My wife, Vicki, and I have been involved with ArtWorks since the first Big Pig Gig. Both of our children, Emilio and Paloma, have been ArtWorks Youth Apprentices, transforming our very own neighborhood with beautiful murals. Through ArtWorks, Emilio and Paloma not only connected with a diverse group of youth in our community, they also were paid a living wage and worked with professional mentors to gain essential 21st century career-readiness skills. I am so proud that Emilio used these skills, and his experiences at ArtWorks, to earn a college scholarship.
ArtWorks’ impact extends far beyond our family and the hundreds of other artists served each year. I’ve had the privilege of designing murals for ArtWorks and know first-hand the lasting impact that public art has on the city. ArtWorks’ projects create safer neighborhoods, bring pride and joy to residents, and generate lasting relationships within communities. I’m proud that my murals have fostered connection across cultures, opening hearts and minds in East Price Hill and Downtown Cincinnati.
ArtWorks is an award-winning Greater Cincinnati nonprofit that transforms people and places through investments in creativity. The organization collaborates with community organizations and residents, businesses, governments, foundations and nonprofits to build creative works of art that bolster the region’s global reputation as an arts destination. ArtWorks employs professional artists who inspire and mentor diverse teams of youth, ages 14-21, helping them build 21st century career-readiness skills. These teams have completed more than 14,000 public and private art projects in its 25 years, including more than 200 permanent outdoor murals.