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ArtsWave reimagines Sampler into 12-week series, launches loyalty program

Posted at 8:12 AM, Jan 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-26 08:28:56-05

CINCINNATI -- After more than 30 years of its traditional Sampler program, ArtsWave has reimagined the event into a 12-part series featuring more than 100 free community performances running every Saturday from Feb. 3 to April 21.

For a full schedule of all 12 ArtsWave Days, including detailed performance information and activities, please see

In addition to promoting each separate Saturday, ArtsWave is launching a new loyalty program, ArtsWave Rewards. This free program offers “waves” that roll up to “rewards” that can be accumulated for chances to win weekly prizes throughout the 2018 Community Campaign. The grand prize for the 2018 Community Campaign is a Cincy Arts Staycation: two tickets to Hamilton, a room at the 21C Museum Hotel, dinner at Boca, breakfast at Metropole, and a $500 shopping spree at Macy’s, including personal shopper assistance.

To join ArtsWave Rewards, download the ArtsWave Guide, the region’s largest arts calendar and arts finder, via its app, which can be found in the iPhone App Store and Android Google Play. ArtsWave Rewards will be added to ArtsWave Guide within the next 10 days.

The 2018 ArtsWave Days event series includes the following 12 events:

Play Day: Feb. 3, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Time to play! Visit The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s new home and experience jazz, drama, improv and creative classes and take in performances of The Cat in the Hat and Maya Angelou: A Writer’s Legacy. Stop by Cincinnati Shakespeare Company to make egg shakers and then perform! Enjoy the Children’s Choir’s Bel Canto Choir, find out Why Shakespeare through an interactive performance and enjoy A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Stop by The Carnegie and enjoy hands-on art making and drama games. At the Campbell County Library, you’ll experience ballet performances from CCM, face painting from Rainbow Faces, catch Roundabout Opera’s “Trip Jones and Case of the Missing Music” and enjoy Jumping over the Moon with Mad Cap Puppets. Don’t miss The Opera Express, where you’ll see live, short performances in a rig!

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s programs are free but reservations are suggested and can be made by visiting the website here.

Feb. 10, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: I (heart) Arts!

Arts galore at over 10 different community arts centers across the region! Sing, move, listen and create at Clifton Cultural Arts Center. Create pottery, sculpture, dance, music and visual arts at Fitton Center for Creative Arts. Enjoy belly dancing and kung fu at Fairfield Community Arts Center. Make your own outfit and compete in a fashion show at Kennedy Heights Arts Center. Enjoy Hip Hop and Filipino dance at Wyoming Fine Arts Center. Try your hand at anime at The Barn. Experience Storied Threads, Behringer-Crawford’s new exhibit, profiling local textile artists. Enjoy silhouette art at Campbell County Library in Alexandria. Listen to a cappella gospel and R&B at Campbell County Library in Newport. Enjoy full access to Pyramid Center Sculpture Park. Hoop dance and sing at Irish Heritage Center. Contemporary Dance Theater offers a new look at dance with interactive dancing and a craft activity for the entire family. There’s something for everyone in the family to love on this one-of-a-kind Saturday!

Feb. 17, 6 to 7:30 p.m.: Date Night
Looking for the perfect Valentine’s celebration? Enjoy wine tasting with performances, followed by shows at three hot OTR venues! At Cincinnati Shakespeare Company from 6 p.m. – 7:30, you’ll enjoy wine tasting while being serenaded by Tracy Walker, singing folk, blues, jazz, and rock, followed by a performance of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. From 6-7:30 p.m. at the Transept, you’ll sip wine and take in the Queen Cincy Opera singing popular songs about love and wine, with an 8 p.m. performance of the Cincinnati Symphony’s Orchestra performing Ravel’s La Valse. At Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, Full Moon Ranch will play Americana and folk from 6:30 while you enjoy your wine, prior to the last performance, an 8 p.m. show of the 2018 Tony award winner, The Humans.

Tickets for performances are subject to admission charges and need to be booked separately. Wine poured by the International Wine Festival, with proceeds benefiting the festival along with the 2018 ArtsWave Community Campaign.
Feb. 24, 2018, 12 to 5 p.m.: Beer Choir Games, Urban Artifact, 1660 Blue Rock St. –  3 to 5 p.m.

Join us as Urban Artifact from 3 to 5 p.m. as members from over 25 local choral organizations (May Festival Chorus, MUSE, Cincinnati Boychoir, Cincinnati Children’s Choir, Cincinnati Men’s Chorus, and choirs from UC and Xavier University) organized by the Greater Cincinnati Choral Consortium lead us in a sing-along in traditional beer haul style! Sing and enjoy festivities throughout the afternoon. In the meantime, download the Beer Choir Hymnal to practice beforehand. $1 per beer sold during event will benefit ArtsWave. Support from this event comes from Cavalier Distributors.

