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Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati Arts: Art Scene in Cincinnati

This midsized, waterfront city enjoys a reputation as the “Arts Mecca of the Midwest”, provides residents and visitors alike with a very strong arts community featuring ballet, opera, theater and even hit Broadway shows. Add into the mix a world-class symphony and four renowned museums, and Cincinnati is a city that delights and surprises. (We’ve included several arts attractions in Dayton, just an hour’s away, as a bonus.)

Cincinnati Arts Information

Art Museums

Cincinnati Art Museum

Cincinnati Art Museum

Inspired by Philadelphia’s Centennial Exhibition held in 1876, a Cincinnati group called the Women’s Art Museum Association brought this city’s museum to fruition. Ten years later, the first incarnation of the Cincinnati Art Museum opened. The city embraced the institution, donating tens of thousands of objects to it in its early years. Continued donations have led to several expansions since then. Today the museum has 60,000 objects and is the …more…

Taft Museum of Art

Taft Museum of Art

The Taft was established 75 years ago. The American Palladian structure originally served as the home of President William Howard Taft’s family. Taft even accepted the presidential nomination there. In 1927, the family bequeathed the house and its 690 works of art to Cincinnati. It opened to the public in 1932.

The house holds a wide range of art collected by the Tafts. Some notable collections include European and American master …more…

Theater

Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati

Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati

CTC bills itself as a place “where fun takes center stage”. The theatre has a history dating back to 1924, and it was incorporated in 1947. Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati introduces young audiences in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana to the performing arts through professional, fully-staged productions designed to appeal to parents and educators while teaching children morals and values.

Each season, CTC presents three one-hour productions aimed at children ages four …more…

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park

Located in Mt. Adams, the picturesque Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park has a long history of presenting high-quality productions, which boast some of the country’s best theater talent (their production of “Company” went to Broadway and won the Best Musical Revival in 2007). The Playhouse’s season is performed on two stages, the 626-seat Marx Theatre and the 225-seat Thompson Shelterhouse.

The Playhouse has better dining options than most theaters. If you …more…

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company

Located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati’s “Backstage” district, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company presents classics as well as rarities. The company is unique to the city’s performing arts community in employing a resident ensemble, whose members work with artistic director Brian Isaac Phillips to “crack the nut” of each play and reveal its human elements. Recent productions have included Shakespeare’s Othello, The Taming of the Shrewand All’s Well That Ends Well, Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal …more…

Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati

Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati

Founded in 1986, the ETC performed at Memorial Hall through its first two subscription seasons. In 1988, the company moved to its present location at 1127 Vine Street in Over-the-Rhine and became the only Equity theater in downtown Cincinnati. Over the years, the facility was remodeled and renovated to include a scene shop, costume shop, dressing rooms, and rehearsal hall, and the original 134-seat theater was expanded to a seating …more…

Know Theatre of Cincinnati

Know Theatre of Cincinnati

Formerly named the Know Theatre Tribe, this company traces its roots to the fall of 1997, when founder Jay B. Kalagayan brought together a group of seven actors to perform in a local bookstore. In 2003, the company gained national attention for its award-winning production of Terrence McNally’s Corpus Christi, which drew protests from religious groups, including a letter writing campaign in which more than 20,000 postcards were mailed to the …more…

Classical Music

The Catacoustic Consort

Catacoustic Consort

Devoted to the performance of early vocal and instrumental music from the Renaissance and Baroque periods, the award-winning Consort has presented the works of composers such as Claudio Monteverdi, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Giulio Caccini, William Lawes and more since 2001.  Led by Artistic Director Annalisa Pappano, the ensemble features renowned professional musicians on period instruments like the viola da gamba, harpsichord, lute, lirone (similar to the cello), and more.  The concerts …more…

Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra

Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra

As one of the cornerstones of the Cincinnati arts scene, the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra has been bringing great classical music to the area since 1974. Founded as a volunteer organization, the CCO has grown to include over 30 professional musicians. Based around a dedication to innovative programming, the CCO performs many lesser-heard gems of the classical tradition under the baton of Maestro Mischa Santora. The orchestra frequently travels and was …more…

