When the lights went down on the arts, their absence reminded us of the ways they contribute to our quality of life and connection to community. Although uncertainty continues, live arts are returning to the Cincinnati region's stages, galleries and community centers.

Local theaters have been far from idle before making the move back to indoor stages. Know Theatre of Cincinnati kicked off its fall season with "All's Faire," which toured several outdoor spaces in the region, followed by "Mongrel," a show about Genghis Khan, at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum. The Carnegie’s season premiered with performances of "Little Shop of Horrors" and "End of the Rainbow" at Covington Plaza on the banks of the Ohio River.

The Know is taking theater back indoors for its next production, "Shock: The Spine-Tingling Tale of Miss Spidra," on October 8, marking its first in-person performance on the theater's main stage since the pandemic began. That same evening, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company returns to the stage with the seminal love story, "Romeo and Juliet." The following day, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park opens "The West End" in its Marx Theatre, exploring life for residents of the Cincinnati neighborhood on the eve of World War II. Meanwhile, Ensemble Theatre will pick up just where they left off, resuming its production of "Pipeline," which ran for a single night before the shutdown in 2020.

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra brought the Classical Roots concert series back to Music Hall in August, then greeted the fall season with the first of two collaboration performances with MusicNOW, featuring pianist Daniil Trifonov and folk supergroup Bonny Light Horseman. Cincinnati Ballet returns to the Music Hall stage in November with "King Arthur's Camelot."

Supporting the return to live arts

ArtsWave is bringing the return of live arts to life through a unified, sector-wide promotional campaign, sponsored by P&G and Cincinnati Bell. The campaign, BRING YOU, aims to engage the community with the arts. More than 100 local arts groups have joined together as part of the campaign.

BRING YOU-wrapped Metro buses will hit neighborhood streets sometime in October. In addition, for the five-year anniversary of the streetcar, the Cincinnati Bell Connector adopted a new Music Hall-themed wrap to serve as another promotional vehicle for the arts. Leigh Fox, president and CEO of Cincinnati Bell, notes, "The arts play an essential role in making Greater Cincinnati the incredible place it is to live, work and play."

The return of live arts will bring not just enjoyment for audiences, but employment for thousands of actors, performers, musicians, artists and staff. Together, they make up one of the first of our local industries to close and among the last to fully return.

A successful return of the arts is made possible in large part because of the generosity of our community, including the tens of thousands of companies and individuals who gave to the 2021 ArtsWave Campaign, as well as the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County for their allocation of American Rescue Plan and CARES Act funding for the arts.

More than anything, success depends on an enthusiastic audience. So, ArtsWave and over 100 arts organizations invite you to BRING YOU this fall. Check ArtsWave Guide, the region’s arts calendar, for the most up-to-date and comprehensive information on Cincinnati’s arts events.