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2024 Catalyzing Impact Grants

Catalyzing Impact grants are awarded to new or expanded projects that support the goals of ArtsWave’s Blueprint for Collective Action and are funded by the community with support in part from the National Endowment of the Arts.

Here are the projects that will receive the grant in 2024:

Activities Beyond the Classroom | CPS International Jazz Festival

On March 9, the free, all-day Cincinnati Public Schools International Jazz Festival will center musical participation and education at the Aronoff Center for the Arts. Students will participate in masterclasses with professional musicians, gaining valuable insights into their instruments. In the evening, student musicians will share the main stage with accomplished violinist Tomoko Omura for a free concert.

Alliance of Chinese Culture & Arts USA | World Drums

The Alliance of Chinese Culture & Arts USA, in partnership with 3CDC, will collaborate with various multicultural performing arts groups to host World Drums on a midsummer night. The event will highlight the cultural significance that drums play in Chinese, Japanese, Indian and African Cultures.

African Professionals Network (APNET) | AfriFest Cincy 2024

AfriFest 2024, organized by The Taste Of Africa, is set to celebrate African arts and cultures in Cincinnati. The event aims to promote cultural awareness, connect people to local resources and celebrate diversity. It will feature live performances, art exhibitions, cultural workshops and culinary experiences. AfriFest will be a vibrant celebration of the rich heritage and traditions of Africa, fostering unity in diversity.

Art Equals | Creativity Connects

The Creativity Connects project provides opportunities for a diverse population to engage with creativity by utilizing non-traditional spaces for artmaking. By providing self-contained art packets targeted at addressing mindfulness and connecting community organizations that provide vital services, people in the Greater Cincinnati Area will be given resources to reduce stress and enhance services through making art.

Back2Back Ministries | Neighborhood Play 2024

Back2Back Cincinnati's Neighborhood Play program will offer community-based, trauma-informed summer art camp experiences to 100 Cincinnati students, ages 6-17, from June to July of 2024. Students will engage in socioemotional learning through daily arts that promote personal storytelling, cross-cultural competence, and mental health and well-being. Students at each camp session will contribute to a mural project, beautifying a public space in their neighborhood. Neighborhood Play camps will be offered in sessions of two to three weeks in partnership with community-based organizations and artists in Roll Hill, Avondale and Westwood.

BasketShop Gallery | "To be close, closer"

"To be close, closer," created by a collaboration between BasketShop Gallery and curator Noel Maghathe, is an exhibition that explores the pain of occupation, the yearning for one's country and deeper dimensions of personal identity. Maghathe values connecting with other Palestinian and Arab artists in our homelands and in the diaspora. Admission will be free and open to the public.

Ben Carlson-Berne Scholarship Fund | Additional music lessons for Shroder High School orchestra students

The Ben Carlson-Berne Scholarship Fund program at Shroder High School orchestra provides five highly qualified musical instrument teachers to expand the success of the program. Teachers specializing in violin, viola, cello and bass attend Shroder High School's orchestra classes to teach private music lessons to a selection of students. The orchestra teacher chooses based on the student's desire to advance on their instrument, commitment to lessons and interest in classical music. The lessons provide a level of individual instruction that would otherwise be unavailable to Shroder students.

Butler Philharmonic | "Springtime" concert

The Butler Philharmonic presents the third annual Music Weekend celebrating the successful completion of regional high schools' music seasons. Hosted by Hamilton High School, this year's program includes an in-school education day of music, featuring a concert entitled "Springtime," with narratives by Butler Philharmonic orchestra director, Dr. Scott Woodard. Performers include the Butler Philharmonic Orchestra, Butler Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and students in a side-by-side format.

Carthage Civic League | Putting the ART in Carthage

The third annual "Putting the ART in Carthage" will be held in May of 2024. The goal of this event is to showcase the creative talent of the residents of Carthage, through fine art, craft and performance art. The spirit of the Carthage Event Series is all about bringing neighbors together through the arts.

Center for Great Neighborhoods | Arts in the Eastside

Using a nationally recognized creative placemaking approach of incorporating art to strengthen and enliven neighborhoods, The Center for Great Neighborhoods will partner with local artists Soul Palette and Ximena Flores in the eastern neighborhoods of Covington, Kentucky. Each artist will complete one semi-permanent art installation and community art engagement event to increase neighborhood involvement. Currently, the focus is on supporting Eastside residents to develop, activate and update a quality of life plan that consists of youth/family development, housing, economic development, greenspace, transportation, and arts & culture.

