BLINK, Illuminated by ArtsWave

In one year, BLINK will return to Cincinnati, illuminated by ArtsWave as the event’s presenting sponsor. ArtsWave’s new role was announced this week, along with the big news that the event will expand to Northern Kentucky in 2019. By going across the river in 2019, BLINK will literally and artistically further connect our community.

In a city and region “with more festivals than weekends,” BLINK distinguished itself last year as a massive four-day, light-based public art experience. More than 100 artists were showcased, coming from as far away as Gex, France; Lahore, Pakistan; Penang, Malaysia; and Tasmania, Australia. Sixty local Cincinnati artists participated. Thirty entertainers performed on six different stages. Brave Berlin engineered 22 projection mappings overseen by Artworks, as well as 35 light-based art installations. Eight new murals were painted under the guidance of international artists commissioned by local organization The Agar.

BLINK accomplished something that Toronto-based urbanist Richard Florida told Cincinnati CEOs is essential to reinvigorating cities: “Know your assets.”

We were visiting Toronto on an exchange organized by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, the organization that produces BLINK in collaboration with others.

“Know your assets,” Florida told us very clearly. “Promote your assets. Invest in your assets.”

By using Cincinnati’s distinctive architecture, landmarks and murals as canvases, BLINK illuminated our region’s assets and invited pride and discovery. This had a big pay-off: a million people showed up to discover, or rediscover, what our region has to offer. The event caused national reporters to take a fresh look at Cincinnati, leading to headlines and rankings on Top 10 lists of places to visit. It created buzz in far-off locations across the country and around the globe — everyone seems to have a story of a friend or relative who heard about BLINK.

ArtsWave has been investing in innovation, creativity and artistry since 1927. With the help of tens of thousands of donors each year, ArtsWave forms the foundation for the quality and variety of cultural experiences that distinguish our region today, including events like BLINK that bring people out and bring them together through the arts.

Stay tuned in the months ahead for more exciting BLINK announcements and all the ways that you, as an ArtsWave supporter, can experience BLINK in many special ways.