I must like a challenge. My daughter and I are hosting a Valentine's Day party this weekend for 10 nine-year-old girls. I consulted Pinterest for an inspiring craft. I chose one with three clear steps: paint a background on a canvas, trace a heart on top, glue buttons inside. 

But then I had a problem. How many buttons will it take to fill 10 hearts? I've been ordering pink buttons for weeks now, unsure of the amount I'll need. They range in size from a pencil eraser to a silver dollar. The idea is to arrange them and layer them so that together, they fill the heart and create a work of art. 

Today, ArtsWave Campaign Chair Tim Elsbrock, Cincinnati market president of Fifth Third Bank, is announcing Greater Cincinnati's own arts challenge: he's challenging the community to come together to contribute $12,600,000 to the 2017 Campaign by April 27.

Like the dozens of buttons that look simple on their own, it will take tens of thousands of gifts that will, together, add up to a significant impact for the community through the arts. 

"The arts touch both the head and the heart," Elsbrock explains. "Our head makes the business case – how essential the arts are to Cincinnati’s economy. Equally important is the feeling created in our heart – that common bond that connects cultures and neighborhoods, touching and engaging every single one of us.” 

Over the next 12 weeks, you can show your support for the 2017 ArtsWave Community Campaign with three clear steps: give, share, go. Gifts made on social media this weekend will be matched by Fifth Third Bank, up to $20,000 – so consider contributing now to that first layer of gifts that helps the ArtsWave Community Campaign canvas take shape. 

Then, share your support for the campaign with the hashtag #IsupportArtsWave. You can even make this declaration your new profile pic on Facebook or Twitter, and help us spread the word. 

Finally, go check out 90 arts experiences in 25 venues across 18 neighborhoods next weekend, February 18 and 19 during the 31st annual Macy’s Arts Sampler, presented by ArtsWave. 

Between now and then, Happy Valentine’s from all the arts organizations who benefit from the ArtsWave Community Campaign.