Deepening roots through the arts is one of the handful of key objectives set forth by ArtsWave’s Blueprint for Collective Action. One way that ArtsWave funding accomplishes this goal is through a set of grants that provide experiences that engage young professionals, the future leaders of our region. Research from Americans for the Arts shows that those who engage in the arts are more likely to be civically engaged within their community. The funding comes from YP donors, and the programs are chosen by ArtsWave's YP Committee.

Some of the grants went to already successful programs that will continue and expand. The Taft Museum of Art's "House Party" series is a free, interactive happy hour that always draws a crowd for performances and interactive art-making. Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park's "Off the Grid" series began in 2015 and continues to connect young professionals with unique, creative and participatory events like "War of the Malls" (a combination performance, escape room and laser tag venue) and "Nancy Brew and the Killer Bar Crawl."

Some of the grants are going to brand new programs, like the new Over-the-Rhine Museum's "Walking the Stories" tours. Following these evening walking tours will be social time in unusual locations like Schwartz Point Jazz Club or the Rothenberg School roof garden. Tours will introduce YPs to the history of Over-the-Rhine and offer a meaningful opportunity to discuss issues of gentrification and neighborhood change.

Cincinnati Opera's YP group, Center Stage, hosts a series of programs designed to provide an easy entry point to opera music. Young Professionals Choral Collective's "Concert Cycle" offers YPs the chance to collaborate with local arts partners to create thematic choral concerts each season. These participatory programs encourage young professionals to deepen connections to one another and the arts community.

The Contemporary Arts Center's "Revelry" is a festival-like program offered throughout the year, inspired by CAC exhibitions and catered toward young professionals. These single-evening events provide a shared experience outside of a traditional work setting, focused on contemporary art. Themes in the coming months will include street art and street culture, happy days, addendums and Cincinnati as art.

While these programs all focus on how the arts can deepen roots in Greater Cincinnati, the ArtsWave Pride grant program, introduced in 2018, focuses on both Deepening Roots and Bridging Cultural Divides, two of the Blueprint goals. Pride grants, like YP grants, follow a specialized process and are funded by ArtsWave Pride member donations. Applications are being accepted now, with a deadline of November 1. Grants will fund initiatives in 2020. Click here to apply.