“No commitment. No clean up. Just fun.” This mantra  illustrates how the Contemporary Arts Center wants you to spend your Wednesday evenings  this summer. If you have been looking for a way to become more connected in the Cincinnati community and learn a skill or two in the process, ArtsWave is glad  to introduce you to One Night One Craft (ONOC). One Night One Craft is a program offered at the Contemporary Arts Center which connects adults through inspiring creativity. These two-hour sessions allow attendees to create something new as well as meet people with common interests. In order to learn more about One Night One Craft, we spoke with Jaime Thompson, the Curator of Education at the Contemporary Arts Center who spearheaded this program since its launch back in 2008.

ONOC windchimes

1. What first inspired the One Night One Craft (ONOC) program?
The series was developed because I realized there was a gaping hole in Cincinnati’s adult programming- no one was truly embracing  the new DIY and maker culture.  Personally, I am a maker: I brew, create fiber art, paint, garden, tinker with soft circuitry, and will cook 3 meals back-to-back just to perfect a recipe.  So ONOC became a way for me to create a place for people to gain new skills and meet likeminded individuals.  The program was a perfect fit for the Contemporary Arts Center because contemporary art explores a wide range of media and relatable topics.
ONOC Urban Gardening2. What kind of atmosphere should first-time attendees of One Night, One Craft expect when they participate in this program?
One Night One Craft changes a little each week depending on the project.  They always take place in our Black Box theater on Wednesday nights from 6-8pm.  You can expect a playful, happy hour type of attitude with the whole group, including the presenter.  
 We have different levels of ONOC- the original level costs $5 member/ $10 non-member and gives you a great making experience with a local artist or artisan.  The “Plus” level costs $20 for members and includes snacks, higher-end projects and a cocktail.  Depending on the subject matter, the session might have more of a date night feel or be perfect for a girls’ night out.  The only rule is that this is art making for adults and things are always more fun when adults embrace play.

3. Why do you believe that encouraging participation in the arts is important for our community? 
One of my saddest observations is that most people stop creating or making art sometime in middle school.  Many adults are intimidated by the idea of just making something.  ONOC creates a space that lets us drop our boundaries and learn new skills that might be as functional as wood working or experimental photography, or a little more zany like our “Put a Bird on It” session.   The act of making is an important function for our overall health.  Numerous studies have shown  that activities like knitting, cooking or working with our hands can alleviate stress, elevate mood and lead to a better quality of life.  Personally, I love to see people make connections between their own making and the art we show in the museum- it helps them gain a deeper insight and appreciation for our exhibitions.
ONOC mobiles
With many more summer sessions coming up, ArtsWave is excited to see how this program will encourage adults in our city to make connections with each other, and between art and their own lives. ArtsWave believes that activities and programs that are social, recurring, and participatory can make an impact by encouraging people to become more participatory creators and networkers in our community. One Night One Craft is a fresh, engaging, and social program that encourages individuals to “share resources and knowledge in order to make cool things together.” 

Be sure to check out an upcoming session and share with ArtsWave on Twitter using #ArtsRipple why you care about participatory arts in our community!