The Ripple Effect: Strategy in Action: Arts Education

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Young People LearningArts education can take many forms – from learning the skills related to a specific art form to using the arts as a vehicle for learning other subjects including reading, math, science, and history. This practice of bringing arts specialists into the classroom to fuel learning in core subjects is called arts integration.

From 2010 to 2013, ArtsWave conducted a pilot program within Cincinnati Public Schools to study the effect of arts integration programs on student achievement.  We conducted this study over three consecutive years in Grades 3-5 within six of CPS’s 42 elementary schools: Academy of World Languages, Bond Hill, Frederick Douglas, Hartwell, Hoffman Parham, and Roselawn Condon schools. In each school, we connected classroom teachers with arts organizations that assisted with six-week long arts integration efforts focused on English Language Arts (Reading) and Mathematics. Students used music, dance, theater, and visual art to learn everything from science to literature. Partner arts organizations included The Children’s Theatre, Contemporary Arts Center, Dramakinetics, Bi-Okoto Drum and Dance Theater, Cincinnati Ballet, and many more. 

We tracked individual students from one grade to the next, and also benchmarked them against peer students in schools that did not participate in the arts integration program. 

Results were clear: students that participated in the arts integration program scored higher in reading and math proficiency than students in the control group.  In addition, individual students in the program showed a dramatic increase in their math proficiency scores year-over-year.

These results are consistent with the findings of other research studies across the nation, including exciting new research just released by Portland, Oregon’s The Right Brain Initiative which aspires to make arts education accessible to every K-8 child in that tri-county region. 

ArtsWave’s study of the benefits of arts integration was conducted in only a few Cincinnati schools.  We know we need to learn more about the general state of arts offerings in the region’s entire educational system, and to begin to assess where there are opportunities for us to make targeted investments. To inform these investments, we have just concluded a Community Audit for Arts Education using a model from the Kennedy Center. We assessed what educators and parents feel is working and not working in the area of arts education in Cincinnati, Newport and Covington schools. Using these findings, in the coming months we will be working to develop a strategy for systematically growing Greater Cincinnati’s arts education offerings.

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Arts Education

The Ripple Effect: Making An Impact - CincyDance!

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While not every child aspires to be a professional dancer, every child can reap the benefits inherent in dance – discipline, self-expression, problem solving, focus, physical fitness, and team building. In 2013, the Cincinnati Ballet taught these critical life skills to 1,061 third graders in 21 Cincinnati Public Schools through its CincyDance! Program, and will reach 1,300 kids in 31 schools this school year.

CincyDance! incorporates free, in-school dance classes taught by professional dance faculty over a six-week period in partnering schools. 75% of participating teachers observed improvements in student attention and engagement in academic classes, self-discipline, and work ethic. “Ballet is an art form but it’s also a vehicle to awaken a connection between body and mind. A student participating in ballet class is encouraged to stand with confidence - shoulders back and down, head up, eyes engaging with their teachers. Whether or not the student becomes the next Baryshnikov isn’t really the point. The goal of the program is to help youth enter each day with pride in themselves, standing tall, and ready to take on challenges.” – Julie Sunderland, Director of Education and Outreach at Cincinnati Ballet.

Several students from each school are then invited to attend classes, tuition-free, at Cincinnati Ballet studios for the next five months. Additionally, a small group of talented and interested students are awarded lifetime, full-tuition scholarships to train at Cincinnati Ballet’s Academy. Milton, age 15 (dancing with CincyDance! for seven years), says, “It’s a place where I can come when I’m feeling mad, I can come here and dance it out, or when I’m super energized, I can dance that out.”

ArtsWave is proud to support the work of Cincinnati Ballet in making an impact on the community.

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The Ripple Effect: CEO Currents - Arts Make Kids Succeed

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Diverse Cultures 

Long before I ever took a ballet class as a little girl, I learned Mexican Folklorico dance as part of an afterschool program in a Los Angeles public school. Separately, my father’s work introduced us to immigrants from Korea, the Philippines, Burma and Thailand – and their native dances. His passion for Hawaii as the ultimate vacation destination meant that I had hula lessons alongside swimming and surfing lessons.  And somewhere along the line I fell in love with Irish step dancing and of course, the jazz dance of touring Broadway musicals.

My personal arts education did more than keep me on my toes: it provided a window into other cultures and traditions. It taught me about different definitions of beauty and the importance of synchronization, teamwork, endurance and execution. All of these things helped prepare me for my future.

Now, as a parent, naturally I think about the world our kids will inherit. We all want our children to live in a society that values inclusion and diversity.  We want our kids to be tolerant of differences and emotionally expressive. We want them to be active, productive citizens with the skills they need to pursue their passions in the 21st century.

Numerous studies have shown the connection between arts education and academic achievement, social and emotional development, critical and creative thinking skills, and interpersonal skills. Robert Lynch, CEO of Americans for the Arts, reminds us: "Not every young person will go on to be an artist. But they will all be better students, employees, and citizens if they indeed have opportunities to embrace their creativity." And yet, arts education programs are always among the first things to be eliminated from school offerings due to budget constraints.

