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BLINK Festival will fill Cincinnati with art, light installations again in October 2019

Posted: 8:42 AM, Apr 05, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-05 18:31:25Z

CINCINNATI -- BLINK, the incredible art and light festival that took over downtown Cincinnati last fall, is making a return in October 2019.

"It's going to be a little bigger," said Rich Walburg, communications director for the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.

Walburg said BLINK will return to Downtown as a free public event Oct. 10-13, 2019. The Carol Ann and Ralph V Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation President and CEO Tim Maloney, who spearheaded the inaugural BLINK last year, will once again orchestrate the light festival's return.

The inaugural BLINK included 21 light projections mapped onto murals and buildings, new murals by international artists, 27 interactive light sculptures and live entertainment from Oct. 12 to 15, 2017. The festival spanned 20 blocks that roughly followed the Cincinnati streetcar route. Organizers estimated last year's festival attracted a million visitors downtown.

"Now that businesses have seen it and what BLINK can do we believe we'll have that support to make it bigger, better and brighter," Walburg said.

Walburg confirmed the 2019 BLINK festival will remain downtown.

"It will be in the same general area but that doesn't mean it will be on the same route," he said.

The festival will continue to be a free public event.

“The spirit of BLINK is the joy we all found in a shared moment of art and light,” Maloney said in a press release. “BLINK promises to share even more surprises and jaw-dropping moments in 2019.”

The regional chamber and Haile Foundation are planning and fundraising once again for BLINK in 2019 with fellow creative partners Brave Berlin, ArtWorks and AGAR Agency, according to Jill P. Meyer, president and CEO of the chamber.

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"I would say we are dreaming big and thinking about a lot of cool things and then we need to sit down and figure out what pieces we can actually make happen," Meyer said. 

When Malone announced plans for the first BLINK in the fall of 2016, he estimated the three-day festival would cost approximately $3 million to execute. The Haile Foundation provided about $1 million in seed money for the event and then raised the rest through local sponsorships.

Walburg said the price of the second iteration of BLINK will likely be even more. Meyer added that one fundraising advantage organizers currently have is BLINK itself. 

"What we heard after BLINK was many comments where people said, 'We didn't quite get what you were talking about but now we've been there and we've seen it and we need to be a part of this,'" Meyer said.

Maloney and Meyer also expect BLINK 2019 will draw even larger crowds not only locally but from across the country as well. 

Those wishing to provide support to BLINK may contact Cynthia Oxley at 513-579-3193 or coxley@cincinnatichamber.com.