How do you define extraordinary?

When we say “extraordinary” at ArtsWave, we aren’t necessarily talking about the quality of the art itself (we know that it’s amazing!). Instead, we mean “out of the ordinary” – something that truly distinguishes Cincinnati from other places and draws national attention to the region.

This summer, once again, LumenoCity provided a great example of something not-likely-to-find-anywhere-else; in short, an extraordinary experience for a crowd of 40,000 people in Washington Park over three nights. The Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra, the Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Opera – among other artists -- once again came together to delight the audience with their performances and the choreographed light show that accompanied them. Live streaming sites at Fountain  Square and Riverbend expanded access to this year's event, and the live web stream brought viewers in from as far away as Russia, France, Spain, and Germany. LumenoCity is a vivid example of what we think of as Cincinnati’s defining characteristics: creative, innovative, and collaborative.

ArtsWave took part in this year’s added expansion, the LumenoCity Village, which featured local vendors, arts and crafts, and street performers. At our initiative, One City Flags invited people of all ages to help paint beautiful silk flags that will fly in Washington Park for the remainder of the summer. ArtsWave also hosted performances at the Gazebo throughout the weekend that featured storytellers from Playhouse in the Park, members of the Classical Roots Community Mass Choir, Drums for Peace, MY Cincinnati, and Elementz, among others.

The best part of this extraordinary weekend? How people from all over the region rediscovered a source of pride in one of Cincinnati’s beautiful urban parks and discovered, perhaps for the first time or anew, the fun of sharing a live cultural experience among old and new friends.