From July 23-25, Cincinnati Music Festival held a Virtual Weekend to bring people together through music. With the support of presenting sponsor P&G, this iconic Cincinnati event engaged audiences both online and in person to highlight the community across the nation and build brand affinity and goodwill for its sponsors along the way.
The Virtual Weekend Cincinnati Music Festival (CMF), which was listed as one of Newsweek’s top music festivals, had over 20,000 unique viewers from 39 states. Over three days, the digital program featured musicians, DJs, and even a special appearance by Rev. Al Sharpton.
New to the CMF this year and given the absence of in-person art openings, P&G in partnership with ArtsWave launched the Cincinnati Music Festival Outdoor Art Museum from Saturday, July 25-September 7.
This outdoor public art exhibition, located throughout Washington Park, featured 15 Black artists who created beautiful canvases around the theme of community, unity, music, and celebration. Artists were chosen by three artist project leads: Gee Horton, self-trained hyperrealism visual artist and key player in artist recruitment for the Black Lives Matter mural recently completed; David Michael Butler, SoRealist artist and Assistant Professor/Illustration Chair, Art Academy of Cincinnati; and Pam Kravetz, artist and educator. Horton says, “I think this is a great example of the role visual artists can play in carrying on the Cincinnati Music Festival’s legacy during the unprecedented hiatus.”
Butler hopes visitors will be introduced to a new and ultimately broadened artwork aesthetic through the work shown in Washington Park and that they appreciate its uniqueness. He notes, “You won’t see the Eurocentric eyes in the artwork shown here. People talk of Picasso and Van Gogh, paintings by Eurocentric white men.” Later in the interview he mentions, “We need more funding, critical reviews, and gallery chances to be part of mainstream art.’”
Artists featured at the CMF Outdoor Art Museum include:
Cedric Michael Cox
Ryan Nichole Leary
Jam Ocean Blue
Latausha R Cox
David Michael Butler
“Much of CMF is steeped in celebrating diversity and this year, with a special focus on celebration, community and local impact, we wanted to shine a light on local artists of color,” says Barbara Hauser, P&G Community Relations Manager. “As we celebrate this weekend, our hope is that we continue to stay focused in our fight for racial equality but also highlight the need for joy and positivity during these challenging times.”
“P&G and our brands have stepped up our efforts to advance equality for all and especially for Black Americans with our Take on Race Fund, and we look forward to doing more in the weeks, months, and years ahead,” adds Hauser. “At P&G, we know that an equal world is a better world, for everyone, and we have the opportunity and the responsibility to use our voice for good. We have a deep respect for humanity and actively work to leverage the full power of our employees, brands, business partners, and communities so that our people, businesses, and communities thrive and prosper.”
ArtsWave President & CEO Alecia Kintner points to how the festival lifts up artists in a time of need: “This art exhibition is another way that the arts connect us and an opportunity to help artists, who have been challenged by the ongoing pandemic and social justice issues of today.” Artist lead Butler ends with the sentiment, “Most of us Black creatives love it when we get the chance to celebrate ourselves living our lives, enjoying our communities, connecting with one another, building with one another. Celebrating Black joy and showing the world that we are here, now!” Artists are doing just that at the Cincinnati Music Festival Outdoor Art Museum this year.