My twin 7-year-olds have a big-deal, second-grade project this week: to write and present reports on their favorite holiday traditions.
I confess that this assignment has caused me some angst because, thanks to the various dreams and ambitions imposed on them by me and my husband, their young lives have been fairly nomadic. I worry that we’ve done a less-than-pinterest-worthy job of things like instilling and documenting family traditions.
So imagine my surprise and delight when my daughter listed seeing The Nutcracker and doing an annual holiday art project as two of her favorite things. For my son, it’s watching an old classic Christmas movie (one of those which questions and then confirms the existence of All Things Good and that Travel By Sleigh) with his older sister.
It’s not a coincidence that these are active, experiential memories. I guess part of what makes a tradition, beyond repetition, is the “doing”, made richer still by sharing the activity with others. The arts provide the perfect formula for this: from attending performances or exhibitions to making crafts to revisiting stories and films.
At ArtsWave, we want to help you create your own arts-inspired holiday traditions. We’ve created an easy way to do this: our interactive “How do you like your December?” holiday guide. And we’re offering a year’s worth of discovery through the enhanced ArtsWave ArtsPass, available to individuals and businesses as our thanks for your support of the arts in our region.
We’re fortunate that in Greater Cincinnati, there’s no shortage of holiday events – however you like your December -- and memories waiting to be made. ArtsWave is particularly grateful for the numerous arts and business partners that participate in our ArtsPass program. The symbiotic relationship that develops between arts organizations and neighboring businesses is one of the things that we know creates thriving neighborhoods. In this issue of The Ripple Effect, you can find out how a local dentist contributed to the success of one arts organization as it established itself in a community, and realized tangible benefits to his business as a result. That arts organization is now going on to create more ripples and inspire more memories with a second, arts-based revitalization project.
Share your special traditions with us at #CincyWinterArts. From all of us at ArtsWave, we wish you an arts-filled holiday!
Think about the last time you and your spouse, partner, or friend made plans for an evening out at an arts event. Maybe it was a theater performance or a gallery opening. Now think about everything that went into bringing that plan to fruition. Perhaps it wasn’t in or near the neighborhood in which you live so you had to coordinate your arrival. It might have required the hiring of a babysitter. Driving and finding a parking place were likely considered. Did you grab dinner beforehand? If you finished dinner early, perhaps you had some time to kill and found yourselves walking around the neighborhood where the art event was taking place. After the show, maybe you grabbed drinks or dessert.
Regardless of how your evening played out, you likely experienced one or both of the tenets that drive ArtsWave’s investment strategy: a vibrant regional economy and a more connected community. Your evening out helped to support more than just the arts organization visited, and spurred interactions with folks you might not have had the chance to meet had you just stayed at home. ArtsWave’s ArtsPass was created as a way to help make more of those evenings happen more often.
The ArtsPass program, available for a $75 minimum donation to ArtsWave’s annual community campaign, offers its members discounted tickets and other special offers at over 40 arts organizations around the region. In an effort to further drive its key impact areas, ArtsWave began adding retail and restaurant offers, helping members craft a full, affordable evening out.
ArtsPass membership isn’t just about discounts – it’s about discovery. Members also receive curated newsletters each month, keeping them up to date on all the exciting shows, concerts, and exhibitions happening across the region. The newsletter helps remind members to get tickets early for the show they know they want to see, and find out about an amazing event they might not have heard about otherwise.
To reach more people with this program, in 2013 ArtsWave began offering the ArtsPass as a holiday gift-giving opportunity. Now, anyone can give a loved one this membership, helping them to discover more of the arts, restaurants, and shops that make our region amazing. This year, in addition to offering individual ArtsPass holiday sales, ArtsWave is also offering bulk sales discounts to companies that are interested in sharing the gift of the arts with their employees this holiday season--with a bonus voucher for a pair of tickets to a spring CSO performance at Music Hall.
This year’s Holiday ArtsPass comes in a beautifully wrapped gift box that includes everything you need to get started: a unique ArtsPass user code; an ArtsPass user guide that walks members through setting up their online ArtsPass account and redeeming the discount offers; an ArtsPass magnet, to remind you to use your discounts regularly; and an ArtsWave embossed chocolate coin, just for good measure.
