Imagine learning that one of your investments is returning nearly $43 on every dollar. According to a study released this week, that's the benefit the Cincinnati region sees for its investment in the arts: local arts organizations contribute $42.47 to the regional economy for every $1 that ArtsWave originally invested

Commissioned by ArtsWave and produced by the Cincinnati Regional Chamber's Center for Research & Data, the study found that Cincy's arts and culture sector had an economic impact of $488.4 million in 2022. That's a 44.3% increase over the previous year — and that's before factoring in the $249.3 million impact of the year's biggest arts event: BLINK®, illuminated by ArtsWave. That brings the impact to $737.7 million. From 2019-2022, the sector's impact was an impressive $1.6 billion.

The report underscores the local arts sector's ability to punch above its weight, providing 48% more jobs than the national average for a region of its size.By comparison, Cincy's transportation and warehousing sector provides 37% more jobs than similarly sized regions, and its manufacturing sector provides 32% more. In short, the arts largely drive our local economy. It's no wonder the Cincinnati metro area is the 11th most arts-vibrant community in the nation according to SMU DataArts, despite ranking 29th in population size.

The research also shows positive progress toward equity in the region's arts sector. The total economic impact of organizations led by or serving Black, Brown, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) grew by 26% from 2019-2022. During the same period, BIPOC arts organizations created or supported approximately 53% more jobs. Compared to the 19% impact growth and 7.4% growth in jobs for all local arts organizations, these figures suggest that Cincy's arts are moving toward inclusivity.

How does a region without dedicated arts tax levies build such a powerful arts sector? Look behind the numbers and you'll find nearly a century of community support through the ArtsWave Campaign. Each year, individuals, businesses and foundations come together to help fund arts and culture in the region. For many organizations, the citizen-funded grant from ArtsWave represents their largest single source of contributed revenue. That time of the year is almost here again. ArtsWave's 2024 Campaign kicks off on February 6.

ThiThink again about that high-yield investment. After such a successful return, would you scale back your support? Current projections for the next four years of the ArtsWave Campaign show some growth in the campaign, but not enough. To match the rate of inflation, the ArtsWave Campaign would need to raise roughly $20.1 million in 2027 — a 63% increase over the 2023 Campaign's results. At its current rate of growth, the Campaign will raise close to $13.5 million instead.

With a new ArtsWave Campaign only weeks away, we have an opportunity to continue strengthening the powerful impacts of our region's arts.

Continuing the impact of the arts well into the future depends on our work today. Make your gift today at

Read the full report here: Economic Impact of Arts & Culture in the Cincinnati Region.