Cincinnati Choral Society

Cincinnati Choral Society

Founded in 1974, the Cincinnati Choral Society presents primarily classical choral music for its patrons in the great Cincinnati area at various venues. Performing under the direction of Dr. Douglas Belland, the 60-member ensemble also performs a variety of Broadway and pop pieces during its season concerts, which, in recent years, have included a number of regional premieres, international dates and works conducted by their composers. Collaborating ensembles include the …more…

Cincinnati May Festival

Cincinnati May Festival

(May 11-19, 2012) Begun in 1873, the May Festival’s remarkable longevity is on display each year for two performance-intensive weekends dedicated to choral music. The festival is reflective of Cincinnati’s abiding devotion to musical life: the city’s Music Hall was built expressly for the May Festival, and the festival’s Chorus, initiated in 1880, is comprised of volunteer musicians and accompanied by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. ...more...

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

The CSO is the fifth oldest symphony orchestra in the United States. Since it was founded in 1895, the CSO has been a proponent of playing new music, giving the American premier of works by such notable composers as Debussy, Ravel and Bartók, and commissioning works such as Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man”, which have since become part of standard repertoire. In the early 1900’s, the CSO took …more…

MUSE: Cincinnati Women’s Chorus

MUSE: Cincinnati Women’s Chorus

MUSE: Cincinnati’s Women’s Chorus is a combination chorus and activist group, lending its voice to a variety of social and ethical causes. The 60-member ensemble is led by Catherine Roma, who has led the ensemble since 1984. Over its 25+ year history, the choir has collaborated with a number of other ensembles and frequently commissions new works by contemporary composers. MUSE has released three records of eclectic choral music available …more…

Opera

0

Cincinnati Opera

To outsiders, Cincinnati doesn’t have a reputation as a hotbed of opera. Yet Cincinnati Opera—founded in 1920—is the second oldest company in the United States. Only New York’s venerable Met (1880) has a longer pedigree. Renata Scotto made her American debut here, in 1978. Artistic director Evans Mirageas was tabbed as one of the 25 most powerful names in American Opera by Opera News. In recent years it’s commissioned two original …more…

Jazz

Blue Wisp Jazz Club

Blue Wisp Jazz Club

Since 1978, Blue Wisp has been offering its own brand of eclectic jazz and blues to its patrons in Cincinnati. While it doesn’t pull in the bigger names, the quality of the performers is no less. Cover charges can vary from $5-20 or free, depending on the performer and the night. Wednesday is Big Band night and weekends often have three different acts over the course of the evening, including …more…

Macys Music Festival

Macy’s Music Festival

(July) One of the oldest festivals in the United States, Macy’s Music Festival features some of the finest performers of jazz, R&B and soul, performing during two jam-packed days at Paul Brown Stadium (home of the Cincinnati Bengals). The festival began in 1962 at the Carthage Fairgrounds and only showcased straight ahead jazz performers. Notable names who performed at the festival in its early years include Al Jarreau, Marvin Gaye, …more…

rohsstreet

Rohs Street Cafe

A friendly, fair-trade coffee establishment with volunteer staff and one whole night per week dedicated to jazz? In Cincinnati?! We were surprised, too. Rohs Street Cafe brings together two things that go together better than peas and carrots: jazz and coffee (the only better pairing, we know, being jazz and alcohol, but we digress.)

Thursday nights feature local artists with the occasional touring group thrown into the mix. Jazz purists should …more…

Dance

Cincinnati Ballet

Cincinnati Ballet

Originally named Cincinnati Civic Ballet, this company was chartered by the city of Cincinnati in 1958 and enjoys a rich lineage of artistic association with Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo. The company’s first artistic director, David McLain, studied with them and their first resident choreographer, Frederic Franklin, danced with them. Both men served the Cincinnati Ballet for many years. Under its current direction, Cincinnati Ballet is the tri-state area’s …more…

Contemporary Dance Theater

Contemporary Dance Theater

Created by Artistic and Executive Director Jefferson James in 1972 , the mission of CDT is to broaden dance awareness in order to expand the sights of local audiences.
As one of the foremost alternative presenters in Cincinnati, CDT creates a wide mix of varying artistic viewpoints in dance, delivered by companies and artists who display the immense spirit of the artform and its ability to depict social content and meaning.

