fine arts fund
Here's what we wore. It's that wacky time of year in Cincinnati when we might wear sandals or boots, coat or no coat. (Of course, fashion "rules" these days permit year around boot wearing - of certain kinds, anyway.)
We wondered what all the “election art [would] mean for broader public support of the arts and new policy in the coming years." Now we’re thinking that President Obama and his family are setting an interesting example with all of these house concerts.
People used to share live music at home with friends and neighbors. Sometimes they still do. My father and his wife Ann invited some neighbors over for an informal concert recently. We all arrived and had some wine and cheese before sitting down in the living area to listen to my father on clarinet and Ann on piano and harpsichord.
It was a lovely informal evening with lots of talk about the harpsichord maker and the composer's life and the backstory on pieces Dad and Ann were practicing. (They were preparing for a performance before other students of Ann’s piano teacher.)
I left that night with a wonderful memory of a shared experience among neighbors.
Of course, dancing to Earth, Wind, and Fire with the governors of the fifty states is a slightly different kind of evening.
*Photo of Dad and Ann credit to Ellen Levine Ebert.
We went to the Fine Arts Fund Campaign kickoff event last week in our "town square" near the fountain and outside Macy's in the center of greater Cincinnati. The party was full of key regional partners, including local elected officials like Mayor Mark Mallory, Vice-Mayor David Crowley, and Congressman Steve Driehaus. Others joined the celebration when they discovered us as they were walking through downtown after work -- all were welcome!
Campaign Chair Karen Hoguet's remarks about the importance of the arts in our community were especially moving and persuasive. She provided just the right balance when acknowledging both the importance of the inspiration that the arts provide us and the challenge of this year's economy.
Welcome and thank you all for being here tonight to celebrate the start of such an important effort for our community. Before I start, I want to thank a few special people from Macy’s who helped make this kickoff possible – Cathy Ireland from Special Events, Joe Huladek, the Fountain Place Store Manager and his team. It is truly an honor for me to be the Chair of the Fine Arts Fund Campaign and to work along side the thousands of volunteers and supporters who give so generously of their time and resources. Having grown up in Cincinnati, I remember going to the Lollipop concerts at Music Hall, looking at the mummies at the Art Museum ,and going to the Opera at the zoo. I guess I’m aging myself with that memory. And, I have more recent memories with my own children whether it be attending Children’s Theatre performances, the May Festival, or visiting the Taft Museum. My hope is that all of us and many future generations to come will be able to continue to have these kinds of wonderful experiences in Cincinnati. Let me start our campaign today by asking the obvious question: In an economy like this, are the arts really that important? The answer, absolutely, is “you bet they are!” Participating in the arts in Greater Cincinnati is how we balance our lives. The arts organizations help us to attract and retain top talent in every sector of the economy… The arts are important to the education of our children… The arts are where we turn for inspiration that become the ideas that drive our businesses and ultimately stimulate the economy. Without the arts, innovation would be a very scarce commodity. With a healthy arts community, we in Greater Cincinnati are capable of just about anything. Our collective future depends on it. Bottom line: The arts are a “must have”, not a “nice to have”. It is this fact that is motivating all of us to dig deeper and harder for the Fine Arts Fund Campaign this year. We have put together a terrific campaign cabinet this year – please raise your hands – we, together with the great Fine Arts Fund staff, have been working hard since last fall to make this year’s campaign a success. There is no doubt that today’s fundraising environment is challenging. However, this is the time to ensure that we sustain our heritage of community arts for all ---- and that will require that we all show how much we value these treasures. With that said, we are announcing this evening an aspirational goal for the Fine Arts Fund in 2009. Even in this difficult economy, we will strive to raise the same amount in 2009 as we did in 2008 - $12MM. We owe it to ourselves to aim as high as we are able. The arts are too important for us to approach this year’s Fine Arts Fund timidly.
As you will hear a bit later in our program, we are working particularly hard this year to reach beyond our traditional corporate and employee campaigns to attract the broadest level of support-from a young professional event at the Contemporary Arts Center, to expanded programming during the Free Sampler Weekend, to a redesigned and user-friendly website www.fineartsfund.org -- we know our success depends on many gifts at all levels.
Over the past few days, arts and culture organizations across our region opened their doors and provided access to all sorts of events and activities for the people who call our region home as part of Sampler Weekend, hosted by Macy's. On Friday evening, we went to The Night of Magic, at the Contemporary Art Center , the first party ever hosted by the Fine Arts Fund's Friends for the Arts Committee. Many people who have not been to one of our events in the past came to this one and most everyone wandered upstairs to see the exhibits. In fact, when the upper floors closed before the party ended, the partygoers were disappointed! This is just the kind of outreach we've planned for in the campaign and with this event. On Saturday, hundreds of children attended the Get Smart about Art festival at Music Hall, another first-ever event hosted by P&G and produced by Learning Through Art, Inc. Check out our slide show from the event here!
Thanks to Karen Hoguet and her dedicated campaign cabinet, hundreds of volunteers, our hard-working staff, and the arts organizations around the region -- we're off to a great start for 2009!
What They Wore to Art at aim Cincinnati for the Sunday Gospel Brunch with Musaic and the Macy's Gospel Choir on February 22.
What They Wore to Art at Ensemble Theatre's performance of August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean on February 21.
If you went to a Sampler Weekend event and had an awesome time, or you are enjoying this web show, don't forget to donate!
This slide show is part of an occasional series of photo essays from your blogger (who is NOT a photographer--but enjoys wearable design) illustrating what people are wearing to the ART.
We're enhancing our community with experiences that offer joy, promote inclusion, and inspire creativity for a strong region.