On Friday, February 8th people from all over Cincinnati gathered on Fountain Square to celebrate the kick-off of the 2013 ArtsWave Community Campaign.
In red hats, scarves, coats, and mittens, they danced, drank cocoa, ate cookies, enjoyed ice carving and played with Cincinnati Reds' Gapper.
Everyone cheered as our 2013 Campaign Chair George Vincent announced our campaign goal of $11.5 million!
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!
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!
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.”
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
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This month, Americans for the Arts is hosting a blog salon with arts professionals across the country weighing in on "changes in the nonprofits model and some of the reasons the field is constantly looking for a better way to conduct business." Margy Waller's most recent entry is below. To read all of the thoughts from arts leaders and supporters across the country, check out the ARTSblog.
We love the stuff that brings people together to experience special and fun things that can only happen here.
On Tuesday, May 3, legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma performed with the Cincinnati Symphony for almost 3,500 people, filling every seat in our beautiful, historic Music Hall.
The performance was so highly-anticipated that it was sold-out for months in advance, leaving hundreds of fans without tickets. So, our community leaders came together to fashion a creative response to this dilemma — making sure that people all around could share the music.
The Symphony approached Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation, aka 3CDC, about offering a free simulcast of the show on our public square. Many of our local corporate and civic leaders founded and serve on the board of 3CDC, a nonprofit company committed to strengthening our core assets in downtown, and they know the benefit of creating opportunities to bring people together in our great public spaces.
Working with our public radio and television stations, they made arrangements to show the concert on the LED video board at Fountain Square, a shared space for public events of all kinds that 3CDC manages and programs. It’s the same place where area residents also gather to watch our local sports teams – the Reds and Bengals. For Yo-Yo Ma, over 400 people came together on the Square — despite a night of cold, damp weather — to experience what our local paper declared “a night to remember.”
There aren’t many places in the world to have an experience like this one. And that’s why so many leaders came together to make it happen. Extraordinary opportunities bring attention to our community and make it the kind of place people want to move to, live and invest in; it’s the kind of thing that brings people from all over together and makes this a place where we all want to stay.
To celebrate the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010, we bring back our biggest hit of the year: the Cincinnati Splash Dance! The Splash Dance is a great example of the way the arts connect us all and make our city such a vibrant, fun place to live, work, play, and stay!
Happy New Year to all!