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Cincinnati Art Museum’s Curator of Asian Art Hou-mei Sung, Ph.D., takes visitors inside Japanese samurai culture and arts in the new exhibition Dressed to Kill: Japanese Arms and Armor.

Dressed to Kill:Japanese Arms and Armor is a new exhibition at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

What’s on View?
With 11 full suits of Japanese armor and a wide variety of arms from both the Cincinnati Art Museum’s collection and the private local collection of Gary Grose, the exhibition is one of the most exciting assemblies of Samurai suits and related materials ever shown. The weapons on view include swords, polearms, guns, pistols, and hidden weapons.

The exhibition will also showcase related Japanese artworks from the museum’s permanent collection, including battle prints, paintings, metal crafts, banners, and costumes, most of which have never been on display before.

What is a Samurai?
The Japanese word “Samurai” describes the middle and upper echelons of the warrior class in Japan from 1185 to 1868. These warriors were trained as officers in military tactics and strategy, and they followed a set of rules and ethical principles that later came to be known as the bushidō (the way of the warrior).

Not only were the Samurai warriors the ruling power, their code of behavior, based on the principles of loyalty and honor, continues to play a significant role in Japanese aesthetics and culture today.

A Child’s Suit of Armor
Among the eight suits of armor from Gary Grose’s collection is an example made for a boy about 13 years old.

Armor constructed for boys’ coming of age are rare and were crafted with the same degree of precision as adult armor. Often the children of Samurai were forbidden from participating in battle. Some, however, were required to partake in battle from a young age to gain experience and earn loyalty and respect.

The beautifully stenciled doeskin, the gilded iron helmet, and the careful construction indicate this small-scale armor was made for a wealthy Samurai family. The helmet is shaped like an eboshi, a type of headdress worn at the imperial court during the Heian period (794–1185).

The History of the Museum’s Suits of Armor
All three suits of armor in the museum’s collection tell interesting tales of women who helped build the Japanese art collection in the late nineteenth century. Although the museum’s suits are among the earliest artworks in its collection, two have not been on display for more than a century.

The first entered the collection in 1881, five years before the institution opened its doors to the public. It was gifted by Mrs. Enoch T. Carson through the Women’s Art Museum Association of Cincinnati (WAMA), an organization instrumental in founding the museum.

The other two suits of armor, purchased from Dr. Adeline Kelsey (1844–1931) in 1892, tell a touching tale about a courageous female doctor who served in Japan as a medical missionary. She raised funds to assist two young Japanese women obtain medical training in Cincinnati, who then became pioneering female doctors in their home country.

Featured alongside Dressed to Kill is Transcending Reality: The Woodcuts of Kōsaka Gajin. Joint tickets allow entry to both special exhibitions.

All ticketed exhibitions are free for museum members. Non-members may purchase tickets at or at the art museum. $10 ticket for adults; $5 for children ages 6–17 and college students with ID. Other discounts available.

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Read on as our new art columnist shares about a serene experience in the new, free photography exhibition at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

The Cincinnati Art Museum’s The Poetry of Place: William Clift, Linda Connor, and Michael Kenna, is a unique photography special feature on view now through June 11, 2017.

Featuring landscape and interior scenes, The Poetry of Place showcases 18 black-and-white photographs. The artworks, all from the museum’s permanent collection, hint at the themes of memory and time, uniting images of an ethereal, serene world.

Spearheading The Poetry of Place is Cincinnati Art Museum Curatorial Assistant of Photography Emily Bauman. “This special feature aims to unite both artist and viewer through a common, familiar theme: place,” says Bauman. “Although artists Clift, Connor, and Kenna are not connected to one another, the scenes featured in The Poetry of Place evoke a haunting, human presence we can all sense, even in the absence of human subjects.”

Current discussion of Clift’s work centers on his soulful photographs of the monumental landscapes of Shiprock, New Mexico and Mont St. Michel in Normandy, France. The Poetry of Place also includes photographs Clift took for a U.S. bicentennial celebration project depicting county courthouses across the country.

Since 1967 Connor has explored the poetry and mystery of sacred sites. On the occasion of the 2006 exhibition Andrew Wyeth Watercolors and Drawings: Selections from the Marunuma Art Park, Japan, the Cincinnati Art Museum invited Connor to capture the essence of the Olson House, a 200-year-old Maine farm house made famous by Wyeth’s paintings.

Kenna invites the viewer to look at the world with different eyes. His images include minimalist views of the natural landscape as well as human-made structures, always with a quality that is both meditative and mysterious. The special feature title draws inspiration from Kenna’s comparison of his visual language to haiku poetry.

