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Exciting changes are in store as the art museum ramps up visitor experience through an innovative gallery redesign. Read on as our art guru gives us a sneak peek inside.


Schmidlapp Gallery from Summer 2016, featuring temporary exhibition mural (Kehinde Wiley (b. 1977), United States, Sleep, 2008, oil on canvas, Rubell Family Collection, Miami)

Anyone who’s visited the Cincinnati Art Museum has likely traveled through the Schmidlapp Gallery, the art-filled walkway that connects the lobby to the museum’s Great Hall. Thanks to a generous $1 million grant from Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee, along with additional financial support from the State of Ohio, an innovative redesign of this centralized gallery is currently underway. The renovations will allow the community to connect with art, engage in focused study of collections, and provide orientation and connection to the historic Bimel Courtyard.

The design for the new Schmidlapp Gallery focuses on its position as a central architectural artery essential to every museum visit. The renovation will invite visitors to pause, converse, linger and discover highlights of the museum’s collection.

The integral features of the plan include the addition of a courtyard wall of windows for natural light, seating to encourage congregation, individual looking lounges and detailed curatorial interpretation around singular artworks, and the installation of Saul Steinberg’s cherished large-scale “Mural of Cincinnati.” New floors, lighting and state-of-the-art temperature and humidity controls will be part of this revitalization.

Cameron Kitchin, the museum’s Louis and Louise Dieterle Nippert Director, notes that the plans incorporate new interpretive and visitor research and reflect the museum’s comprehensive 2016–2020 strategic plan. “The Schmidlapp Gallery will be welcoming and immediately embrace the needs of contemporary visitors. These changes will provide innovative modes of art learning incorporating our collections. The vibrant and accessible space will be modern and look to the future while honoring our past.”

Cincinnati companies emersion DESIGN and Monarch Construction have been contracted for this project. The renovation will be completed by the end of 2017. Installation of artworks, interactive technologies, and other features will be added in early 2018.

Although changes to the space will be significant, care is being taken to minimize visitor impact during the construction period. The Schmidlapp Gallery will be closed for one day, on Friday, March 3, to complete the final stages of removing the artwork from the gallery space. A selection of bronze sculptures will be temporarily relocated to the Great Hall.

A temporary wall is being erected along the west side of the Schmidlapp Gallery and will remain in place until mid-June. During this time, the space will be open as a walkway and partial gallery. The space will remain ADA-compliant and allow room for wheelchair and stroller access. From mid-June through early September 2017, the museum plans to close the space and detour visitors through the Hanna Wing.

The Schmidlapp Gallery is one of the most used spaces within the museum. The Schmidlapp Gallery has recently been used to feature “icons” drawn from the museum’s permanent collection including Warhol, Monet and Degas. Prior to October 2011, it showcased the museum’s Antiquities collection.

The Cincinnati Art Museum first opened its doors to the public in 1886, making it one of the oldest art museum buildings in the country. The Emma Louise Schmidlapp Wing, which includes the Schmidlapp Gallery, opened in 1907. It was designed by Chicago architect Daniel H. Burnham in the Doric temple style.

The museum has experienced numerous expansions and renovations since its original construction. Many aspects of the most recent Cincinnati Wing and Make Room for Art renovation projects successfully drew on the same architectural principles to be used in the Schmidlapp Gallery renovation, putting visitor experience, inspiration and orientation at the center of the project.

The museum’s Great Hall was renovated in 1993 and the main lobby in 2014. The renovations in the Schmidlapp Gallery will connect these spaces and create more opportunities for learning, exhibition, congregation, conversation and comfort.

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Join the Cincinnati Art Museum at the must-attend event of the summer featuring wine tastings, delectable local food, live music, and a silent auction - all while supporting a charitable cause.


The Art of Wine will be held Friday, June 16 at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

It’s a summer favorite with a new twist! Cincinnati Art Museum’s 27th annual food and wine event is now A Taste of Duveneck presents: The Art of Wine sponsored by Dewey’s Pizza, on Friday, June 16, 6-9 p.m.

The new name draws attention to the event’s wine-focus with samples available for tasting and fine wine for sale at the silent auction, along with other popular items. Also new, guests can experience exclusive access to the entire museum, including special exhibitions.

In addition to an extensive assortment of premium and sparkling wine, The Art of Wine also includes a variety of craft beer, Cincinnati’s best gourmet food and live music by the Naked Karate Girls.

The event will feature bites from dozens of vendors including the BonBonerie, Eli’s Barbeque, Palomino, Eddie Merlot’s Steakhouse, Quan Hapa and many more in the Great Hall and outdoors in the Alice Bimel Courtyard. Dance the night away as local cover band the Naked Karate Girls plays all of your favorites. This event-of-the-summer is one you truly won’t want to miss!

This year, all proceeds from The Art of Wine will help fund one of the museum’s premier family programs, Family First Saturday. Family First Saturday takes place the first Saturday of each month and features family entertainment, gallery scavenger hunts and art-making activities for kids of all ages. It is one of the most important visual art programs in the city and serves thousands of families.

In its first 26 years, the event has raised millions of dollars for the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Early bird tickets are $55 per person and are available in limited quantities through April 16, 2017. General admission tickets are $85 per person. Donor opportunities are available. For more information, please contact or (513) 639-2962.

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Cincinnati Art Museum’s Curator of Prints Kristin Spangenberg, shares what makes the new exhibition that accompanies Dressed to Kill so special.

Transcending Reality: The Woodcuts of Kōsaka Gajin is a new exhibition at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Transcending Reality: The Woodcuts of Kōsaka Gajin is the first major exhibition of the artist’s work in the United States. The Cincinnati Art Museum’s Howard and Caroline Porter Collection is the largest repository of Gajin woodcuts outside Japan.

Gajin was a student of Japanese and Western-style painting and an art educator with enthusiasm for the intuitive work of children. The artist wanted his work to “transcend reality.” He lovingly recorded the beauty of Japan’s landscape and architectural monuments in a way that is modern in its individualized expression, not unlike the era’s “action painting” in the West.

Among Gajin’s favorite subjects, explored in great variation, were Mount Fuji, temples and trees such as The Great Japanese Cedar. With minimal lines, he created bold forms that were printed on un-sized paper.

In April 1945, when Gajin’s home studio in Tokyo was destroyed, he moved to Sendai, returning to the city in 1949. Although he first took up printmaking in 1922, the woodcuts Gajin executed during his last decade of life were praised by a contemporary art critic as “works of art definitely bearing the stamp of novelty and originality.”

Featured alongside Transcending Reality is Dressed to Kill: Japanese Arms and Armor, an in-depth look at Japanese Samurai culture and arts from the 16th–19th centuries. 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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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.