49 are available at

POSTED: 11/01/22 at 7:05 pm. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment

Entertainment is live in Van Wert

Broadway returns to Van Wert this Saturday in a big way with Legally Blonde – The Musical.

America’s favorite blonde, Elle Woods, is ready to prove who’s in charge in the Broadway blockbuster that will take you from the UCLA sorority house to the Harvard halls of justice. This timely story of Broadway’s brightest heroine is made possible by presenting sponsors Laudicks Jewelry and Kim Hohman’s Danceworks. The supporting sponsor bringing Broadway to your backyard is Betsey’s Boutique Shop.

Based on the beloved movie, Legally Blonde follows the transformation of Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes, snobbery, and scandal in pursuit of her dreams, and proves that you can be both legally blonde and the most intelligent person in the room.

Legally Blonde the Musical is coming to the Niswonger Performing Arts Cente this Saturday. Photos submitted

Elle Woods appears to have it all. Her life is turned upside down, however, when her boyfriend dumps her so he can start getting more serious about his life and attend Harvard Law. Determined to get him back, Elle uses her ingenuity and charm to get into Harvard too. School begins with endless struggles, but with the help of her new friends, Elle quickly realizes her potential, and her true assets, as she sets out to prove herself to the world and make everyone a believer. This contemporary, sassy musical moves at a breakneck pace driven by memorable songs and explosive dances. Legally Blonde warms the heart by proving that self-discovery never goes out of style!

The 2022-2023 National Tour of Legally Blonde is produced by Daniel Sher of Big League Productions, Inc. The musical is directed by Jeff Moss, with choreography by Bob Richard. Set design is by Randel Wright, lighting by Kirk Bookman, costumes by Derek Lockwood, video design by Jon Infante, and casting by Alison Franck.

Save yourself the gas money, urban ticket prices and fees, parking hassles, hotel costs, safety concerns, and travel time. Get your Broadway fix in Van Wert this Saturday with Legally Blonde The Musical. The show will pick you up and keep you singing as the power of positivity overcomes and justice is served. We do think that you will enjoy it more if you wear pink. Tickets are available now at

POSTED: 10/25/22 at 7:30 pm. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment

Corporate member benefits

It’s Monday morning in the office of a Van Wert Live corporate member. Instead of the typical Monday morning grind, the office is buzzing about the show at The Niswonger Performing Arts Center the night before. The entertaining sights, sounds, friends enjoyed and memories created make conversations that enhance positive mindsets that increase productivity. Live entertainment is proven to enhance moods for the better. Employees with better moods deliver better work. At Van Wert Live, we understand this dynamic and create solutions for businesses to partner with the live performing arts.

Van Wert Live corporate memberships not only support the live arts in Van Wert but go the distance to impact the morale of staff and demonstrate the value of customers. Corporate Membership packages range from $2000-9000 and are designed to offer benefits that enhance key relationships, like staff and customers, that ultimately drive a company’s success.

Meet and greets (when available) like this one with Marie Osmond are just one of the benefits of corporate membership. Photo submitted

So how does this work? The member level is selected by the number and location of seats chosen by the corporate member. These seats are reserved in their name for the entirety of the year. The tickets can be used in any way but are typically shared with staff or customers. Other benefits include an exclusive early buying window for staff members, special discounts, VIP opportunities to meet the artists, and the chance to experience behind-the-scenes pre or post-show.

Corporate memberships include Van Wert Live events presented at both the Niswonger Performing Arts Center and the grandstand at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds. Announcements have begun already for shows in 2023 and there is so much yet to come.

2022 Van Wert Live Members include the following All-Star cast: Williamson Insurance Company, Tisha Fast State Farm Insurance, Celina Insurance Group, Van Wert Health, Koch & White Law Office, D&D Ingredients, Citizens National Bank, Masters Heating & Cooling, HA Dorsten, Inc, Lee’s Ace Hardware, and First Financial of Van Wert.

At a glance, VWLive Corporate Member Perks include tickets and guaranteed select seats per show for the calendar year, exclusive member advance purchasing for staff, VIP meet and greets when available, exclusive member events and clinics, and partner recognition on the lobby monitors and the playbill on all show days.

