Cincinnati keeps making “best of” lists, as today’s Business Courier rightly reports. They ask the questions, “Why now?” and “How?"

The answers are awesome and strategic. Source Cincinnati has been intentionally cultivating and educating writers and editors at desirable publications across the country for the last several years. The results of coordinated efforts under the direction of Source CEO Julie Calvert are paying off, and the numbers of positive impressions of our region are mounting. And, while national lists are important, they are only part of the Cincinnati region’s story that Source Cincinnati has been telling to the world.

Today’s report overlooked the WHAT: the substance that is being highlighted by the writers who are discovering Cincinnati. That substance, time and time again, and prominently throughout 2017, included Cincinnati’s vibrant and visible arts and culture scene.

It’s worth calling out because if it's not, there’s the very real danger that Cincinnati’s arts and culture output would get taken for granted—the literally hundreds of arts experiences that lend variety, inspiration, provocation, education and imagination to our creative identity as a region. ArtsWave is a partner with Source Cincinnati, and the intentional, collaborative work that has been done to elevate the region’s arts and cultural narrative is having a tremendous impact on how the nation views our region, and importantly, how we view ourselves. Simply put, arts and culture is a significant driver of our region’s national reputation, and a powerful awareness driver that cannot be overlooked or underreported.

We’ve just kicked off the 2018 ArtsWave Community Campaign with immense momentum from this positive media coverage that showcases Cincinnati’s theaters, renovated Music Hall, internationally-touring and Grammy-nominated Orchestra, public art, and so much more. Our job isn’t done until every Cincinnatian recognizes that the ArtsWave Campaign fuels this highly visible activity, as well as the less visible—yet incredibly impactful—arts in our school systems and neighborhoods.

ArtsWave Campaign Chair Jim Henning has set this year’s goal at $12,250,000 from 40,000 donors. Will you join me as one of them?

Make your gift at or text "ArtsWave" to 444999.