Recognizing the power of the arts to connect communities and drive a thriving economy, 2017 ArtsWave Community Campaign Chair Tim Elsbrock announced today a goal to raise $12,600,000 between now and April 27.

Elsbrock, Cincinnati Market President for Fifth Third Bank, shared the annual Community Campaign goal with more than 75 business leaders at Cintrifuse’s Union Hall. This goal is comprised of workplace campaigns that will be launched in over 250 corporations, businesses and other organizations throughout the region with support needed by over 40,000 Cincinnatians. Donations through workplace giving and key affinity groups are the drivers behind nearly 80% of the nonprofit arts agency’s revenues, used to fund core operations and essential programs for over 100 arts organizations locally. 


Donor affinity groups, spearheaded by volunteers, have been key to fueling campaign growth. This year, the Women’s Leadership Roundtable has set the goal of $1,000,000 from 500 women. A $25,000 Challenge Grant from the Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Fund, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee, will help incentivize these gifts. Five thousand Young Professionals (YPs) are projected to contribute to the campaign; a YP Kick-Off is slated for February 22 at Memorial Hall with three performances. The Circle of African American Leaders for the Arts (CAALA) will host prospective members in March at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.

During the Kick-Off, Elsbrock noted, “The arts touch both the head and the heart. Our head makes the business case – how essential the arts are to Cincinnati’s economy. Equally important is the feeling created in our heart – that common bond that connects cultures and neighborhoods, touching and engaging every single one of us. While this might seem to happen organically, it requires investment to perpetuate the impact and enjoyment of it.” During the event, Elsbrock celebrated three new murals painted by a local arts group that visually link Cincinnati’s past, present and future, much like the campaign kicked off today. These murals were funded by ArtsWave with help from the Ohio Valley Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee.


This event was paired with a public Campaign Kick-Off the night before at Listermann Brewery Company, including the release of a limited-edition beer which will be available throughout the campaign. Roots Ginger Beer is a collaboration between Listermann Brewing Company and Blank Slate Brewing Company with a portion of proceeds going to ArtsWave’s annual campaign.

The 2017 ArtsWave Community Campaign will include more events than ever. Macy’s Arts Sampler, set for February 18 and 19, is a weekend of nearly 100 free events, activities and performances across over 25 venues, presented by 60 organizations. The annual CincySings Choral Competition sponsored by Accenture, scheduled for April 19, will showcase employee talent from dozens of regional employers. The campaign returns to Union Hall on April 21-23 for the second annual creative problem-solving weekend, the Tidal: Art x Tech Challenge presented by Fifth Third Bank. Throughout the campaign, people can support the arts and their favorite restaurants and bars through the Toast to the Arts wine promotion and cocktail competition happening at 30 local establishments.

Since last year, ArtsWave has doubled the number of arts and entertainment venues included in its ArtsPass, a tax-deductible half-price and other deals benefit for anyone who donates $75 or more to the campaign. In partnership with the Cincinnati Reds, ArtsWave will also offer the Step Up to the Plate Challenge which gives donors two free Reds tickets when they donate at the $75 level for the first time or increase their pledge by 10%. 

For more information or to support the 2017 ArtsWave Community Campaign, visit Follow the campaign on social media, @ArtsWave, #Give2ArtsWave and #ISupportArtsWave. 

Media inquiries about the campaign should go to Marketing Director Kathy DeBrosse, and 513.632.0119.