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Constella 2016 will push classical music boundaries to engage audiences

Constella Festival of Music and Fine Arts has announced its 2016 season, which is invigorated with new collaborations that push expectations and conventions for classical music into new territory.
The 10-day festival kicks off April 15 and, according to renowned Russian violinist and founder of Constella, Tatiana Berman, is designed with audience experience at the forefront.
“Constella has become known as a creative incubator for artists of the highest caliber,” Berman says. “We’ve always taken chances, learning from our experiences and audience reactions along the way. Our audience tell us that Constella affects their life, opening doors to new works, artistic expression.”
String performances of Baroque dance music and West African bardic spirituals will converge. Local electronic media students will contribute digital art to be paired with classical piano performances. World premieres of ballet and contemporary dance will grace the stage.
“Amazing things are happening in Cincinnati,” Berman says.
New this year: Grammy-award winning musicians, gallery owners and film industry professionals will judge music videos and fine art created by students competing to win $2,000 in prize money.
An effort to engage audience members of all ages is ongoing. Children’s concerts have been a success in the past, and they will continue this year with interactive components intended to pique the interests of young people who gain exposure to the scene in a unique, fun way.
“There’s energy one can feel just by walking around downtown,” Berman says. “We want to harness that energy. It’s the people of this city who inspire us. We hope to inspire them in return.” 
Do Good: 

• Purchase a 2016 Constella Festival pass here for shows April 15-24 at the Cincinnati Art Museum, Aronoff Center for the Arts and National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

• Connect with Constella by signing up for the Constella Club newsletter.

• Support Constella by donating.

Skirball Museum begins to open "Ten Treasures" collection to the public

Ten Treasures, a new collection of Jewish art and artifacts, is on display at the Skirball Museum at Hebrew Union College in Clifton. The museum acquired the collection in May and plans to gradually introduce more items to the public as they’re unpacked, inspected and cataloged; the collection contains more than 1,500 pieces in total.

Most of the collection had been in storage since 2002 when the Klutznick National Jewish Museum closed and B’nai B’rith International, which was in the same building at the time, moved its headquarters. B’nai B’rith started looking for a new home for the collection and eventually decided Skirball would be the perfect place.

“We had an existing relationship and thought that if all the documentation and information was here it would only make sense to also consider having the art collection here as well,” says Skirball Curator Abby Schwartz. “The arrival of this new collection has more than quadrupled our existing holding. … This is a transformational acquisition for us.”

Skirball plans to reveal 10-15 pieces of the collection at a time, giving visitors a sneak peek at Jewish culture and history. Some of the pieces from this rotation include an oil painting, a silver kiddush cup for synagogue, a torah case made of deerskin, silver and velvet from India and Sabbath candlesticks made in the late 1600s.

“These are a great starting point for conversation about Jewish art,” Schwartz says. “We made a specific effort to try to give visitors a breadth of material ranging from fairly antique ritual art to contemporary.”

The current rotation is on display until January 2016.

Do Good:

• See Ten Treasures by visiting the Skirball Museum, 3101 Clifton Ave., Clifton. The museum is open to the public 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1-5 p.m. Sundays or by appointment.

• “Like” Skirball on Facebook to stay up to date on the collection rotation. 

• To learn more about the collection, contact Abby Schwartz. 

Jewish Federation of Cincinnati's Community Campaign focuses on maximum impact

The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati raised more than $5 million this year as part of its annual Community Campaign to aid local, national and global agencies and programs.

The Federation has a unique way of allocating funding by utilizing a network of more than 100 volunteers who spent six months assessing grant requests and deciding where money would have the biggest impact, says Director of Marketing and Communications Pam Geller.

The Federation was recently recognized with the highest rating for the sixth year in a row by Charity Navigator, an organization that rates nonprofits in multiple areas related to their donations.  

When the Federation isn’t focusing on giving and its annual campaign, it brings diverse groups together through four core pillars: ensuring quality of life, enabling meaningful Jewish lives, empowering strong congregations and agencies and supporting Jews in Israel and overseas.

