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Local groups join together to create new, holiday-focused programs to help small businesses

Posted at 11:29 PM, Nov 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-30 11:05:02-05

CINCINNATI — Local businesses have been struggling throughout the pandemic, and many local artists haven't been able to work since pandemic-induced shutdowns in March. It's because of this that local companies and organizations are creating a new program to get more people to safely visit Downtown as the holidays approach.

"I think it is a very difficult time, but also a very important time," said Ashna Khanna, a Blue Ash artist.

Khanna is one of several ArtWorks artists working on a program called Windows of Wonder in Downtown and Over-the-Rhine. The windows feature artistic holiday scenes and interpretations -- like the old storefront window designs of the past -- but with a modern twist.

"We have the Cincinnati skyline, and just to give it a more festive look, I have included some fantasy elements like sleigh, Santa," said Khanna.

Windows of Wonder is one part of the program FOUND, a partnership between Agar, 3CDC and the Haile Foundation. The windows are designed around the 1788 founding of Losantiville in December.

FOUND plans to be a one-stop-shop for art installations and events throughout the city, like the weekend winter market in Washington Park or the Losantiville Scavenger Hunt.

"We have a lot of awesome local vendors," said Megyn Norbut, Second Sunday on Main event director.

The events are intended to provide a historic nod to the city's past while, hopefully, giving people an opportunity to rediscover the city and its local businesses.

"They just need to have that pep-up mood to be together and just be merry and bright," said Khanna.

Her window design can be found on Vine Street between 12th and 13th Streets. FOUND plans to have events and installations running through Christmas Eve.