Hear the full discussion on ArtsWrap with Alecia, available wherever you get your podcasts.

"Art makes life better," asserts retired P&G executive Lisa Sauer. "It makes the place we live in... more beautiful and more interesting, more challenging." Dedicated to making the Cincinnati region a better place to live, Sauer is a longtime supporter of the arts. This year, she's leading the 2024 ArtsWave Campaign along with her Co-Chair (and husband) Jon Moeller, P&G's Chairman, President & CEO.

Moeller agrees — and sees it as good for business at P&G and other local companies. "We have an objective of recruiting, developing and retaining the best talent in the world... and that's very difficult to do without a vibrant community," he says. Cincy's arts have proven a great investment in that regard, with the region ranking 11th in a list of the most arts-vibrant communities in the U.S.

Moreover, a recent report shows that Cincy's arts had a $1.6 billion economic impact from 2019 to 2022. The same report showed that for every $1 invested through the ArtsWave Campaign, the arts organizations, projects and artists it supports generate nearly $43 in economic value for greater Cincinnati.

"It actually didn't surprise me," Moeller says of the report, noting how many people BLINK®, illuminated by ArtsWave, brought to the region from all over the world. "That's just one of many very impactful art happenings that exist in our city."

"When you put a number against it... you think, 'Oh my gosh, they are a significant part of the economy,'" notes Sauer. The two have discussed a concern that inflation could impact the sector, and Sauer adds, "We should be raising about $16 million for the arts this year to equal what was raised 10 years ago. Yet, what we raised last year was $11.9 million... There's a lot that we need to make up for."

Sauer and Moeller hit the ground running to regain ground the ArtsWave Campaign lost to inflation. They built early momentum with the Chairpersons' Kickstarter, teeing up the Campaign in its highest-ever starting position. Their goal is to surpass the high-water mark of nearly $12.5 million set in 2017. With the support of a Campaign Cabinet comprised of dozens of volunteers from businesses throughout the region, they're off to a good start.

The 2024 ArtsWave Community Campaign runs through May 23. Donate at artswave.org/give.