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Impact of the Arts

At ArtsWave, we believe that the arts are more than just nice.  We believe that the arts are essential for a thriving community. Our landmark research study, The Arts Ripple Effect, showed that most people agree: the ripple effects from a lively arts environment make our region an amazing place to live.

We believe that we can see and measure the impact of the arts as local arts organizations create economic vitality, vibrant neighborhoods, and a more connected community. Therefore, we are committed to funding organizations and initiatives that create impact, foster innovation, and drive community engagement.

ArtsWave + You: Making an Impact

With your help, ArtsWave is making a strategic investment in driving these two key impacts for our region: a Vibrant Regional Economy and a More Connected Community. Our ArtsWave Program Theory demonstrates how different arts activities by organizations create individual and collective outcomes, leading to our two key impacts. For more information about the six types of activities that ArtsWave supports to drive impact, please select the links below.

A Vibrant Regional Economy 

ArtsWave supports activities in three categories that contribute to a thriving local economy.

A More Connected Community

ArtsWave supports activities in three categories that improve social bonds across the community.

Arts Community Impact Agenda

In 2011, a team of key stakeholders, including community volunteers, arts partners, and ArtsWave leadership, spent many months considering how to make changes to our grantmaking process.  Working in concert with local and national experts, ArtsWave developed a Community Impact Agenda that we believe local arts organizations can help us achieve. In June 2012, our community volunteers awarded the first Impact Grants – over $9.4 million to thirty-three local arts organizations that are making a difference in our region.

ArtsWave's Community Arts Impact Agenda guides efforts to:

  • Provide evidence of the impact of the arts
  • Communicate excitement about impact
  • Raise dollars through the nation's largest united arts fundraising campaign to support this impact
  • Invest these dollars to drive further impact

In 2015, ArtsWave raised $12,250,000 from nearly 40,000 donors -- a strong signal of the support in this community for its arts assets.

We are excited to be leading a local and national conversation about measuring the value of the arts. Foundations and funders here in greater Cincinnati and across the nation are changing their priorities to fund projects and organizations that demonstrate impact.  Ultimately, we believe that funding, measuring, and sharing the impact of the arts in our community will lead to increased public support for ArtsWave’s annual community campaign and for our local arts organizations.