“Moving …more…

Film

The Esquire Theater

The Esquire Theater

The Esquire is the best spot in downtown Cincinnati for art film lovers to get their fix – it even attracts movie fans across the Ohio River, in Kentucky, who are starving for good indie film fare. Located in the Clifton Gaslight district, the Esquire offers smaller run films, new independents, and foreign movies. The high-quality concessions include popcorn with real butter and delicious Lindt chocolates. ...more...

Multi-Arts Festivals

Cincinnati Fringe Festival

Cincinnati Fringe Festival

(May – June)

Cincinnati Fringe Festival Information

Venues: All of the venues are within a four-block radius, and within walking distance, of the Fringe Headquarters at Know Theatre of Cincinnati (1120 Jackson Street)
Public Transportation: Excellent (all venues are easily accessible by several metro buses)
Handicapped Accessibility: Varies by venue
Performances/Programs: 30-35 shows with multiple performances of each
Ticket Prices: Ticket prices vary by performance and venue.

Music Now Festival

Music Now Festival

(May)

Music Now Festival Information

Public Transportation: Good (a 2-minute walk from metro buses 1, 6, 16, 20, and 49 at 12th Street/Central Pkwy; and buses 21, 46, and 67 at 13th Street/Race Street)
Handicapped Accessibility: Good
Performances/Programs: Performance schedule varies
Ticket Prices: Ticket prices vary.

Venues

Cincinnati Arts Association

Cincinnati Arts Association

The Cincinnati Arts Association is a not-for-profit organization, founded in 1992, that manages two of the area’s most prominent performance venues, the Aronoff Center for the Arts and Music Hall.  CAA presents a wide array of performing events in music, dance and theater during its Presenting Season, also featuring the work of local and regional artists in the Weston Art Gallery, located in the Aronoff Center. Over a dozen local performing …more…

Art Museums

Cincinnati Art Museum

Cincinnati Art Museum

Inspired by Philadelphia’s Centennial Exhibition held in 1876, a Cincinnati group called the Women’s Art Museum Association brought this city’s museum to fruition. Ten years later, the first incarnation of the Cincinnati Art Museum opened. The city embraced the institution, donating tens of thousands of objects to it in its early years. Continued donations have led to several expansions since then. Today the museum has 60,000 objects and is the …more…

Taft Museum of Art

Taft Museum of Art

The Taft was established 75 years ago. The American Palladian structure originally served as the home of President William Howard Taft’s family. Taft even accepted the presidential nomination there. In 1927, the family bequeathed the house and its 690 works of art to Cincinnati. It opened to the public in 1932.

The house holds a wide range of art collected by the Tafts. Some notable collections include European and American master …more…

Theater

Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati

Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati

CTC bills itself as a place “where fun takes center stage”. The theatre has a history dating back to 1924, and it was incorporated in 1947. Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati introduces young audiences in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana to the performing arts through professional, fully-staged productions designed to appeal to parents and educators while teaching children morals and values.

Each season, CTC presents three one-hour productions aimed at children ages four …more…

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park

Located in Mt. Adams, the picturesque Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park has a long history of presenting high-quality productions, which boast some of the country’s best theater talent (their production of “Company” went to Broadway and won the Best Musical Revival in 2007). The Playhouse’s season is performed on two stages, the 626-seat Marx Theatre and the 225-seat Thompson Shelterhouse.

