Originally posted on 12/09/2014

My twin 7-year-olds have a big-deal, second-grade project this week: to write and present reports on their favorite holiday traditions.

I confess that this assignment has caused me some angst because, thanks to the various dreams and ambitions imposed on them by me and my husband, their young lives have been fairly nomadic.  I worry that we’ve done a less-than-pinterest-worthy job of things like instilling and documenting family traditions.

So imagine my surprise and delight when my daughter listed seeing The Nutcracker and doing an annual holiday art project as two of her favorite things. For my son, it’s watching an old classic Christmas movie (one of those which questions and then confirms the existence of All Things Good and that Travel By Sleigh) with his older sister.

It’s not a coincidence that these are active, experiential memories. I guess part of what makes a tradition, beyond repetition, is the “doing”, made richer still by sharing the activity with others. The arts provide the perfect formula for this: from attending performances or exhibitions to making crafts to revisiting stories and films.

At ArtsWave, we want to help you create your own arts-inspired holiday traditions. We’ve created an easy way to do this: our interactive “How do you like your December?” holiday guide. And we’re offering a year’s worth of discovery through the enhanced ArtsWave ArtsPass, available to individuals and businesses as our thanks for your support of the arts in our region.

We’re fortunate that in Greater Cincinnati, there’s no shortage of holiday events – however you like your December -- and memories waiting to be made. ArtsWave is particularly grateful for the numerous arts and business partners that participate in our ArtsPass program. The symbiotic relationship that develops between arts organizations and neighboring businesses is one of the things that we know creates thriving neighborhoods. In this issue of The Ripple Effect, you can find out how a local dentist contributed to the success of one arts organization as it established itself in a community, and realized tangible benefits to his business as a result. That arts organization is now going on to create more ripples and inspire more memories with a second, arts-based revitalization project.

Share your special traditions with us at #CincyWinterArts.  From all of us at ArtsWave, we wish you an arts-filled holiday!