“We look at how we can transform or change life locally and globally,” Geller says. “We kind of act as a safety net for all of our agencies. We work on the back end to come up with ways to make sure they have the support they need."

The Federation supports various programs in the community but prides itself on connecting and advocating for Israel. In the past, the Federation has invited several Israeli representatives to Cincinnati to educate on co-existence and what life is like in Israel.

“We want to help educate and bring the Israeli perspective to Cincinnati but also try to bring Israeli and Cincinnatians together,” Geller says.

Do Good:

• Learn more about the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati Community Campaign.

Donate to help support the Federation’s mission.

• Stay connected with the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati on Facebook

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra announces poetry contest winners

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) recently announced the six winners of its One City, One Symphony poetry contest.

One City, One Symphony is an annual initiative hosted by the CSO that fosters dialogue within the community about various themes and music. This year’s theme focused on freedom.

The poetry contest asked for original submissions responding to the question, “What does freedom mean to you?” Applicants were encouraged to find inspiration in Dvorak’s Ninth Symphony or poems written by Maya Angelou: ForgiveEquality and Elegy.
“The submissions were truly astounding,” says CSO Director of Communications Meghan Berneking. “The themes that came up, the personal experiences — both positive and negative — truly opened the gate for fruitful discussion about this sometimes-challenging theme of freedom.”
Each winner received two tickets to attend the One City, One Symphony concerts Nov. 13-14 as well as a cash prize.
“We hope that this poetry and the dialogue around the concerts will challenge people to think about freedom in a way they maybe haven’t before and feel inspired to continue this discussion into other aspects of life as well,” Berneking says.

The winners of the One City, One Symphony poetry contest are:

High School Division
Grand Prize: Dana Schneider of Edgewood, "Is Freedom Just Not That Into Me?"
1st Prize: Bridget Bill of Cincinnati, "A Snow Globe Sky"
2nd Prize: Alison Maniace of Columbus, "Are We There Yet?"
Adult Division
Grand Prize: Mark Flanigan of Prospect Hill, "The Bell Ringer’s Song"
1st Prize: Richard Hague of Madisonville, "Finding Freedom"
2nd Prize: Elese Daniel of Mt. Auburn, "Self-Portrait at 25"
Do Good:

• Read the winning poems on the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Facebook page.

Buy tickets to attend the Symphony's One City, One Symphony concerts Nov. 13-14 at Music Hall.

• Learn more about the CSO at its website

Price Hill seeks artists, businesses to participate in window painting competition

Price Hill Will and its Arts Community Action Team (Arts CAT) are seeking artists and businesses that would like to take part in the neighborhood’s 11th annual Holiday on the Hill Window Painting Competition.
Holiday on the Hill, which takes place Dec. 4-6, engages the Price Hill community through a variety of events, including a tree lighting ceremony, crafts and entertainment. This year’s theme is “Memories of Past Holidays in Price Hill,” so paintings should fit within those parameters.
“We started this competition to make our business districts more festive for the parade and during the entire holiday season,” Arts CAT Chair Ann Andriacco says.
The painting competition is open to multiple types of artists — professionals, high school students and family groups — who will be paired with a local business wishing to have its windows decorated.
Those interested in painting should sign up by Nov. 10 and will need to finish their work by Nov. 24 in time for the Thanksgiving Day Parade, when the Window Painting Competition scavenger hunt kicks off.
Winners will be announced during the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, where they’ll receive up to $300 in prize money for their talents and efforts.
“It’s been a lot of fun for everyone involved,” Andriacco says, “the painters, the businesses and the public who gets to enjoy original, local art all December.”

Do Good: 

• Enter the Window Painting Competition by e-mailing your name(s) and category to Ann Andriacco or by calling 513-501-1879 by Nov. 10.

• Check out the Window Painting Competition information sheet for details about the competition. 

• Like Price Hill Will on Facebook and connect with the organization to keep up with events and happenings like Holiday on the Hill. 

