Paint the Street


1500 Citizen Painters & Six City Blocks

Cincinnati, OH—October 18, 2010 

On September 26, 2010, an amazing 1500 people from all over greater Cincinnati -- and beyond -- came together for Paint the Street, an event that transformed a half-mile (a Bengals’ football-field sized area) of center-city street pavement into a vibrant and colorful visual art installation. 

ArtsWave collaborated with Soapbox to premiere the video of ArtsWave’s historic and unprecedented Paint the Street event. The video captures the energy and beauty of a community collaboration to create and celebrate art.

Recently, ArtsWave has conceived and organized surprising arts activities in the Cincinnati area. In each case, the organization has created and shared a video of the event, including one of the nation’s first surprise flash mob dances, unexpected holiday singing at an iconic train display, and dancing and galleries on public buses.

The new video of Paint the Street shows a time-lapse view of local artists using chalk to create the design outline on the street at dawn, citizen painters with rollers and paintbrushes completing the street art during the day, and concludes with an overhead view from a Sheriff’s helicopter.

Local artists developed the street art design based on community input at a meeting hosted by ArtsWave several weeks before the event. On the day of the event, organizers arrived on the site at 4:30 am for street cleaning; the artists began chalking the design at 6 am; and the first citizen painters arrived at 8 am. By 5 pm, a half-mile of pavement, 56,000 square feet of street, was painted in bright, colorful designs.

Strolling street performers entertained the painters all day, including artists from Xavier University, Walnut Hills High School, the School for Creative and Performing Arts, Cincinnati Ballet, and Pones, Inc. A former member of the local orchestra, an editor of the local paper, and a candidate for local office formed a tonette band with local young people.

Lightborne was on site to create this video. Photographers have posted hundreds of photos of Paint the Street on social media sites like facebook, tumblr, and flikr. Paint the Street has received attention from international websites like let's colour project, muchatinta, and wooster collective too.


Danny Babcock and Matthew Dayler (
Pam Kravetz
Carla Lamb
Karen Saunders

Music: Love is All Around, by Culture Queer - a local band

Paint the Street portrays the benefits of the arts to the greater Cincinnati region: creating an exciting and unique place to live and visit, and connecting people from all over in a new way.


Spotlight on Paint the Street + greater Cincinnati!
Links to just some of the international coverage for Paint the Street -- making Cincinnati known as a place to live, work, play, and stay!


ArtsWave Paint the Street   Farthing Collective

Farthing Collective is a collective and blog consisting of numerous artists and correspondents from all types of mediums.

This blog post features the video of the community art project.

Paint the Street! Make Cincinnati Weird

This blog is composed from a group of Cincinnati weirodos to document the quirky, offbeat, and weird goodness of Cincinnati.

They refer to Paint the Street as an oldy but a goody!


Cincinnati's colorful pavements Let's Colour project

Let's Colour Project, is a worldwide initiative to transform grey spaces with colorful paint. A mission to spread color all over the world. They recognized Paint the Street in their blog, as an example of what they are set out to do.

In result to this blog post, Paint the Street is popping up in many blog posts and other social media outlets around the world -- Brazil, Hungary, Germany, and more.


Something amazing happened a few blocks from us. – Openfield Creative

"These are people thinking big – like, a half-mile kinda big. Imagine creating a painting on a canvas equal to the square footage of a football field. Well ArtsWave did more than just imagine it – they organized it and made it happen."


Fine Arts Fund's Ta-Da Moment – CityBeat

by Selena Reder

"The unexpected happens in Cincinnati when the Fine Arts Fund gets involved. Belly dancers in Carew Tower's arcade. Bus passengers break out into spontaneous storytelling. A giant flash-mob dances in the rain on Fountain Square. The FAF has been wowing us with these art happenings for the past few years, and not it's doing it again."

Note: This article appeared on the day of our launch and used our old name. After the launch, CityBeat editor John Fox noted the change and provided an online link to our new website.

Artists make OTR street their canvas – Cincinnati Enquirer

by Eric Bradley

“The design was a mystery as painters put brush to street: even Waller didn’t know. Three-hundred gallons of paint were used, among them vibrant hues of blue, yellow, red, salmon, pink, and purple.”

This article describes Paint the Street, how the day unfolded, and who participated in preparing, creating the design, and painted on the actual pavement – over 1,5000 people participated in this community event.

Click here to view the Enquirer's photo slideshow of Paint the Street

Over-the-Rhine receives facelift thanks to ArtsWave volunteers – WCPO {Video}

by Annette Peagler

Hundreds of volunteers painted six blocks along 12th Street in OTR as part of the Cincinnati Fine Arts Fund launch of its new name, ArtsWave, and new mission.



Read how Paint the Street was organized!