Strategic investments extend the impact of the arts to people across the region

June 20, 2014 — ArtsWave announces nearly $10.4 million in grants and initiatives to create a vibrant regional economy and bring people together through the arts. These investments are made possible by the thousands of people and organizations who contributed to ArtsWave’s community campaign—donors who recognize that the arts make the Greater Cincinnati region an amazing place to live.  ArtsWave continues to be the largest united arts fund in the country, investing more than $50 million in Greater Cincinnati arts organizations in the last five years alone.

“ArtsWave’s grants are a differentiator for Greater Cincinnati,” notes Mary McCullough-Hudson, ArtsWave’s CEO. “It is absolutely unique for a region this size to have an annual infusion of more than $10 million in its arts sector each year, creating both a stabilizing and a catalyzing effect for organizations and arts-related activity that have unexpected benefits for the community.”

As it does each year, ArtsWave relies on grantmaking committees of more than 50 community representatives to help evaluate grant submissions and determine dollar awards. A majority of funds are dedicated for impact grants to 35 local arts organizations ranging from $12,500 to over $3 million. In addition, ArtsWave will invest $435,000 in 60 smaller project grants and strategic local partnerships. Restricted gifts to the community campaign will underwrite special initiatives in arts and health, arts education, and neighborhood development.  Contributions to the campaign also support a wide variety of shared services for arts organizations such as board training and volunteer programs, as well as fundraising expenses for the campaign. ArtsWave will also continue its groundbreaking work in quantifying and promoting arts’ impact across the community.

The Board awarded two-year impact grants for 15 organizations and one-year impact grants for 20 organizations, including two new impact grantees, Melodic Connections and Contemporary Dance Theatre.

“Our region’s residents support this campaign because they see every day how the arts bring people together,” says Karen Bowman, Chair, ArtsWave Board of Trustees and Principal, Deloitte Consulting. “With financial grants and a variety of other services, ArtsWave continues to invest in arts organizations whose work creates economic vibrancy and strengthens social connectedness, and we are exploring new opportunities to broaden that impact to more people throughout Greater Cincinnati.” 

In addition to impact and project grants to organizations that reach a wide variety of Greater Cincinnati neighborhoods, ArtsWave is also investing in several strategic initiatives designed to advance common goals for our community. As previously announced, ArtsWave will contribute $40,000 to the “Join the Fun” program in partnership with Interact for Health, to provide grants to arts organizations participating in the program.  In partnership with LISC-Cincinnati (Local Initiatives Support Corporation), ArtsWave has also awarded $45,000 in grants to designated community revitalization organizations in Avondale, Covington, Madisonville, Price Hill, and Walnut Hills.  Each Place Matters neighborhood will use the funds to contract with arts organizations supported by ArtsWave or to support activities that include community-building arts programs.

The ArtsWave Board of Trustees also approved the commitment of funds to strategic partnerships with several local organizations including Cincinnati Public Radio, CET, the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music, Cincinnati Arts Association, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, the May Festival and Vocal Arts Ensemble, Enjoy the Arts, Chorus America, and the NKU Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement. Each strategic partnership is designed to advance ArtsWave’s impact agenda by extending ArtsWave’s reach into new constituencies, provide capacity-building support, leverage marketing and promotion for the sector , and support innovative collaborations.

“We are investing in a balanced portfolio of grants that help sustain organizations, support services that help make them stronger and more adaptable, and in initiatives that we are directing in order to align ArtsWave’s resources with broader community objectives,” explains Alecia Kintner, President. In a separate action at today’s meeting, the ArtsWave Board of Trustees elected Kintner as CEO effective September 1 to succeed Mary McCullough-Hudson, who retires at the end of August. “It’s an exciting time for the Cincinnati region, and at ArtsWave we want to be sure the arts are helping lead the way to an even brighter future.”