Church of Our Saviour/La Iglesia de Nuestro Salvador | Community Piano Lessons

Community Piano Lessons began in 2019 at the Church of Our Saviour/La Iglesia de Nuestro Salvador through its Lives United/Vidas Unidas (LU/VU) community music and arts ministry. In 2021, the program expanded to include William Howard Taft Elementary School. LU/VU will offer the program at additional locations and continue to enliven Mount Auburn through music education.

Cincinnati Art Club | Art for Kids

The Cincinnati Art Club's Art for Kids is an arts education experience exclusively for Cincinnati Public Schools' advanced art students in grades 3-6. It consists of two weeks of classes, meeting three days per week in the month of June 2024. Art for Kids encompasses the seven Elements and seven Principles of Art, providing the basic building blocks of artistic development that enhance creativity, fine motor skills, emotional and visual perception, conceptual planning, and artistic expression to promote art as worthy of a lifetime pursuit.

Cincinnati Asian Art Society | "Kokeshi Dolls: Japan's Living Tradition"

The exhibition, "Kokeshi Dolls: Japan's Living Tradition," and accompanying programs will highlight traditional and contemporary kokeshi dolls from the northern region of Japan. Visitors and participants will learn about the rich heritage of kokeshi dolls and the creative energy and expert craftsmanship of the artists who create them. Through the exhibition and cultural activities, participants will discover shared values and aspirations between Japanese and American families. The exhibition will be presented in partnership with Hamilton County Public Library.

Cincinnati Center for Autism | STEAM Ahead for Autism

STEAM Ahead for Autism will bring quality, project-based learning in the areas of science, technology, engineering, art, and math to students diagnosed on all levels of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Art empowers students to grow in problem-solving, resilience, adaptability and the joy of confident competence through individualized instruction in the art labs and studios.

Cincinnati Fusion Ensemble | High School Vocal Music Education Program expansion

Cincinnati Fusion Ensemble (CFE) will continue to expand and enhance its growing High School Vocal Music Education Program by serving 30 youths through its tuition-free Vocal Scholar Program in 2024. The program offers half-hour private voice lessons to high school students (70%+ from low-income families, 80%+ BIPOC) and a Piano Lab (two group classes each week) preparing them to audition for college admissions and scholarships. In addition to expanding to 30 student slots for tuition-free voice lessons, CFE will open a new satellite location in Over-the-Rhine for free lessons at First Lutheran Church.

Cincinnati Lapidary Guild | Grow Community through Lapidary Arts in Our Region

The Cincinnati Lapidary Guild is expanding its class offerings, usually reserved for Guild members, so everyone in the community can learn how to cut, shape and polish rocks and minerals, as well as set them in jewelry. Classes will be open to all at Heads Up Trading Company in Camp Washington. Each class teaches at least one skill used in the lapidary arts. Participants complete a project and leave with a one-of-a-kind work of art.

Cincinnati Museum Center | Young at Art

Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) will bring together local artists of color, children and families at the intersection of art and STEAM learning in the KidSPACE maker studio, supported by the Dorsey Family Foundation. Once a month, artists of color will host all-day, one-of-a-kind workshops and activities in KidSPACE for children of all ages to enjoy. This collaborative, artist-led series will enable families to create together and express themselves through art-making while learning more about the work and experiences of the many artists who make Cincinnati a rich and vibrant arts community.

Cincinnati Music & Wellness Coalition | Learning Culture and Improving Wellbeing through the Arts

Learning Culture and Improving Wellbeing through the Arts participants will learn about African dance and drumming. They'll experience Bhutanese, Chinese and Nepali dance. They'll learn Appalachian history and how to play the dulcimer. They will experience musical performances on the Chinese guzheng and Japanese koto, as well as a Mexican mariachi group. Two separate events will be held, consisting of arts and musical activities at the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Cincinnati Music & Wellness Center.

Cincinnati Nature Center | Earth Expressions: Forest Portals

The Forest Portals project invites local artists to craft four unique sculptural gateways that welcome people of our region to the forests of Rowe Woods. Set among the old-growth forest, these portals will provide an enchanting introduction to Cincinnati Nature Center's trail system. The gateways will be unveiled during the vibrant fall hiking season, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the intersection of art and nature. The integration of art in nature can provide a profound impact that not only inspires, but fosters a deeper connection to our natural world.

