ArtsWave allocates American Rescue Plan and project grants; names new board officers

ArtsWave‘s recent board meeting was a busy one, with dozens of American Rescue Plan and project grant allocations approved, and a changing of the guard among board members.

At the meeting, $717,953 was approved in the second of two rounds of City of Cincinnati American Rescue Plan grants. Added to the $202,047 approved earlier this summer, nearly $1 million has been allocated by ArtsWave to almost 30 organizations through this program. All projects are meant to reconnect the public with Cincinnati’s arts sector, in the wake of $140+ million in lost revenue and a year of shuttered venues, by offering free, live outdoor arts and cultural events.

Also, another 17 project grants were approved, funded by donors through its affinity/networking groups, ArtsWave Pride and ArtsWave Young Professionals. These two donor-driven grant programs together funded another $72,868 in projects. 

Re-elected ArtsWave Board Chair James Zimmerman

Prior to the meeting, ArtsWave held its annual meeting, in which new and returning officers are approved and outgoing officers are thanked. 

James Zimmerman, partner-in-charge of Taft Law, was re-elected for a third year as chair of ArtsWave’s board of directors. Leigh Fox, president & CEO of Cincinnati Bell, Tony Mathis, president & CEO of GE Edison, and Matt Stautberg, CFO of VRI, were all appointed as vice chairs. Rhonda Whitaker-Hurtt, Duke Energy VP of community relations, was re-elected for a second year as secretary. Chris Carlson, community volunteer, was elected as treasurer. 

Four new trustees were elected to the board for their first three-year term: Michelle Hershey, managing director at Deloitte; Danielle Ivory, Sr. VP of operations at Ohio National; Raj Narang, VP of enterprise diversity and inclusion talent strategy at Fidelity Investments; and Eugene Partridge III, senior director of services sourcing at Salesforce. 

Nine trustees were re-elected for a three-year term: the aforementioned Mathis and Whitaker-Hurtt, plus Kala Gibson, EVP/chief enterprise corporate response officer and head of business banking at Fifth Third Bank; Todd Immell, partner/principal at EY; Jeff Meek, VP and CFO at W&S Agency Group; Jim Price, owner and CEO at Empower; Jack Rouse, community volunteer; Shane Starkey, partner at Thompson Hine; and Don Stock, business banking marketing market manager at PNC Bank. 

Four ex-officio trustees were elected: Rance Duke, president, Cincinnati Art Museum, retired, Fort Washington; Matt Heston, chair, Young Professionals Choral Collective, director of operations for academic medicine, UC Foundation; Christine Horan, chair, May Festival, community volunteer; and George Yund, president, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, member, Frost Brown Todd. 

Also at this meeting, outgoing trustees, Mel Gravely, Mark Heimbouch, Teresa Tanner and Andre Valentine were all thanked, as were outgoing ex-officio trustees Joe Muraca and Herb Robinson.

“We thank all of these tremendous leaders for serving as ArtsWave Trustees over the last several years, or for stepping up to board leadership beginning now,” said Zimmerman. 

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