The Playhouse has better dining options than most theaters. If you …more…

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company

Located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati’s “Backstage” district, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company presents classics as well as rarities. The company is unique to the city’s performing arts community in employing a resident ensemble, whose members work with artistic director Brian Isaac Phillips to “crack the nut” of each play and reveal its human elements. Recent productions have included Shakespeare’s Othello, The Taming of the Shrewand All’s Well That Ends Well, Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal …more…

Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati

Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati

Founded in 1986, the ETC performed at Memorial Hall through its first two subscription seasons. In 1988, the company moved to its present location at 1127 Vine Street in Over-the-Rhine and became the only Equity theater in downtown Cincinnati. Over the years, the facility was remodeled and renovated to include a scene shop, costume shop, dressing rooms, and rehearsal hall, and the original 134-seat theater was expanded to a seating …more…

Know Theatre of Cincinnati

Know Theatre of Cincinnati

Formerly named the Know Theatre Tribe, this company traces its roots to the fall of 1997, when founder Jay B. Kalagayan brought together a group of seven actors to perform in a local bookstore. In 2003, the company gained national attention for its award-winning production of Terrence McNally’s Corpus Christi, which drew protests from religious groups, including a letter writing campaign in which more than 20,000 postcards were mailed to the …more…

Classical Music

The Catacoustic Consort

Catacoustic Consort

Devoted to the performance of early vocal and instrumental music from the Renaissance and Baroque periods, the award-winning Consort has presented the works of composers such as Claudio Monteverdi, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Giulio Caccini, William Lawes and more since 2001.  Led by Artistic Director Annalisa Pappano, the ensemble features renowned professional musicians on period instruments like the viola da gamba, harpsichord, lute, lirone (similar to the cello), and more.  The concerts …more…

Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra

Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra

As one of the cornerstones of the Cincinnati arts scene, the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra has been bringing great classical music to the area since 1974. Founded as a volunteer organization, the CCO has grown to include over 30 professional musicians. Based around a dedication to innovative programming, the CCO performs many lesser-heard gems of the classical tradition under the baton of Maestro Mischa Santora. The orchestra frequently travels and was …more…

Cincinnati Choral Society

Cincinnati Choral Society

Founded in 1974, the Cincinnati Choral Society presents primarily classical choral music for its patrons in the great Cincinnati area at various venues. Performing under the direction of Dr. Douglas Belland, the 60-member ensemble also performs a variety of Broadway and pop pieces during its season concerts, which, in recent years, have included a number of regional premieres, international dates and works conducted by their composers. Collaborating ensembles include the …more…

Cincinnati May Festival

Cincinnati May Festival

(May 11-19, 2012) Begun in 1873, the May Festival’s remarkable longevity is on display each year for two performance-intensive weekends dedicated to choral music. The festival is reflective of Cincinnati’s abiding devotion to musical life: the city’s Music Hall was built expressly for the May Festival, and the festival’s Chorus, initiated in 1880, is comprised of volunteer musicians and accompanied by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. ...more...

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

The CSO is the fifth oldest symphony orchestra in the United States. Since it was founded in 1895, the CSO has been a proponent of playing new music, giving the American premier of works by such notable composers as Debussy, Ravel and Bartók, and commissioning works such as Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man”, which have since become part of standard repertoire. In the early 1900’s, the CSO took …more…

MUSE: Cincinnati Women’s Chorus

MUSE: Cincinnati Women’s Chorus

MUSE: Cincinnati’s Women’s Chorus is a combination chorus and activist group, lending its voice to a variety of social and ethical causes. The 60-member ensemble is led by Catherine Roma, who has led the ensemble since 1984. Over its 25+ year history, the choir has collaborated with a number of other ensembles and frequently commissions new works by contemporary composers. MUSE has released three records of eclectic choral music available …more…

Opera

0

Cincinnati Opera

To outsiders, Cincinnati doesn’t have a reputation as a hotbed of opera. Yet Cincinnati Opera—founded in 1920—is the second oldest company in the United States. Only New York’s venerable Met (1880) has a longer pedigree. Renata Scotto made her American debut here, in 1978. Artistic director Evans Mirageas was tabbed as one of the 25 most powerful names in American Opera by Opera News. In recent years it’s commissioned two original …more…