Women Writing for (a) Change will host a two-part six-hour writing workshop at the Cincinnati Art Museum on April 29 and April 30, 2017, from 1 to 4 p.m. The workshop invites participants to take inspiration from photographs in the special feature. For more information, please visit

The Poetry of Place is free and on view in Gallery 104. To learn more, please visit


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Spring is on its way and with it comes wanderlust. Sadly, an emergency trip to Tahiti can get pricey, but what about some urban exploration closer to home? Our art expert shares some of the best kept secrets in Cincinnati.

The Mary R. Schiff Library
The Mary R. Schiff Library

If you need a break, consider a trip to beautiful Eden Park where Mary R. Schiff Library is waiting just for you…and there is coffee! (Although, it doesn’t say “Drink Me” like in Alice’s Wonderland) The Mary R. Schiff Library, nestled within the walls of the Cincinnati Art Museum (CAM), has something for everyone and may possibly be one of the best kept secrets in Cincinnati.

With more than 100,000 items from a 6,000 year span, this collection also includes a vast archive featuring old letters, photos and journals from artists and past directors associated with CAM.* There are literally hundreds of books, catalogues and magazines to keep your head spinning like the “Mad Hatter’s” (in a good way, of course!)

But — this certainly is not the “Red Queen’s” stuffy, formal library either. The Mary R. Schiff Library has a lovely balance of work and play. Galina Lewandowicz, Librarian for the Mary R. Schiff Library, says that this well-loved Library is a special place for everyone. “It’s a comfortable space where you can take a quiet moment with a book and a coffee or bring your kids in to look at our Children’s section,” said Lewandowicz, “I love to stay behind after work occasionally. I enjoy the space so much.”

What sounds better than grabbing a cup of coffee and heading out onto the Library’s terrace to enjoy a gorgeous view of Downtown Cincinnati? How about a free Sunday afternoon film? Or free access to a unique and diverse book and magazine collection?

We know you want to look at those vintage fashion magazines.

Even guests wandering around CAM have found themselves pleasantly surprised by the Library. “A woman stopped by one day just to see the view because she heard it was nice. Then, she saw our full collection of Photography books and ended up staying for an hour or more,” said Galina Lewandowicz, Librarian at Mary R. Schiff Library, “She didn’t expect for us to have those kinds of books but we have something for everyone. Anyone who stops by can find something that they’re interested in here…whether it’s researching childhood memories of Cincinnati history, music, art or fashion.”

Diving head first into the ‘rabbit hole’ of art? The Mary R. Schiff Library has programming designed to introduce you to art. In the past year, Lewandowicz has worked with Gary Gaffney, Art Academy of Cincinnati, to create an informal local artist discussion panel called “Dialogues with Artists” to cater to everyone, from art collectors to those who just want to learn more about art.

“We felt that there were a lot of people who would like to understand, connect and discuss more with local contemporary artists and hear more about what they do and how they do it,” said Lewandowicz, “There is no lecturing or pushing in one direction or the other. Some say ‘I don’t know much so I don’t want to go near it’ but so what? Art is for everybody. We want everyone to feel welcome.”

Do you love film? Brian Sholis, Associate Curator of Photography, has also utilized the breathtaking Library space for his recurring film series; “Moving Images” . “The Cincinnati Art Museum used to collaborate to produce a film series and I wanted to recommit us to showing films,” said Sholis, “My series, “ ‘Moving Images’, offers a mix of films by and about photographers and artists; a secondary goal is to present films about art or art institutions.

So set aside some time for YOU and you’ll soon be singing Alice’s song “In a World of My Own” as you get lost in the Library. Grab a coffee (or ‘move down’ for tea if that’s your thing), enjoy the warm weather, a beautiful view of Cincinnati and flip through a vintage copy of “Vogue” …or swing by for a Sunday afternoon film.

The Mary R. Schiff Library is open Tuesday – Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the second Saturday of every month, Sept. through Jun. Plan your trip here.

Save The Date:

> Sunday, March 29, 2 p.m. — “Moving Images Film Screening: “Moon Dust” (2014)
Enjoy a low budget, hilarious sci-fi comedy created by Scott Reeder. “When I saw the short trailers for “Moon Dust” on YouTube, I was completely sold,” said Sholis, “It’s a riot of color, kitschy special effects and fun costumes. All on hand-made sets. This is going to be a fun screening.”

