ArtsWave kicks off fundraising campaign, raises the bar

Leigh Fox, 2019 ArtsWave campaign chair

ArtsWave will kick off its 70th community arts campaign Feb. 6. As a funding source for more than 100 arts organizations and programs, the 92-year-old council hopes to grow its donor base and raise more than $12 million, which would mark the sixth year in a row surpassing that milestone.

“As (our 2019 campaign chair) Leigh Fox has said, ‘Flat is not the new up,’ ” said Alecia Kintner, ArtsWave president and CEO, in reference to giving trends. “Up is up.”

Kathy DeBrosse, ArtsWave vice president of marketing and engagement, pointed out that respected organizations, such as the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and The Children’s Theatre, and new projects such as BLINK signal that the region can tout three important keys to arts success: experience, longevity and innovation.

Kintner noted that Fox, Cincinnati Bell president and CEO, is big on innovation and will introduce several new elements to the campaign, including fundraising events and business cross-promotions. Fox also has been successful in reasserting the business case for the need for additional contributions to the arts.

“If Cincinnati wants to remain competitive, attract international talent and young people, the arts must be growing,” Kintner said.

“There’s a direct and profound relationship between this tradition of investment and today’s quality and variety of arts in Cincinnati.”

Alecia Kintner, ArtsWave president and CEO

To help kick off the campaign, a singer/songwriter event was held at The Redmoor and a musician/concert fundraising event is also being planned. ArtsWave will hold CincySings, a competitive sing-off among regional corporations and businesses, April 9 at Music Hall as part of the campaign events. Bob Herzog will host.

The ArtsWave campaign is the longest-running such drive in the nation. Over its history, it has collected $330 million. “There’s a direct and profound relationship between this tradition of investment and today’s quality and variety of arts in Cincinnati,” Kintner said.

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