Van Wert Live members get the benefits that make showtime the best time while enhancing morale that impacts the bottom line. The 2023 Van Wert Live member packet is now available by contacting or visit

Chris Lane was up close and personal with fans at the grandstand at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds. Photo submitted

POSTED: 10/18/22 at 3:42 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment

County Monarch coming to VW…

From the big screen to stages around the world, country’s Trace Adkins has blazed a trail of unconventional career success with his own brand of “I did it my way.” Trace returns to Van Wert on Saturday, October 22, at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.

“I’ve got to the point where it’s all up to me now,” the multi-platinum star said. “I can do whatever I want … and that’s a beautiful place to be.”

In truth, he’s been doing that all along, fusing a booming baritone and commanding stage presence with sounds from all across the Country spectrum – sometimes with a mischievous wink. But on his 13th studio album, The Way I Wanna Go, Adkins takes the idea to heart.

Since his debut in 1996, the larger-than-life star has sold over 11 million albums and charted 20 songs on Billboard’s all genre Hot 100, while catapulting 15 singles into the Top 10 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. He’s also racked up two billion streams and boasts a reputation for fiery live performance – not to mention his multiple Grammy nominations, awards from the ACM and CMT, and a willingness to think outside the box.

Now, with 25 all-new tracks to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his Dreamin’ Out Loud debut, Adkins brings it all together. Steeped in the cultural melting-pot of his Louisiana upbringing, The Way I Wanna Go finds him leaning in to a lone-wolf spirit, and continuing down the road which made him a shapeshifting member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Produced by Mickey Jack Cones and Derek George and to be released by Verge Records, it touches on all aspects of Adkins’ hit-making career – from profound traditional balladry to clever-Country party anthems. And with a sound that ranges from timeless twang to beat-driven bravado, it brings a who’s who of unpredictable guests along for the ride.

All-star collaborators include Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Stevie Wonder on harmonica, Snoop Dogg, Pitbull, Keb’ Mo’, and Melissa Etheridge. And Adkins’ creative craftsmanship is sharper than ever.

“I am at the top of my game right now,” he says with conviction. “I’m better at this than I’ve ever been in my life, and I like the way my voice sounds better now than 25 years ago.”

Trace Adkins is coming to the Niswonger Performing Arts Center Saturday, October 22. Photo submitted

Our red-white-and-blue ideals remain intact with “Somewhere In America.” And in “Empty Chair,” Adkins salutes the quiet sacrifice of U.S. service members, tapping the raw emotion that also drove big-picture anthems like “You’re Gonna Miss This.” But the tunesmith also made his name on irreverent knee-slappers, carving a good-timing niche with hits like 2004’s “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk,” and 2010’s “Hillbilly Bone” (with Blake Shelton).

Here, he revisits the friendship with Shelton on “If I Was a Woman,” sharing a few laughs with his 2021 tour mate. He weaves a rom-com-worthy plot in “It’s a Good Thing I Don’t Drink,” while “Where The Country Girls At” combines the party-starting prowess of Luke Bryan and Pitbull. And in what’s sure to be an instant favorite, “So Do the Neighbors” cranks up the volume with rap legend, Snoop Dogg.

“I just remember it was almost the same reaction to the first time I heard ‘Badonkadonk,’” Adkins says of the hip-hop honky tonker. “It made me laugh out loud!”

Adkins further shares, “Never in a million years would I have imagined that I would collaborate on songs with Luke Bryan, Melissa Etheridge, Snoop Dog, Keb’ Mo’, Pitbull, and Blake Shelton…on one album! I even have a song that Stevie Wonder plays harmonica on. So, to have performances by these iconic superstars, from different musical genres, on my 25th-anniversary album is incredibly humbling.”

But it’s “The Way I Wanna Go” which best shows where he’s at, 25 years into his career and still going strong. Delivered with pride and a sense of against-the-odds determination, Adkins cautions that he’s not done yet – he’s loving this chapter of life too much to quit. But when he does bow out, he’ll do it just like he does everything else. On his own terms.