> Friday, April 24, 7 p.m. — “Dialogues with Artists: Making Judgments”
Featured speakers; Jill Rowinski, (Art Academy of Cincinnati graduate/regional arts advisory committees/grassroots arts organizations involvement), and Emil Robinson (Cincinnati artist/educator with international and national museum involvement).

**The Library Archives are not open to the public due to their fragile state (onion paper and microfilm items require special love and care!) but the archives are available to researchers or academics by appointment. Please call (513) 639.2978 for more information.

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Our new art columnist shares a few of the latest wedding trends from the team at the Cincinnati Art Museum, a picture-perfect wedding venue.

030915ARTVincent van Gogh once said that “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” Planning a wedding is no different. You may feel stressed but if you can pull together all the little details and resist the urge to cut off your own ear, you’re doing great! (Pun intended. Sorry van Gogh. We still love you.)

Although stressful at times, a wedding now has the freedom to be whatever the lucky couple wants it to be. The wedding planning trends seen 25 years ago (all aboard the ‘poofy sleeve’ train — choo choo!) have lost a little steam and the simplicity of “Pinterest” shows us that a “DIY wedding” can be just as beautiful as a traditional wedding in a grand church. Even on a strict budget, weddings can literally be anything you want them to be by simply pulling together that “series of small things” to create the perfect day you’ve always dreamed of.030915ART1

The only trick is pulling it all together.

So what should you do first? Pick a venue and a date. The Cincinnati Art Museum (CAM) has been around for nearly 130 years and could be considered a ‘seasoned veteran’ of the wedding venue world in Cincinnati. From gorgeous Summer weddings in the CAM Courtyard to the rich colors of Fall weddings in our Great Hall, the Art Museum hosts an average of 35-45 weddings a year and some pretty amazing, jaw-dropping photo opportunities for those tying the knot.

It’s a big decision to take the plunge and book your venue but Dan Bavis, CAM’s Hospitality Manager, is confident that couples will be pleased with their Art Museum wedding…and so will their guests. “Spring and Fall are our most popular times and the museum truly gives events a quiet elegance,” said Bavis, “I never get tired of it. I always enjoy the look on guests’ faces when they enter.”

030915ART3Then what? Colors and decorations. Bavis has seen quite a few color schemes for weddings in the last year. “I love to see the weddings in the Fall and Winter months. I’ve seen a lot of rich plums, pinks and a spectrum of reds used,” said Bavis, “The stone wall in the Great Hall has a rich, red warmth to it. Blues, cooler tones are pretty but those richer, deeper colors look the best.”

Aside from what you and your sweetheart will be wearing, what other details go into planning? Perhaps you are a family of tradition! Bavis welcomes that at your ceremony and reception too. “Families have their own traditions built right into receptions,” said Bavis, “For example, there was a Swedish wedding recently where they played little games all during dinner and every time the groom went to the restroom, people would sneak a kiss on the bride!”

Or perhaps you need to pin down the details for florists, photographers, event planners or…OH! The cake! Not to worry, CAM has a full network of wonderful vendors and rental equipment providers.

With this entire “series of small things” being done, you’re bound to get a little stressed and worried but with the staff at CAM, you can relax…well, at least a little bit. “Brides stress about everything”, said Bavis, “But I always try to tell them ‘Your day is going to be quick. Relax and let flow. Let us take care of the details because we don’t want you to waste your big day worrying about it. This is our passion.”

For more information on tying the knot at the Cincinnati Art Museum, please visit our website or email

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How do you identify a strong woman? Tough and thick-skinned? Kind but assertive? Career woman or homemaker? Our new art columnist explains how correct answer is all of the above and more.

How do you identify a strong woman?

Is she tough? Is she kind but assertive? Is she nerdy? Is she a diva? Is she cool? Is she a business-focused woman with a successful career or a classic homemaker-type who can cook dinner every night and raise three kids?

The correct answer: all of the above…and more.

Throughout history, there are numerous stories of strong women supporting other women and the best way to continue to inspire these stories is to continue to pass these stories down to future generations – creating a supportive cycle of “girl power.”

Even the Cincinnati Art Museum has quite a few stories to tell. When it comes to the Cincinnati Art Museum’s (CAM) collection of 65,000 items spanning 6,000 years, even the smallest item can tell an intricate story. Historically, independent, artistic women have always been a large part of the Cincinnati Art Museum (CAM), established 1881. The museum itself was, in part, founded by the Women’s Art Museum Association (WAMA). Women have been closely involved ever since.