Imagine if local companies used ArtsPass as a welcoming tool for interns and new or transplanted employees and their families. The discounts, as well as our semi-monthly ArtsPass newsletter, are a great way for those new to the city to stay connected to upcoming events and new organizations.
Love using your ArtsPass? Join the conversation by using #ArtsPass. Learn more about ArtsPass partner organizations by following #ArtsPassElf this holiday season. If your company would like to give the gift of the arts to its employees this holiday season or learn more about the discount bulk purchases, please contact Mike Boberg, firstname.lastname@example.org.
More than 80 arts organizations, non-profits, restaurants, shops, and companies are committed to helping our community discover the region through the ArtsPass and CincYPerks. ArtsPass, the donor benefit for those giving at least $75 to ArtsWave’s Annual Community Campaign, provides discounts, special offers, and exclusive information to over 9,000 registered users.
“In a recent survey, our members reported that they love to see the breadth of arts organizations in Greater Cincinnati represented on ArtsPass,” says Jamie White, Manager of Corporate Campaign & ArtsPass “We’ve worked to add as many arts offerings as possible. In the past few months, we’ve added a number of new groups, including MUSE: Cincinnati Women’s Choir, ArtWorks, Cincinnati World Piano Competition, Memorial Hall Signature Series, the Constella Festival, and more.” Offers can range from "buy one, get one" ticket deals to discounts on art classes, lectures, and summer camps.
Some of the most often redeemed ArtsPass offers are those from Cincinnati Ballet, The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, Broadway in Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Reds, Taste of Belgium, and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.
“Offering half-price tickets to ArtsPass members is a great way to show our support for the tens of thousands of donors who give to the ArtsWave campaign each year,” says Kathy Neus, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park's Director of Marketing and Communications. “Community members who have already shown their support of the arts in our region have an easy way to experience their dollars in action by visiting the Playhouse at a lower cost. ArtsPass helps those people discover why theater is so valuable to our region.”
"The Ripple Effect" of the arts affects many businesses outside of the arts. Shops and restaurants often report an uptick in sales before major events or performances at nearby arts organizations. Knowing this, ArtsWave expanded the ArtsPass in 2013 to include retail, restaurants, and other local businesses. Businesses such as MiCA 12/v, 1215 Wine Bar & Coffee Lab, and Park + Vine are surrounded by arts organizations and have a great relationship with the local arts community. Other shops on ArtsPass sell “artistic” wares themselves and have a deep appreciation for the arts, such as Indigenous: a handcrafted gallery, Funke Fired Arts, Powerhouse Factories, and Rock Paper Scissors.
To specifically meet the needs of Young Professionals, in 2014 ArtsWave partnered with the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s C-Change Class 8 to create the CincYPerks program. CincYPerks is an added ArtsPass benefit, providing special deals and exclusive offers to help connect YPs (under 40) to our region and to each other. In addition to offers from the Chamber, ArtsPass with CincYPerks includes special offers from Cincinnati Nature Center, Fifty West Brewing Company, The Mercantile Library, Xavier Leadership Center, Young Professionals’ Choral Collective, and more.
ArtsWave greatly appreciates each of the organizations and businesses that provide discounts and offers for ArtsPass and CincYPerks. These businesses know that "The Ripple Effect" of the arts extends all across our region. Tell us your ArtsPass story using #ArtsPass on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. If you want more information, take a look at our offers, discover how to give the gift of ArtsPass, or join our ArtsPass semi-monthly e-newsletter.
Contributed by Rodger Pille of Cincinnati Landmark Productions
This is a story about a dentist.
Dr. Larry Hagen has run his dental practice on Glenway Avenue for many years. He has seen the ebbs and flows of the West Price Hill business district. In particular, he saw the building next door to his office – the historic Covedale Cinema – go from the crown jewel of the area to an abandoned eye-sore. His patient roster slowly contracted during this time as well. Was it a coincidence? It forced Larry to consider: is this the best location for his practice? Should he move, as many others before him had, further west into the suburbs?
In 2001, he heard through the neighborhood grapevine that a performing arts group – Cincinnati Landmark Productions – was interested in the property. The group began as the venerable west side teen theatre summer program, Cincinnati Young People’s Theatre, and since 1990 had become the exclusive producer for the Showboat Majestic downtown.
