Cincinnati's BLINK light and art festival: Here's what we know

Posted at 5:00 AM, Oct 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-05 11:13:56-04

What is it?

BLINK is a four-day light and art festival that will include light projection mapping (think Lumenocity), murals, interactive art sculptures and other displays created by local, national and international artists.

When is it?

BLINK is scheduled Oct. 12-15, 2017.

Where is it?

BLINK will span approximately 20 city blocks, roughly following the Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar route from the Banks to Findlay Market. The festival will consist of four "zones" featuring various installations and "bread crumbs" connecting each zone.

What are the zones?

Each zone will have its own unique attractions:

The Banks (Zone 1): A 10-wall, 360-degree walk-through experience at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center; an illuminated sculpture relief wall at Great American Ball Park; a front lawn interactive media exhibit; an underground metro station light installation and media event; and enhanced lighting effects at Smale Riverfront Park and Carol Ann's Carousel.

Central Business District (Zone 2): Multiple projection and interactive media installations; Fountain Square, Federal Square and Aronoff alleyway events; super-bright pano displays for large federal and city buildings; and a community-based celebration and light parade featuring community art centers and local schools.

Over-the-Rhine (Zone 3): Multiple projection installations on existing ArtWorks murals and landmark buildings; a media-based VIP event location at 12th and Vine streets; a light and interactive garden spread throughout Washington Park; and a massive illuminated structure at Washington Park's lawn.

Findlay Market (Zone 4): An illuminated art walk on Pleasant Street connecting Washington Park and Findlay Market; more than 20 permanent murals from local, national and international artists; two weeks of pre-event mural paintings; and a mural face-off event at Central Parkway and West Elder Street.

How much will it cost?

The event will be free and open to the public, with the possible exception of VIP or other sponsored areas. The festival itself will cost sponsors and private donors an estimated $3 million.

Who are the sponsors and organizers?

The Haile U.S. Bank Foundation is a founding sponsor, having already donated $1 million to finance the festival. Other sponsors and organizers include the AGAR marketing agency, ArtWorks and Brave Berlin. The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber is handling logistics for the event.

How many people is BLINK expected to attract?

Organizers are estimating 500,000 visitors to the festival over four days. This would put BLINK on the scale of Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, which the chamber estimates drew about 650,000 people this year.

How long has this been in the works?

Haile Foundation president Tim Maloney said initial planning for BLINK began two years ago.

If I'm an artist, can I get involved?

ArtWorks will host an artist information session Dec. 7. Sign-ups and more information will be posted at closer to the date.

Will BLINK be an annual event?

No. organizers hope to grow it into a biannual event that will expand into new neighborhoods and possibly across the river into Northern Kentucky.