Local celebs fuel Dancing With Our Hearts to raise funds for 8 charities

The Nov. 7 gala and dance competition Dancing With Our Hearts will serve as Dance With Your Heart Inc.’s inaugural event to kick off a series of dance-related projects that raise awareness and funds for nonprofits throughout the year.
Jeremy and Desireé Mainous, franchise owners of Arthur Murray Dance Studio’s Cincinnati location, decided to launch Dance With Your Heart and immerse it into Cincinnati’s nonprofit landscape after producing events for organizations like Cincinnati Arts Association and Cancer Support Community of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. The couple recognized the need for support among local nonprofit organizations and wanted to do something to give back.
“We wanted a fundraising effort that was more inclusive of a variety of causes in Cincinnati,” Desireé Mainous says.
Previously, the couple had annually hosted Swinging for Charity, but the new event, whose mission is “to inspire and empower people to dance with their heart and dream with their feet,” will enable the couple to do more.
Dancing With Our Hearts will feature local celebrities like mixologist Molly Wellman and Cpt. James Kettler of the Cincinnati Fire Department representing eight different charities — everything from Northern Kentucky Hates Heroin to The Marvin Lewis Community Fund.
“We wanted to start a charity event that raised money for multiple causes,” Mainous says. “And we wanted those dancing to be able to choose which charity they wanted their proceeds to go.”

Do Good: 

• Purchase tickets to Dancing With Our Hearts 6 p.m. Nov. 7 at The Phoenix, downtown. 

• Learn more about the local celebrity competitors and the charities in which they represent here.

• Like Dance With Your Heart Inc. on Facebook.

Talbert House 50th anniversary celebration to support Camp Possible program

Talbert House is celebrating 50 years of building a stronger community at its anniversary celebration Nov. 7 at the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati, followed by an afterparty celebration at Horseshoe Casino.

Last year, Talbert House served approximately 100,000 clients through face-to-face interaction and hotline services with the goal of improving social behavior and enhancing personal recovery and growth. 

“Fifty years ago, the founders of Talbert House believed that people would have a greater chance of success when treated in the community rather than institutional settings,” Public Relations Specialist Crystal Decker says. “They believed people would be more successful if they stayed connected to their families, work, and community.”

Proceeds from the event will fund Camp Possible, a therapeutic day camp for children ages 6-16 who struggle with substance abuse and/or behavioral health issues.

The camp helps students overcome academic and social challenges during gaps between school years. Many of them lose momentum and engage in negative behaviors when they have no schedule, direction or intervention. Camp Possible participants receive individual attention from trained staff as well as traditional group therapy sessions and skill-building activities. 

“Through the years, Talbert House evolved to meet the changing needs of clients, their families and the community,” Decker says. “But those core beliefs have remained.”

Do Good:

• Purchase tickets to celebrate Talbert House’s 50th anniversary event. Tickets are $60 for singles and $100 for a couple. The afterparty, hosted by the Talbert House Ambassadors, will feature appetizers, drinks and performances by the Rusty Griswolds and DJ Guinness.

• To learn more about how you can help Talbert House, visit its website.

• For more information on Camp Possible, contact Crystal Decker

Evanston Spirit of Progress Mural project manager awarded $2,500 grant

Felix Rodriguez was recently awarded $2,500 through a grant made possible by School Outfitters, a partner of the Evanston Spirit of Progress Mural.
Rodriguez, who is originally from the Dominican Republic, worked as an artist and taught in Santo Domingo for seven years before coming to the U.S. The Fulbright scholar started working with ArtWorks in 2013 while pursuing a master’s degree in art education at the University of Cincinnati. He worked as a teaching artist with ArtWorks in 2014 and returned to Cincinnati this year to become a project manager for the Evanston Spirit of Progress Mural.
The mural, located at the site of a former mural created in 1992, is a collaborative effort among ArtWorks, the Evanston Community Council, School Outfitters and Xavier University. It was designed by Jimi Jones and is meant to engage local residents around themes that are meaningful to the Evanston community.

