ArtsWave creates new equity role

Janice Liebenberg

ArtsWave has promoted a seven-year employee to a newly created position to help the organization continue to improve equity in Greater Cincinnati’s arts and culture sector.

Janice Liebenberg’s new role and title: Vice President, Equitable Arts Advancement.

“Our region is so fortunate to have the depth and breadth of arts and artists,” said Liebenberg, who grew up in South Africa under apartheid and came to the United States in pursuit of higher education. “I’m excited to see the growing impact that artists of color are having on our community. Representation is imperative. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity at ArtsWave to champion their work and also encourage our large cultural institutions to increasingly incorporate artists of color into their programming.”

The move comes as ArtsWave prepares for tis 73rd annual community arts campaign, the primary way the region’s arts receive funding.

The move is the next step in ArtsWave’s diversity, equity, inclusion and access commitment and plan, “Lifting As We Learn.” 

The plan envisions the Cincinnati region as exponentially more vibrant and competitive with a visibly thriving, culturally diverse arts ecosystem that is supported broadly by the community.

Since joining the organization in 2014, Liebenberg has helped to develop strong relationships with African American artists and donors. She has grown ArtsWave’s network and affinity group, the Circle of African American Leaders for the Arts from its infancy into a campaign powerhouse of 125 members contributing more than $250,000 each year. She helped launch the circle’s grantmaking program, in which a percentage of donations by members are directed toward grants to Black arts organizations each year. This program aligns with a key goal of “Lifting As We Learn” – to see a roster of stable, sustainable arts organizations led by people of color in the region’s constellation of arts assets by 2027, ArtsWave’s centennial anniversary.

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