2013 Community Campaign Kick-Off on Fountain Square

On Friday, February 8th people from all over Cincinnati gathered on Fountain Square to celebrate the kick-off of the 2013 ArtsWave Community Campaign.


Crowd gathers on Fountain Square

In red hats, scarves, coats, and mittens, they danced, drank cocoa, ate cookies, enjoyed ice carving and played with Cincinnati Reds' Gapper.


Pones Inc. dancers on Fountain Square

Everyone cheered as our 2013 Campaign Chair George Vincent announced our campaign goal of $11.5 million!

Speakers at ArtsWave Kick Off Event

Thank you to EVERYONE who came out for this event. Special thanks to Suzanne Schindler, the Cincinnati Reds and Gapper, Coffee Emporium, CrEATions by Melody, 3CDC and Fountain Square, and Arctic Diamond ice sculptors. You make Cincinnati amazing!

Free Art for the Holidays!

From singing carols to decorating trees to seeing your favorite shows, the arts make the holidays in Cincinnati amazing. We’ve pulled together just a few of the fun and FREE things to do this holiday season here. Enjoy and share your experiences with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #HolidayArts!  











And, you can snap pictures of the Holiday Art all around you with our amazing FREE app, iSpyArt, and share them in our virtual gallery.  We love this picture of Tiny Tim from Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park's A Christmas Carol hanging out with the Tweedles from Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati's Alice in Wonderland.


Happy Holidays!

Guest Blog: OTR's Second Sunday on Main Gets the Community Dancing

Our friend, Jai AllDay, has a another great post about the intersection of art and community in our city. Thanks to Pones, Inc. for the fabulous photos!

There is something special about OTR’s Second Sunday on Main...

Second Sunday on Main (SSOM) is an eclectic neighborhood festival, presented by the Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce. In its seventh season, SSOM runs June 10th thru October 14th (on the second Sunday of every month) in historic Over-the-Rhine. Each month has a specific theme with activities and vendors specific (but not limited to) said theme. September’s theme was ‘Dance on Main’ and I had the immense pleasure of emceeing the Dance on Main Festival the featured event of the afternoon. The experience was beautiful and bountiful; filled with memories of dancing in the street with everyone you meet.Pones, Inc. Dance on Main

Dance on Main is the brainchild of Frank Hibrandt, captain of PermaFringe Projects, Merchants of Main Street member, and well respected OTR resident. In its second year (it’s also my second year hosting), it brings together dance organizations from across the region resulting in a cornucopia of talent that is as diverse as the many flavors in Streetpops! With the blessing organizers, Frank galvanized performance artists and dancers alike to put on demonstrations that rivaled those of seasoned pro and there were many in attendance showcasing their talent. Set up alongside the ‘Bier Laufen’ aka beer cart races (sponsored by Hudepohl), Dance on Main allowed anyone willing to accept the challenge the opportunity to be educated as well as entertained. There were also organizations like the Ensemble Theatre and Chesapeake Popcorn set up as vendors sharing edibles as well as information and with two performance areas (one at Orchard & Main, the other at 14th& Main) and over 10 dance organizations represented; there was something for everyone. I’d like to share a few personal favorites…

Pones Inc. is a collective of ‘Artists as Activists’. They encourage participatory performances while focusing on creating Community. They have performed throughout the city and have been featured during not only Second Sunday but also opportunities like Fringe Festival & Arts on the Streets (during the World Choir Games). They demonstrated why they are considered ‘Dance Dignitaries’ when they performed a piece using a car as a partner. It was an ‘O-MAZING example of creativity partnered with ingenuity and the audience not only enjoyed the performance but was encouraged to join in.Pones, Inc. Dance on Main

Elementz Hip Hop Youth Center inspires/engages youth through innovative hip hop arts programs, performance, leadership development and community building. They do this through innovative programming; one of which is Kre8v, a dance team composed of some of Elementz’ most talented dancers. They performed during Dance on Main and inspired even the youngest neighbors to dabble in a little hip hop. Their energy was infectious; their discipline apparent.

Lastly, there was a special segment called “Dances for Main” which featured 3 well known/respected chorographers (Diane Germaine, Demetrius Klein, Ian Timothy Forsgren) who created pieces specifically for this festival. The pieces were not only powerful but poignant. They culminated the afternoon and contributed to the overall mood; festive.

If you missed this SSOM, don’t fear; the last one is in October and is almost here. To find out about the theme and other things, please go to their webpage:

Big hugs and Nati love- Jai AllDay

Guest Blog: Black Family Reunion Brings Community Together

We were proud to sponsor the ArtsAlive! Pavilion once again at this year's Midwest Black Family Reunion on August 18th. Our friend and guest blogger Jai AllDay helped keep the conversation going at the event and here shares her impressions.

DJ at Black Family ReunionAs Cincinnati’s unofficial #1 fan, I am amazed and encouraged by the many new opportunities born from older, established activities. I was reminded of this philosophy recently when I had the immense pleasure of working with ArtsWave at their Arts Alive Pavilion during this year’s 24th Annual Midwest Black Family Reunion (MBFR). The MBFR is a weekend which brings consumers, corporations, communities and government agencies together to focus on the historic strengths and traditional values of the Black Family. Working as a community correspondent, my mission was to capture the real time experiences of those visiting. The opportunity not only reiterated the long legacy of both organizations but even more important, it reminded me that ‘partnering with a purpose’ can result in improvements not only seen but more importantly, felt/recognized.

