CINCINNATI — Organizers with BLINK announced Monday the art, light, and culture event is returning this October.
At Monday's announcement held at the Elm and Liberty Streetcar stop, organizers revealed the show will run from October 13th-16th. During the announcement, organizers also unveiled a new BLINK-themed Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar. The new streetcar is a partnership between the City of Cincinnati and ArtsWave. Organizers said the car will become a permanent fixture on the streetcar route.
In March 2021, former mayor John Cranley said he planned to use funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to help arts organizations and events, including BLINK, get back on their feet after the COVID-19 pandemic devastated the industry.
The ARP gave more than $290 million to the city, and city officials called for $1 million to be used to bring BLINK back in 2022. They also called for $1 million to be given to museums to help keep them open and for some of the funds to go toward other things in the arts community, like helping to build the Clifton Cultural Arts Center.
WATCH: BLINK2019 took over the Roebling Bridge
Organizers of BLINK also introduced Justin Brookhart as the new executive director of BINK Cincinnati. Brookhart has 15 years of private sector and non-profit leadership experience in the arts and culture space, a news release said.
Brookhart moved from Austin to Cincinnati. He studied at the University of Cincinnati.
BLINK is partnering with AGAR, ArtWorks, Brave Berlin, the Haile Foundation and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.
“It’s an honor to lead BLINK Cincinnati in collaboration with our producing partners to shine a light on Cincinnati’s innovative and forward-thinking arts and culture community,” said Brookhart. "I have long heard of Cincinnati’s collaborative creative spirit and I look forward to creating long-lasting partnerships in continuing the enormous success of BLINK.”
WATCH: Behind the scenes of putting on BLINK 2019
BLINK's inaugural four-night event debuted in October 2017 and returned in 2019. According to the news release, both events were experienced by more than 2 million visitors combined. The release claims it was the largest gathering of people ever in downtown Cincinnati and Over-the-Rhine.
“BLINK Cincinnati, illuminated by ArtsWave, presents an extraordinary opportunity to showcase the more than 150 arts organizations and projects that our community campaign supports each year,” said Alecia Kintner, President & CEO of ArtsWave. ”The timing for this announcement is fitting, as the annual ArtsWave Campaign – the largest community campaign in the nation and a critical source for the region’s arts – just kicked off last week. When you give to ArtsWave, you make incredible arts, like BLINK, happen.”
According to the news release, an economic impact study in 2019 by University of Cincinnati found BLINK welcomed 1.2 million attendees and resulted in a total combined economic impact of $86.7 million and supported 1,015 jobs earning a total of $28.3 million.
Click here for more information about BLINK Cincinnati.