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.
Community Arts Centers Day, an annual celebration of community arts centers throughout the Greater Cincinnati region, returns for a third year on August 11th and 12th. This year, seven community arts centers and ArtsWave are partnering once again to bring people out and bring them together through the arts.
On Saturday, August 11 and Sunday, August 12, 2012, the participating organizations will host an Open House featuring participants of all ages celebrating their communities with creative costumes, masks, banners, musical instruments, and more followed by FREE ice cream socials made possible by United Dairy Farmers.
Community arts centers and arts events like this make our region a better place to live, work, play, and stay. Visit www.FindYourCenterNow.com for a complete listing of events.
Participating community arts centers include:
Saturday, August 11
Sharonville Fine Arts Center (11165 Reading Road, Cincinnati, OH 45241)
- 9:30am – Work with artist Deb Brod to make free form art from recyclables
- 11:30am – Neighborhood Art Parade (Around Sharonville Square)
Emanuel Community Center (1308 Race Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202)
- 11am – My Nose Turns Red Youth Circus Group Activities
- 12pm – Arts, Crafts, and Musical Instrument Petting Zoo
- 1pm – Beauty and the Beast by YMCA Youth Group
Middletown Arts Center (130 N. Verity Parkway, Middletown, OH 45042)
- 11:30am – Middletown Performing Arts Academy and Dancing Games
Fairfield Community Arts Center (411 Wessel Drive, Fairfield, OH 45014)
- 12pm – Arts Activities and Demonstrations
Kennedy Heights Arts Center (6546 Montgomery Road, Cincinnati, OH 45213)
- 12pm – Neighborhood Art Parade (Follows Montgomery Road from Ridge to Kennedy)
Clifton Cultural Arts Center (3711 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45220)
- 7pm – The Tempest performed by Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
Sunday, August 12
Peaslee Neighborhood Center (215 East 14th Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202)
Community Arts Centers Day is collaboratively organized by ArtsWave and the participating community arts centers with generous in-kind support from United Dairy Farmers.
New Funding Strategy Focuses on Increasing Arts Impact, Innovation, and Engagement
June 22, 2012 — ArtsWave announces $11 million in grants and initiatives to create vibrant neighborhoods and bring people together through music, dance, theater, museums and more. In 2012, ArtsWave will focus on funding efforts to increase the impact of the arts, foster innovation, and expand cultural engagement in the community. These investments are made possible by the thousands of people who contributed to ArtsWave’s annual community campaign—donors who recognize the importance of the arts to everyone in Cincinnati and the region.
Community volunteers committed the majority of funds - $9.4 million - for impact grants to thirty-three local arts organizations ranging from $10,000 to over $2 million. In addition, ArtsWave will invest $400,000 in smaller project grants and strategic local partnerships. ArtsWave will also support two major new initiatives with $400,000 in funds given specifically to foster innovation and expand arts engagement: The New Pathways for the Arts Initiative, and the Arts Engagement Index, in partnership with Agenda 360. Remaining funds are used to measure and communicate the impact of the arts on the region, and to support the ArtsWave campaign.
This year marks the first time that ArtsWave has made grant-making decisions based on the community impact of the recipient organizations, using data and measurement strategies chosen by the organizations. Grantmaking committees also considered criteria such as leadership, sustainability, and collaboration with other arts organizations. One and two-year impact grants will support arts organizations large and small that are creating vibrancy and connecting people throughout the region.
“We believe that the arts have a profound impact on the health and vibrancy of our region,” says Pete Strange, Chair, ArtsWave Board of Trustees and Chairman, Messer, Inc. “When we announced the change to our funding process two years ago, our goal was to better support these organizations, and to better recognize their impact on our community. We are pleased that these grantee organizations have embraced the challenge of measuring their impact, and shared with us ample evidence of their contributions to community vitality—which we hope will be further sustained by these grants.”
The grantmaking process provided many examples of how theaters, museums, arts centers and more make Cincinnati a great place to live:
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s professional musicians not only create extraordinary music heard all over the world, but also contribute to the success of over 65 other musical and educational institutions in our region from Cincinnati Opera and Cincinnati Ballet to chamber ensembles to community orchestras.