September shines a national spotlight on the importance of arts education, and one of my goals at ArtsWave is to leverage even further the programs of our arts partners and teaching artists to give ever-more kids in our region the benefits of arts experiences. From conducting research in the region’s largest school districts to creating growth strategies, from investing in the programs of arts organizations to supporting the “One Stop Arts Shop” directory of local Arts Ed options, ArtsWave believes that increasing access to arts education is important for all of our kids and for Cincinnati’s bright future.

Sign up for The Ripple Effect semi-monthly newsletter and stay up-to-date on the impact of the arts and ArtsWave on Greater Cincinnati.

Madcap 2013

ArtsPass FAQ

Thank you to everyone who chose the ArtsWave ArtsPass or ArtsPass with CincYPerks benefit for a gift of $75 or more. We listened to you in our 2014 ArtsPass survey and want to make sure that your questions are answered. 


Tell me the difference between ArtsPass and CincYPerks.

  • ArtsPass is our discount program for all donors at $75 and above. Young professionals (under 40) who give at that level receive ArtsPass with added CincYPerks. CincYPerks is a set of special benefits that appeal to YPs, including invites to exclusive events.

I never received my ArtsPass. Who do I contact? 

How do I access my ArtsPass account online? 

How do I redeem ArtsPass benefits? 

  • Use this step-by-step guide to learn how to use the ArtsPass website to redeem your benefits.

How can I access my ArtsPass benefits quickly and easily from my smartphone?

  • We reccommend that you bookmark the our ArtsPass website on your iPhone or Android. Once you redeem an offer, the redemption voucher will be e-mailed to you. You can pull up this voucher on your smartphone to show at benefit the venue/location instead of printing a physical copy. 

I'm not very tech savvy. How can I take advantage of my benefits?

  • Call ArtsPass Customer Service at 513.871.2787 and we would be happy to find the best solution for you!

I would like to update my name, password, or e-mail address. How can I manage my account online?

  • We are updating our website to include this feature! After you login to ArtsPass, hover over the "+" near your name in the top-right corner. Click "My Account" and you'll be directed to a screen where you can change your name, e-mail address, and password. If unable to login, use the "forgot password" link on the login page.

How do I order tickets?

  • After you click "redeem now" on the ArtsPass offer, look at the "redemption instructions" section to find out how to get tickets.  If you still aren't sure, look for the organization phone number on the offer page and contact that organization for information. Feel free to contact ArtsPass Customer Service at 513.871.2787 with any other questions. Please note that ArtsWave does not sell the tickets--you will need to get your tickets from the organization offering the benefits.

I need help selecting seats. What should I do?

  • Contact the organization directly, using the contact information on the ArtsPass offer screen. 

When do ArtsPass offers become active?

  • ArtsPass runs on a June-May cycle for our offers. However, as we receive more information and new offers from organizations, we will post offers throughout the year.

When do my ArtsPass benefits expire?

  • Check the counter under "My Account" to see how many days are left on your ArtsPass. ArtsPass benefits expire 1 year from the date that your gift of $75 or more was processed.

Where can I find a complete list of all of the ArtsPass benefits? I like to plan ahead--how can I learn more about upcoming offers?

Why isn't [my favorite arts event] offered on ArtsPass?

  • Our ArtsPass partners are working to provide the best offers possible. Unfortunately--due to high demand, a limited run, or limited seating--some productions aren't offered or have limited dates. However, if you would like help discovering what ArtsPass events you might enjoy based on your previous favorites, call us at 513.871.2787 and we'd be happy to help!

More questions? Contact ArtsPass Customer Service at 513.871.2787 or e-mail us at

The Ripple Effect: Partners in Action - The Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts

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For the past two years, The Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee, has provided special funding that allows ArtsWave to “go broad” and “go deep” in its support of arts activities in different locations across the region. Thanks to their support of "ArtsWave Presents", we have supported 79 events at arts centers, recreation centers, libraries, and college campuses located in Batavia, Loveland, Middletown, Fairfield, Springfield Township, Milford, Lebanon, Oxford, Warren County and across Northern Kentucky. These events featured an array of our arts partners, including The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Playhouse in the Park, Ensemble Theatre, Madcap Puppets, and Visionaries and Voices, among others.

ArtsWave Presents

In addition, as part of an evolving vision for aligning ArtsWave’s resources even more intentionally with other community resources and priorities, funding from The Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts allowed us to award grants to the five Place Matters neighborhoods supported by LISC. Performances and activities conducted by Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Cincinnati Black Theater, Bi-Okoto, Kentucky Symphony, Cincinnati Opera, Elementz, Cincinnati Art Museum, and Cincinnati Children’s Theater, among others, have or will take place during 2014 variously in Price Hill, Walnut Hills, Avondale, Madisonville and Covington.  

Thank you, The Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee, for enabling ArtsWave to be “in action” across the region and “in residence” in five distinctive neighborhoods!

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