CINCINNATI (September 13, 2015) – ArtsWave, the greater Cincinnati region’s leading local arts agency, announced today a ten-year strategy, the Blueprint for Collective Action for the Arts. Designed to advance ArtsWave’s vision of a more vibrant regional economy and more connected community for all, the Blueprint identifies five community goals that leverage the power of the arts. The Blueprint will provide a focus for ArtsWave’s community investments and strategic initiatives for the next ten years.
"We’ve long recognized that Cincinnati’s arts organizations each contribute to making this region unique and vibrant," said Alecia Kintner, President & CEO of ArtsWave. “But ArtsWave believes that, working collectively, the region’s arts organizations can make a larger impact on broader community imperatives like talent attraction, workforce development, and cross-cultural understanding.”
The Blueprint for Collective Action represents the next evolution in ArtsWave’s community impact agenda. In 2014, ArtsWave participated in a series of workshops at the Greater Cincinnati Foundation crafted to help organizations build community will for change through a design-thinking model. ArtsWave staff members, Board members and arts organization representatives found themselves discussing how to provide more clarity to ArtsWave’s grantee organizations around the idea of collective impact.
After months of conversation with Board members, community leaders, and arts organization leaders, ArtsWave selected five goals that aligned with broad community priorities and offered an opportunity for the arts to demonstrate that they can “move the needle”: put Cincinnati on the map to attract employees and visitors from other places; deepen residents’ roots in the region, especially young professionals; bridge cultural divides by increasing understanding among different races and ethnicities; enliven neighborhoods; and fuel creativity and learning by ensuring that all students have access to arts education that builds 21st century skills.
The Blueprint identifies roles for arts organizations to play in the advancement of each goal, as well as roles for ArtsWave. For example, to help achieve the goal of increasing cross-cultural understanding, one role for arts organizations would be to present more works of art and arts experiences that feature artists of all races and ethnicities; while a role for ArtsWave would be to recruit and train more business volunteers for the arts of all races and ethnicities.
“The new ArtsWave Blueprint completely aligns with the Orchestra’s mission, vision and values,” says Trey Devey, President, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. “We are inspired and excited by these well-defined goals for Cincinnati’s vibrant arts sector and the opportunity for even greater community impact through the arts. Together, we can further elevate our region as one of the world’s great cultural centers.”
“Our regional arts organizations have become more adept at measuring and sharing their community impact,” says Lisa Sauer, Chair, ArtsWave Board of Trustees and Vice President Product Supply, Global Home Products & External Supply Solutions at P&G. “ArtsWave is building on this momentum as we look for opportunities to align the collective impact of the arts with broader community priorities and reach more people across the region.”
ArtsWave is now in the process of updating its grant applications and grantmaking process in anticipation of the 2016 grants cycle. Committees are forming around each of the five Blueprint goals, bringing together leaders and experts from across different sectors to determine the best ways to measure the collective impact of the arts against these goals.
In the coming weeks, ArtsWave will introduce two new powerful online tools to support the Blueprint: CincyArtsGuide and Arts Atlas Cincinnati. At CincyArtsGuide.com, residents and visitors can discover arts events, exhibitions, classes, fundraisers and more from arts organizations across the region. Built on the Artsopolis platform developed by Silicon Valley Creates, San Jose’s local arts council, CincyArtsGuide makes it easy to find arts events by date, geography, interest, age of participants, and other criteria. The guide is scheduled to launch by the end of September.
Arts Atlas Cincinnati was initiated to support strategic investment in community impact through the arts. This custom-designed mapping tool is intended to enable the increased availability and accessibility of arts programming throughout the region. The site will launch at the beginning of October with tools focused on Arts Education and Neighborhoods, and will be continually updated with data gathered by ArtsWave and by local arts organizations, as well as regional and national data sets on demographics, socio-economics, and more.
“Arts Atlas Cincinnati is an exciting next step in ArtsWave’s efforts to drive impact through the arts in our community,” said Dr. Tara Townsend, ArtsWave’s Chief Impact Strategy Officer. “Anyone will be able to see for themselves the integral role that arts and culture plays in our region in a highly-visual and interactive way.”