ArtsWave community campaign expands and broadens funded organizations

The board of trustees for ArtsWave recently approved $9,900,084 in grant expenditures from its recent 2023 Community Campaign, slated to support more than 150 regional arts organizations. As part of this approval, a record 49 organizations were authorized to receive unrestricted support through Sustaining Impact Grants, totaling $8,885,540. (See full list below.)

Sustaining Impact grants represent the largest grant investment for ArtsWave. These grants are intended to ensure the stability of the region’s arts and culture organizations while helping drive the overall strength of the region. Grant awards support an average of 6% of organizations’ operating budgets, which in aggregate total $146 million. Scores based on community impact, governance and financial stability were calibrated against a funding model determined by the 2023 ArtsWave Campaign contributions, which are still down 10% from pre-COVID results; ArtsWave was able to add targeted, restricted funds to keep allocable dollars nearly flat with last year.

These grants represent the first year of a new three-year cycle based on ArtsWave’s 10-year strategy, “The Blueprint for Collective Action,” intended to create a more vibrant and connected community through the arts as well as its “Lifting As We Learn,” a DEIA plan to build and nurture an environment where diversity, equity, inclusion and access are embedded in everything ArtsWave does.

Alecia Kintner

In her grant award letter, ArtsWave President & CEO Alecia Kintner said, “ArtsWave believes a diverse array of organizations, artists and arts forms is necessary to advance the Blueprint goals of a more vibrant and connected community.”  

The number of sustaining impact grantees has grown by nine organizations from 2019: American Legacy Theatre, A Mindful Moment/The Well, Cincinnati Men’s Chorus, Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival, Professional Artistic Research Projects/PAR-Projects, Price Hill Will, Queen City Opera, Revolution Dance Theatre and Wave Pool.

Ten of the 49 organizations receiving sustaining impact grants are led by and/or centered on Black, Indigenous or People of Color (BIPOC), including four of the nine organizations being added for the first time. The full list includes: Bi-Okoto Drum & Dance Theatre, Cincinnati Boychoir, Elementz Hip Hop Cultural Art Center, Learning Through Art, Mutual Dance Theatre and Arts Centers, NrityArpana School of Indian Classical Dance, Professional Artistic Research Projects/PAR-Projects, Price Hill Will, Revolution Dance Theatre and Wave Pool. 

Thirty-eight community volunteer panelists representing ArtsWave’s business, civic and community groups, including a diverse cross-section of individuals (74% female and 37% BIPOC), were involved in the grant evaluation process. Sustaining impact grant investments are renewable for an additional two years based on organizational performance as defined by interim reports, as well as the results of each year’s ArtsWave Community Campaign.  

According to 2023 ArtsWave Campaign co-chair Carl Satterwhite, president and owner of RCF Group, “Less than a month from the annual campaign’s finale, 91 cents of every dollar raised has been approved for direct investment back into the region’s arts.”

2023 Campaign co-chair and RCF Group Chairman/CEO Scott Robertson added, “This continues the decades-long tradition of community arts investment that has earned Cincinnati a ‘Top 20 Most Arts Vibrant Large City’ claim. Together these 49 organizations generate an economic impact of $146 million for the region. That is an ROI of 16:1 for campaign donors.” 

In addition to Sustaining Impact Grants, $496,000 was approved for 2024 grant initiatives, including Catalyzing Impact grants, Young Professionals, Pride, Circle of African American Leaders for the Arts and various project initiatives that will be announced as they are introduced. 

Grants were made possible by the 2024 Community Campaign, which ended June 1, with $11,880,314 in donations given by nearly 25,000 residents and more than 400 companies and foundations.

Donations can be made at artswave.org/give.


ArtsWave Sustaining Impact FY2024 Grant Awards

Regional Organizations with budgets over $1M

  • ArtWorks $173,000
  • Cincinnati Art Museum $1,260,000
  • Cincinnati Ballet Company $805,000
  • Cincinnati Landmark Productions $101,440
  • Cincinnati May Festival $217,900
  • Cincinnati Opera Association $683,850
  • Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park $1,055,000
  • Cincinnati Shakespeare Company $186,200
  • Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra $2,300,000
  • Contemporary Arts Center $285,600
  • Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati $154,400
  • Fitton Center for Creative Arts $84,000
  • Price Hill Will $55,000
  • Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum $39,000
  • Taft Museum of Art $269,000
  • The Carnegie $78,000
  • The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati $232,100

Regional Organizations with budgets $300,000-$1M

  • Behringer-Crawford Museum $29,500
  • Bi-Okoto Drum & Dance Theatre $36,000
  • Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra $40,783
  • Cincinnati Youth Choir $46,000
  • Clifton Cultural Arts Center $35,800
  • Elementz Hip Hop Cultural Art Center $55,000
  • Kennedy Heights Arts Center $43,800
  • Kentucky Symphony Orchestra $40,050
  • Know Theatre of Cincinnati $38,732
  • Learning Through Art, Inc. $46,000
  • Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center $10,000
  • Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival $20,917
  • Oxford Community Arts Center $23,700
  • Visionaries + Voices $47,100
  • Wave Pool $50,000
  • Wyoming Fine Arts Center $37,000

Regional Organizations with budgets under $300,000

  • A Mindful Moment/The Well $13,000
  • American Legacy Theatre $10,000
  • ArtsConnect $17,400
  • Cincinnati Boychoir $53,600
  • Cincinnati Men’s Chorus $10,000
  • Linton Chamber Music $23,100
  • MUSE Cincinnati’s Women’s Choir $10,000
  • Mutual Dance Theatre and Arts Centers $40,000
  • My Nose Turns Red Youth Circus $15,000
  • NrityArpana School of Performing Arts $3,000
  • Pones $10,000
  • Professional Artistic Research Projects/PAR-Projects $30,000
  • Queen City Opera $10,000
  • Revolution Dance Theatre $30,000
  • Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati $19,568
  • Young Professionals Choral Collective $11,000