So what does armor have to do with it? Well, our newest exhibition, Masterpieces of Japanese Art, actually tells a surprising story of female empowerment and a suit of Japanese armor.

When Asian Art curator, Dr. Hou-mei Sung, started at CAM 12 years ago, she had no idea that the museum even had an Asian Art collection but after years of research and digging up information, several of her favorite items are now featured in the brand new exhibition.

This detailed collection of Japanese Art is the oldest in the United States and Dr. Sung has worked tirelessly to catalogue this information to create the first published piece on this particular subject entitled “Masterpieces of Japanese Art.” A labor of love, she holds the process of finding the suit of armor especially close to her heart.

“The discovery of the Suit of Armor was dramatic. It came to the museum very early,” said Dr. Sung, “We had three suits and two of them told a very unique story.” This story, told in her catalogue, reveals that one suit of armor, generously donated by Mrs. Enoch T. Carson (1837-1921) through WAMA, was on view in 1883 in the world armor exhibition. The other two were sold to CAM by Dr. Adeline Kelsey for a very worthy cause.

In 1885, Dr. Kelsey, a medical missionary with the Woman’s Union Missionary Society, traveled from Cincinnati to Japan and was inspired by two young Japanese women, Kaku Sudo (1869 – 1963) and Hana Abe (1873 – 1921), who were eager to obtain their medical degrees in the late 19th century. Dr. Kelsey took a special interest in them and was determined to help them obtain this goal and did so by selling many of her Japanese gifts, given to her as a result of her missionary work, to fund the girls’ education.

Dr. Kelsey’s sold two suits of Japanese armor to CAM, along with other items from Japan, to pay for Sudo and Abe’s tuition and board as they settled in Cincinnati to attend the Laura Memorial Woman’s Medical College , one of the few U.S. medical schools that accepted female students at the time.

“The doctor helped these two female students and sold the two suits so that they could go to school,” said Dr. Sung, “I found this story inspirational.”

The duo graduated from Laura Memorial Women’s Medical College in 1896 and promptly joined Dr. Kelsey in Japan to found the Negishi Hospital near Yokohama. In 1907, the three doctors returned to the U.S. after serving the poor for several years.

Although this story was atypical of the time, Dr. Sung sees it as tremendously significant to the era. “It tells a touching tale of humanity in an almost forgotten chapter of local Cincinnati history,” said Dr. Sung.

Without the generosity of the strong women in our past, Mrs. Carson of WAMA and Dr. Kelsey, where would these treasures have ended up? Without the funding that these suits of armor provided, how different would the futures of Sudo and Abe have been? As for the present, what kind of history would we have missed out on?

You can enjoy Masterpieces of Japanese Art, on view Now through August 30. The exhibition is free and open to the public. Read the entire history of this exhibition and the Japanese Art collection at CAM in the Dr. Hou-mei Sung‘s catalogue, “Masterpieces of Japanese Art” sold at the CAM Gift Shop.

The Cincinnati Art Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. To plan your trip, please visit

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011915FEATUREAnita Altman of the UJA-Federation of New York in Manhattan wanted to create a national ReelAbilities Film Festival to help raise awareness of the common humanity and value of each person, regardless of his or her disability. That’s when she founded the ReelAbilities Film Festival.

The idea for a film festival was developed when Altman saw a film called “Praying with Lior” about a young man who has Down syndrome and how he prepared for a bar mitzvah. From there, she wanted the film festival to highlight moves that impact change while helping to expand and transform programming for people with disabilities.

The ReelAbilities Film Festival was founded in 2007 in New York City. Since then, the film festival has spread to 12 U.S. cities, including Cincinnati. In fact, Cincinnati’s ReelAbilities Film Festival launched in 2013 as the first city outside of New York to host the event. Today, it hosts the second largest festival nationwide, behind only New York.

In 2014, the festival’s national headquarters moved to the Queen City. It’s managed by the nonprofit Living Arrangements for Developmentally Disabled (LADD), Inc. For those who have never attended the film festival, all of the films screened during the event share the stories, lives and art of people who have disabilities.

insightly new_year_chic_publication

According to Festival Co-Chair and Accommodation Committee Chair Kara Ayers, PhD., the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival expects thousands of people to participate in the eight-day event that runs from February 27 to March 7. Presented by Macy’s, the region’s largest film festival includes a Premier Weekend Corporate Awards Luncheon, Red Carpet Gala and Gala Afterparty as well as more than 30 film screenings, speaking and other events for VIPs. “Each of our film screening events is hosted by and will benefit a local nonprofit organization whose work enriches the lives of people with disabilities,” says Ayers.


