The Taft Museum of Art is giving the Cincinnati area a summer-long scavenger hunt. To celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Taft family gifting their art collection to the city, the museum is taking its art off the walls and into the streets with a new project called Art for All.
Inspired by the Inside/Out project in Detroit, the Taft crew teamed up with the Haile Foundation to make weatherproof, high quality photo reproductions of 80 of its paintings in the collection. 80 framed works are being installed in unusual public places - from dog parks to Creamy Whips, people will find remarkable visual art in places they live, work, and play.
"Maybe you'll see one while you're walking to your office job downtown, then another when you're running errands on the West Side," explains Tricia Suit, Manager of Marketing & Communications at the Taft. "As people in the city are living their lives this summer, they'll be discovering art that's been in our museum all along, in a more accessible way."
The museum team, including Tricia, project assistant Patricia Lee, and assistant curator Tamera Muente, worked together with community art centers all over the region to decide where to install the artwork. The "community curators" helped decide on locations and get the word out to their friends and neighbors about the art in their backyard. "The community art centers were really supportive and helpful in completing this project," says Tricia. "It was great to build on the relationships we already had and work together and share a new experience. There are art pieces in over 60 neighborhoods, 5 counties, and 2 states.
The giant art pieces (some are as big as 6 feet wide!) are created and installed by local companies PLI Printing in Woodlawn and ABC Signs, respectively. Printed on Durabond and weatherproofed with an automotive clear coat, the framed works give us all an opportunity to see art in a new light - literally! "It's amazing what details you can see in bright sunlight," says Tricia.
The Taft Museum of Art is a jewel tucked away in the heart of Downtown. Art For All brings the museum to the people who may have not yet visited the museum. Patricia says, "I think as far as the community - especially with younger people, museums are seen as stuffy and formal. This project takes those barriers down. People get to browse and interpret the art for themselves."
The installations will be completed before the end of May, but the art that is already installed is a huge hit. The pastoral scene of Cattle in the Meadows by Willem Maris hung on the outside wall of the internet cafe in the north end of Findlay Market was the first installation of the project.
"The Market has a lot of art around it- it's a very sensory experience, with food to smell and taste, touch, colors to see, music to hear," says Cheryl Eagleson, Marketing Director for Findlay Market. "The north end of the Market has people out and about, and the work gets a lot of visual attention. People are looking at it, reading the plaque, taking pictures of it and with it. It's good for the Market, and interesting to shoppers."
The Taft Museum will be scheduling Sunday Funday programming with performers, storytellers, and musicians from the area highlighting different areas of the Art for All project. Follow the project on Facebook, or tweet your art sightings to @Taft80 using the #artforall hashtag.
It's been a great week for the arts in Cincinnati! On Tuesday, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra announced the arrival of Louis Langrée as the Music Director starting in 2013. The very next day, the School for Creative and Performing Arts shared their good news of $90,000 in grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Mayerson Foundation to bring master artists to the school for workshops.
And to round out the "good things come in threes" arts news, we're ecstatic to announce that we've surpassed our goal - the Cincinnati area community came together and donated $11,200,053 for arts in the Cincinnati area! For the first time since 2008, we increased the fundraising goal beyond $11 million.
“We set a bold goal this year to grow the campaign after three years of holding steady at $11 million,” said Mike Michael, Chair of the 2012 campaign and President, Fifth Third Bank, Cincinnati. “Our success demonstrates the community’s passion for the arts, and our shared belief that investing in the arts makes our region a great place to live.”
There were some great things that happened during this campaign!
• About 8,000 new donors.
• We tried new ways of giving, including text-to-give & Facebook, AND debuted our Arts Sampler App!
• 19 new workplace campaigns
• Our Sampler Weekends brought over 13,000 people together to do and see art!
- George Vincent, managing partner and chairman of Dinsmore law firm, will be our campaign chair for 2013.
We want to thank you. Every person who gave their money, time, effort, and energy into helping this campaign - from pledging money out of your paycheck to sharing our campaign video on Facebook. The arts make Cincinnati amazing because all of us came together in big and small ways to show our support.
- Mary, Lisa, Rebecca, Jenny, and the rest of the ArtsWave team
My Nose Turns Red Youth Circus is busy.
