ArtWorks can play a role in Cincinnati’s restart

As I step into the role of ArtWorks’ CEO, I wanted to thank you for your continuing support for our organization and the work we do to empower youth, support local artists, and keep our community vibrant and so wonderfully livable. I have been part of this organization since I was 18 years old, when I first worked as a youth apprentice and have been involved ever since, guiding our programming and impact. My passion for our mission, our team, our youth and our artists is boundless. So, thank you for partnering with us! 

We’re obviously living in a very challenging moment right now, but I think our challenges make ArtWorks’ mission for Cincinnati more important than ever. The people we create jobs for — our youth and our artists — have been impacted substantially by this crisis, and we’re doing all we can to help them. We’re employing youth to work on projects together remotely so that they can continue to earn a paycheck and use their creative talents for good. Youth Apprentices who have sewing and design skills from Hero Design Company are sewing masks to help keep our community safe in these times. And we’re launching a new program called “JumpStart” that will provide local artists with funding and staffing to support their project proposals to connect our community. Independent artists are among the hardest hit in these economic times. And we are continuing to understand the current status and needs of those we serve in order to guide our immediate actions and longer-term vision. 

Even as we focus on the priorities that are right in front of us, we’re also looking at the role ArtWorks can play as Cincinnati turns its attention to restarting our economy and revitalizing our community. We want to help Cincinnati go forward to something better, not just return to what was. Moments like this always present opportunities to step up in new ways, as our community has often done in the wake of crisis and difficult challenges. And it’s in ArtWorks DNA to be part of that creative, optimistic path forward. 

It’s in that spirit that I step into this role, with both humility and confidence, to focus on how much more we can do in the months and years ahead — with the youth and artists we serve and your incredible partnership. I could not be more energized by our potential. 

I appreciate the confidence of our Board and am especially grateful for the mentorship of our founder Tamara Harkavy who has always recognized talent and potential in those around her. I am very grateful for Tamara’s friendship and a long tenure working and learning from her. I am also inspired by Lauren Hannan Shafer, who has demonstrated her belief in our entire staff, myself included, to lead the organization forward into its bright future.

I look forward to getting to know you better and working with you to carry our impact forward. Please reach out to me at any time. 

With gratitude, 


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