pretty woman the musical
Morris Mac Matzen / Broadway Across America

Broadway In Cincinnati last summer rescheduled or postponed the remainder of its 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, it's adding one show to its 2021-22 lineup.

Wave Pool

Small creative spaces in the Queen City are usually great spots for community building, cramming artists and art lovers into small gallery spaces for conversation and connection.

But what happens when you can't pack those spaces due to a global pandemic?


The theaters are closed, the stages are dark and the seats are empty. Local entertainers are struggling under the COVID-19 pandemic. But they're also finding ways to modify their act from virtual gigs to outdoor concerts, to drive-thru performances.

Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol is a decades-long tradition on the stage of Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, but COVID-19 - being the Scrooge that it is - prevents another time-honored pleasure. Almost.

Courtesy of Mikki Schaffner

The Cincinnati Opera recently held auditions for its 2021 Summer Festival Chorus. In any typical year, the event would bring dozens of singers to Music Hall, performing nearly back-to-back for several days in a row. This is anything but a typical year.


Like the book that inspired it, the film version of J.D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy is drawing mixed reactions from people who grew up in the Appalachian community. For some local Appalachian authors, Vance's book and the movie are a damaging portrayal of a region and its people.

Julie Coppens/WVXU

There's power in silence. There is protest, peace and sometimes, protection. For the musicians of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, silence has taken on all kinds of new meanings during the COVID-19 shutdown.

Courtesy of Mikki Schaffner

Two more arts organizations are going dark for the remainder of the year because of the pandemic. Playhouse in the Park and Cincinnati Shakespeare Company are canceling their holiday productions and postponing mainstage productions until fall of 2021.

Cincinnati Art Museum

The third floor of the Cincinnati Art Museum unveils an exhibition this Friday that explores struggle and strength by focusing on the facial expressions of people of color during the extremes of 2020.

Stephanie Eldred / Courtesy of YPCC

Arts organizations, especially choruses, are looking for unique ways to safely create as the pandemic continues. Some 80 members of the Young Professionals Choral Collective will present their first live concert Friday in a far from usual manner.

Courtesy of ArtsWave

Cincinnati City Council could vote Wednesday on a motion asking administrators to prepare a report on creating a Cincinnati Arts Access Fund (CAAF). It would be designed "to address the loss of income and financial support that artists, creatives and neighborhood art organizations have faced amid the COVID-19 pandemic."

Noah Hawes / Courtesy of Elementz

A virtual exhibit hosted by Elementz explores the effect of COVID-19 on Cincinnati's inner-city youth and their families. COVIsion-19 runs Oct. 2 through Nov. 3.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Stay-at-home orders went into effect in March, effectively ending live performances for months. Since then, professional and community theater groups have tried to find ways to survive. Some have found new platforms to reach audiences while others have created new revenue streams.

The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati (CTC) had hoped to dazzle its young audiences with big productions like Disney's Descendants and the world-premiere musical Princess & Frog, but the pandemic has had other plans for live entertainment this year.

Two film festivals will soon play in Cincinnati, though in two different formats due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Courtesy of Cincinnati Arts Association

Arts, cultural and live events were some of the first industries shut down by the pandemic and most remain closed or extremely limited, meaning hundreds of thousands of Ohioans are unemployed or underemployed.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The Purple People Bridge between Newport and Cincinnati has become an outdoor art gallery this summer. Twenty photographs from local middle and high school students will be on display for the next month. The photographers are all taking part in the Fusion exhibit.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

A few months later than usual, the Cincinnati Museum Center Friday welcomed guests back with the annual fountain ceremony.


As local museums and galleries begin to reopen, each faces a unique set of challenges to make the guest visit engaging, educational and above all, safe.

Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati

For most of the last four months, Greater Cincinnati’s theater stages have been dark, shuttered by the coronavirus and remaining closed while social distancing is still the norm. Despite the economic struggles and added complexities of civil unrest, there are also stories of perseverance and creativity. 

Governor Mike DeWine has picked Kari Gunter-Seymour to be Ohio’s new poet laureate.

In the middle of a pandemic and nationwide protests, Kari Gunter-Seymour says poetry is more important than ever.

“When we write our truths, we bring things to light and create understanding. And from there we grow and find our way through these things that are so difficult for us right now,” she says.

And Ohio's new poet laureate won’t be resting on her laurels. Gunter-Seymour says she applied for the position because it would allow her to bring poetry to people in need.


Manifest Drawing Center in Walnut Hills and has been able to maintain many of their classes online through the pandemic, and at the same time, expanded their reach throughout the states and around the globe. Founder and Executive Director Jason Franz joins Anne Arenstein to talk about Manifest’s programming and plans for reopening.

The state is allowing the reopening of larger entertainment venues on June 10, including movie theaters, museums, and zoos. Health officials say companies will have to look over every facet of their venue in order to comply with the protocols.

Courtesy of Alberto Jones

The first of more than a dozen fanfares commissioned by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops as commentary of the COVID-19 pandemic debuts Saturday. The Fanfare Project draws from Aaron Copland's iconic Fanfare for the Common Man, commissioned by the CSO in 1942.


Ohio master woodcarver James Mellick creates works celebrating our armed forces and specifically the dogs who also put their lives on the line during combat. His traveling exhibit, Wounded Warrior Dogs Project & K9 War Stories, was on display at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan until the pandemic closed it. Click here for a virtual tour. He recently spoke about his work and this exhibit with our Anne Arenstein.

Courtesy of VAE / Facebook

Updated April 22, 2020

Online videos of musical groups singing and playing together while in isolation remain popular on social media. WVXU reported April 7, 2020 on the Cincinnati Youth Choir's efforts to create a video featuring kids from 1st through 12th grade. Director of Programs Rachel Breeden says nearly 80 kids participated in the video released April 22.

Bad Art Night

This week the arts community is spreading hope while encouraging social distancing. Art on the Streets, with support from ArtsWave, is launching a community-wide series of art projects with the message #StayHomeSaveLives.

Courtesy / Bad Art Night

A coalition wants you to stretch your artistic muscles next week. And if you say you don't have artistic talent, "That's perfect. That's brilliant. That'll be the best!" says Pam Kravetz. "That's what we're hoping."

From commissioned art pieces to beautiful wares for the home, Gorham Silver was the name for the finest silver and mixed-metal products for decades. The unique work of Gorham Silver will be on display at the Cincinnati Art Museum starting March 13 and joining our host Lee Hay for a preview is Amy Dehan, the museum's curator of decorative arts and design.


Downtown's Lloyd Library is one of the true hidden gems of Cincinnati, with a world-class collection of books on the sciences and ecology. Their next exhibit, honoring Women's History Month, is Women and Nature in the Arts, Sciences, and Letters, kicks off with an opening reception on March 6. With more on the mission of Lloyd Library and this exhibit, Executive Director Patricia Van Skaik is in the studio with our Barbara Gray.