Larry didn’t know too much about the group, but he appreciated the performing arts. He also knew an arts center next door to his office would be better than the other rumored buyers: a used car lot and a new Wendy’s.
Larry immediately reached out to the group to support the purchase and transformation of the building from an old two-house cinema to a 21st century performing arts center.
In 2002, after the purchase in May and three rigorous months of renovations, the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts opened. The teens performed (not coincidentally) West Side Story to sold-out houses. There was a buzz in the air. There was foot traffic and optimism on Glenway Avenue. There was a feeling of rebirth.
When Cincinnati Landmark Productions launched its theatrical season – featuring top-notch local singers, dancers, and musicians in classic musicals and comedies – later that year, Larry again reached out to the group to become a show sponsor.
Now, Larry’s patient roster is nearly full. Instead of moving his office, he has re-invested in it with extensive renovations of his own. Covedale Center patrons become his patients and tell him all about the latest shows.
This is a story about a dentist, but it’s about far more. Larry’s isn’t the only business that has seen a rebirth since the Covedale Center opened. Price Hill Chili reports 20 percent sales increases on show nights, and Meyer & Geiser Funeral Home across the street has seen an uptick in business. Both businesses have re-invested in their properties, in their words, “because of the success of the Covedale Center.”
Captain Daniel Gerard, commander of Cincinnati Police District 3, wrote in a recent letter, “I have experienced personally the added positive energy the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts brought to the West Price Hill community and seen the resulting reductions in crime and disorder.”
It’s exactly this model for neighborhood revitalization through the arts that Cincinnati Landmark Productions now takes to East Price Hill as the group is three months into construction on a brand-new facility: the Warsaw Federal Incline Theater.
This second site will allow for expansion of programming for the theater company, but, as Larry attests, the benefits will resonate far outside the walls of the theater. Helping to create a thriving business district… that’s ArtsWave in Action!
Artists come in all shapes and sizes, and every artist brings a unique perspective to the world. For several years, ArtsWave has partnered with a number of arts organizations whose primary focus area is serving individuals with disabilities of all kinds (physical, mental, emotional). These "very special arts" groups are sometimes part of healthcare or social service agencies or independent arts organizations. Their impact extends beyond the individual artists they serve and into the broader community.
For example, Visionaries + Voices provides representation, studio space, supplies, and support to more than 140 visual artists with disabilities. Originally created by two social service workers at the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation, the organization now boasts two working artist galleries (Northside and Sharonville) and offers numerous outreach and educational opportunities to the general public utilizing their artists. In addition, V+V artists actively contribute to the greater arts community through creative, educational, and strategic partnerships. Artists receive training to work in local classrooms, guiding students of all ages and abilities in a variety of art forms. These teaching opportunities build the artist’s confidence and presentation skills, and help develop students’ understanding of and empathy for people with disabilities.
Another organization that provides opportunities for artists with disabilities is the Art Beyond Boundaries Gallery, a professional, main-stream fine art exhibition venue where local and regional artists with disabilities display, market, and sell their artwork. Its artists include those suffering from mental illness, addiction, developmental disabilities and more. Its mission provides innovative programs to help the community break down attitudinal, and programmatic barriers to encourage full participation and inclusion of adults and children with disabilities as both patrons and artists.
The performing arts can also be a powerful outlet for creative expression, regardless of a person’s physical or mental disability. Melodic Connections is an organization comprised of board certified music therapists dedicated to empowering the lives of special needs individuals through musical expression and performance. The organization provides adaptive group guitar and piano lessons to exceptional children, adolescents, and adults, many with Downs Syndrome. Such services are in high demand, and Melodic Connections understands that fees can be prohibitive for some families so it delivers its services at low to no cost. Dramakinetics of Cincinnati uses theater performance to teach arts integrated developmental skills to children and adults of all abilities, including those along the Autism spectrum and both with and without developmental issues. Performing together, children and adults of all abilities work to fulfill their full creative potential while also developing strong social skills and bonds.
By connecting individuals with disabilities to the arts, these organizations provide them with an outlet for individual creative expression and engagement with the broader community. It’s an important way that the arts bring people together and reinforce the value of inclusion, showing that all people have stories to share.