“The mural is a perfect combination of nice art everyone will enjoy but will also educate people and prepare them to be better citizens, to get involved and be active participants of the city,” Rodriguez says.
The original timeline for the mural was seven weeks, but due to heat and unexpected weather conditions the project was extended to nine weeks.
Rodriguez decided to apply for the teaching grant, which was open to anyone who was part of the staff, to help cover expenses while he was pursuing his master's degree. The required essay called for applicants to explain why they’re involved in the work they are in, what they value and what’s important to the community.
“We are proud to be an active community partner in our area and especially excited to support the educational pursuits of teaching artists by funding the ArtWorks Teaching Artist Award,” says School Outfitters Marketing Director Verna Coleman-Hagler.
Rodriguez, who holds a bachelor’s in fine arts and music theory in education and a master's in art education, is currently pursuing his PhD in art education in central Pennsylvania.
Do Good:

• See the mural for yourself on Duck Creek Road near the I-71 North exit to Dana Avenue and Montgomery Road.

• Learn more about ArtWorks at its website

• Visit School Outfitters' website for more information.  

Beaux Arts Ball to honor Art Academy of Cincinnati supporters & donors who helped with its OTR move

The Art Academy of Cincinnati (AAC) is honoring its students, faculty, donors and supporters at its Beaux Arts Ball on Friday, Oct. 23 at the Verdin Bell Event Centre in Pendleton.
The event will celebrate the 10th anniversary of AAC's move from its longtime home base adjacent to the Cincinnati Art Museum in Eden Park to a 112,000-square-foot campus in Over-the-Rhine.
The masquerade party will focus on a central Venice theme, featuring gondolas and masks hand-crafted by AAC students and will feature performances by bands Burning Caravan and Groove Session. Key supporters who helped AAC move its campus in 2005 will be honored at the ball.
“Part of what makes this so special is the people who made it possible to move into our building 10 years ago,” says AAC Vice President of Institutional Advancement Joan Kaup. “We want to publicly and properly thank several of them who either invested financially or helped us making strong connections so that AAC could become an anchor in this creative community.”

Do Good:

Register for tickets to attend the Beaux Arts Ball 7 p.m.-midnight Oct. 23 at Verdin Bell Event Centre, 444 Reading Road.

• Visit AAC on Final Fridays for art exhibits that are free to the public.

Enroll in Community Art Education classes at the AAC.

Next round of Creative Community Grants are available for Covington projects

Anyone with a creative solution to challenges in Covington can receive up to $5,000 through the Creative Community Grant program.

The program, funded through the Center for Great Neighborhoods of Covington (CGN), debuted last year. Throughout the next three years, officials hope to accomplish six rounds of grant funding for several creative projects. Each round will address a different issue identified by surveys, focus groups and community groups.

The second round, focusing on celebrating the bicentennial, is winding down and will close sometime in December. The third round is now open to interested applicants and will focus on inclusion in any shape or form, ranging from accessibility and disability to racial and social inclusion.

“These projects have allowed us to tackle things in a different way than what we would traditionally do,” says CGN Program Manager of Community Development Kate Esarey. “These are unique strategies that we, as a community development corporation, might not even think of.”

The solution doesn’t have to be art in the traditional sense but instead can be a mural, performance or even culinary art. Some of the applicants don’t have a background in art but found a way to creatively engage the community.

Once the project proposals are submitted, a panel and community members choose which projects they would like to see move forward.
Applicants can be individuals, a group or a businesses. The only caveat is that the project does have to take place in Covington.
The grant money can be used to compensate the artists themselves, or they can use some of it to invite the community to celebrate their finished product.
“A lot of these artists are seeing the value of coordinating with the community and doing things that fit in the social fabric of Covington,” Esarey says.

Do Good:

• Take a look at previous projects that have won Creative Community Grants.

• The deadline to apply for the next round is Nov. 16.

• For more information on the Center for Great Neighborhoods, visit its website.

Greenhouse Rock! fundraiser supports musicians with developmental disabilities

Melodic Connections hosts its annual Greenhouse Rock! event Oct. 10 at Krohn Conservatory to support its music therapy services for children and adults with developmental disabilities. The fundraiser will feature food, raffle baskets, a silent auction and performances by local bands SwampthangJody Stapleton and Chris Comer Trio.

The fundraiser will also feature performances from Melodic Connections’ own student musicians.

“This is a night where we celebrate them and highlight their abilities as musicians,” says Communications Manager Lynn Migliara. “It’s a place where they finally get to play for all their friends and family.”

Students chose their own songs to perform and have been rehearsing every day. 

The fundraiser is a great time for the students as well as for their parents.

“Most of these parents have spent a lifetime advocating for their child with a developmental disability and always wonder what adulthood is going to be like,” Migliara says. “They are so grateful that they get to see them up on stage with confidence. A lot of them never thought this would happen for their kids.”

Greenhouse Rock! will take place at 6:30-10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10 at Krohn Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Dr. 

Do Good:

Purchase tickets to attend Greenhouse Rock! at Krohn Conservatory in Eden Park. Tickets are $75 each.

• Melodic Connections is still looking for event sponsors.

• To learn more about Melodic Connections, visit its website.

Mt. Healthy studio teaches dance, life skills

When Kelli Harmon-Dobson formed the Highsteppers Studio 16 years ago, she had no idea how much of an effect it would have on young girls in the community. The structured program uses dance and drill to form positive self-esteem, interpersonal skills and help girls ages 3-18 uncover their leadership abilities.

There’s no doubt the dance teams are talented — they’re state, regional and national champions in the high kick, pom and hip hop categories. Still, Harmon-Dobson doesn’t want dance competitions to be strictly about winning.  

“Competition or not, we don’t tell them to be better than another team,” she says. “We tell them to do an amazing job and be better than the team they were the day before.”
The structured program is a little underhanded, as most of the girls don’t realize what the program is really about until they graduate.

“We want them to have a different outlook on themselves and what they’re doing,” Harmon-Dobson says. "We try to have our girls become leaders and express themselves better. We want them to better respect themselves, each other and the community.”
The Mt. Healthy studio goes far beyond just dance, drill and building leadership skills. After spending hours together after school each week, the girls form a close bond, much like sisters do.  

“We’re more than just a dance team,” Harmon-Dobson says. “We’re family. The studio is our home.”

And the girls treat is as such. They keep a tight schedule between practicing, studio chores ad doing their schoolwork. The program requires a minimum required grade point average of 2.0.
Many of the girls participate in the bridge program, the Highsteppers Sisterhood, once they graduate high school and make the transition to college or the workforce. They come back to the studio as mentors.

The Highsteppers’ next performance is Oct. 10 at Tri-County Mall, where they’ve been performing since 2007. Their performance will incorporate breast cancer awareness, something that touches many lives of the girls and their families.
“They could be doing plenty of other things, but they're doing this,” Harmon-Dodson says. “They're choosing to be positive.”

Do Good:

• Attend the Highsteppers performance on Saturday, Oct. 10 at Tri-County Mall, 11700 Princeton Pike. Performances will take place at 2 and 5 p.m. and last approximately one hour each.

• Like Highsteppers on Facebook.

• For more information, email Director Kelli Harmon-Dobson.

COV200 seeks input for what to put inside Covington bicentennial's time capsule

Covington residents, business owners and friends recently voted to determine the winning Covington Bourbon Barrel design for a time capsule they’re creating in commemoration of Covington’s bicentennial. Now COV200 — the volunteers behind the year-long celebration of all things Covington, who aim to showcase the city’s rich 200-year history, culture and potential — is working with the community to determine the time capsule’s contents.
“We have received quite a few ideas from the community, including 2015 mint coins, menus from all Covington restaurants, the Covingtonopoly game, photos of families, letters from kids to future kids, list of top music in 2015, the COV200 book and much more,” says Kate Esarey, COV200 Project Manager and Community Development Specialist at The Center for Great Neighborhoods of Covington.
The time capsule itself, designed by local maker Steven Sander, will be created from the reclaimed floor of a home on Scott Street. Once filled, it will be preserved in a glass case and put on display in the new Hellman Creative Center next summer, where it will remain until 2115.
“I think a time capsule is a great way for our community to reflect on Covington’s 200th year and explore what makes our community special,” Esarey says. “I hope folks in 2115 will really enjoy understanding how we perceived Covington in 2015 and what made it unique 100 years prior.”

