Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Campaign promotes Cincinnati's arts

By Jackie Demaline
The Cincinnati Enquirer

When Cincinnati unveils its new museum trio starting in May, the Fine Arts Fund will use the following four months to promote the city's arts. A marketing campaign called Festival of the New will showcase seven weekends from mid-June through mid-October.

The openings of the Cincinnati Wing at the Cincinnati Art Museum, the new Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art and the renovated Taft Museum of Art will anchor the promotion of existing events from Cincinnati Opera's summer season to Cincinnati Museum Center's Baseball in America exhibit.

Project director Kathy DeLaura says the target is 1 million total attendance, which is slightly more than the 968,000 claimed by the Big Pig Gig public art project in 2000.

They hope to reach their attendance goal by spending $1 million to market the arts to the Tristate and neighboring cities such as Columbus, Indianapolis and Louisville.

They now have "about half" the money, Ms. DeLaura says.

Presenting sponsor is Time Warner Cable, whose in-kind contribution is more than $200,000, said Director of Public Affairs Robert Howard. The Greater Cincinnati Foundation has already kicked in $100,000 and talks are under way for a five-figure gift from Frisch's Restaurants, Ms. DeLaura says.

About 70 percent of the money will be spent in Greater Cincinnati and 30 percent out of town. Ms. DeLaura declined to give specific plans for the campaign, whose slogan is "Go ahead, take it all in."

A preliminary calendar lists already announced events, most by the Fine Arts Fund's primary recipients including Cincinnati Opera, Ballet and Symphony, and Playhouse in the Park. More events will be added as performing companies announce their seasons. The marketing campaign will not include ticket discounts, said Ms. DeLaura "although there will be some special offers."

E-mail jdemaline@enquirer.com

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