ArtsWave Honors 200 Local Women Who Influenced the Cincinnati Arts Scene with a New Book

“Imagineers, Impresarios, Inventors: Cincinnati’s Arts and the POWER OF HER,” features essays about local women who have made a difference in Cincinnati's arts and culture scene

Sep 9, 2019 at 5:11 pm
click to enlarge ArtsWave Honors 200 Local Women Who Influenced the Cincinnati Arts Scene with a New Book
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Local arts organization ArtsWave announced that they're working on an exciting new book coming summer 2020. “Imagineers, Impresarios, Inventors:      Cincinnati’s Arts and the POWER OF HER,” honors 200 local women who have played a major role in Greater Cincinnati's arts and culture realm. 

Led by Kathy Merchant, former president/CEO of Greater Cincinnati Foundation and ArtsWave Women's Leadership Roundtable member, the book coincides with ArtsWave's POWER OF HER initiative. The 18-month program pays respect to Cincinnati's strong female leaders and celebrates artworks of all mediums, "underscoring creativity as the vehicle for inclusion and equality," a press release reads. 

Nominations were held earlier this year when ArtsWave issued a region-wide call to recognize women across the city, living or legacy, who have made an influence in Cincinnati's arts and culture. The call received a great deal of positive feedback, with hundreds of women nominated. 

 Members of the arts community reviewed the nominations and a group of volunteers vetted the nominations further with a set of criteria. 

"The final product is diverse and inclusive, but by no means exhaustive. In fact, it became clear early on that part of the criteria would have to be a long-time commitment to Greater Cincinnati’s arts, which means some of the top arts leaders of today and tomorrow may not appear, allowing for coverage and recognition possibilities in future years," the press release explains. 

The book will highlight 200 women, with 122 essays arranged in 100 individual and organizational profiles, in addition to the inclusion of founding women in the Cincinnati arts from the 1800s and 1900s. 

“Cincinnati has benefited from the leadership and innovation of scores of women over the past 100-plus years,” says Kathy Merchant. “We are looking to honor them and tell their stories.”

“Imagineers, Impresarios, Inventors: Cincinnati’s Arts and the POWER OF HER,” will sell for $50 and will be published by Ohio-based, women-owned publishing house Orange Frazer Press. It will be available at various booksellers, CVG and online through Amazon. 

A portion of the proceeds from book sales will benefit arts and culture projects throughout Greater Cincinnati which are run by or will benefit women. 

“ArtsWave is honored to help organize this tribute to so many women who have made such meaningful impacts on our region’s arts landscape,” says Alecia Kintner, president & CEO of ArtsWave.

Local women leaders Karen Bowman, Melanie Chavez, Sara M. and Michelle Vance Waddell have contributed their support for the book by covering its production costs. The project also has support from The Landen Family Foundation, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation.

To preorder a copy, visit