BLINK® DELIVERS $126M DIRECT ECONOMIC IMPACT FOR THE CINCINNATI REGION
The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, in partnership with AGAR, the Haile Foundation, Artworks, Cincy Nice, and ish recently released a report detailing the profound economic impact BLINK®, illuminated by ArtsWave, had on the Cincinnati region.
In October 2022, the nowhere-else BLINK experience attracted over 2 million attendees across the 4-day event, resulting in a direct economic impact of $126 million dollars. Additionally, the event directly supported or created 1,687 jobs, and generated $1.5 million dollars in direct artist commissions, honorariums, and art fees.
At the heart of its mission, BLINK solidified the Cincinnati region as a hub of arts and culture, and the BLINK team made this possible by honoring the rich and diverse history of the city itself. Known for its collaborative spirit, BLINK paired awe-inspiring murals with projection mapping and lighting to create wholly engaging experiences. In total, the four-day event featured over 100 unique experiences including 28 projection mapping installations, 42 light and art installations, over 100 musical performances, 300 drones lighting up the sky over the Ohio River, a parade featuring over 2,500 participants, and 17 murals that will leave a lasting impact on the Cincinnati landscape for years to come.
The 2022 BLINK Economic Impact report was developed by the Cincinnati Chamber’s Center for Research & Data, and utilized a variety of data sources and outputs to generate the information detailed in the report. The Center for Research & Data is an initiative to deliver data-driven analysis regarding vital regional indicators and outcomes and helps leaders, community partners, and policymakers make informed decisions.
How do you bring back a giant public-art spectacle in a world still working through the complex challenges of a pandemic? How do you thrill and delight hundreds of thousands of people a night while keeping them safe? How do you evolve an event and make it feel fresh and new while keeping what is beloved and familiar? How do you nurture a local audience while growing your national reputation and inviting others to see what is special about your city? How do you expand a collaborative circle and allow more voices and visions to shape an artistic project? How do you show the impact that art, light, paint, and imagination can have on a region’s economy?
These were some of the big questions the BLINK partners asked ourselves when working to bring BLINK back in 2022. BLINK was always intended to be a biennial event, taking place every other year, but due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the event’s return in 2021 was put on hold. When the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber decided to delay the event and hire its first Executive Director, the goal was to ensure that BLINK was brought back at the quality and scale that the region deserves, and to ensure the long-term sustainability of Cincinnati’s biggest “nowhere-else experience.”
To achieve this the Chamber once again worked in close partnership with the Haile Foundation, AGAR, and ArtWorks, and welcomed new partners Cincy Nice and ish to the team. Together this dedicated group labored alongside hundreds of hard-working and talented artists, visionaries, musicians, technical experts, and volunteers to deliver something truly special to the over 2 million attendees across the 4-day experience.
This report details the economic Impact of BLINK, but it is important to note that the true beauty and impact of BLINK lies in the shared memories and experiences of those attendees. Friends, families, neighbors, and strangers stood side-by-side on street corners gazing up in amazement at the artistic wonder covering familiar buildings and surroundings.
The financial and ephemeral impact is only possible thanks to the generous support of the philanthropic, corporate, and government organizations that see the value of investing in a gigantic free public art event. We thank all those supporters and look forward to delivering more impact as we plan for BLINK 2024.
Executive Director, BLINK
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