Jazz

Blue Wisp Jazz Club

Blue Wisp Jazz Club

Since 1978, Blue Wisp has been offering its own brand of eclectic jazz and blues to its patrons in Cincinnati. While it doesn’t pull in the bigger names, the quality of the performers is no less. Cover charges can vary from $5-20 or free, depending on the performer and the night. Wednesday is Big Band night and weekends often have three different acts over the course of the evening, including …more…

Macys Music Festival

Macy’s Music Festival

(July) One of the oldest festivals in the United States, Macy’s Music Festival features some of the finest performers of jazz, R&B and soul, performing during two jam-packed days at Paul Brown Stadium (home of the Cincinnati Bengals). The festival began in 1962 at the Carthage Fairgrounds and only showcased straight ahead jazz performers. Notable names who performed at the festival in its early years include Al Jarreau, Marvin Gaye, …more…

rohsstreet

Rohs Street Cafe

A friendly, fair-trade coffee establishment with volunteer staff and one whole night per week dedicated to jazz? In Cincinnati?! We were surprised, too. Rohs Street Cafe brings together two things that go together better than peas and carrots: jazz and coffee (the only better pairing, we know, being jazz and alcohol, but we digress.)

Thursday nights feature local artists with the occasional touring group thrown into the mix. Jazz purists should …more…

Dance

Cincinnati Ballet

Cincinnati Ballet

Originally named Cincinnati Civic Ballet, this company was chartered by the city of Cincinnati in 1958 and enjoys a rich lineage of artistic association with Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo. The company’s first artistic director, David McLain, studied with them and their first resident choreographer, Frederic Franklin, danced with them. Both men served the Cincinnati Ballet for many years. Under its current direction, Cincinnati Ballet is the tri-state area’s …more…

Contemporary Dance Theater

Contemporary Dance Theater

Created by Artistic and Executive Director Jefferson James in 1972 , the mission of CDT is to broaden dance awareness in order to expand the sights of local audiences.
As one of the foremost alternative presenters in Cincinnati, CDT creates a wide mix of varying artistic viewpoints in dance, delivered by companies and artists who display the immense spirit of the artform and its ability to depict social content and meaning.

“Moving …more…

Film

The Esquire Theater

The Esquire Theater

The Esquire is the best spot in downtown Cincinnati for art film lovers to get their fix – it even attracts movie fans across the Ohio River, in Kentucky, who are starving for good indie film fare. Located in the Clifton Gaslight district, the Esquire offers smaller run films, new independents, and foreign movies. The high-quality concessions include popcorn with real butter and delicious Lindt chocolates. ...more...

Multi-Arts Festivals

Cincinnati Fringe Festival

Cincinnati Fringe Festival

(May – June)

Cincinnati Fringe Festival Information

Venues: All of the venues are within a four-block radius, and within walking distance, of the Fringe Headquarters at Know Theatre of Cincinnati (1120 Jackson Street)
Public Transportation: Excellent (all venues are easily accessible by several metro buses)
Handicapped Accessibility: Varies by venue
Performances/Programs: 30-35 shows with multiple performances of each
Ticket Prices: Ticket prices vary by performance and venue.

Music Now Festival

Music Now Festival

(May)

Music Now Festival Information

Public Transportation: Good (a 2-minute walk from metro buses 1, 6, 16, 20, and 49 at 12th Street/Central Pkwy; and buses 21, 46, and 67 at 13th Street/Race Street)
Handicapped Accessibility: Good
Performances/Programs: Performance schedule varies
Ticket Prices: Ticket prices vary.

Venues

Cincinnati Arts Association

Cincinnati Arts Association

The Cincinnati Arts Association is a not-for-profit organization, founded in 1992, that manages two of the area’s most prominent performance venues, the Aronoff Center for the Arts and Music Hall.  CAA presents a wide array of performing events in music, dance and theater during its Presenting Season, also featuring the work of local and regional artists in the Weston Art Gallery, located in the Aronoff Center. Over a dozen local performing …more…