Tidal, Greater Cincinnati’s first Arts + Tech Challenge, will unite two thriving sectors of the region's economy, bringing entrepreneurial innovation into the vibrant arts community.

Part of the 2016 ArtsWave Community Campaign, the first-ever problem-solving event will be April 8-10 at Union Hall, 1313 Vine St.  Conceived by LISNR Co-founder Chris Ostoich, the event is being hosted by Cintrifuse and sponsored by Fifth Third Bank.

“I’ve built my career in Cincinnati in start-ups and I have always had an interest in and love for the arts,” said Ostoich, who is also an ArtsWave Board Member. “I want to see more entrepreneurs and creatives engaged in the arts, and I know that if you want to get those people involved, if you want to get in front of them, you have to engage their minds and talents.”

Tidal will invite the most talented tech, design, marketing and creative professionals in Greater Cincinnati to solve real-life business problems in the arts sector. Rewarding innovative problem-solving, the unusual collaboration between two distinct sectors of Greater Cincinnati’s economy is capturing and amplifying the potential for the region to become the next “it” place for young, innovative and creative talent.  

These problem-solving challenges -- called "hackathons" in the tech community -- are common, and businesses often are born from the events. LISNR, Ostoich's downtown-based tech business, is an example and is rapidly earning national and international acclaim.

Challenges typically run over a weekend, starting on Friday, when people pitch problems to be solved and those involved self-sort into teams that work through Saturday. Solutions are presented Sunday for a panel of expert judges, and prizes awarded to the winning team. 

Tidal: Arts + Tech Challenge will follow the general format and include arts performances. The challenges will come from the arts sector, specifically from Greater Cincinnati’s largest arts organizations. Cintrifuse, The Brandery, Startup Weekend, CincyTech and others also are supporting the endeavor. Ostoich and Cintrifuse CEO Wendy Lea hope it will become an annual tradition and a way to meaningfully invest and connect #StartUpCincy with the arts. 

Fifth Third Bank’s sponsorship of Tidal stems from its own innovative history, including the fact that 40 years ago, the company introduced the first shared ATM network in the U.S. Fifth Third continues to be one of Greater Cincinnati’s largest employers of technology professionals, as well as a leading supporter of the arts and ArtsWave.

“We are proud to sponsor Tidal: Arts + Tech Challenge, because it aligns with our corporate interest in encouraging curiosity and creativity,” said Teresa Tanner, Fifth Third Bank executive vice president and chief administrative officer. “Fifth Third also has a long commitment to the arts in Greater Cincinnati.”

As a leader for the arts sector and the community, ArtsWave is advancing a more vibrant economy and connected community through the arts. In addition to events such as Tidal, ArtsWave provides services to the community, including CincyArtsGuide.com, to connect and engage people with the arts, and to the arts sector, including impact-based grants. The 2016 Community Campaign, which runs through April 28, has a goal of $12.45 million dollars.

“Our long-standing arts sector and the growing tech and entrepreneurial sector both put Cincinnati on the map and draw top talent, new jobs, and tourists to our region. ArtsWave is excited to bring these two key parts of our region's economy together,” ArtsWave CEO Alecia Kintner said. “We know the arts have the power to fuel creativity and learning for everyone, at any age, and this unique event will show that.” 

 For more information about Tidal or to register to participate, please visit https://tidaltech.splashthat.com/