One thing kids did during the pandemic was art. Indoors or out, painting or dancing, sidewalk chalk or shaving cream — the arts must go on. Many art facilities have taken the extra time alloted them by the pandemic to grow bigger and add more classes welcoming families with their doors wide open.
“What we’ve been able to offer has doubled,” says Kim Flamm, ArtsConnect executive director and Springfield Township marketing and communications director. “We are just happy to really see people again; I think people feel more healthy, more whole, more full when they have something that are looking forward to that they enjoy to do,” Flamm adds.
And isn’t that true for the youngest among us, too? Local arts groups are ready to welcome families back. Here’s what you have to look forward to this fall and beyond!
Taft Museum of Art
513-241-0343; 316 Pike St., Cincinnati, Oh
The Taft Museum is full of surprises! Kids can look forward to bringing the arts home with them; Take-Home Art Kits will keep their creativity sparked anywhere they go! Just grab a holiday-themed Take-Home Art Kits and enjoy art activities at-home! Each kit comes with instructions and supplies for five art projects for a variety of grade levels: 1 – 3, 4 – 6 and 7 – 12. Subscribe to their newsletter for more information to come in November. Next up to explore at the Taft in the Fifth Third Gallery and History House, is the Jane Austen | Fashion & Sensibility exhibit opening June 11 through September 4, 2022 featuring about fifty costumes and accessories worn in popular film and television productions.
Springfield Township ArtsConnect
513-522-2108; 9158 Winton Road, Cincinnati, Oh
After being closed for renovations from January, 2020 to July 2021, let’s just say they areback with an all-new facility and added programming for kids and adults. They offer classes for ages 4 and older including their new Lollipop Piano; Prek Pottery for little hands; and Costuming, where kids ages 14 and older can get creative and make their own costumes. You’ll also find Blacksmithing to Woodshop, Leatherworking to Stained Glass, Pottery (they added a pottery studio to their new space), Digital Art Animation and growing by leaps and bounds, Magic, where kids not only gain confidence, they receive different colored wands as they progress. Learn more about their popular programming, outdoor and special events on their website, and check the full Programming Guidebook at theartsconnect.us/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=60.
Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park
513-421-3888; 962 Mt. Adams Circle, Cincinnati, Oh
Cincy Playhouse has broken ground in their new theatre space, state-of-the-art Mainstage Theatre Complex, projected to open in 2023. Expect an expansion of their engaging
classes, programming and enrichment workshops once they move into their new space. Performances will continue in the Marx and Rosenthal Shelterhouse theatres throughout this exciting progression. See “Family Performances” on this page to see what’s in-store for the season! Also, beginning late September, families can expect classes to be back in full swing; they are bringing back their seasonal classes in-person all year-long, including their creative, drama and acting classes (fall,bwinter and spring). In addition, they are slowly ramping up their Outreach Tour performances, with Snow White in the fall as virtual-only, and for the winter tour, families can choose between hybrid or virtual. By spring, they plan on going back to all in-person; enrichment workshops for K – 8th grade are also back with a fun theme for each grade level; all workshops are expected to be in-person with the ability to go virtual. Head to their website and social media channels for the most up-to-date information, plus you can sign up for their newsletter for the latest updates!
The Art Workshop at Queen City Clay
513-406-4009; 2760 Highland Ave., Cincinnati, Oh
They are moving! Their new, spacious 50,000 square-foot building will have all of the great features that Queen City Clay has now including their kid’s studio. Kids’ art classes begin in the fall; head online to check out their art enrichment classes for ages 4 – 16 including clay, pottery wheel, drawing, painting, sculpture, Mom/Dad and Me and more. In addition, they offer classes for your home-school student, and if you’re looking for a space to have your special event or party, they offer that, too!
