Valentine's Day Weekend saw the region light up in “ArtsWave red.” 50+ arts venues, businesses and other organizations around the region illuminated their buildings to show their support for the message “#ILoveTheArts.” It was all part of the kickoff of the 2021 ArtsWave Campaign, which brings our community together every year in support of the region’s arts sector. That campaign – which this year is more important than ever – is in full swing under the leadership of Campaign Chair Terry Horan.

Those who took nighttime drives, walks or rides to capture the event and share it on social media were in the running to win the #ILoveTheArts Photo Contest. Expert judges from FotoFocus, CityBeat, Cincinnati Art Museum and the Contemporary Arts Center determined a winning photo out of nearly 100 entries. Click here to see the winner and finalists. The light displays were only one piece of the weekend’s events, though.

Those who elected to stay warm inside enjoyed virtual performances from local artists and organizations. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company presented the Bard's classic love story, "Romeo and Juliet," as a streaming video as well as a radio play on WVXU. Hamilton's Fitton Center for Creative Arts brought Queen City Cabaret to the airwaves on TvHamilton with "Tea for Two," a celebration of the life of Cincinnati-native Doris Day. Red Light Jazz Room shared performances from gospel singer Linda O'Neal, R&B artist Destiny L, acoustic funk songwriter Matt Waters and TRIIIBE's Siri Imani, who helped organize 2019's CSO Look Around.

These events were only the beginning for the 2021 Campaign. The arts are a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to restoring the Cincinnati region’s economy after the global pandemic. Aside from your gift to the ArtsWave Campaign, we have another new way you can help.

ArtsWave is asking anyone who loves the arts to show it on their social media accounts. It's called the ArtsWave Challenge, and here's how it works:

  1. Post a video on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn showing or telling why you love the arts. Be sure to tag @ArtsWave and use the #ILoveTheArts and #ArtsWaveChallenge hashtags. You can show a dance, song, drawing or even just a message, but it has to be 15 seconds or less. Check your privacy settings to make sure it's public so ArtsWave can see and share it!
  2. Make a gift to ArtsWave at
  3. Tag three friends to keep the challenge going.

Our thanks to City Council Candidate Mark Jeffreys for helping us kick off this Challenge. A strongly funded arts sector is a must-have for a vibrant region, and your network is key to helping us spread that message. When you make your gift this year, be sure to share it along with the #ArtsWaveChallenge.

The 2021 ArtsWave Campaign aims to raise $11 million for the Cincinnati region's arts. With your help, we can reach and exceed that goal and ensure a successful re-stART for the Cincinnati region.