“I love where I’m at, I really do,” Adkins says. “I’ve had the perfect career, and I don’t know where my place is gonna be when the history of what I did is written. But 90 percent of the time, I said what I wanted to say and stuck to my guns, and did what I wanted to do. … And I’m gonna go out the way I wanna go out.”

Beyond the stage, Trace has also made several appearances on television, including as a panelist on the game shows Hollywood Squares and Pyramid, as a 2008 finalist, and as the 2013 winner on The All Star Celebrity Apprentice, as the voice for recurring character Elvin on King of the Hill, and the main role of Albie Roman on Monarch, as well as in television commercial voice-overs for KFC and Firestone. He has written an autobiography titled A Personal Stand: Observations and Opinions from a Free-Thinking Roughneck, which was released in late 2007. He has appeared in numerous films, including The Lincoln Lawyer, Moms’ Night Out, and I Can Only Imagine.

The multi-faceted Monarch of Country arrives in Van Wert, Ohio’s little music city, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, October 22. Only a few tickets remain for his concert at the Niswonger that is part of The Way I Wanna Go Tour.

POSTED: 10/11/22 at 9:40 pm. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment

Celebrating Neil Diamond…

The music of legendary American icon, Neil Diamond, will be brought to life on the Niswonger stage at 7:30 p.m. this Saturday with the popular “I Am, He Said, The Celebration of Neil Diamond” concert. This concert had sold out in 2020 and was refunded in the aftermath of the pandemic. The long-awaited return will have fans on their feet and singing along this Saturday night in Van Wert. Tickets for the show are still available at

As a special bonus, the performance will feature a Select High School Choir of regional students representing Crestview, Lincolnview, Wayne Trace, Parkway, and Van Wert City Schools.

The Select Choir members include Sydney Dowler, Melissa Joseph, Dakotah Nihiser, Haley Owsley, Kennedy Sites, Kimberly Sites, Jayden Bragg, Kaleb Denman, Keagan Farris, Evan Johns, Grayden Clay, Hadley Goins, Jacob Grubb, Olivia Moonshower, Chloe Murphy, Ethan Scaggs, Gabby Thomas, Hutch Ridenour, Ian Trisel, Elias Poe, Emree Sinning, Helana Sinning, Katie Trisel, Morgan Bollenbacher, Amanda Barrett, Angela Lovell, Harli Grunden, Hannah Maenle, Rylee Miller, Kacy Hornish, Abby Moore, Josh Shelton, Lane Morehead, Breven Anderson, Gabriella Monroe, Aaliyah Moreno-Helle, Anna Marquez, and Claire Keysor. High School Choir Directors making this opportunity possible are Danille Hancock, Cresview; Stacie Korte, Lincolnview; Leslie Baltzell, Parkway; Nicole Moreland, Wayne Trace; Julia Reichert, Van Wert. These gifted students will provide backup vocals for five popular Neil Diamond hits and close the show with special fanfare.

Presenters and audience members are raving about the show.

“This show was a lot more than a tribute,” said Bob Johnson of Paramount Theater in St. Cloud, Minnesota, after selling out four shows. “Instead, it was an authentic presentation of the Neil Diamond hit list with stories of the man and his compositions interspersed. Our audiences were on their feet from the start…..Nobody could do it better. One of the best shows we’ve had this year.”

“We are saying what he said,” said Matt Vee, referring to the one and only Neil Diamond. Matt along with cousins Jeff and Tommy Vee, local music scene veterans and sons of the legendary Bobby Vee, join forces with their family and friends as The Killer Vees to celebrate the music from a timeless catalog. With songs like “Cracklin’ Rosie,” “Song Sung Blue,” and “Sweet Caroline,” Neil Diamond sold over 100 million records worldwide with music that became the soundtrack to one generation after another with hits spanning five decades. As a Tin Pan Alley songwriter in the mid-60s, he penned songs recorded by everyone from Elvis Presley to Deep Purple and, of course, the Monkee’s classic, “I’m A Believer.”

