ArtsWave will start a Creative Placemaking Network in Greater Cincinnati thanks to a $35,000 grant from National Endowment for the Arts. This grant is one of just 18 made to local arts agencies around the country for supporting public engagement in the arts in this funding round.

Creative placemaking uses the arts to make a community stronger. As outlined in its
Blueprint for Collective Action, ArtsWave is committed to leveraging the power of the arts to help build a vibrant economy and more connected community in Greater Cincinnati. The Creative Placemaking Network will work toward the strategic goals of the Blueprint, enlivening neighborhoods around the region.

“People who are engaged with the arts also are more active and connected in their communities,” ArtsWave CEO Alecia Kintner said. “The arts, through creative placemaking projects, are making a positive impact in communities around the country — and in Greater Cincinnati — and we’re thrilled to be able to expand these efforts.

Beginning in January, ArtsWave will bring together artists and community development organizations from five communities in Greater Cincinnati, along with arts organizations from those communities and around the region, for a series of expert-led workshops about using arts for community engagement and creative placemaking. At the end of the workshop series, participants will develop creative placemaking projects in the communities. 

ArtsWave will create a toolkit to provide other communities with the process and structure needed to start creative placemaking projects of their own. A searchable website with a directory of locally-based individual artists and cultural ambassadors also is planned.

LISC of Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, in partnership with the Kresge Foundation, already has started creative placemaking work in the region, focused on Price Hill and Walnut Hills. The NEA grant allows ArtsWave to leverage these existing investments in the region.