At this year’s Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival, Oscar and Golden Globe Award Winning Actress Marlee Matlin will be the keynote speaker at the Corporate Awards Luncheon. Also in attendance will be respected actors Danny Woodburn, Daryl Chill Mitchell and Kurt Yaeger in addition to Richard Bernstein, the country’s first state Supreme Court Justice who is blind. Project Runway’s Justin LeBlanc and internationally acclaimed photographer Rick Guidotti of Positive Exposure will also be at the film festival as well as many who are featured in or part of the films will attend the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival.

Now that the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival is entering its third year, the event has grown more than four times in size, according to Ayers. “We have accomplished this because of how our entire region has supported our cause,” Ayers adds. “We have succeeded at bringing together government, academia, the business and arts community as well as social service to celebrate our region’s diversity and our shared humanity.”

The mission and message is resonating within the business community, too, says Ayers. “The region’s top employers are recognizing the importance of diversity and inclusion in recruiting and retaining strong workforces,” she adds.

In addition to these accomplishments, the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival is bringing nationally- and internationally-recognized Hollywood stars who want to come to Cincinnati and participate in the festivities. The national festival has grown so much this year that there were more than 500 films submitted from across the world to be juried for awards.

The Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival will be held in several locations throughout the Cincinnati area. “Our Premier Weekend Corporate Awards Luncheon and Red Carpet Gala will be held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown,” says Ayers. “We will be holding film screenings at the Cincinnati Art Museum, Kenwood and Esquire Theatres, Cincinnati Museum Center, Great American Ball Park, Taylor High School and the Contemporary Arts Center.”

VIP guests are also invited to participate in a variety of speaking and other engagements that will take place throughout the city.

To see a list of nonprofit agencies benefiting from the film festival, click here. To learn more about the ReelAbilties Film Festival, visit the website at Here you can learn more about the events, watch Film Festival trailers, register to volunteer and purchase tickets. You can also follow along on Facebook Twitter and join in the conversation using the hashtag #DifferentLikeYou.

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011215FEATURE1Two local ladies turned their passion for vintage furnishings into a new business. From mid-century quirky and French Quarter color to farmhouse chic, see how their vintage event rentals and styling for weddings, parties, and events can set the scene for your celebration with a flair of vintage fashion.

The romance of vintage furniture wooed Amber Zaragoza and Emma Durham to start their own business – Queen City Vignette, or “Vignette” for short. For them, it’s about the details, lines, texture, imperfections and implied stories that come along with each piece.

How do the ladies behind Queen City Vignette create their own story? They rent out their vintage furnishings to clients so they can share the love for their pieces without 011215FEATURE2letting them go forever. In addition, Zaragoza says, they provide the vintage atmosphere and details that clients are looking for at well-under retail price.”Hunting for vintage furniture is like people watching: you get to create your own narrative,” says Zaragoza.

Queen City Vignette offers vintage furniture, furnishings, accessoriesand styling and craft services for weddings, photo shoots and other special events. “We work out of an industrial, natural-light studio, and our home is your home,” explains Zaragoza.011215FEATURE3

They know the struggle that comes along with searching for vintage furniture and the time spent searching through antique stores, auctions or Craigslist to find the perfect pieces. They also understand that at the conclusion of your event you may not need the furniture any longer, which leaves you searching for a new home for the items you’ve already spent so much time searching for in the first place.Their textural, industrial loft studio is also available for rent for video and photo shoots on a daily or hourly basis, in addition to all of the vintage props and furniture they own. “We pride ourselves on offering an easy, stress-free way to have pieces full of history and romance at a client’s video or photo shoot,” Zaragoza explains.011215FEATURE4

While the dynamic duo work out of their studio in Camp Washington, they say their pieces are available for events all over Southern Indiana, Southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky. “Our motto is ‘have vintage, will travel,'” laughs Zaragoza.”We take all of that hassle away,” says Zaragoza. “Do you want something specific for your event that we don’t offer yet? We’ll go hunting for it! We are in the process of building our inventory, so we are very receptive to special requests from our clients.”

The ladies of Queen City Vignette draw from their passion for furniture and décor, and also their formal training and artist backgrounds. Zaragoza says they like to arrange rooms like installation art and style tables like they’re still-life paintings.

