Art is always at the forefront of social change. 2020 forever changed our community. It changed the way we work and how we perceive art as essential. Art is a critical economic engine. It creates jobs and fuels our economy and recovery. In 2020, we committed to creating as many jobs as possible, despite a health and economic crisis, all while being guided by visionary community-led partnerships and Artist-led initiatives.
We remember one monumental day for Cincinnati, June 19, 2020, when the Black Lives Matter! street mural was dedicated in front of City Hall. It was the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth, the commemoration of emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States. This important public work of art was led by Alandes Powell, Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio, and Black Art Speaks collective. ArtsWave and many community leaders came together in one week. ArtWorks was a proud partner, recruiting Artists to join the movement and hiring Youth Apprentices to accomplish this historic project. Many involved agree this was the most important art they had made in their lifetime.
This past year, Artists were leading as the community’s change agents. Whether they are standing for anti-racism, creatively getting out the vote, or inventing ways to honor our community’s real-life heroes, Artists show resilience and strength of purpose. ArtWorks was proud to partner with Artists of all ages to help our community through one of its most challenging years ever.
Our commitment in 2020 was to New Voices, elevating the next generation of change agents. We highlighted the work of emerging Artists and community members, bringing their artistic vision to life and presenting new perspectives for public art. This was our goal because our city is at its best when everyone gets a chance.
We invite you to learn more about the transformational power of art in these pages. We send a huge thank you to the Youth Apprentices, Artists, board members, sta members, volunteers, supporters, and partners who made our impact in 2020 possible. We can only do this work because of your belief in our mission of transforming people and places through investments in creativity.
Annual Report Credits:
Tony Arrasmith, Bergette Photography, Sydney Fine,
Devin Grimm, Colleen Houston, Sandra Okot-Kotber, Kevin J. Wakins,
Nina Wells and J Miles Wolf
Illustrations: Nicki Deux and Cryptogram
Report design: Cryptogram
Printing: Cereal Box Studio, Otto Printing, Cryptogram
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.