This year’s event was condensed from its traditional 3 day long extravaganza filled with activities to a more manageable weekend experience revolving around specific subjects/themes. Many longtime attendees worried that the required cuts would result in a less than stellar year; thankfully that was not the case. As I interviewed guests, many commented on the fact that although condensed, this MBFR was different from past years because the rowdiness that had tarnished past MBFR’s was thankfully absent. A family-friendly feel replaced the fights and I believe the new format had a lot to do with it. ArtsWave (along with organizers) actively pursued ways to engage attendees by providing a variety of options when it came to ‘artistic education & entertainment’. At the Arts Alive Pavilion, established entities like the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, The Taft Museum of Art, and Cincinnati Black Theatre Company worked side by side with newer organizations like Millennium Robots, New American Art Gallery, and Midwest Latinos resulting in a well-rounded representation of the entire community. One thing was clear, whether you enjoy African drums, Shakespeare, or the Three Musketeers, this event had something for everyone.Musketeers at MBFR

Something I found particularly refreshing was the levels of representation found at the Arts Alive Pavilion. Many were from lesser known organizations and by working with ArtsWave were provided exposure to audiences who may not have seen them otherwise or vice versa. Working with people like Valentino Sweeten (of the Beat Lounge Beat Battle) and DJ Pillo (of Selectas Choice); ArtsWave showed that they were open to engaging not only folks familiar with their mission but those who had never worked with or even heard of the non-profit previously. Engaging areas of Art that were traditionally limited to the underground scene resulted in real community representation; whether African American or otherwise.

My favorite event was the ArtsWave’s World Biggest Family Dance, a way for families to connect while doing the two-step; ‘O’-MAZING!!!

Dancing at MBFR  

To me, a community is only as strong as its attempts at unity; I am proud to say Cincinnati is not only experiencing a renaissance in the artistic sense but also contributing to our future using a little common sense and I am ‘O’ so grateful to be a witness. Big hugs and ‘Catch the Wave’ love! -- Jai AllDay

Making Waves: There is no better time to be a citizen of Cincinnati by JaiAllDay

This week, ArtsWave is delighted to introduce Guest Blogger Jennifer “JaiAllDay” Washington. Founder of Cincinnati’s Conscience, JaiAllDay is an entrepreneur, journalist, and champion for Greater Cincinnati. We love how she shines a spotlight on everyday citizens in our community and works to create partnerships between the business, education, and non-profit sectors. Many of us were inspired by the way the World Choir Games brought people together. Here’s Jai’s poetic take on the Games!

Jai All Day World Choir Games Metro Cincinnati
There is no better time to be a citizen of Cincinnati…

As a ‘Nati Native’ and longtime resident, I have noticed an undeniable energy in the air that neighbors are willing to share with anyone who cares. With the recent restoration of the city’s core, there is a hope and happy that hasn’t been a part of the scene (many of you know what I mean) for some time. It is a true testimony to this city’s tenacity as well as a well-thought-out strategy resulting in true community; a feather in the cap of those working hard to reestablish our city on the map. By creating and implementing ‘obtainable objectives’, we have provided ourselves (and our city) the opportunity to be the change we want to see while sharing that vision with everybody. There was no better example of this than at this year’s 2012 World Choir Games.

The World Choir Games is the choral equivalent of the gathering of the United Nations. With much anticipation, organizers worked diligently to create an atmosphere that was not only inviting but exciting. The streets were cleaned, fresh paint placed throughout, but true expectations could only be talked about. The city enlisted the help of many local organizations interested in sharing our newly adopted declaration: “We are a city of the future; filled with diversity and sustainability; a place that is not afraid to accept true accountability. Responsible for the success or failure of this recent renaissance, we are willing to work hard together; no matter what the cost.”

World Choir Games Jai All Day Cincinnati Fountain Square

As the time drew near, one thing was clear; many were willing to answer the call; the city rallied together; united, no one dropped the ball. Well-established organizations partnered with newly-founded entities to create art-initiated factions that were true reflection of our community. Conversations ignited feelings of true global connection and the results helped to contribute to my hometown’s resurrection. I met people from South Africa, China, New Zealand, and many more; the stories shared made me want to travel; maybe even explore. I witnessed a change in the city’s overall attitude; I equate it to witnessing a hungry child finally receiving their food.

One thing I found particularly interesting is how much I learned about cities closer to home; one particular encounter put me in a positively powerful zone. I had the pleasure of interviewing a choral group that originated from Erie, PA; I was not only impressed by their talent but with their quiet humility. For me the message was clear and one I will hold dear; I am grateful they were able to talk with me while they visited here. I would like to thank the city, the World Choir Games, as well as all attendees; based on feedback from many; my community couldn’t be more pleased. I look forward to similar opportunities and know that the future is bright; thank you to the citizens of Cincinnati; understand you are the underlying light.

Big hugs and Nati love! -Jai All Day

follow Jai All Day on Twitter.