In case you missed my live-tweeting during #SB50, here is my round-up of the three most memorable moments of Super Bowl L, and how they tie into ArtsWave (hint: they don’t involve football):


We might have ended the game talking about Doritos, but the very first commercial after the National Anthem featured – you guessed it -- the arts! In a spot called “Experience Amazing,” Intel wove together images of performing artists with athletes and technological feats, set to Beethoven’s familiar Symphony No. 5. The ad brought the arts and technology together in a powerful “collision of the sectors,” as ArtsWave Board Member Chris Ostoich of LISNR likes to say. Using Beethoven’s Fifth as the soundtrack added to the symbolism for me – it’s so familiar and it’s been popularized so many times (remember this disco version?), as if to say arts and technology are both all around us. We take them for granted, but they make life amazing. 

ArtsWave is going to prove that very same point in April, with the first ever Tidal: Arts + Tech Challenge being organized by Ostoich. Designers, coders, marketers, and creatives of all types are invited to register to solve real-life problems proposed by local arts organizations. Hosted by Cintrifuse and sponsored by Fifth Third Bank, you can read more about Tidal and sign up here.

It’s a “collision of arts and technology” right here at home.      


Now rewind to that show-stopping National Anthem. Stefani Germanotta — the artist better known to us as Lady Gaga — demonstrated just why she was awarded the Young Artist Award at the 2015 National Arts Awards by Americans for the Arts last October. She’s been called the “first true Millennial Superstar.” She’s totally at home on a red carpet. And now she’s conquered a football stadium as well.

But for Stefani, an award from our national organization dedicated to increasing access to the arts for all Americans (just like ArtsWave works to do regionally) was “the most meaningful ever.”  And do you know what she said in her acceptance speech? She thanked her parents for providing her with arts education and for exposing her to many different artists and art forms.

Let’s all take Gaga’s advice and take in some art! Feb. 27 and 28, ArtsWave presents the 30th Macy’s Arts Sampler, with additional support from United Dairy Farmers and Dewey’s Pizza. On Saturday, arts performances and activities will happen at more than 30 venues all over Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, and multiple arts organizations will take over Music Hall on Sunday. And it’s all FREE!!!! What a great way to introduce your family or friends to the amazing array of arts experiences Greater Cincinnati organizations have to offer. Download the free 2016 Sampler App here


I bet you were wondering who the kids were in the red & blue zip-up jackets on stage with Cold Play and Chris Martin, with their violins! They are the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (YOLA) under the direction of L.A. Philharmonic Conductor Gustavo Dudamel, who introduced Venezuela’s El Sistema program to the U.S.  The program aims to transform the lives of kids, particularly those from the inner city with limited opportunities, through daily classical music instruction.  Just think – probably for the first time in Super Bowl history there was a kids’ arts enrichment program as part of the Halftime Show! (Forget the commercials -- this got me all choked up.) 

And here’s what’s really important: El Sistema is also the inspiration for MYCincinnati, a program of Price Hill Will. The MYCincinnati Youth Orchestra helped kick off the 2016 ArtsWave Community Campaign last week by performing with Campaign Co-Chair and Pianist, Awadagin Pratt, and UC President Santa Ono on the cello. Believe me, I needed my tissues that night as well. 

For more information about how you can support the many positive and unexpected impacts of the arts through ArtsWave, click here