The arrival of May Festival always signals the beginning of summer. Not familiar with Cincinnati’s historic, signature cultural event and the impetus for building Music Hall? See below, read our festival preview and/or buy tickets here…
There are many other choices, for young and old, from pets to pottery, depending on your sensory predilections. Enjoy!
Cincinnati Museum Center | 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate. 513-287-7000
- Saturday, May 20, 11 a.m.-noon. “Banfield Pet Academy”
The Museum Center, in conjunction with national veterinary chain Banfield Pet Hospital (found at your nearest PetSmart) kicks off a new program to provide hands-on exposure for children to learn about veterinary medicine and caring for your dogs and cats. These sessions repeat on June 18, July 16, Oct. 7 and Nov. 11.
Exhale Dance Tribe | Know Theatre, 1120 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-621-2787
- Saturday, May 20, 8 p.m. “The Gift of Age”
- Sunday, May 21, 3 p.m. Encore performance
The always intriguing Exhale finally brings us a new work. It’s been much too long! Artistic director and Broadway veteran Missy Lay Zimmer is one of the most creative and organic choreographers anywhere. She explains this piece as a “story of time, age and memory through dance.” NOTE: new venue.
City Flea | Washington Park, Over-the-Rhine 45202
- Saturday, May 20, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Unless you’ve somehow been avoiding our urban basin, you likely know about this carefully curated, burgeoning monthly arts and crafts fair, which also provides one of the best people-watching scenes in the city. People have been asking for weeks: “When does City Flea open?” Happens the third Saturday, May-October, with a special holiday fair (still outside!) in December.
Society for the Preservation of Music Hall | 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-621-2728
- Thursday, May 18, 4-5:30 p.m. “Beyond The Bricks: outdoor building tours of Music Hall
- Saturday, May 20 10-11:30 a.m. Encore
Until the Mother Ship’s transformation is unveiled in October, take advantage of these opportunities to learn about the outside and surroundings of Music Hall. Brought to you by the true caretakers of this magical structure… Reservations required. These tours run every week through October.
The Mini Microcinema | 1329 Main St., Over-the-Rhine
- Thursday, May 18, 7:30 p.m. “In the Kitchen of Jan Svankmajer: Svankmajer on Food”
Introduced by Cincinnati restaurateur and mixologist Rom Wells (The Rookwood, Cheapside Cafe), this evening explores the importance of food in the artful movies of this legendary, surrealist filmmaker, born in Czechoslovakia in 1934, and unknown in the West until the 1980s.
Collegium Cincinnati | Christ Church Cathedral, 318 E. Fourth St., downtown
- Monday, May 22, 7:30 p.m. “Murmuration”
Known for presenting works of the Baroque period, Chris Eanes and Collegium here give us a taste of old and new, pairing Vivaldi’s favorite quartet of violin concertos, “The Four Seasons,” with a world premiere soundscape by Patrick Harlin. The new work is reflective of a recently suspended installation – more than 1,000 individual, hand strung birds of steel, copper and brass mesh – by artist Anne Patterson.
A 5:30 p.m. reception kicks off the evening, followed by a composer talk at 6:15. Christ Church, embarking on its bicentennial celebrations May 21, remains one of the true art centers of Cincinnati. Thank you and congratulations on your longevity!
Learn more about the installation here.
May Festival | Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., downtown. 513-381-3000
- Friday, May 19, 8 p.m. Beethoven, Symphony No. 9. Markus Stenz, conductor
- Saturday, May 20, 8 p.m. Mendelssohn, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Matthew Halls, conductor
- Sunday, May 21, 8 p.m. Annual concert at Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, Covington. Robert Porco and James Bagwell, conductors
This year’s May Festival affords a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – the one and only season performed away from the building that was constructed, specifically, to host this oldest of Cincinnati musical traditions. To make sure the experience is a meaningful one, the organization has procured four of the most exciting conductors on the planet. The opening two concerts are this weekend, along with the annual performance at Covington’s gorgeous Basilica. The festival also introduces its multimedia “Dream Project” as part of Saturday evening’s experience. See trailer here.
Cincinnati Arts Association | Aronoff Center, downtown. 513-621-2787
- Friday, May 19, 8 p.m. “An Evening with Garrison Keillor”
As of Tuesday night, surprisingly, some tickets still remain for this one-man show by the beloved, now-retired host of “A Prairie Home Companion.”
Gallery 708 | 708 Walnut St., downtown. 513-551-8171
- Thursday, May 18, 5-8 p.m. “Bold, Bright & Beautiful”
This new co-op gallery downtown continues to impress. This new exhibit features graphically detailed, functional ceramics by Lori Martin; vivid, evocative paintings by Donna Talerico; and innovative, fiber-based art from Kitty Uetz. Runs through June 17.
Price Hill Will | Price Hill Recreation Center, 959 Hawthorne Ave, East Price Hill. 513-251-3800
- Sunday, May 21, 2-4 p.m. “Price Hill Photowalks”
This is the first of three guided photo walking tours through Price Hill. You are welcome to attend, explore these historic neighborhoods and take your own photos. No expertise or fancy cameras necessary; cell phone cameras are just fine. The final product will be a picture book of submissions to be released in Fall 2017. Meet at the Price Hill Recreation Center for this first tour of East Price Hill. The other tours are scheduled for June 24, 10:30 a.m. (Lower Price Hill), and July 23, 2 p.m. (West Price Hill).