Cincinnati Song Initiative | The Fellowship of the Song

Cincinnati Song Initiative's new week-long program provides song lovers with an open, enriching environment to express themselves and grow in their artistry. This cost-free fellowship for five singers and five pianists aims to promote and innovate the song genre by empowering the next generation of twenty-first-century artists who will carry the mantle of song forward in this country and throughout the world.

Cindependent Film Festival (CIFF) | 2024 Cindependent Film Festival

Cindependent Film Festival is Cincinnati's home for independent filmmakers. Attracting movie professionals locally, nationally and across the globe, CIFF celebrates the art and expertise of indie filmmaking from September 19-21 at Memorial Hall. The festival will be three days of movies, media education and live screenplay readings, alongside communal networking events, red carpets and after-hours parties. Named a "Top 100 Best-Reviewed Film Festival" since 2018, Cindependent is joined this year by Black Cincinnati Cinema Collective, OutReels and Women in Film proudly reflecting the creative voice and vision of Cincinnati.

Community Matters Cincinnati | Outerspace exhibition series

As a third space, Outerspace is devoted exclusively to facilitating a range of leadership opportunities for residents of all ages, interests, skills and backgrounds from the Lower Price Hill neighborhood, including providing a permanent home for creative initiatives led by neighbors. For the 2024 season, the Outerspace community leadership hub will host four creative exhibitions that showcase the diverse talent of more than a dozen Lower Price Hill residents to an estimated 250 attendees.

Creative Aging Cincinnati | Arts inclusion for all

ArtsWave funding will address two Creative Aging initiatives, providing 62 additional arts programs for seniors and expanding the organization's collaboration with Cincinnati Shakespeare Company (CSC). First, 80% of the additional programs will be designated to a scholarship program assisting facilities that serve low-income and minority seniors, but lack the resources to become members. Second, the CSC collaboration expansion will provide 11 new on-site theater programs. In addition, CSC will present a touring performance at a large venue, with several community seniors in attendance.

Fourthwall Youth Studios | "Shut Down the Stigma. Turn Up the Talk" film series

"Shut Down the Stigma. Turn Up the Talk" is a youth-focused, youth-driven film series that integrates narrative filmmaking, spoken word poetry and commissioned art. It is designed to generate conversations that change the narrative on learning disabilities and mental health stigmas in our youth.

The Ghostlight Stage Company | Ken Ludwig's "Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood"

The Ghostlight Stage Company presents: "Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood" by Ken Ludwig at Keehner Amphitheatre Park in West Chester on May 16-19, 2024. This free community event features a classic story with a modern spin, with familiar characters like Little John, Friar Tuck and Maid Marian. "Sherwood" tells the enduring story of a hero of the people who takes on the ruthless powers that be. Refreshments, face painting and more will be available at the park along with the show.

Greater Cincinnati Arts & Education Center | Cincinnati Future of the Arts

Cincinnati Future of the Arts is an annual program providing students with valuable performance opportunities that prepare them for professional endeavors. The program serves as a crucial bridge between fundamental arts education and professional careers in the arts by expanding the opportunities at each student's disposal, including artistic mentorship, internships and attendance at performances. The Greater Cincinnati Arts & Education Center seeks to transform the lives of underserved students by providing opportunities to nurture their creative talents, along with a world-class academic education.

Greater Cincinnati Dance Alliance | Synergy Dance Series

Synergy Dance Series is an initiative conceived by Rowan Salem and Teresa VanDenend Sorge for Cincinnati area movement artists. Its purpose is to strengthen the dance community through shared performances. Emerging and established choreographers from diverse backgrounds, practicing a variety of dance genres, are invited to come together, share their work, and receive feedback from the audience. Audience members participate in a format customized by each choreographer, including feedback cards and audience talk-backs. To further support the dance community, Synergy Series hosts a community dancer audition and pre- and post-concert workshops for selected choreographers.

Indigo Hippo | Material Play

Material Play is a creative workshop series exploring growth, resilience and community through art making with upcycled materials. Indigo Hippo will partner with local artists and organizations to offer free and accessible neighborhood-focused creative sessions for youth in Over-the-Rhine, where participants will explore different creative mediums and learn new skills from local artists.

International Foundation for Contemporary Music | The Response Project: "Tremor"

"Tremor" will create new music and art inspired by the lived experience of disability giving voice to disabled artists. Twelve new musical works and multimedia visual artworks by local and internationally known artists from diverse backgrounds will be presented in an art exhibition and classical music concert, with both events designed to be as accessible as possible. The artworks themselves will put the authentic experience of disability at the center of their meaning. The event's accessibility measures will not be an accessory to the new works, but part of the artistic material itself.