The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati reaches almost 195,000 children each year through touring and local performances all over the tri-state. Attending shows together, families grow closer and create lasting traditions that span generations.
The Carnegie Center for Visual and Performing Arts will provide over 17,000 hours of arts education in local Covington schools next year. The Carnegie is gathering data to show how arts instruction and integration improves literacy and helps schools succeed.
To celebrate its 80th anniversary, the Taft Museum of Art has installed 80 framed reproductions in outdoor spaces throughout the region. The Taft partnered with community arts centers, libraries, city and county parks, and local businesses to help select the installation sites and engage the public with fun, free events.
Over $250,000 in impact grants will go to community-based arts centers in neighborhoods such as Kennedy Heights, Clifton, Covedale, Bond Hill, Wyoming, Hamilton, and Covington. “We are delighted to increase our contributions to these centers that serve as cultural hubs for their neighborhoods and program partners with our larger arts institutions,” says Mary McCullough-Hudson, President & CEO of ArtsWave. “By investing in a wide variety of arts and culture groups throughout the region, we hope more people will engage in and benefit from the arts.”
More than 50 volunteers served on grantmaking committees, contributing over 1,500 total hours to the process. 57 arts organizations filed letters of intent to apply for funding in early February, and 45 were invited to complete the application process. Organizations that did not receive impact grants will have the opportunity to apply for project grants in August and January.
The ArtsWave Board of Trustees also approved the commitment of funds to create strategic partnerships with several local organizations including Cincinnati Public Radio, CET, and the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music. In a separate action, the Board voted to give a special grant of $125,000 to the Cincinnati Art Museum for the coming fiscal year.
These changes to the grantmaking process are another step in an ongoing transformation for ArtsWave. Formerly the Fine Arts Fund, in 2010 ArtsWave adopted a new name and expanded mission to create community through the arts, attracting national attention for its ground-breaking research in messaging and advocacy.
About the Arts Engagement Index: The Arts Engagement Index (AEI) is a research tool that tracks trends in consumer arts and cultural engagement over time. Its objectives are to stimulate innovation, inform arts and culture policy, and expose opportunities for increasing arts engagement. Unlike other studies of arts participation, the AEI surveys the general population, not just current arts attendees. The engagement score factors in both frequency of arts participation and the importance of those cultural activities to the survey respondents. The survey will be conducted by ArtsWave in partnership with Agenda 360 and guided by researcher Alan Brown of the research firm WolfBrown. It includes questions on demographics, cultural activities, arts learning indicators and civic engagement. For previous survey results in Philadelphia, visit www.philaculture.org.
About the New Pathways for the Arts Initiative: Created by EmcArts, Inc., New Pathways is a training and immersion program for arts organizations in local arts communities, to advance and accelerate the development of innovative strategies and to strengthen adaptive leadership. Designed for Cincinnati in partnership with ArtsWave, this program consists of a series of Community Workshops, hands-on work sessions introducing and exploring the topic of organizational innovation for leadership teams from up to 20 arts organizations, and the Incubating Innovation program, a concentrated ten-month framework for select organizations to incubate and prototype a specific innovation project. For more information, visit www.EmcArts.org or www.ArtsFwd.org.
Welders. Artists. Residents. A Hardware Store. Students. Dozens of people, all with different parts to play, have worked to create a new outdoor art installation at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center. Visitors passing the lawn at the corner of Clifton and McAlpin Avenues can see hand-shaped bells tinkling merrily in the breeze, sounding out news of the team that worked to create them for all to hear.
The installation was a joint effort between the neighborhood art center and students from the Clifton branch of the Cincinnati Recreation Commission and two local schools: Annunciation School and Fairview/Clifton German Language School. In November the students came together to make an outdoor art project for the Clifton Cultural Arts Center. Clifton resident Kip Eagin had the idea of creating a wind chime and artist Steve Adkins developed the idea.
Program coordinator and Public Ally for the CCAC, Melissa Miller, describes the process the project underwent: "Annunciation students under the direction of their art teacher, Kathy Chabot, made the bells from clay and decorated them. A local artist welded the superstructure, the vision for the piece was guided by Kip Eagen, the brilliant guy behind StreetScapes each fall, and the bells noise mechanisms are actually keys donated by Norwood hardware."