“This is not a tribute show,” Tommy Vee said. “This is a celebration of a great musical icon, one we all love and respect. We have been fans since we were in grade school and first learned our respective instruments and played many of these tunes over the years in various bands. We have recruited an incredible group of singers and players and have gone back to the original records,” he explains, “it is all about the vocals, and Matt nails it. It’s a Rockin’ show!”

This concert not only represents an artist who has been cherished by generations around the globe, but it represents the return of an industry. Live music stopped for just a time and thanks to your support, it continues to shine from The Niswonger stage. We hope you will make Van Wert your destination for Live this Saturday night.

POSTED: 10/05/22 at 3:50 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment

Showtime with Marie Osmond!

The Niswonger Performing Arts Center is the crown jewel of entertainment venues in northwest Ohio. The 1200-seat auditorium, completed in 2007, has featured over 325 national and international touring artists and entertained over 325,000 guests. This does not take into account the myriad of performances by the students of Van Wert City Schools and experienced by the friends and families of Van Wert County. There is seldom a day in the past 5,475 days that the stage lights are out.

The relationship between Van Wert Live and the Van Wert County Schools provides a unique opportunity to unleash the power of inspiration for young Van Wert County students. Such a rare moment will be experienced this Saturday at The Founders’ Fifteen Years Of Fame Concert Featuring Marie Osmond and the Lima Symphony Orchestra. A Van Wert County Select Youth Choir, directed by Jennifer Slusher, and representing Crestview, Lincolnview, and Van Wert City Schools, will accompany Mrs. Osmond on a special selection of songs.

Van Wert Live is elated to make such a moment possible for our surrounding communities. The success of live entertainment in Van Wert has been made possible by the strong legacies of musical education support that spans back generations. We applaud the teachers, students, and families who are committed to taking the time to harness the power of opportunity. A stage is only a stage until someone is willing to take a chance to give it life.

The Van Wert County Youth Select Choir and director Jennifer Slusher rehearse ahead of Saturday’s show with Marie Osmond. Photo submitted

“This memorable event gives our young musicians the chance to showcase their talents and perform alongside professional artists, Choir Director Jennifer Slusher said. “Our area school students are excited to sing with Marie Osmond and I know this will be a thrilling experience for them. As a music educator, I value our collaboration with Van Wert Live and the incredible opportunities The NPAC provides for our students.”

This Saturday night, the following teachers and students will be stepping on the stage to shine a bright light into their future and our lives.

Van Wert Select Youth mhoir Members: Alivia Boley, Holden Carter, Gia Coleman, L.J. Compton, Cora Dicke, Oscar Espinoza, Addie Gonsalez, Caroline Kelly, Ava Keuneke, Eliza Losh, Madison Pancake, Molly Recker, Cian Saunier, Jill Scott, Oliver Scott, Lane Shaffer, Alex Showalter, Lydia Steinecker, Sophia Stoller, Kylara Wilhelm, Keiley Welch, Hudson Wright, Jackie Dennie, Drew Finkhousen, Adalee Gardner, Maggie Gilkey, Payton Haley, Mikeal Linton, Elyzabeth Moore, Harper Perrott, Sophie Skelton, Addie Breese, Alyvia Davis, Maeleigh Evans, Cora Geiger, Parker Goins, Emma Hatfield, Jaycee Kill, Grady Longstreth, Brinley Mihm, Leo Mueller, and Wyatt Wilson.

We applaud the Music Educators from Crestview, Lincolnview, and Van Wert City Schools for devoting time to ensuring this opportunity for their students. Crestview: Mrs. Lindsey Moore; Lincolnview: Mrs. Lori Klausing, Mrs. Stacie Korte; Van Wert: Mrs. Katie Bachelor, Mrs. Susan Brubaker, Mrs. Jennifer Slusher. And a very special recognition to the Select Choir Director, Jennifer Slusher, for managing the details and working closely with Marie Osmond’s management and the Van Wert Live Team.

Tickets are still available for the concert at

It is the perfect time to celebrate live entertainment in Van Wert. Our stars on stage are the future leaders of our region who will contribute to our thriving communities. When we support them, we support their return. When we support their return, we secure our heritage.

Marie Osmond will take the NPAC stage this Saturday night.

POSTED: 09/28/22 at 3:51 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment