OTR Days showcases Cincinnati’s vibrant maker community

ArtsWave Days is an annual event series that showcases the arts and is open to the public, free of charge. It is part of their campaign to highlight and raise funding.

It’s also where the public and art intersect. On March 14, ArtsWave for OTR will offer a plethora of activity from 10–4 p.m.

More than ten years ago, the former Fine Arts Fund was renamed with a commitment that the status quo would evolve. “ArtsWave” was born with questions about what this meant. What did the “wave” really mean to the patron or citizen?

Fast-forward and we have an ArtsWave that includes a deep, wide, inclusive community. This is an organization that is reflective of 2020, not of yesteryear.

ArtsWave for OTR is one strong example.

“Things have changed dramatically. The name change is the least of the change. The name change was to focus on the arts impact,” says Kathy DeBrosse, vice president of marketing and engagement. “I think of what is happening with the OTR Museum and getting that off the ground [as an example]. Now you see over 100 projects and organizations that are being funded through ArtsWave.”

“Now ArtsWave creates a more vibrant Cincinnati,” she continues. “We truly have a plan and the blueprint for collective action.”

Here’s a look at what OTR Arts Day includes:

Music Hall will come to life through performances, activities, and guided tours from 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Across from Music Hall, at Washington Park, the porch and bar area will be open with food trucks and performances happening from 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
The Know Theatre of Cincinnati will offer tours of their main stage space set for “Alabaster” and 10:30 a.m. performance of “Story Time with Sparkle!”
At Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, from 10 a.m.–1 p.m., there will be interactive theater games and short dramatic readings happening throughout the day.
At Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, the lobby will be open from 1–4 p.m. with coloring sheets and crafts, and participants will be able to meet actors and actresses in costume playing both Shakespeare and classical theater characters. Guided tours will be available as well.
The Art Academy of Cincinnati will provide guided tours of the campus to see all that is happening. Kids will be able to sample Camp Art Academy, an award-winning, memorable art experience that balances technical instruction with freedom of expression.
Elementz will be open throughout the day with drop-in dance classes and visual art making. Participants will also be able to sing and record in the studio and try out the DJ equipment.

At Rookwood Pottery, there will be behind-the-scenes tours for the community and pottery demonstrations throughout the day.

At Pendleton Art Studio, more than 30 artists will open the doors of their studios from 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
The School for Creative and Performing Arts will perform their multidiscipline production “Motown” at 2 p.m. (Note that the school will just be open for the production).
At Memorial Hall, there will be performances from 10 a.m.–noon. At 10 a.m., Anaya Belly Dance will perform and at 11 a.m., Cincinnati Public Radio will perform a musical presentation of “Ferdinand the Bull” with narration by Naomi Lewin and violinist Yan Izquiero.

The transformation to ArtsWave clearly includes community organizations. When asked how the financial allocations are determined, DeBrosse says, “The decision on funding is done by community volunteers. In May we get community volunteers together who decide where money goes. In June it gets dispersed. It’s a very community-driven process.”
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Read more articles by Jennifer Mooney.

Jennifer Mooney is a reformed corporate communications senior executive. She has also worked in the advertising industry and founded The Mooney Group, LLC, a boutique public relations practice. She is an avid adventurer and traveler, which includes climbing/hiking, open water swimming, and downhill skiing. She is a downtown resident and is married to Donald Mooney. She has two grown daughters.