Depending on which day of the week it is, Director Steve Roenker is at one of six schools and recreation centers across the region – from Blue Ash to Covington – teaching kids to ride unicycles, juggle, walk on stilts, and roll around in a German wheel. On Saturday mornings, students from all of those schools who are working on advanced skills get together for four hours of intense practice. Serving more than 300 youth every year, My Nose Turns Red offers kids the chance to do something really different, while learning skills that they can use almost anywhere.
Summer circus programs are offered for children as young as four, and some kids perform with My Nose Turns Red for many years. As they gain confidence with the different circus skills, they can choose to become apprentice coaches and learn the skills to coach younger students and plan performance routines. Coaching gives the teens an opportunity to learn leadership skills, be a positive role model, and even earn a little money.
Anna Kaiser, age 17, and Jackson Savage, age 16, currently serve as Assistant Coaches. They both agree that it is tough work: “The most difficult thing about being a coach is managing a room full of kids who sometimes just want to play,” says Anna. She thinks that the leadership experience will eventually help her to lead co-workers. Jackson agrees, “Just knowing how to handle kids, not even in large groups, is an enormously useful skill in itself. And you never know, perhaps someday I really will have half my bicycle stolen (as so many people have joked) and I will not be left helpless, thanks to My Nose Turns Red teaching me how to ride a unicycle.”
Jackson’s mother, Mary Pat Buck, sees her son learning other valuable lessons, too. “ He’s learning the value of "try, try again". Learning is a process. The achievement of a goal, whether it is a new circus trick or something more academic, doesn't magically appear. It is earned.” Cate O’Hara, Anna’s mother, notes, “I originally signed my kids up for circus just because it is fun. However, along with the fun comes teamwork, leadership, balance (literal and figurative), strength, humor, creativity, and resiliency.”
Jean St. John, the company's Managing Director, notes that the younger kids are eager to follow in their footsteps. In a recent rehearsal when Steve asked who wanted to learn to be assistant coaches, kids piped up immediately with “I want to be Anna!” and “I want to be Jackson!”
Anna and Jackson have both enjoyed learning a new set of skills on the German wheel and the opportunity to learn from circus professionals from all over the world. Steve connected with a renowned German wheel teacher living in Chicago, Wolfgang Bientzle, and that relationship helped My Nose Turns Red bring instructors from Japan and Israel to Cincinnati to work with advanced students. Jackson says, “Meeting a performer, learning from them, and getting to know them is infinitely better than simply watching them do seemingly impossible tricks.”
Connecting young people to new friends from other schools and experts from around the world, My Nose Turns Red Youth Circus provides a unique service to the Cincinnati region. Catch their 2012 Youth Circus Extravaganza on April 28th and 29th at the Jarson-Kaplan Theater.
Great cities offer a wide variety of art – from modern dance to classical theater, opera to puppetry. The more arts experiences available in a region, the more people participate, and the greater the benefits for everyone who lives there. Generating all of that art requires lots of resources. A thriving arts scene needs artists – especially artists who are committed to living in the communities where they work.
For eighteen years, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company has built the region’s artistic community by producing Shakespeare and the classics with a resident ensemble of actors. Recruited from all across the country, the professional actors who join the ensemble sign on for an entire season of work, performing in five to ten shows in a single year. Audiences get to know the performers and enjoy seeing them play a wide variety of roles – the actor playing the romantic lead in Romeo & Juliet may be the funny butler in next month’s The Importance of Being Earnest, or the mysterious villain in Dangerous Liaisons. Actors often stay for two to four years with the company and some have been with the organization for over a decade. Working together for long periods, the actors develop a greater camaraderie, understanding of each other’s strengths, and level of trust - like a great baseball team.
When not onstage at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, resident ensemble members are often seen on other local stages including Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, Know Theatre of Cincinnati, and the Cincinnati Fringe Festival, among others. Producing Artistic Director Brian Phillips coordinates with these theatres to share everything from scene shop equipment to lighting designers. “The collaborative spirit of the Cincinnati theatre community allows audiences to see a wide variety of plays, playwrights, musicals, and experimental performances,” says Brian, “By working together and sharing resources, we produce more theatre more efficiently, so that more people can enjoy it.”
“Ensemble Theatre is proud that Brian Phillips came to Cincinnati to be an intern with our company and he has stayed to help sustain and grow the Shakespeare Company,” says D. Lynn Meyers, Producing Artistic Director of Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati. “ETC was founded on the principle of giving local professionals a wonderful place to live and work and Brian has embraced that with his hiring of a resident company.”
