CINCINNATI— ArtWorks, the dynamic force behind Cincinnati’s iconic murals, embarked on a transformative journey with the launch of the New Monument Initiative in early 2023. Now this year-long initiative is in its final months, and the Civic Art Studio is making a few final requests to the Cincinnati community:
“We need help identifying what public art exists in every community and we need people to take our survey to help give voices to the public art of the future,” said Asha White, a practicing artist, curator, DAAP master’s graduate, and a prominent member of Black Art Speaks. “The work we have done over this past year has been very intentional. We have worked to connect with marginalized communities by establishing partnerships to best reach our target demographic.”
White is the visionary leader of a team of ten young adult artists, aged 18 to 24 in ArtWorks’ Civic Arts Studio. This group has been engaging with various Cincinnati neighborhoods at nearly 20 events throughout the year in hopes of beginning a dialogue that would lead to redefining the future landscape of public art and monuments to honor the rich history of Cincinnati’s diverse communities.
Now, the group is offering incentives to hear from these voices. Those who take the survey before September 25 have a chance to win a ticket for an ArtWorks mural tour ($25 value), a ticket to ArtWorks’ Art Off the Walls fundraiser (a $175 value) or a $20 Kroger gift card. Anyone who completes the survey in FULL, including name and email, will automatically be entered for a chance to win.
In addition, a new short survey is also available through this group to help identify any existing artworks within every community of our city.
“We’ve been working hard on a monument audit that hopes to identify each and every public artwork within our city. This means every sculpture, bronze, mural and more… in all 52 of Cincinnati’s neighborhoods,” said White. “Monuments tell us about what a society values. It’s so important to have robust and diverse feedback when considering the future of monuments, so that we have a wide breath of view points on what our community values and holds dear.”
Both surveys close on October 31, 2023. The project will only be a success if there is a groundswell of individuals who complete the survey.
ArtWorks is planning an event in January 2024 to unveil and celebrate the final report from the New Monuments Initiative.
“People deserve to be represented and to have a say in the ways they are represented. Our work is important because we are creating more opportunities for the people of Cincinnati to have more ownership over this beautiful city,” said Civic Studio Artist Aspen Stein.
The New Monument Initiative aligns with ArtWorks’ strategic mission to provide year-round employment opportunities for artists of all ages, fostering a sense of community and collaboration.
A New Monuments Advisory Committee made up of business, government, social welfare, and education sectors of our region, will guide and support the work.
Support for this project has been provided by the Greater Cincinnati Foundation and the Carol Ann & Ralph V. Haile, Jr. Foundation. If you are interested in supporting future public monuments, email Jeff Sperry at Jeff@artworkscincinnati.org.
Who We Are
Since 1996, ArtWorks has collaborated with community organizations and residents, businesses, governments, foundations, and nonprofits to build creative works of art that support the Greater Cincinnati region’s global reputation as an arts destination. ArtWorks has employed and trained over 3,500 professional artists and 4,000 youth, ages 14–24. We invest in our creative economy by creating jobs that support local talent, pairing professional artists to inspire and mentor diverse teams of youth, and helping them build 21st-century career-readiness skills. Over the past 27 years, this collaborative approach has created a citywide gallery with more than 14,000 public and private art projects, including more than 300 permanent outdoor murals.
2460 Gilbert Avenue | Cincinnati, OH 45206
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