Art Parades This Weekend!

Shark float for Art Parade

Community Arts Centers Day, an annual celebration of community arts centers throughout the greater Cincinnati region, brings people together with fun and free arts activities in their local neighborhoods. This year, ArtsWave, ArtWorks, and several community arts centers are partnering to create an exciting new summer tradition: Art Parades! On Saturday, August 27 and Sunday, August 28, 2011, participating organizations will host eleven Art Parades featuring participants of all ages celebrating their communities with creative costumes, masks, banners, musical instruments, and more! Local residents will parade their original art works around their neighborhood and then enjoy a FREE ice cream socia generously sponsored by United Dairy Farmers. Community arts centers and arts events like this make our region a better place to live, work, play, and stay.

Click here for a complete schedule of Art Parades.

More information on each Center’s parade and activities can be found at  The Shark float pictured above will appear in the parade in Kennedy Heights on Saturday.

Community Arts Centers Day 2011 is collaboratively organized by ArtsWave, ArtWorks, and the centers with generous financial support from the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation. Ice cream generously donated by United Dairy Farmers.

Back to School!

For many young people in our region, it's Back to School week: time for new teachers, new textbooks, freshly-sharpened pencils!  Everyone in the community benefits when schools succeed, turning out well-rounded individuals and educating the whole child.  Schools succeed by providing motivation, developing creativity, and ensuring students are ready to take their place as citizens and contributors to our civic life.  Fortunately, we know that integrating the arts into kids' education in and out of school makes it easier for schools to succeed.


This month marks the beginning of ArtsWave' third year of arts integration programming in six selected Cincinnati Public Schools.  Teaching artists from local arts organizations, such as Bi-Okoto Drum and Dance Theatre, partner with teachers to infuse art into the curriculum, bringing history, geography, science and literature to life through music, drawing, dance, and performance.  Check out our video of highlights from the first two years of the program.  Thanks to all the local artists who helped make this program a success.




Big congratualtions to our partners at Cincinnati Public Schools for being rated "Effective" for the second year in a row-- the highest ranked urban school district in Ohio.  We love how the arts are making our region a great place to grow up!

The Reward of Giving!

Local brand engagement agency Northlich shared their story of their company ArtsWave campaign and how it has directly affected our region. Check it out!



muralArts & culture is the brand essence of Cincinnati.  In a city with so many aspects of art – music, dance, theatre, museums, festivals, and more – there is a sense of pride in contributing to the arts community.

Northlich has a long history of involvement with ArtsWave, a non-profit leader and catalyst advancing the vitality and vibrancy of our communities by mobilizing the creative energy of our entire region.

As the employee campaign coordinator for the ArtsWave community campaign, I continue to be amazed by the generosity of staff contributing every year. It can be challenging in economic times and is hard to ask people for more, but Northlich asked employees to give what they could without a set financial goal. We had 100 percent participation in the ArtsWave community campaign this year and rewarded our employees with a bonus day off.

Northlich’s contribution wasn’t just blended into a general fund. We are fortunate enough to see our efforts in a mural that was recently painted over the doors of the Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission in Covington (NKCAC).  Established in 1966, the Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission helps low income individuals and families develop the knowledge, opportunities, and resources they need to achieve self-reliance.

Ironically, my mentee of four years works at the NKCAC and will now be able to enjoy a mural that represents the arts community and Northlich’s continuous support. In a world as small as the people you know – six degrees of separation – it is even more rewarding when an effort such as this turns out to directly touch someone you know well.

picture: ArtsWave Mural at NKCAC on Madison provided by Northlich

Dance, Dance, Dance Party Friday!

People all over town love serendipitous art -- that happy surprise at a time or in a place you don't expect to see it.

Our friends at Pones, Inc., and the Cincinnati Ballet collaborated with us in some unexpected places - a Vine Street storefront on Final Friday, on Metro and TANK buses during rush hour, and even at the airport! 


This fun video inspired us to try something new - making our own dance moves to celebrate getting ready for the weekend! And so... #DancePartyFriday was born. We need your help to make it work!

How you can participate:


* Make your own video! - it doesn't have to be fancy - just a quick clip of you, your office mates, your dog... getting down because it's Friday - a smartphone or camera will work - post it to our Facebook page!

* Share photos and/or song selections - what's your current dance party jam? Let us know - on Twitter, (@ArtsWave), using the #DancePartyFriday or #DPF hashtags, on Facebook, or drop us a line right here!


Let's get dancing... it's FRIDAY!!!!!

Cincinnati: City of Immigrants Debuts at LULAC Conference

LULAC City of ImmigrantsOn June 28th, over 250 people from all over Cincinnati and all over the country packed the Harriet Tubman theatre for the 45-minute performance of Cincinnati: City of Immigrants. The League of United Latin American Citizens conference hosted the debut performance of  the new play produced by ArtsWave and the Cincinnati Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. 

 Written by critically-acclaimed local playwright Joe McDonough, City of Immigrants follows the story of six fictional characters representing the six major waves of ethnic immigrants to Cincinnati over the past 180 years: German, Irish, African-American, Jewish, Appalachian, and Hispanic.  A series of over-lapping monologues weaves together their common experiences-- meeting new people, encountering discrimination, overcoming adversity, and bringing parts of their culture to a new home.

Six local actors, dressed in costumes from six different periods in history, told their stories directly to the audience using just a handful of props and a few chairs.  Some moments were funny, some poignant as each character found their place in their new home.  At times, the actors spoke in unison, repeating feelings they all shared throughout the decades.  The audience was riveted throughout the performance and rose to their feet at the end.

In the post-show discussion, led by local historian Dan Hurley, audience members from all over the country expressed their appreciation for the play and its themes.  Several conference attendees noted that building awareness of the history of immigration in our communities was vital to developing better relationships between ethnic groups. One woman remarked how each of the character’s stories reached a turning point when they encountered someone who treated them with kindness and compassion, a model she hoped everyone could embrace in connecting with the immigrant community--“We need to go beyond tolerance to kindness.” 

You can join in the conversation by attending one of four FREE public performances in the next two weeks, beginning this Friday, July 8th at the Fairfield Community Arts Center at 7 p.m. - call 513-867-5348 to reserve tickets for the Fairfield performance.Each show concludes with an audience discussion.  Check out other times and days for additional performances.