Macy’s Arts Sampler presented by ArtsWave returns February 27 and 28, celebrating its 30th year connecting Greater Cincinnati residents with the amazing arts opportunities offered in our region. 

“Macy’s Arts Sampler gives everyone a chance to discover the wide variety of arts across our region,” said Alecia Kintner, President and CEO of ArtsWave. “It’s a great way to spend a weekend with family and friends and try something new.”

As we look forward to the 30th anniversary Sampler, we take a look at some special moments and memories from Samplers past, and reasons why the Macy's Arts Sampler is such a special experience, courtesy of local arts organizations. 


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(Images courtesy Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park) 

I remember Sampler Weekend 1997 as one of the best and craziest days at the Playhouse. Our plan was to present two free performances of our touring production of Winnie the Pooh in the lobby, which would accommodate about 300 total audience members. We knew the show would be popular and planned to distribute tickets one hour prior to show-time that morning. However, the volume and frantic nature of the calls our Box Office received in the days leading up to Sampler Weekend convinced us to move the performances to the Marx Theatre. That morning, before we even opened the doors and several hours before show-time, the line snaked all the way around the outside of the building. We went ahead and opened the doors early and ended up distributing more than 1,200 tickets for two “sold-out” performances in the Marx Theatre that day. We were thrilled to be able to welcome so many more kids and families than we originally expected! Sampler Weekend has always been a great way to introduce family audiences to the Playhouse and is a fun weekend for all of us." -- Kathy Neus, Director of Marketing and Communications 


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(Images courtesy Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra) 

"The Macy’s Arts Sampler is always a blast to perform. Whenever the Orchestra, May Festival, Opera and Ballet come together on one stage, the sparks fly and spirits soar—it’s sheer joy collaborating with such amazing artists. A personal highlight for me was last year's performance with the MYCincinnati Orchestra. These dedicated kids played their hearts out and finished the performance with the greatest sense of pride and accomplishment. This is what ArtsWave is all about!" – John Morris Russell, Conductor, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra


Cincinnati Ballet 2015 stage 
(Image by Mikki Schafner) 

“We are always excited to be a part of this amazing event! We love collaborating with other arts organizations and creating a day for families to get excited about the arts in our region. It’s such a great opportunity to engage future arts lovers and creators." 

Cincinnati Ballet 
(Image by Mikki Schafner) 

“Creating a ballet to music from Star Wars is a dream come true. We have enlisted Regina Cerimele-Mechley to create a lightsaber ballet that will showcase our Second Company dancers!” -- Julie Sunderland, Director of Education & Outreach


Cincinnati Shakespeare Company 2014 Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
(Images by Mikki Schafner) 

"I always loved being a part of the Artswave Samplers. It was always such a joy to see people so festive about seeing so many different arts groups come together and celebrate art inCincinnati. Selfishly speaking, it was always delightful and insightful for us who spend all of our time working on Shakespeare, to see the amazing art that other people make in our own backyard. What a great reminder about the huge range of talent and skill in this beautiful city of ours." -- Maggie Lou Rader, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company Resident Ensemble Member

Cincinnati Opera group Cincinnati Opera
(Images courtesy Cincinnati Opera and by Mikki Schafner) 

"For the Cincinnati Opera to be able to perform for such a wide-reaching audience is always amazing.  For Artswave to provide the Sampler Weekend free is a dream come true. To see the face of a person (or child) hearing opera for the first time is unforgettable, and it bonds us as a staff in a unique way. It fulfills us not just as individuals, but as an organization." -- Kate Brockmeier, Production Operations Manager