Cincinnati's Price Hill neighborhood is on the rise, and that's not just an Incline District pun. All around the neighborhood, the arts have been sprouting and growing, and the local economy has been growing around them. With two theaters, a new community arts center, a music education initiative and more, the future of Cincinnati's West Side looks vibrant.
Cincinnati Landmark Productions has had a starring role in Price Hill's arts scene. In 2001, they turned an old movie theater into the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts. Building on that success, they built a new theater, the Warsaw Federal Incline Theater, in 2015. Since then, audiences have grown to about 50,000 patrons each year. According to Americans for the Arts, the typical arts patron spends a little over $30 at local businesses while attending an arts event. That's an annual investment of over $1.5 million in Price Hill's economy thanks to the arts.
CLP's latest major investment reached out of Price Hill into Westwood. The Madcap Education Center is the new home to the region's beloved Madcap Puppets. The Center also features multiple classrooms for dance, drama and music, a distance learning classroom and a 133-seat theater on the top floor.
"As people start to realize all the great things that are happening within this community, there's no reason that it can't be one of the next great neighborhoods in Cincinnati," says Rodger Pille of Cincinnati Landmark Productions.
Cincinnati Landmark Productions is hardly alone in the West Side's arts. Price Hill Will, a community development corporation, has several programs that focus on what the arts can do to revitalize a region. In addition to a regular Concerts in the Square series featuring free concerts from local musicians, Price Hill Will is the parent organization of Music for Youth in Cincinnati (better known as MYCincinnati).
Every day, after school, MYCincinnati offers a safe space for 120 young people to learn how to create music. The students who participate in MYCincinnati have opportunities to perform all around the Cincinnati region. Participants have performed organizations like Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, ArtWorks, CCM and more.
The arts play a vital role in revitalizing neighborhoods. We can see that all over the Cincinnati region, not just in Price Hill. From close to the urban core in Over-the-Rhine, inner-ring suburbs like Silverton, and regional cities like Hamilton, the arts are proving to be a valuable investment for civic and business leaders.