The Aronoff Center for the Arts' 20th Anniversary is the perfect time to reflect on the region's growth and how the arts make downtown Cincinnati a destination.  Here's four ways this local cultural asset has made an impact.

1. Drawing Visitors to the Region
One in six patrons comes to the Aronoff Center for the Arts from outside the region, with the center bringing in an economic impact totaling more than $365 million in its 20-year history. Having high-quality facilities allows Cincinnati to host national tours and acts that might otherwise skip our mid-size market. The venue’s facilities and capacity were integral in attracting the prestigious World Choir Games to host their 2012 competition in the Queen City. 8.8 million people have been part of the Aronoff Center’s more than 13,000 events so far—and counting. 

2. Providing a Launch Pad for Small Arts Organizations
Did you know? The Aronoff Center for the Arts is comprised of three different theaters—the mid-sized Jarson-Kaplan Theater, the expansive Procter & Gamble Hall, and the intimate Fifth Third Bank Theater. These spaces play host to the Broadway in Cincinnati series, national and regional tours, but also provide a permanent home to smaller local organizations. 20 years ago, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company was one of the first resident companies at the Aronoff Center.  Being in a central downtown location helped CSC build a bigger audience until they grew into their current space on Race Street. The Cincinnati Boychoir is the latest addition to this roster of resident companies—others include Mam Luft Dance, Co., Contemporary Dance Theater, Cincinnati Playwrights Initiative and more. And in the next few years, the Cincinnati Ballet and Cincinnati Opera will take up residence at the Aronoff Center while renovations are completed at Cincinnati Music Hall.

3. Making Space for New Local Art
The Aronoff Center for the Arts is also home to the eclectic Weston Art Gallery, a bi-level space with 3,500 square feet dedicated to exhibiting the most intriguing visual art from local, national and international artists working in all media. The Weston Art Gallery is dedicated to engaging even the youngest arts enthusiasts: their unique Docentitos Program is an acclaimed arts ambassadorial summer camp where kids ages 9-12 receive a variety of docent training and upon graduation, lead their own guided tour of the gallery’s summer exhibition.  

4. Catalyzing Downtown Growth
The Aronoff Center for the Arts is credited with being a major catalyst in the sweeping change still being seen in the downtown Cincinnati economic and physical landscape. As more people came downtown to enjoy a night at the theater or the ballet, they revived the market for downtown restaurants and retailers. In fact,  Aronoff patrons spent $6.5 million at downtown businesses and restaurants and another $7 million on parking, hotel stays and retail purchases in the 2013-14 season alone.  Increased activity encouraged further investment by businesses and new housing development, transforming Cincinnati's formerly quiet downtown into a lively and bustling city center.

Congratulations to the Aronoff Center for the Arts on 20 outstanding years, and here’s to 20 more—and beyond!