Arts and culture is the fastest growing domestic travel sector over the past five years, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

Thanks to careful planning by the Regional Tourism Network and ArtsWave, Cincinnati is capitalizing on this trend. Over the past two Fall seasons, a first-ever cultural tourism marketing campaign and cultural tourism product development grants helped spur $116 million in new economic impact for the region.

As summer heats up, the arts are offering more than ever to attract local and out-of-town visitors to Cincinnati. Cincinnati Opera is staging five different productions, including premieres of “As One” and “Another Brick in the Wall,” a new opera based on Pink Floyd’s iconic album.

Large-draw music choices include the Cincinnati Music Festival, Monday Night Jazz at Memorial Hall, live music on Fountain Square, Summermusik presented by Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, plus all that the Cincinnati Symphony’s MEMI offers at Riverbend. Ensemble Theatre’s “Hedwig” runs through July 1, Broadway favorites keep the Aronoff lit up all summer long and Cincinnati Shakespeare Company will be in regional parks with free performances through the end of August. See the ancient warriors of "Terracotta Army" at the Cincinnati Art Museum or a newly created installation out of sticks by artist Patrick Dougherty on the lawn of the Taft Museum.

There’s all this and so much more, in fact, that when the New York Times profiled Cincinnati last week as one of 52 places to visit this year, they summed up our region with the headline, “The Arts are Flourishing in Cincinnati.” As reporter Jada Yuan profiled our area, she called out the Contemporary Arts Center featuring Mark de Jong's Swing House, ArtWorks' murals, Music Hall, Ensemble Theatre and Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.

Not only do stories and headlines like this build our economy, they also build our reputation. This makes it easier for the region to attract new businesses and recruit new talent. Investing in the arts through ArtsWave is a way to keep the region’s momentum growing.

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