It feels great to be recognized, doesn’t it? We hope you share ArtsWave’s pride that Greater Cincinnati has received national attention over the last year, like never before, for its thriving arts scene. For instance, last last summer The New York Times published "36 Hours in Cincinnati," showcasing the region's arts and culture. In October, it pointed to Music Hall as a model for success that Lincoln Center's Geffen Hall might follow.

Now, to usher in 2018, The Times included Cincinnati on their list of "52 Places to Go in 2018." The Queen City is number 8—one of only two U.S. cities to break the top ten—and the leading reasons for this pick were the arts! In fact, the photo they chose for our listing was of a packed house at the gloriously-restored Music Hall. The resident arts companies of that historic landmark—Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Opera and Cincinnati Ballet—are specifically called out, as are the new and renewed homes of the nearby Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati. This story of the incredible convergence of artistic vision, civic leadership and philanthropy—manifest in these world-class cultural facitilies—is one that ArtsWave has been telling for the past year!

If 230 million impressions in national media are any indication, Cincinnati’s arts are showing their power in building our region’s reputation as a top place to live, work, play and learn. That’s right, 230 million impressions in 2017 alone, as reported by Source Cincinnati, for mentions in media outlets like The New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post and elsewhere that call out our region’s arts and cultural offerings.

This confirms something ArtsWave has long believed, and built into our Blueprint for Collective Action for the Arts Sector: Greater Cincinnati has much to gain by leveraging the quality and variety of our arts experiences to drive economic vibrancy. The arts can put Cincinnati on the map, laying the groundwork for the kind of international reputation that helps attract top talent, new businesses, and cultural tourists to the region.

Stop and think how fortunate we are to have such compelling arts assets. We have 230 million reasons, and counting, to ensure that they remain strong and at the top of their game.

The 2018 ArtsWave Community Campaign kicks off on February 1. Join Chair Jim Henning, president of Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky, along with thousands of volunteers and contributors, in supporting and celebrating the arts this year.