Jazz Alive | Jazz in the Camp at the American Sign Museum

Jazz In the Camp at the American Sign Museum is a weekly jazz concert series in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Camp Washington. Held every Wednesday in June at the largest public museum dedicated to signs in the United States, the four-week series will feature well-known jazz artists from the Greater Cincinnati area and around the world.

Jhankar | "Trinaad: An Indian Classical Fusion Instrumental Concert"

"Trinaad" is a unique concert that combines three musical traditions: Jazz (Western traditions), Hindustani (classical music from Northern India) and Carnatic (classical music from Southern India). Saxophonist George Brooks, acclaimed for successfully bridging the worlds of jazz and Indian classical music joins mandolin player U. Rajesh, whose album with Jazz musician John Mclaughlin was nominated for a Grammy award. The concert also features two accomplished percussionists: Harshad Kanetkar on the tabla and S.Selvaganesh on the kanjira.

Juneteenth Cincinnati | 37th annual Juneteenth festival

The 37th annual Juneteenth Cincinnati will be held in Eden Park on June 15 and 16. The festival helps people learn about our American history in a non-threatening environment, with music, food and historical interpretation, with a diverse group of people sharing information about the African diaspora.

Keep Cincinnati Beautiful | Future Blooms

Boarded-up, abandoned buildings are an eyesore and a drain on the surrounding community. The Future Blooms program aims to change that. Keep Cincinnati Beautiful artists and volunteers paint the barricades on vacant buildings, transforming plywood boards into whimsical representations of windows, doors and storefronts. This simple change allows for communities to imagine the potential in an otherwise under-appreciated building. Future Blooms injects a bit of vibrancy into the everyday, helping to mitigate blighted conditions and crime that often accompany vacant buildings.

Lydia's House | Mural at affordable housing site for low-income families

Lydia's House provides supportive, affordable housing for single-mother-headed families earning 30% of area median income (AMI) or below. After the success of a previous Artswave-supported mural project, the Lydia's House community plans to install a second mural on a new apartment building. Children of affordable housing residents will help paint the mural, along with residents of the surrounding neighborhood, bringing neighbors closer together in a shared desire for public and participatory art. Lydia's House is a shelter, but it's also a community. This project creates access to arts experiences for people of all races and ethnicities in the diverse Norwood neighborhood.

Maketank | "Illustrated Memoirs: Exhibition of Original Artwork"

"Illustrated Memoirs: Exhibition of Original Artwork" will be an exhibition of illustrations created by immigrant and refugee youth participants in Maketank's Illustrated Memoir Project. The project will professionally frame 24 pieces of original artwork and publish an anthology of 12 memoirs, representing the four primary regions of the world that participants call home. Multiple venues in Cincinnati and beyond will host the exhibition, including Wave Pool and the Contemporary Arts Center. Opening receptions of the exhibition will feature memoir authors reading and autographing their books.

Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center | The Center for Storytelling

Holocaust & Humanity Center is launching a Center for Storytelling that will leverage the power of story to connect diverse audiences to our mission of using the lessons of the past to inspire action today. Through innovative storytelling across digital and in-person platforms, they will amplify stories that challenge, evoke emotion, and inspire change.

National Commission for Black Arts & Entertainment | Family Heritage Hop: A Black Arts & Culture Museum Tour

The Family Heritage Hop is a curated bus tour visiting key Cincinnati museums, offering guided experiences that spotlight Black arts and culture. This transformative, free program breaks barriers, making cultural exploration accessible and unforgettable for families in our diverse community.

Norwood Together | Norwood International Art Show

Norwood Together, in partnership with Queen City Clay, Jam in the Can and Off-Pike Market, is organizing the Norwood International Art Show on September 21. This juried art show is part of Norwood Together's Welcome Week Celebration, bringing immigrant and local artists together, building strong connections and affirming the importance of welcoming, inclusive places. The Norwood International Art Show will enliven neighborhoods by bringing art to a diverse group of residents in the region and activating Victory Park with art experiences.

Play in the Park | Art, Music and Us: A Community-Engaged Vision for Play in the Park

Play in the Park in Kennedy Heights is dedicated to enhancing the lives of residents of all ages by transforming the local park into a vibrant space for safe and enjoyable gatherings with family and friends. Participants will immerse themselves in arts programming, enjoy live performances by talented local musicians and performing arts groups, and engage in interactive activities designed for both children and adults.