March 3, 2018, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.: Jazz, Gospel & Arts, Eden Park

Both jazz and gospel tell a story of their own. Add arts, and you have a weekend that will inspire and touch the soul. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., join us at Cincinnati Art Museum, where you will see spirituals in motion from Cincinnati Opera, a Protest Song Sing-in from Muse, Middle Eastern gypsy jazz fusion, Bollywood glamour from Cultural Center of India, and blues from John Ford. Cap off your day with a free community preview performance of Cincinnati Playhouse’s Marie and Rosetta, the compelling life stories of two gospel singers with roof-raising, heart-rending music.

To reserve tickets for Marie and Rosetta, visit with promo code ARTSWAVE or call the Playhouse Box Office at 513-421-3888. Limited to four tickets per household. Subject to availability. Ticket pick-up from 10 a.m. to no later than 3 p.m. on the day of show. 

March 10, 2018, 1 to 4 p.m.: Get Active! with Support from Children’s Hospital 

Get active with ArtsWave and FC Cincinnati as we host games on Sheakely Lawn at Nippert Stadium before the 4 p.m. game with Sacramento Republic! ArtsWave Pass members can get discounts to the game, so be sure to take advantage of this or sign up for an ArtsWave Pass, your discount to 100+ arts experiences. Before the game, you’ll enjoy Bollywood dancing from Nrityarpana School of Performing Arts, Drums Alive!, an interactive drumming program presented by Melodic Connections, and the Dance and Dash booth from MamLuft&Co Dance and Clifton Cultural Arts Center. To get ready for the game, UC’s CCM and Community Engagement will help you make your own blue and orange vuvuzela and all from recycled materials! Retired players will be available to sign autographs.

March 17, 2018, 1 to 4 p.m.: Shamrock Family Fun

Celebrate St. Paddy’s Day in ArtsWave style with the entire family at Anderson Pavilion, with live entertainment, rides on Carol Ann’s Carousel and a free root beer bar throughout the afternoon. Lear to reel and jig with 4-Way, Cincinnati’s String Quartet featuring Irish Fiddle Champion Jack Boagard and dancers from the McGing School. Enjoy Peraza Music Workshop as you take in Irish, Celtic and Fiddle music. Clark & Jones Trio closes out the afternoon with Irish and Celtic music along with lively jigs for the entire family to enjoy.

March 24, 2018, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Music Hall Open House

Join ArtsWave for a second community-wide open house for Music Hall! This time you’ll not only be able to tour the newly renovated Music Hall, but you’ll have dozens of performances throughout the day from five resident organizations – the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Orchestra, and May Festival – and additional community arts partners. And it only gets better: sing with the May Festival at 10 a.m., or bring your horn or violin and join the 2-3 p.m. poptet jam session conducted by CSO Pops Conductor John Morris Russell!
March 31, 2018, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m: Cincinnati Reds Kid’s Opening Day

Come down to The Banks outside the Great American Ballpark (on Freedom Way) and join ArtsWave and the Cincinnati Reds for arts and Opening Day activities for the entire family! We’ll have an ArtsWave tent with artists from Rainbow Faces to offer face painting plus so much more.
April 7, 2018, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Be our Guest Tea Parties, Sponsored by Dewey’s Pizza

The Cincinnati Ballet will perform Beauty and the Beast at 10:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., and whether you’re going to the show or not, you’ll want to join us for tea parties to remember! All of the action will happen across the street at the Contemporary Art Center, with Cincinnati Balia!, Flying Cloud Academy of Vintage Dance, Cincinnati Boychoir and Natyahasta School of Dance – everything from movement related choral from South and West Africa, an Arabic wedding procession, and princesses and princes dancing to the era of this beloved fable.

April 14, Art Walks, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Today’s the day to get out and walk the region! Starting at the Fitton Center (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.), you’ll get your map and tour the new StreetSpark murals as you take in Hamilton’s beautiful Renaissance. After that, head over to Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum, which will be offering free admission today. Or, if you’d rather hit OTR and the Central Business District, meet at the ArtsWave and ArtWorks office (12-2 p.m.) and get a map, plus stop by to see Elementz Hip Hop to record your own rap, DJ, and learn an eight-count dance routine; then take in the Weston Art Gallery along your way to see two exhibits running concurrently. If you’d rather head south of town, start at Hotel Covington (12-2 p.m.), get your map and tour Covington’s murals as outlined by the Catalytic Fund.

April 21, 2018: Block Party, 6:00-9:00 p.m., Taft Museum of Art

Join us inside the Taft and outside on the lawn! A large festive event tent over the Taft garden will be jumping with a community block party in full swing. Guests will enjoy music, crafts, games, as well as food and themed-beverages for purchase. Live music will be performed by Bacchanal Steel Drum Band from 6-8 p.m. and Sharon McCullum from 8-9 p.m.

Help celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Flying Pig Marathon, by participating in the Dream Big street art mural!

And when you feel like going inside, you’ll have full access to the Museum’s historic house and art collection, as well as the special exhibition, Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection. This premier exhibition has been lauded by USA Today as one of the “best museum exhibits in the U.S. this winter.”