011215FEATURE5In addition to their collaborative teamwork, Zaragoza and Durham are in love with what they do. Despite the splinters, smashed fingers, stubbed toes, surprise spiders and storage dust that accompanies the thrill of every find, they are always taken aback by the final beauty of a product. “The moment when a client says ‘Yes! That’s the one!'” Zaragoza says, “That gives us some of the best feelings in the world.””We work as a team, so we also bring diverse interest and taste to any project,” explains Zaragoza. “Emma has a naturally more feminine eye while my taste leans toward the crisp lines of Art Deco and Midcentury pieces. This brings a natural tension and balance to our approach, and that keeps things interesting.”

011215FEATURE6Zaragoza says the duo has the most fun on Instagram, but you can also check out their website and blog at to learn more about them or contact them to add a vi

ntage touch to your next event. Since launching in November 2014, Queen City Vignette has worked with photographers, videographers and stylists. They will be launching their wedding offerings this year, for which they have mix-and-match themed china settings for up to 200 people, cake stands, centerpiece options and a variety of colored glass vases available in the spring. “We’re ready to dive into the deep end of party décor,” she says.

You can also “like” them on Facebook and follow on Pinterest, or stop by the studio for an in-person visit.

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090610ARTS.jpgMonday — Sept. 6


Labor Day in Blue Ash


If you are one of those people who just can’t help but wring every last drop of al fresco out of summer, then Blue Ash is the place to be on Labor Day. The oh-so-talented Maestro Michael Chertock (he plays a little piano too, I’m told) has chosen Tchaikovsky as the theme of the evening, with an appetizer portion of Violin Concerto, played by young phenomenon Timothy Schwarz, and a whopper of a dessert: the 1812 Overture to send you home humming. The entree is "Three Reflections of Sister Dorothy," from an opera by former Chertock student Evan Mack. These are selections from his opera called "Angel of the Amazon" and feature the excellent Cincinnati-based mezzo-soprano Catherine Fishlock.


What: Blue Ash/Montgomery Symphony Orchestra

Where: Blue Ash Towne Square, Kenwood and Cooper roads (Rain Site: Sycamore Junior High, 5757 Cooper Road)

When: 6 p.m.

More information: Call (513) 232-0949 or visit


Wednesday — Sept. 8


Collected Stories


Ensemble Theatre opens its 25th Anniversary Season with the regional premiere of a 1996 play by Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Margulies. "Stories" enjoyed a run on Broadway this past season with Linda Lavin and Sarah Paulsen. The core of the story is that a writer somewhat reluctantly takes a much younger protege under her wing. The two women become increasingly friendly, and secrets are shared by the mentor who eventually turn up in a book by the young writer. The New York Daily News referred to "Stories" as "an absorbing exploration of power, betrayal and morality." Check it out and see what you think.


What: Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati

Where: 1127 Vine Street

When: 7:30 p.m. (Weekend evening performances are at 8 p.m. Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m.) Runs through Sept. 26.

More information: Call (513) 421-3555 or visit


Thursday — Sept. 9


New Works


The best thing about a program like this is getting to sample small portions of tasty little dance dishes that contain all sorts of surprises, taking you from one visual and sound world to the next in a heartbeat. It’s also an opportunity for the dancers to show their own personality and bring to life something hot out of the oven. No tutus on this evening. This is not your grandma’s ballet but a collection of fresh new collaborations between choreographers and composers. Another plus is that these performances are in the more intimate Jarson Kaplan Theater (capacity 437), so you’ll be able to get close and personal.


What: Cincinnati Ballet

Where: Jarson-Kaplan Theater at the Aronoff Center

When: 8 p.m. Weekend matinees are at 2 p.m. Also Sept. 10-11 and 15-19

More information: Call (513) 621-5219 or visit


Friday — Sept. 10


Sunflower Revolution


Milford becomes the center of all things mobile this weekend, when Sunflower Revolution rolls out for its three days of strolling, walking, running, riding, racing and some "festing" along the way. The region’s largest fundraiser for Parkinson’s disease research, Sunflower Revolution VII will include an amateur bike race, fundraising bike rides, a morning run/walk and an ongoing street festival throughout the weekend. There is also an associated free educational symposium for patients, families and caregivers at the Oasis Center in Loveland. Put on your active shoes and join in!


What: Sunflower Revolution VII

Where: Downtown Milford

When: Sept. 10-12

More information: Visit


Brian Andres’ Afro-Cuban Jazz Cartel


There’s something about Latin music that just demands that you move your bod. Here’s a great San Francisco big band, led by Cincinnati native Brian Andres, that should blow the roof off the Wisp for two nights this weekend. Featuring some of the top talent in the Bay Area, Andres will collaborate with local jazzers, making this a true homecoming. Get ready to salsa the night away.


