Blink returns to Cincinnati due to stimulus cash

Blink will be returning to Cincinnati next year.

Mayor John Cranley announced the news at a news conference Wednesday morning, saying that $ 1 million in COVID-19 stimulus money will be used to get the downtown light show going again for the first time since 2019.

More than $ 10 million in federal aid goes to arts organizations in Cincinnati, said Cranley, flanked by city guides and members of the city’s creative and performing arts community on the steps of the Music Hall in Over-the-Rhine.

Downtown singer Andrew Maloney sings

It pays to create murals, support the reopening of the theaters in the fall and keep the museums running.

Cincinnati estimates $ 290 million out of the $ 1.9 trillion Congress passed on COVID-related spending.

“I miss the arts!” Cranley called into the microphone after local singer Andrew Maloney played “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning”. “I miss the arts. Welcome back.”

Then, after a solo by clarinetist Christopher Pell of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cranley announced that the arts would return.

Here is the $ 10.7 million:

  • $ 1 million for staging Blink in 2022.
  • $ 1 million for outdoor public art spaces to host outdoor performances.
  • $ 6 million to performing arts organizations to have productions this fall.
  • $ 1 million for museums including the Cincinnati Museum Center, the Cincinnati Art Museum, and the Taft Museum.
  • $ 1 million for murals and other public art.
  • $ 500,000 for the Clifton Arts Center.
  • $ 250,000 for the restoration of the Black Lives Matter mural in front of City Hall.

Cranley led the announcement with the return of Blink. The massive light show projected onto downtown buildings and streets draws thousands downtown each year and has received national attention. It grew out of Lumenocity, an event organized by the symphony from 2013 to 2015, where the orchestra performed in front of light shows projected onto the music hall.

Cranley said he is encouraging arts organizations to perform outside now “in safe places.”

“Cities and our city’s renaissance, which is in full bloom despite the pandemic, is about culture,” he said. “Art is the center of a good life.”

This story will be updated.

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