Mayor John Cranley announced a multi-million stimulus proposal for the Cincinnati arts community, including $1 million for the 2022 return of BLINK. He also called for outdoor performances to resume in the area.
This announcement follows the allocation of $290 million to Cincinnati for COVID-19 related expenses from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan. Approximately $11 million will go toward revitalizing the arts community.
“Our community and our city and our arts are rebuilding the city around arts,” said Cranley during today’s announcement outside of Music Hall.
According to the proposed breakdown, $7 million will be available as performing arts support grants, with $1 million of that going — immediately — to outdoor public performances and $6 million going to an emergency stabilization relief fund.
“The theater organizations and performing arts organizations...have struggled to pay their rent, to pay their heat bills, to pay down their debt, to keep some of their actors and actresses going without the ability to have any theater,” Cranley said.
The proposed funding will help theaters survive until they can resume productions later this summer and fall.
Additional funding will go to the ArtWorks Youth Employment Initiative ($1 million); the Clifton Cultural Arts Center ($500,000); and public museum support ($1 million). A Black Lives Matter mural is also proposed at $250,000. The BLINK art and light festival is also slated to receive the aforementioned $1 million to return sometime in 2022.
“The BLINK team is so grateful that the Mayor, City Manage, and all of (the City of Cincinnati) believes in the power of BLINK. We're beaming with excitement and look forward to sharing more details about 2022 in the coming weeks and months,” BLINK Cincinnati wrote in a Twitter post.
The BLINK team is so grateful that the Mayor, City Manager, and all of @CityOfCincy believes in the power of Blink. We're beaming with excitement and look forward to sharing more details about 2022 in the coming weeks and months. #blink2022 #blink #blinkcincinnati pic.twitter.com/0scVvqnnCm— BLINK Cincinnati (@BLINKcincy) March 24, 2021
The allocation of funds toward the art community intends to provide relief to those who have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic.