ArtsWave accelerates grant payments, expanding loans to arts organizations

Arts organizations were among the first to be hard-hit by this crisis, as the bans on gathering were implemented. It’s ironic that one of the arts’ “superpowers” is the way they bring us together in shared experiences of inspiration, provocation, laughter and learning. The fact that our concert halls, theaters and museums must be closed right now is a stark symbol of the reality of this moment. It also presents a potentially devastating business challenge for our arts organizations. The arts depend on two primary revenue sources to survive and create impact: earned income from operations such as ticket sales, tours and school contracts; and contributions from people like us. Earned income lost in this period of time will likely not be able to be recovered, with forced venue and school closures. And, this revenue represents about 50-60% of most budgets. The ArtsWave Community Campaign represents another vitally significant source of income for these organizations, and that is why your advocacy for the arts and support of ArtsWave right now matters more than ever. The financial implications of the virus on the region’s arts sector are immense, with the limit on mass gatherings affecting the arts well before most other industries. To take steps to keep the arts sector viable and in a position to return strong and vibrant when this is over, ArtsWave is accelerating $2.4 million in grant payments by six weeks for 44 organizations which receive operating revenues in the form of Sustaining Impact Grants. In addition, ArtsWave is expanding availability of $10,000 Working Capital Bridge Loans for nonprofit arts organizations to the extent funds are available. ArtsWave plans to fast-track mini-grants for operating needs during this emergency and to fund artist-led projects that enable virtual arts programming.

There are several ways you can get involved to help local arts organizations. Here are a few:

  1. Help us communicate that the arts need our help by creating a Facebook fundraiser. It’s easy, just follow this link to begin the fundraiser and either use the following text or personalize it to fit your network. “With public events canceled, your gift to ArtsWave matters more than ever. It ensures that music, dance, art, theater and festivals keep our region vibrant for years to come. ArtsWave supports over 100 arts projects and organizations across the Cincinnati region, join me in giving to their campaign!”
  2. Donate your experience. If you purchased a ticket to an event that has been canceled, consider donating your tickets back to the organization instead of asking for a refund. This will allow them to re-sell your seats down the line.
  3. Stay informed about arts events. ​Be sure to follow ArtsWave as well as all of your favorite arts organizations on social media to keep up to date. Visit to find a new ArtsWave Guide event category listing events that have been affected, canceled, postponed or altered by COVID-19. In the days to come, we will also be compiling all the virtual, online local arts resources on this site.
  4. Give to the annual ArtsWave Campaign. The ArtsWave Community Campaign is the largest single source of annual funding for the Cincinnati region’s arts organizations. The 2020 campaign kicked off on January 30 and is currently at 50% of its $12.4 million goal. To help us get the rest of the way, visit
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