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The Wells County Chamber of Commerce staff and Ambassadors are thrilled to announce Janiece Lipsey, Executive Director of the Creative Arts Council of Wells County, as the April Member of the Month. The Creative Arts Council of Wells County, located at 428 S Oak Street in Bluffton, is being honored for its outstanding contributions to the community.

Established in 1974, the Creative Arts Council of Wells County is set to celebrate its 50th anniversary this year. The council’s journey began when local doctors and executives from Franklin Electric sought to enrich Wells County with arts and culture, sparing residents the need to travel to Fort Wayne. Initially, the council started with an art gallery and simple music concerts featuring ensembles like string quartets and the Philharmonic.

In 1976, Beth Lampton introduced the ballet program, expanding the council’s artistic offerings. From humble beginnings with small ballet classes, the council’s arts initiatives blossomed. In 2011, a partnership with the community theater further enhanced the council’s offerings. Despite relocating programs to the Arts, Commerce & Visitors Centre on Water Street in 2004, the council outgrew its space due to exponential growth. Consequently, in 2022, the council moved to Life Community Church on Oak Street to accommodate expanding dance and music programs.

Janiece Lipsey, Executive Director since 2019, has been an integral part of the council’s evolution. Lipsey’s tenure began during her college years at Huntington University, where she began teaching programs and eventually assumed office duties. Upon receiving her graduate degree, Lipsey became Executive Director, steering the council’s growth trajectory. Under her leadership, the council introduced new programs such as the Children’s Choir and expanded theater productions.

Today, the Creative Arts Council of Wells County offers diverse dance programs, including modern, tap, and conditioning, alongside classical ballet. With programs offered in spring, summer, and fall, individuals of all ages have the opportunity to participate in classes or performances. Notably, the council held a school matinee performance of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” providing local middle school students with a unique arts experience.

Looking ahead, the council aims for continued growth, seeking to expand programming and increase community involvement. With aspirations for a performing arts center featuring an auditorium, black box theater, and rehearsal spaces, the council envisions a hub of artistic opportunities accessible to all Wells County residents.

To learn more about the Creative Arts Council of Wells County and its programs, visit, follow them on Facebook, or contact them at (260) 824-5222.

Pictured in the photo left to right:

Ben Rekenberger, United Way of Wells County, Chamber Ambassador

Hattie Wondercheck, Chamber of Commerce

Kevin Sills, Farm Bureau Insurance, Chamber Ambassador

Rachel Reinhard, Chamber of Commerce

Doug Brown, News Banner, Chamber Ambassador

Alyssa Brown, Archbold & Lewis, Chamber Ambassador

Elizabeth Seder, Creative Arts of Wells County

Kevin Pritchard, Ruoff Mortgage, Chamber Ambassador

Mike Downey, Creative Arts of Wells County

Janiece Lipsey, Creative Arts of Wells County

Ted Smith, Creative Arts of Wells County

Nick Huffman, Steffen Group, Chamber Ambassador

Tammy Ray, Creative Arts of Wells County

Erica Lehman, Lehman Appraisals, Chamber Ambassador

Erin Daugherty, State Farm Insurance, Chamber Ambassador

Casey Robbins, F&M Bank, Chamber Ambassador

Erin Prible, Executive Director, Wells County Chamber of Commerce

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