Get to Know Us
ArtWorks is the creative and economic engine which unites citizens to transform our region.
ArtWorks empowers and inspires the creative community to transform our everyday environments through employment, apprenticeships, education, community partnerships, and civic engagement.
We employ and train local youth and talent to create art and community impact. ArtWorks is the only Apprentice-model workforce development program for youth in the arts and the primary employer of artists in the Greater Cincinnati region. We hire ArtWorks youth Apprentices, ages 14-21, from diverse educational and socio-economic backgrounds, with 50% from low-income homes and at least 50% of non-white origin.
We engage community, civic, and neighborhood organizations, health and social service providers, and businesses. Our public art community engagement sessions determine the final designs for murals and other projects. We organize ArtRx art therapy workshops where patients, families and staff co-create art and capes. Our SpringBoard program also connects creative entrepreneurs to legal, finance and marketing experts.
We create public art that embodies our City’s spirit and leaves a lasting legacy. We create smiles by bringing the healing power of art to children with life-threatening illnesses. We create entrepreneurs that have the business savvy to open sustainable small businesses. And by employing local youth to transform their own community, we create our City’s future leaders and workforce.
We transform more than our City’s landscape. We transform the lives of local youth—some ArtWorks youth Apprentices are the primary income earners in their households, others are students at schools where art programs have been cut. We transform the lives of children facing physical, medical and emotional hardships with capes to remind them of their real-world superpowers. We transform the lives of SpringBoard graduates by helping them to turn their passions into sustainable small businesses.
Passion – We love Cincinnati
Love is hard work, but we’re up to the job. Ours is a magnificent city. We never lose sight of that, and it is our mission to make sure everyone else sees it too. As much as we love the Queen City, she loves us right back. It’s a committed romance. We recognize that the more you put into any relationship, the more it rewards you. This is love. If you are going to achieve big things, you must be fully devoted. We’re all in.
Creativity – The comfort zone is but a fond memory
Lines are a very important element of what we do, we stretch and mold them into something beautiful and new… then we add color. Instead of resting on our laurels, we constantly aspire to grow. With respect to tradition, we strive to provide visionary opportunities for creativity in art and enterprise.
Respect – Respect fuels the engine of accomplishment
The value of every individual is paramount. We must be accountable to ourselves, each other, and everyone else. That means being honest and gracious. We are proud to say that we do great things and we are even more proud to actually do them. We achieve all we set out to do because we work together and we are realistic about our goals.
Empowerment – We make amazing things happen
An ambassador is a representative link between various entities or fields of endeavor. We are cultural ambassadors. We connect and nurture emerging talent: artists, creative entrepreneurs, to corporations, and the public at large in order to empower them to transform the region. Nothing comes from nothing; we take something great and make it better.
Teamwork – If we work together, we work together
Sometimes we can kill two birds with one stone. Sometimes ten of us will spend a week throwing many stones at a bird, and it will still fly away. That’s okay. We’ll take another angle at it and we will improve. If the bird in question happens to be, say, an ostrich, we’re going to need a lot of stones anyway. We trust each other to get the job done.
Purposefulness – The most powerful tool is the purposeful mind
We don’t just throw things at the wall to see what sticks. That would be a tremendous waste of things. What we put on walls stays there. Steadily and steadfastly, we commit ourselves to creative and organizational excellence.
Investment – Creativity is the modern economy
We encourage and promote creativity not simply for its own sake. Intellectual property, innovative effort, and artistic ability are exceedingly valuable, and we believe that value should be compensated accordingly. And then we put our money where our mouths are and invest in people, places, and the city. Make art. Get Paid.
Courage – The backbone of courage is hope
When a river has frozen over, underneath a hard layer of ice the fish still swim freely. Even when the situation seems desperate – all the fish are not dead. The river is still flowing, and the sea will not refuse it. No matter how difficult a situation presents itself, the solution is out there. We don’t fear failure and we won’t accept defeat, we optimistically push forward.