In my decade in Harford, Connecticut, I had the privilege of working with some outstanding CEOs and community leaders who chaired our united arts campaign – which was much smaller than ArtsWave’s. I was often asked to research and report on what was different about Cincinnati’s campaign. 

Likewise, in my many years as a member of, and now Chair of, the Private Sector Council of 
Americans for the Arts, I also have become acquainted with other business leaders who have held the role in various regions across the country – and there’s been some “Cincy Envy” among them as well. Certainly, these leaders in other cities have all taken the job seriously. But in my two years in Cincinnati, I also think it’s fair to say that our campaign chairs do more than act as a symbolic figurehead, do more than “lead” the effort. They join the team. 

The strength of the Cincinnati region’s arts campaign lies in its volunteers. From the Chair on down through the hundreds of workplace campaign coordinators, this is one big team effort.  2015 promises to be no different. After last year’s momentous $12,013,051 result, we know we have our work cut out for us. 

Tomorrow, 2015 Campaign Chair Tom Williams will announce the goal of this year’s combined arts appeal. Like the dozens of incredible leaders before him that have joined “Team ArtsWave,” Tom is investing his time and energy because he knows that supporting the arts is both good for business and good for the community he loves. Inside this issue of The Ripple Effect, you can read more about Tom and both the traditional and new ways he is approaching the challenge.

One thing is for sure: We know we need a great team to hit it out of the park -- and that’s where you come in. 

We need you on the team, too. We need your businesses, your employees, your networks, your enthusiasm, your positive reviews of the arts in the region. We need you to invite a friend or colleague to join you in participating. Imagine if we all took responsibility for recruiting one new donor or one new fan! All of these things will help drive this ArtsWave forward.

With you on the team, we can make this year’s ArtsWave campaign the biggest ever.

Here’s one simple request to help us kick off the campaign: Tell five friends why you think the arts are important to our community. Write one or two words that sum it up for you on a post-it note and place it in your palm. Then do your very own Arts”Wave”, snap a photo or take a video, and post on social media using #Give2ArtsWave. Tag five  friends and ask them to do it too. We are going to capture all these uniquely Cincinnati Arts”Wave”s and share them.