Do Good: 

• Contribute your ideas for the content within the time capsule by contacting Kate Esarey.

• Connect with COV200 on Facebook to keep up with upcoming events. 

Support The Center for Great Neighborhoods of Covington.

CityLink's MashUp fundraiser to feature unique blend of art forms

CityLink is hosting its annual MashUp fundraising event Oct. 2 to highlight the challenges of poverty in Cincinnati. But this MashUp of various art forms isn’t your typical walk through an art gallery — there will be live music, art and dance performances, including a grunge ballerina, Irish dance, rap and vocal artists.

“This is one of the most fun and unique fundraising events that Cincinnati has to offer,” says CityLink Director of Development and Communications Marissa Abernathy. “We’re bringing together similar art forms and combining them into a new beautiful combination.”

At its core, CityLink supports Cincinnatians who are below the poverty line and working to achieve economic self-sufficiency. The center focuses on goals around education, employment, financial literacy and health and wellness.

Since its doors opened in October 2012, CityLink has been able to provide social services to those in need all under one roof. 

“These performances help us to share our story,” Abernathy says. “They create a narrative around what it’s like to live in Cincinnati when you’re struggling with issues like not having a job or not having a handle on your finances or struggling with barriers that keep you from reaching your full potential.”

The event will also feature an interactive project where guests can create a lasting piece of art for the center. Last year, attendees used paint ball art with slingshots to create a mural.

In addition to various art performances, attendees can sample food and drinks from local eateries and breweries.

MashUp will take place Friday, Oct. 2 from 6-9 p.m. at the CityLink Center, 800 Bank St., West End/Brighton.

Do Good:

• Register to attend MashUp; tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the door. 

• “Like” CityLink on Facebook.

• Support CityLink with your time by volunteering

Pets in Need provides low-cost care for pet owners living in poverty

Whether clients visit Pets in Need of Greater Cincinnati, Inc. for affordable vaccinations and quality care or to grab food from the pantry for a furry friend, they are consistently grateful for the services they receive.
Take Antonio, for example. He and his mother worked together to create colorful bandanas for dogs, then donated them to Pets In Need (PIN) so the organization could sell the product in their storefront shop in Lockland, which offers discounted items like collars and leashes to its clients.
“They have limited means but wanted to give back,” says Julie Berthoud-Jury, director of development at PIN. “It’s just really heartwarming.”
Clients like Antonio and his mother are afforded access to PIN, which makes a world of difference in their lives as pet owners.
High-quality veterinary care is expensive, so for a pet owner living in poverty it’s empowering to be proactive and take one’s animal to a licensed veterinarian and pay a $10 copay for needed vaccines, flea/heartworm prevention and treatments as well as other minor skin, ear and eye issues.
Just days ago, the nonprofit served its 4,000th client, but there is a need to serve more.
“A lot of our clients have adopted these pets or rescued them,” Berthoud-Jury says.
One client found a cat during the winter months after discovering it had fallen out of a neighbor’s van, where it was hiding to try to stay warm. After the engine started, the cat was burned and presumed dead.
“But he had taken it to the vet and it was actually still alive, so they were able to nurse it back to health,” Berthoud-Jury says. “He’s been bringing it here ever since. He just loves that cat dearly.”

Do Good: 

• Support Pets in Need of Greater Cincinnati by attending its annual fundraising art show and sale, Petcasso. Purchase your ticket for the preview party Saturday, Oct. 17. Proceeds will enable PIN to work toward its goal of expanding clinic hours to its growing base of clients. 

• Like PIN on Facebook and share the Petcasso invite with your friends.

• Tell someone about PIN, because many pet owners who qualify for care don’t know PIN exists. The nonprofit provides vouchers for low-cost spay/neuter and provides care that could otherwise be disregarded for an inability to pay. 
277 Arts + Culture Articles | Page: | Show All
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