The growing pool of professional actors in the community benefits other arts organizations as well. Over the past ten years, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company actors have performed with Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, and at the Cincinnati Art Museum.
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company actors also serve as teaching artists in schools throughout the region, record commercials and voice-overs for local businesses, and create podcasts, blogs, and viral videos enjoyed by people all over the country. By providing a home base for these artists, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company provides a critical fuel for the region’s creative engine – skilled artists with a passion for their community.
CSC Artistic Associate Jeremy Dubin has been performing with the company for over twelve years, but he still gets the same question: Why are you here? Why don’t you live in New York or L.A.?
Jeremy responds, “New York and L.A. both have actors in abundance. The result is that actors there (with the exception of a very small percentage) become anonymous cogs in a vast machine that views them as expendable. Here in Cincinnati, I have a voice and a role to play within the arts community and the community at large. I have been able to develop personal relationships and an ongoing artistic conversation with our patrons. I am able to feel that what I do is a benefit to the community, and the community, in turn, has provided me with an opportunity to keep doing what I love.”
The LAST Macy's Arts Sampler day of 2012 is almost upon us!
The first two Arts Sampler days have been great -thousands of people from around the region met up to experience free art right in their backyard. Saturday, March 10 promises to be loads of fun. Snag a schedule or download the Sampler Mobile App for free on your smart phone.
Downtown Cincinnati - Hands-On Arts and Performances for Families
Families can easily spend the entire day Downtown exploring the arts. Get inspired at the Taft Museum of Art with a day celebrating great African American artists in our community. The line-up includes a one-man show about Martin Luther King, jr., “Martin’s Dream” by Deondra Means; gospel and soul music by the incredible Fo Mo Brothers; see the current exhibit of prints by Romare Bearden and try your hand at making a collage; then end the day with music by Tracy Walker, one of the Taft Robert S. Duncanson Artists in Residence for 2012.
On the top floor of the Contemporary Arts Center, The UnMuseum will have family art and craft activities starting at 1 p.m. The Main Library on Vine Street will host silhouette artist Pattie Purnell and the Blue Chip Jazz Band at Noon.
Families with younger children will appreciate the combination of crafts and interactive theatre at Learning Through Art’s Books Alive! program starting at 11 a.m, and the Ballet Theatre Midwest and My Nose Turns Red Youth Circus performances at Emanuel Community Center at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Museums, Murals, and Music for Adults
Head over to the Contemporary Arts Center and check out their new exhibit, Spectacle: The Music Video, an incredible exploration of the art and history of music videos. At 3:00 p.m., take a guided tour that shows you how to look at things in a whole new way with the UnProfessional Development workshop.
ArtWorks is offering two one-hour guided bus tours to visit some of its incredible Downtown murals, at 11 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. Appropriate for all ages. You can also take a Highlights of the Taft guided tour at the Taft Museum at 1:30 p.m.
Catch some great singer/songwriters including acoustic folk/roots/blues musician John Ford and guitarist Dave Hawkins and fiddler Peg Buchanan at the CAC starting at 12:30; and Tracy Walker at the Taft Museum at 3:30 p.m.
For Families on the Move
Do your kids need to get their wiggles out? Try a taste of West African drumming and dancing at the Carl Lindner YMCA with the African-American Drum and Dance Ensemble at 12:30 p.m.—a great opportunity to get the whole family up on their feet and moving to the beat.
Then, head for the Cincinnati Ballet for a whole afternoon of moving and grooving from ballet to belly-dancing and Chinese martial to Bollywood-style Indian dance. Starting at Noon, the line-up includes Cincinnati Ballet, the CCM Preparatory Dance Department, Anaya Gypsy Dance, Blue Ash Shaolin Do, and Experience India.
If your family includes grandparents, take everyone to The Grove at Springfield Township. They’ve got a full afternoon of great American music ranging from barbershop with the Southern Gateway Chorus to roots band Wild Carrot to country-western swing with Laura Hazelbaker & the BuckeyeRoos, plus a chance to learn the lindy-hop with the Living History Dance School.
Clifton Cultural Arts Center has American and Celtic music starting at Noon with Raison d’Etre, Clark and Jones, and the Cincinnati Caledonian Pipes and Drums.
Middletown Arts Center hosts the Madcap Puppets’ production of “Jack and the Gentle Giant” at 12:30 p.m. Children are invited to stay afterwards for a puppet-making workshop with the performers.