It’s been a number of years since ArtsWave coined the term “the Arts Ripple Effect,” the outcome of extensive local research. The term describes what people perceive to be the “public value” of the arts in our community. Greater Cincinnatians observe that the positive benefits of the arts “ripple” across the region regardless of how much, or how often, each of us participates. That ripple grows to create a more vibrant regional economy and more connected community.
A great example of the Arts Ripple Effect is Ensemble Theatre on Vine Street, which by its very existence and perseverance through tough times in Over-the-Rhine has been an undeniable driver of the transformation of the neighborhood and catalyst for all kinds of business and housing development.
Another example of the Arts Ripple Effect is the “Memories in the Museum” program, co-led by the Cincinnati Art Museum, Contemporary Arts Center and Taft Museum of Art. Each month people living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers come together to find strength in one another and spark buried memories through a guided experience in one of the galleries.   
The term “the Arts Ripple Effect” and this concept have become part of the common vernacular, embraced by national foundations and government leaders to convey what return on investment in the arts looks like. Recently, ArtsWave has gotten even more specific in describing how the “the Arts Ripple Effect” manifests itself in our region: the arts put Cincinnati on the map so that we can attract talented workers; the arts deepen the roots of our residents so people stay and feel at home; the arts bridge cultural divides; they enliven our neighborhoods; and they fuel creativity and learning in our kids, preparing them for tomorrow’s workforce. 
These “ripples” – the positive benefits of the arts – have contributed to our region’s renaissance. ArtsWave catalyzes and sustain these ripples. 
The positive benefits of the arts add up to hard dollars and cents. The arts in Cincinnati generate local economic impact of $280 million annually*.  Nationally, arts and culture represent 4.23% of the GDP – $704.2 billion – bigger than other sectors including construction, transportation, warehousing, mining and extraction, and agriculture.

It’s important for our elected officials and policy makers to understand this impact and hear about the Arts Ripple Effect from all of us, so vital federal agencies which support the arts and culture sector are maintained and adequately funded. If you’d like to make your voice heard and show your support for the arts in America, check out the Americans for the Arts Action Fund. It’s free and important to join.

*Source: Arts & Economic Prosperity III, Americans for the Arts, 2007