BLINK 2022? Mayor announces plans to bring back Cincinnati’s interactive, glowing adventure

Declaring that the arts are back, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said the city has secured $1 million in funding for BLINK to return in 2022. Speaking Wednesday morning in front of Cincinnati Music Hall, the mayor announced his intent to bring back one of the city’s most popular arts and culture festivals. There have been two widely popular BLINK festivals so far, the last in 2019. Spanning more than 30 city blocks, BLINK includes hundreds of art installations – the largest light, art and culture event of its kind in the nation.“Cities are centered around culture. Art is the center of a good life,” Cranley said Wednesday.“Among other things, we’re proposing $1 million to bring back BLINK in 2022,” the mayor added.Plans for BLINK to return in 2022 are far from finalized. Officials with ArtsWave said the funding is a start, and they are working with the city to make conclusive plans — adding some sort of announcement will be made in coming weeks. Cranley also announced special stimulus relief money for the city’s arts community, who have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic. This is part of the $290 million from the American Rescue Plan.“We are also proposing that $1 million available immediately for outdoor public space art performance this year to get those actors, actresses and singers back to work,” Cranley said.So what is BLINK exactly? It’s an outdoor art phenomenon, with 100 installations, including large-scale projection mappings, murals and interactive light sculptures and art. The city will literally be glowing — from luminous facades to twinkling alleyways.The inaugural four-night event in 2017 saw the largest gathering of people ever in downtown Cincinnati and Over-the-Rhine. Organizers recruit local, national and international artists to partake in the massive citywide extravaganza.

Declaring that the arts are back, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said the city has secured $1 million in funding for BLINK to return in 2022.

Speaking Wednesday morning in front of Cincinnati Music Hall, the mayor announced his intent to bring back one of the city’s most popular arts and culture festivals.

There have been two widely popular BLINK festivals so far, the last in 2019. Spanning more than 30 city blocks, BLINK includes hundreds of art installations – the largest light, art and culture event of its kind in the nation.

“Cities are centered around culture. Art is the center of a good life,” Cranley said Wednesday.

“Among other things, we’re proposing $1 million to bring back BLINK in 2022,” the mayor added.

Plans for BLINK to return in 2022 are far from finalized. Officials with ArtsWave said the funding is a start, and they are working with the city to make conclusive plans — adding some sort of announcement will be made in coming weeks.

Cranley also announced special stimulus relief money for the city’s arts community, who have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic. This is part of the $290 million from the American Rescue Plan.

“We are also proposing that $1 million available immediately for outdoor public space art performance this year to get those actors, actresses and singers back to work,” Cranley said.

So what is BLINK exactly? It’s an outdoor art phenomenon, with 100 installations, including large-scale projection mappings, murals and interactive light sculptures and art. The city will literally be glowing — from luminous facades to twinkling alleyways.

The inaugural four-night event in 2017 saw the largest gathering of people ever in downtown Cincinnati and Over-the-Rhine. Organizers recruit local, national and international artists to partake in the massive citywide extravaganza.

Angelia S. Rico

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