With great growth comes great opportunity. The Niswonger would like to improve our beautiful facilities with additional space that will enhance future programming.  




After eleven years of tremendous growth, thanks to your support, we have found some challenges with our facility that most never see or hear about. We have grown in program opportunities and have run out of dressing room space. We have no laundry facilities to offer touring troupes.  We must use school facilities which often are not available or obtrusive in their school day. Each large production requires production space for the road manager which we cannot provide.


Additionally, as the school drama department has developed and grown, so has their need for space to build and store props and set designs.  Nearly all of our larger productions require space to store “dead cases” once they are unloaded, until they are able to be re-loaded following a production. We have had to ask permission of school band and choir directors to use their rooms, creating extra work and cooperation on their behalf.  This also poses special security measures. We have made things work with extreme cooperation and creativity up until now.

We recently received a generous gift of $100,000 and just this spring were awarded a $200,000 reimbursable grant from the Ohio State Facilities Fund. These funds have been a catalyst to look into addressing our shortcomings with additional space and amenities.  With $300,000 already committed, we feel we need to raise an additional $500,000 to fully address our needs.

The Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation, who is responsible for operating the Niswonger, is starting a campaign to raise the additional funds to leverage against the $200,000 from the State of Ohio.


If you would like to contribute to this campaign, your tax-deductible gift may be sent to:

Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation 138 E. Main Street Van Wert, OH 45891.

For additional information or information on naming rights and recognition, feel free to contact any of the following:

Paul Hoverman, President/Executive Director    

Chuck Koch, Chairman of the Board        

Gary Taylor, Committee Member        

Why is this building annex project needed?

Over the past 11 years of operation, the Niswonger has experienced an extreme amount of growth in programming. Many larger productions have been challenged due to the space that they require. It has become more difficult to meet those needs with the original facilities layout.

How much money will this cost?

Estimates of $800,000 to $1,000,000 have been obtained. There is a current gift of  $100,000 and an additional $200,000 from a State of Ohio Facilities grant (OFCC). The $200,000 grant will be forfeited if the remainder of the funds are not pledged within the next twelve months.

Are naming rights a possibility?

Similar to the original construction, naming rights are available for several rooms included in the plans. The name of the donor will be prominently placed at the entrance of each room and additionally recognized in a place of prominence.

May I give my donation over time, or does it need to be one lump sum?

Working with The Van Wert County Foundation, payments can be accepted over three years if the donor wishes.

What will this building annex project include?

A schematic drawing is included on the front cover of this brochure. Specifically, it will include (2) Star Dressing Rooms, (1) Laundry Room, (1) Artist’s Production Office, (1) Multi-Purpose Room, (1) Drama Workshop and dead case storage area, (1) Tech Director’s Office, (1) Unisex bathroom, (1) Custodial closet, (1) storage loft.

Will the School be required to pay for any of the construction costs of the new addition?

No. As with the original building, all costs will be raised and paid for through grants and donations.

What will happen to the OFCC grant of $200,000 if the rest of the costs of

construction cannot be raised?

If the additional funding cannot be raised, the $200,000 state facility grant will be forfeited.

Will maintenance of the new addition be shared between the School and Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation?

As has been the case with the original building, the school will have free use of the area, and will share equally with the Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation (VWAPAF) in maintenance and utility costs.

Where will the new addition be located?

The new addition will be located immediately south of the existing building in the grass area between the sidewalk and the current building. The current Green Room will open up into the new addition.

Will the new addition blend in with the existing Niswonger Performing Arts Center?

Care has been given in the planning to make the new addition blend in perfectly with the existing building. The outside will be matching red brick and limestone.

How will the new addition impact the NPAC’s ability to attract artists and touring acts?

This addition may help attract larger production shows, but more importantly, it will help to better handle the shows which, to this point, have forced the use of additional school space, oftentimes during the school day.

Will this project influence ticket prices?

The only influence on ticket prices is a 50 cent additional facility fee which the VWAPAF Board voted in this past summer.

How will this project impact the safety of the students at Van Wert City Schools?

As mentioned, larger productions have necessitated the need to use school space such as practice rooms, band and choir rooms, and laundry facilities in the Family

Consumer Science rooms. With this addition, locked doors will exist between the school students and the activities of the Niswonger PAC. This will create a safer environment for the students and minimize the interference with the education process.


20 - 21 Season Sponsors