Where: The Blue Wisp, 318 E. Eighth St., Downtown.

When: 8:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday

More information: Call (513) 241-9477 or visit or


Saturday — Sept. 11


Chamber Palooza


An open house of chamber music, Chamber Palooza is your chance to stop by for a snack or stay for the whole meal, depending on your appetite. If you’re new to this whole chamber music thing, this is a great opportunity to sample a variety of flavors in order to know how to order later when looking for a whole meal… I mean concert. If chamber music is already your cup of tea, all the better. There’s even an instrument petting zoo to get your young ones acquainted with Mr. Bassoon and Ms. Violin.


What: Chamber Music Network of Greater Cincinnati’s festival of free music

Where: Great Hall, Cincinnati Art Museum

When: Noon-4 p.m.

More information: Call (513) 304-4078.


Gourmet Sensation


Are your taste buds in need of dazzling? This annual food extravaganza is so big they hold it at a world class tennis facility! Nearly 1,000 people are expected for this "sensational" dinner-by-the-bite event, featuring delectable food from chefs from around the globe, fine wine and cool jazz. Proceeds benefit Hospice of Cincinnati.


Where: Lindner Family Tennis Center, Mason

More information: Call (513) 865-1616.


Sunday — Sept. 12


Community Arts Centers Day


As part of the Fine Arts Fund’s efforts to spread the word that art and music are for everyone, they have put together a program that will take place at 27 Greater Cincinnati neighborhood arts centers all at the same time over the course of four hours. And it’s all FREE! Included in this fun-filled afternoon for the whole family are activities that feature music, dance, theater, crafts and much more.


Where: Your friendly neighborhood arts center

When: Noon-4 p.m.

More information: Visit


Expressly Cincinnati


Under the guise of shameless self-promotion, Express Cincinnati invites you to our 15th Anniversary Party being graciously hosted by Closson’s in their beautiful showroom in downtown Oakley. We will be sharing fun photos from 15 years of galas, balls and all other sorts of extravaganzas that focus on the people who make things happen in Cincinnati both in the arts and philanthropy. Join us for food, wine and live music, and mix and mingle with people from the wide spectrum of organizations that Express promotes each month: staff, supporters, volunteers, sponsors and advertisers. What a great networking opportunity! Plus, you get to meet us! Proceeds benefit The United Way of Greater Cincinnati.


Where: 3061 Madison Road

When: 4-7 p.m.

More information: Call (513) 762-5500 or visit or

Photographer: Peter Mueller
Models: Dawn Kelly, Joshua Bodden

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Tuesday — Aug. 31
The Met Live in HD — Summer Encore Series
Are you in need of an opera fix before next summer’s Cincinnati Opera season? If you were in Manhattan this week, you could hit the Lincoln Center plaza every night to watch a re-broadcast of an opera from this past Metropolitan Opera season. Save yourself the plane fare and make your way to a movie theater near you, whether on the Ohio or Kentucky side. Besides, the seats are more comfortable and there’s no chance of rain!

Take your pick from the following:

  • Tuesday: John Adams’ "Doctor Atomic," 7:45 p.m.
  • Wednesday: Offenbach’s "Les Contes d’Hoffmann," 7:45 p.m.
  • Thursday: Puccini’s "La Boheme," 8 p.m.
  • Friday: Humperdink’s "Hansel and Gretel," 8 p.m.
  • Saturday: Puccini’s "Turandot," 8 p.m.
  • Sunday: Verdi’s "Aida," 8 p.m.
  • Monday: Bizet’s "Carmen," 8 p.m.

Where: Regal Deerfield Town Center, Mason; Showcase Cinema De Lux, Springdale and Florence.
More information: Visit

Thursday — Sept. 2
Before a leisurely dinner Downtown or jazz at The Blue Wisp, treat yourself to a visual feast. Local graphic designer Scott Bruno began his exclusive engagement creating marketing images for the Weston Gallery in 1999. Come see the range of his output and revisit the history of the Weston Gallery at this party in his honor.

Where: Weston Art Gallery, Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Downtown
When: 5:30-7:30 p.m.riversbend_instory.GIF
More information: Call (513) 977-4165 or visit

The Blues Shade of Jazz

Experience how personality, background and environment can influence the interpretation and application of a distinct musical style. Ricky Nye, from right here in the Queen City, and legendary French pianist Phillippe LeJeune share their unique blends of jazz, blues and boogie-woogie in back-to-back solo showcases.

