Our new series, "Better Know Cincy's Arts," gives you a closer look at the organizations you help support through the annual ArtsWave Campaign. Check out the first episode above to... "Better Know the Know."

"We do work that's super exciting and f*****g awesome." It can be hard to describe the kind of projects Know Theatre of Cincinnati produces, but that’s how producing artistic director Andrew Hungerford puts it.

"We have a focus on new works and underserved voices. We do cool new plays that can't be done anywhere else in Cincinnati," Hungerford elaborates. The Know seeks out new, visually inventive works that expand the boundaries of live theater. It spotlights world-class local performers and artists from historically excluded groups — half of its 24th Season is written by BIPOC playwrights, and half the writers this season identify as women.

The Know also offers a living wage to artists. "Artistic work is work," says Hungerford, "Often artists are asked to work for less because of this theory called 'vocational awe' ... sometimes when you feel the work you're doing is important, you're willing to do it for less money. That's not right." When artists are fairly compensated, he explains, they're more likely to stay in the Cincinnati region.

The theater also goes to great lengths to remove economic barriers for patrons. In 2014, the Know introduced The Welcome Experiment. For Wednesday night performances, advance tickets are discounted, and the box office sets aside a group of tickets to be given for free at the door. "That gets us some very raucous and passionate audiences," says Hungerford. "It gets to be a really packed house and people are just so into each show, it's almost like a rock concert vibe." More than 4,000 people have attended shows at the Know for low or no cost thanks to The Welcome Experiment.

How does a relatively small theater simultaneously focus on offering a living wage to artists and welcoming audiences with low-cost tickets? A big part of the answer is the funding the Know receives thanks to the thousands of individuals and companies who give annually to the ArtsWave Campaign. "ArtsWave is a huge piece of the funding puzzle that nonprofit arts organizations have to put together to just continue operating and keep our doors open," Hungerford notes. "Part of what ArtsWave makes possible is us opening the doors to more people who come from more diverse backgrounds, people who don't come from generational wealth."

According to its mission statement, "Know Theatre seeks to be a place where artists and audiences feel welcome to take artistic risks." Without a stable source of funding, the Know would likely have to choose between taking artistic risks and making its art accessible to all. That stable source is the Cincinnati region's generous community through the ArtsWave Campaign.

The Know Theatre of Cincinnati is one of 150+ organizations, projects and artists supported by the ArtsWave Campaign. Give today to ensure their work continues to impact the Cincinnati region in the future.