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2023 ArtsWave Pride Grants

ArtsWave Pride grants support programs which promote and celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community in the Cincinnati region. Grants are made possible by the donations of ArtsWave Pride members to the ArtsWave Community Campaign.

Here are the projects that will receive the grant in 2023:

Queen City Opera | "The Post Office"

Queen City Opera will produce commission, workshop and produce a new work from the composer of "As One," the most produced contemporary opera in North America. Laura Kaminsky's "The Post Office," is an episodic chamber opera in poems on LGBTQIA+ Marriage Equality, in collaboration with acclaimed poet Elaine Sexton. The two previously collaborated on "Marriage Equality," commemorating the 50th anniversary of Stonewall.

Know Theatre of Cincinnati | "Lizard Boy: A New Musical"

Know Theatre of Cincinnati presents the regional premiere of "Lizard Boy," a new musical by queer writer of color, Justin Huertas. Inspired by comic book lore and featuring an infectious indie-rock score, "Lizard Boy" unfolds in a fictional Seattle where the eruption of Mt. St. Helens was actually a dragon's attack. This coming-of-age and coming-out adventure is a celebration of queerness, of standing out in the crowd and of what can be possible when we let love win against all odds.

Pones | "Rainbow Box"

Pones continues its "MOVE" initiative, centering the voices of BIPOC artists, by partnering with local interdisciplinary artist Michael Coppage to create "Rainbow Box." This new project, in the format of Coppage's "Black Box," features audio interviews about the lived experiences of seven local Black LGBTQIA+ individuals. Interpretive choreography and photographs of the individuals accompany the audio in gallery exhibitions. The timeline of the project coincides with Pride, Cincinnati Fringe Festival and OutReels Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company | "ShakesQueer: A Celebration of Bards and Burlesque"

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company partners with Smoke and Queers, a local drag and burlesque troupe, to host a Shakespearean Pride celebration. This event coincides with Pride Month and enlivens Over-the-Rhine by offering a unique opportunity for Cincinnati Shakespeare Company to create niche programming with, and for, the LGBTQIA+ community.

Church of Our Saviour / La Iglesia de Nuestro Salvador | "LGBTQIA+ Arts Showcase"

"LGBTQIA+ Arts Showcase" is a celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community's contributions to the performing, visual and culinary arts in Cincinnati. Church of Our Saviour in Mount Auburn, which has been a home to the queer community since the 1970s, hosts the showcase. An hour-long performance features LGBTQIA+ composers, instrumentalists, singers, poets and dancers who live and work in Cincinnati. A reception catered by Jeff Thomas with a visual art installation follows.

Mutual Dance Theatre and Arts Centers | Two dance commissions from LGBTQIA+ artists

Mutual Dance Theatre (MDT) commissioned the work of two local gay artists, Gabriel Martínez Rubio and Steven P. Evans. MDT’s local company (of which 33% also identify as queer) performs these modern dance works. The performances include opportunities to interact with the artists through open workshops teaching the fundamentals of modern dance, as well as question and answer sessions with audiences.

Women Writing for (a) Change | "Let's Be Perfectly Queer"

Women Writing for (a) Change offers an eight-week evening class called “Let’s Be Perfectly Queer.” The class is a writing circle for participants to explore their queer identities and write within the broader context of queer literature and art. As is the practice at WWf(a)C, the two intergenerational facilitators — also part of the LGBTQIA+ community — create a safe space to write in community. The classes include writing time, opportunities to share in large and small groups, and guidance in giving and receiving feedback.