Where: The Blue Wisp, 318 E. Eighth St., Downtown
When: 8 p.m. (Nye) and 9:30 p.m. (LeJeune)
More information: Call (513) 241-9477 or visit


Friday — Sept. 3


From the Collection of Patricia Corbett


Arts patron Patricia Corbett attended hundreds of galas, balls and costume parties in her years supporting the performing arts in Cincinnati. As a result, she collected a wide assortment of gowns and costumes. NVISION, a clothing, art and furniture store, and Schenz Theatrical Supply, both in Northside, have collaborated to bring these garments to the public for this one-time vintage designer fashion show.


Where: Weston Art Gallery, Aronoff Center for the Arts

When: 7 p.m.

More information: Call (513) 542-4577 or visit


"Much Ado About Nothing"


If your vision of Shakespeare is tragedy and death, take heart! Here’s a lively look at love and relationships from two polar opposite perspectives, courtesy of the bard. On one side, acerbic and cynical — the other, sweet and gentle. Put them together and it simply spells brilliant. The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company continues to be one of the bright lights in local theater, and the classics just never get old, especially when dressed in 1960s garb.


Where: Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, 719 Race St., Downtown

When: 7:30 p.m., Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. (Through Sept 26)

More information: Call (513) 381-BARD or visit


Saturday — Sept. 4




Previewing here in the Queen City before heading to Broadway early next year, "High" stars stage and screen legend Kathleen Turner as a nun-come-lately torn between her fragile faith and her desire to help a defiant late-teen drug user. Here’s a chance to get the jump on your New York friends and see this before they do!


Where: Playhouse in the Park, Marx Theatre

When: 8 p.m. Runs through Oct. 2

More information: Call (513) 421-3888 or visit




Photo courtesy of Playhouse in the Park

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082310ARTS.jpgThursday — Aug. 26


Art and the Animal — An Evening with "The Masters"


This traveling exhibition features paintings and sculpture by renowned animal artists from around the world. At this gala opening celebration on the grounds of the former Fleischmann estate (think: margarine), you’ll have an exclusive opportunity to view and purchase artwork, while sampling fabulous cuisine from a team of master chefs led by Chef John Kinsella of the Midwest Culinary Institute.


Where: Greenacres Arts Center, 8400 Blome Road, Indian Hill

When: 6-10 p.m. It runs through Oct. 29.

More information: Visit


Saturday — Aug. 28


Bike MS: Venture the Valley


This two-day cycling event involves more than 1,000 cyclists of all ages and abilities gliding through some of Southwest Ohio’s most beautiful countryside and small towns. Come ride either a 50-, 100- or 150-mile route beginning on Saturday morning, including a festive overnight stay and wrapping things up on Sunday afternoon. The ride is fully supported and safe and benefits the Multiple Sclerosis Society.


Where: Camp Kern, east of I-71 near Lebanon

More information: Visit


Farmers’ Fair


Come spend a day deep in the heart of downtown Covington as Farmers’ Fair celebrates and supports local food culture and sustainable living. A combination of a street fair, farmers’ market and fundraiser for local food-related initiatives, this day-long festival provides fun for the whole family as it illustrates the connections between farm and table. Actor-turned-activist Ed Begley will appear and speak on the advantages and possibilities in living green.


Where: Corner of Court St. and Park Place, downtown Covington

When: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

More information: Visit


Rockin’ Lobster


Wrap up the summer along with 800 of your fellow Cincinnatians as they snarf down whole Maine lobster and filet mignon. What a sacrifice, right? Dance under air-conditioned tents, enjoy the open bar featuring specialty drinks, or splurge at the live and silent auctions, all in support of the Children’s Home of Cincinnati.


Where: Children’s Home of Cincinnati, 5050 Madison Rd., Madisonville

When: 6 p.m.

More information: Call (513) 527-7247 or visit


Sunday — Aug. 29


Hot Music, Cold Treats


Spend a lazy summer afternoon on the luscious lawn of the Taft Museum slurping ice cream and listening to music in a contemporary re-creation of the traditional ice cream social. Music is provided by Drums for Peace, a group of musician/storytellers who share multi-cultural traditions from equatorial climes through song, story and audience interaction. Bring a blanket and soak up the sun.


Where: Taft Museum of Art, 316 Pike St., downtown

When: 1-3 p.m.

More information: Call (513) 241-0343 or visit

Photo courtesy of Thom Mariner