Conventions for the NAACP and the Church of God in Christ will bring thousands of people to Cincinnati in July, and the banners that welcome them will feature the work of local artists Annie Ruth and Joyce Phillips Young.

ArtsWave was one of the sponsors of the artwork, which was unveiled June 20. The banners and posters will be in the streets downtown, at the airport and throughout local businesses. 

“The arts are an integral part of what makes Cincinnati such a world-class destination,” said Edgar Smith, Chairman of the Board for the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau as well as an ArtsWave Life Trustee. 

The COGIC convention, July 1-8, is expected to bring in 13,000 people who will be greeted by "Prayer & Praise," a work from Annie Ruth created with the principles of the church in mind. The piece is filled with vibrant colors, clouds of the angelic host and includes the phrase "yes, lord," which comes from a COGIC hymn. 

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From July 16-20, another 5,000 people are expected to come to Cincinnati for the NAACP convention. Joyce Phillips Young created the artwork featured on the NAACP convention banners and posters, and the piece, "Foot Soldiers of Freedom," was inspired by the Civil Rights movement. 

"We need to come together and believe in peace and respect and love, and have an understanding that we're human beings trying to make our way in the world," Young said. "In that, we find a way to express ourselves. ... There's nothing like the arts to communicate."

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ArtsWave also is the presenting sponsor for arts programming happening during the convention through Vibe Cincy.