Popped Art | "Great Things Ahead"

"Great Things Ahead" is a creative installation of color and light designed to make a dim space bright, creating a more energized and vibrant place for the community to connect. More than 30 businesses are located in the immediate area of the Covington Station underpass, with many pedestrians, cyclists and cars passing through daily.

Robert O'Neal Multicultural Arts Center (ROMAC) | Teen ARTrepreneurship Program, performing arts addition

The ROMAC's ARTrepreneurship Program is a paid youth employment and training initiative, exposing teens to diverse career options in the arts and equipping them with essential work skills. Along with classes to learn artistic craft in music, dance and acting, its Performing ARTrepreneurs will learn vital work skills, including budgeting, resume creation and interview skills. Participants will gain insight into the collaborative efforts behind a performer like Beyoncé.

Skirball Museum Cincinnati | "Faces of Israel: A Photographic Conversation by Larry Roberts"

This exhibition is comprised of 36 photographs, attendant public programming and a publication, including text and photographs that document the people who inhabit the land we call Israel. Pittsburgh-based photojournalist Larry Roberts crafts photographs of Jews, Christians, Muslims, Druze and tourists, depicting a world quite distant from the constant conflict and hate splashed across the headlines. Given the current political climate in Israel, the exhibition is a vehicle for deepening understanding and connection for Jews and non-Jews alike.

SkyVengers Cartoon | The SkyVengers Mobile Cartoon Lab- LEVEL 2

The SkyVengers Mobile Cartoon Lab- LEVEL 2 consists of four creative workshops. Each of the six-week workshops introduces and inspires creativity, software knowledge and digital art to the next generation's creators. Young people of all backgrounds will learn the foundation of professional-level software. This programming will provide young people from all backgrounds the opportunity to develop creative skills far ahead of their years.

University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music | CCM Prep String Program

In 2023, the Strings Program provided music education to third-graders at Hays-Porter Elementary in Cincinnati's West End neighborhood. This year, CCM is expanding to fourth-graders at Hays-Porter, as well as fifth- and sixth-graders at Woodford Academy. Students receive group strings instruction, plus individual attention from professional musicians and teaching artists who are trained by CCM's world-class faculty.

Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio | Rooting Change through Art and Community

The Urban League and the Black Arts Speaks artist collective have partnered to design, curate and install artwork in the newly renovated Holloman Center for Social Justice. Focused on the overall theme, "From Protest to Policy Change" the collaboration addresses systemic issues of racism, overcomes the underrepresentation of Black art and Black artists, and creates a community convening center that enhances the vibrancy of Avondale by increasing the availability and accessibility of arts experiences.

Vulcan's Forge Performing Arts Collaborative | Spirited Musings

Vulcan's Forge's "Spirited Musings" will present two performances by Infinite Flow Dance, a Los Angeles-based professional dance company whose members are mostly dancers with disabilities. In addition to the main performances, Infinite Flow will hold six K-6 elementary school assemblies on disability inclusion for Cincinnati Public Schools, Marisa Hamamoto, Infinite Flow's founder, will hold a motivational presentation at Kennedy Auditorium on Xavier University's campus, and two separate Reader's Theatre productions will be presented, five times each, at various senior care facilities across the Greater Cincinnati region.

Westwood Works | "We Can All Grow Here" interactive community mural

"We Can All Grow Here" will be a 40' x 10' public mural in the central business district of Westwood. It represents the hopes of the community to create a space where all can grow and thrive together. The flowered design shows plants and flowers of many different colors, shapes and sizes, representing a diverse community. The design includes an interactive "coloring book" lower portion that neighbors can fill in themselves with chalk.

Whited Sepulchre Records | Cincinnati Experimental Music Festival

Whited Sepulchre Records will hold a music festival in September 2024 that will feature renowned national and international experimental artists, as well as innovative and exciting artists from Cincinnati. The festival will feature six national/international acts and three local acts. Audiences can attend pre- and post-show parties with local artists and DJs, as well as workshops throughout the day.

WordPlay Cincy | WildHome: Free Urban Nature Immersions

WildHome is a collaboration between artists Julia Orquera Bianco and Amy J. Tuttle, supported by WordPlay Cincy. WildHome reconnects people with artful cross-cultural experiences exploring healthy bonds with nature and place. Through workshops and community events, the project will amplify rich multicultural storytelling, artmaking, song and written word. Free community offerings will take place from August to November 2024, serving over 250 people of diverse backgrounds. Venues include Wordplay Cincy (activating Bianco's installation, "TOGETHERNESS"), Aiken High School and urban parks.