My summer has been somewhat obsessed with Recipes. To keep my sanity during a week-long family vacation that involved cooking for 10-14 every day, I planned every meal and every shopping list before we ever left Cincinnati. There’s nothing less relaxing than a chorus of 10 hungry people serenading you with, “What’s for dinner?” at 4 o’clock. Fortunately, there are some great apps out there that make organizing for this easier. (You didn’t know you were reading an Arts and Lifestyle Blog, did you?)

Cooking apps weren’t the only ways that technology crept into my Summer of Recipes. Equally daunting as a week cooking for crowds, in our office at ArtsWave we were converting a decades-old database to a highly sophisticated and super-powerful new system. Taking a tip from the locally based start-up (and lifestyle app) Everything But The House during their NewCo Cincinnati presentation last week, we are automating many more steps in our workflow behind the scenes, so that our time can be better spent connecting donors to the arts. But, even our highly sophisticated new system relies on – you guessed it -- “recipes” – the developer’s term for templates we need to create for each separate workplace account.
At home and at work, it’s all about the right recipe.
Of course, recipes do best when you have high quality and abundant ingredients on hand. 

At ArtsWave, we’ve been thinking about what happens when you add Cincinnati’s high quality and abundant arts experiences into the mix of other civic and regional priorities. This has been a year-long exercise, stemming from the equivalent urgency of arts organizations asking us “What’s for dinner?”  Since many organizations depend on ArtsWave for their largest building blocks of general operating support, it was natural that they would wonder how we saw their activities stacking up against the ultimate benefits of the arts -- a more vibrant regional economy and stronger social bonds among residents.

So we’re writing a recipe, a template we are calling “The Blueprint for Collective Action in the Arts Sector.” It has five focus areas, like a five-course meal at one of Cincinnati’s great restaurants. Shorthand, the categories are about leveraging the power of the arts to do a variety of things: to make Cincinnati attractive and compelling for prospective employees and guests; to deepen our residents’ roots in our community; to give everyone a voice, regardless of race or ethnicity; to enliven our neighborhoods; and to develop vital, 21st century skills like creativity, empathy and critical thinking in our kids.

Each of these categories mix well with other important community goals and separately, they pack a lot of punch. Together, they add up to big impact. Just add Arts.

We’ll be sharing more about our Blueprint for arts action in the months ahead.  We believe that adding Cincinnati’s high quality and abundant arts into every aspect of community development is a recipe for success.