The oversized outdoor "Wind Chime" will be on display until May, at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center located at 3711 Clifton Ave. Miller said, "I love the whimsical music it creates across our front lawn, the bright colors, and how many different facets of our community came together to make it happen!"
The project is the cherry on top of the CCAC's second annual Young Artists at Work showcase, which begins this year on Feburary 2nd. The show is curated by the art teachers at the two schools, and kids and their parents from the area get to meet each other and interact through art.
Executive Director Ruth Dickey loves the connections that happen under the roof of the Clifton Cultural Art Center. "[The collaboration between the Fairview/Clifton German Language Schools, Annunciation, and the Center] is great – we see lots of the students and their families at our summer concerts and our Second Sunday events during the year, so it’s really wonderful to have a time when the center is featuring the students’ art.
I had several families say to me last year that they saw one another during the summer (through Wednesdays on the Green, swimming or soccer) but that the art show is the only time the families had to see one another during the year, all gathered together to celebrate their children’s art!
"It’s incredibly powerful for students to see their artwork celebrated in a community space," says Dickey. "At the art show last year, one little girl got off the school bus and announced to her father 'I am a famous artist, and tonight we are going to see my work at the museum!' She was a kindergartener with a gingerbread man on our wall."
One of the most powerful drivers behind the Clifton Cultural Arts Center, and other community arts centers like it, is that CCAC is a shared community space. These centers draw together families and the larger community around shared art experiences and builds relationships across schools, neighborhoods, and beyond.
It's hard to find a part of Cincinnati that ArtWorks has not touched. Through their summer mural painting program, the 15-year old organization has energized neighborhoods and empowered teenagers through painting memorable murals across the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky region.
The ArtWorks Summer Program hires youth aged 14 - 21 to work with professional artists to make innovative public art to enrich the Greater Cincinnati community. Since 1996, ArtWorks has employed more than 2500 teenagers and 450 professional artists from 70 neighborhoods throughout the region.
This past summer the program traveled to Avondale for the first time, as part of a neighborhood-wide beautification project. In conjunction with the Avondale Youth Council, the apprentice artists interviewed area residents to get feedback and inspiration for their new mural.
DAAP Alum and artist-in-residence Cedric Michael Cox led the campaign for the new art project. After input and discussion, Cox developed the art for the mural - a text-focused, brightly colored piece that spelled out not only the name of the neighborhood, but also the dreams of its residents.
“We started out by listening to the words and wishes of what they wanted, and that turned into the art,” said Cox. “What is the Avondale Youth Council about? It’s about self respect, respect for the community, keeping it clean. Avondale’s about diversity, about perseverance.”
The design is based on a map of Avondale, which includes some of the major streets that links the neighborhood together. This mural that celebrates peace, hope, victory, and pride is framed with the rich architecture of the monuments that rest on Reading Road along with images that reference home, family and recreational parks.
Eight young people from all over the region were hired for this particular project. Two girls from the Avondale youth council – Amani and Mariah – were also apprentices that worked on the mural. The various artists hailed from different backgrounds, had different viewpoints and opinions, but came together to create an incredible painting that sprung up over the course of several weeks on the side of a strip mall facing Reading Road. The experience of working together to complete a common goal created bonds between the artists, apprentices, and community that continue today.
Ultimately, says Cox, it’s the relationship between AYC and artists that is the real work of art. “This mural was much more than just anther project – it is what it is because it’s based upon the community. The work is truly accessible to others due to the process that went into creating it.”
Avondale Youth Council and ArtWorks Team - picture provided
Linking these mural projects that ArtWorks does to a community where kids are involved – be it neighborhood councils, after school programs, or other clubs – and allowing them to have a voice in the process and what they want to see creates a relationship with the community that lasts generations.
Cedric said, “These kids from the Avondale Youth Council can say years from now, ‘Hey, I helped plan this, I remember when the artist came down and showed us his design. It’s that kind of bridging that makes a difference.’The real magic is the fact that these kids can say “I helped plan this” – that’s something that lasts forever.