Peanut Butter & Jam
513-381-6868; multiple locations across the tri-state
PB&J has lots up their sleeves! Indoor programming this fall includes fun themed programming, “A Royal Renaissance,” for ages 2 – 6 years old featuring dragons, knights, kings and queens (costumes optional!). Their Main Series concerts will be on Saturday mornings at different venues around town, and will begin early September. Head to their NEW website for the lineup. Tickets are $6 each or 4/$20. Furthermore, they are expanding their free community programming including free library programs, plus, they are offering free virtual programming for families and classrooms which coordinate with their concert and offer further enrichment through crafts, storytelling, musician interviews and more; available Friday mornings on YouTube (youtube.com/channel/UCHGkwfgsIlheveSW4oKvYnQ) and Facebook (facebook.com/pbjsessions).
513-621-5219; 1801 Gilbert Ave., Cincinnati, Oh
The opening up of their new facility has been game-changing, and the excitement continues as they officially open in the fall. Now with nine spaces, updated amenities and more, Cincinnati Ballet continues to be a professional ballet school while also becoming a community dance center. You don’t need to be interested in ballet to participate and the only prerequisite is to love dance! Ages 2 and older can enjoy classes that offer a variety of dance styles including jazz, tap, modern and more. There are now more opportunities to explore different things. Programming: CB is launching their Community Division – an “a la cart” adventure for ages 10 – 17 beginning Sept. 1! Choose your interests, whether you want to take one ballet or a street dance class, and give it a go; enrollment based, no ballet experience required. Choose one of five specific classes, and take control of your dance education. Ballet Moves: Supports students with special needs (including autism, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy) has significantly expanded. Now with CB’s new facility, they have a studio designed uniquely for special needs students with a number of classes and offerings. Grand Opening Event – A family-friendly academy open house as part of the grand opening of their new facility! Keep a lookout for more information to come, it’s FREE! Take a trial class, watch a performance while enjoying food and music. Sunday, September 19; head to their website for more information in the works and to sign up for classes in advance. Plus, their 2021-2022 season delivers a broad array of family-friendly performances – see “Family Performances” on this page for details.
West Chester Academy
513-829-2345; 8107 Market Place Drive, West Chester, Oh
Classes from gymnastics, to dance to theatre, WCA has it for all ages and interests whether in-person or online. Currently their protocol includes parent drop-off at the front door, and parents can watch their kids in action through their new TV app. WCA offers private lessons for all ages in piano, acoustic and electric guitar and more; music classes including Music Pups for children up to 5 years old, Music for Young Children for ages 5 and older; Instructional Dance classes for ages 2 and older and tons more!
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
513-381-2273; 1195 Elm St., Cincinnati, Oh
Free Shakespeare in the Park is back! This FREE Shakespeare in the Park tour is the only professional outdoor theatre opportunity of its kind in Cincinnati each summer, attracting more than 10,000 patrons and bigger than ever this year performing at over 40 area parks; through September 12.
Clifton Cultural Arts Center
513-497-2860; 2728 Short Vine St., Cincinnati, Oh
CCAC has expanded their visual arts classes for kids to include Maker Kits featuring supplies and instructions for fun at-home projects; and after-school classes and weekend workshops starting up in September (the full lineup was recently announced, head to their website to check it out!). To save the best news for last, they are currently in the midst of a capital campaign to build a new facility! Their new, 18,000-square-foot permanent home will reside right in the heart of Clifton where they will host performances, classes, exhibitions and gatherings for all ages and backgrounds.
Contemporary Arts Center
513-345-8400; 6th St., Cincinnati, Oh
This fall, CAC’s Thursday Art Play begins a new outdoor series, Art Play Hike, in partnership with the Cincinnati Parks! Families will explore one of Cincinnati’s amazing parks, take part in hands-on art making, get active with yoga and more! Plus, they offer a School Outreach Program that provides an intensive multi-layered experience with contemporary art for students second – 12th grade. Beginning in September through May, 2022, the yearlong program comprises an in-school orientation, two guided visits to CAC exhibitions, an exhibition-related classroom project taught by a local artist and a visit to an artist’s studio in the spring.
Cincinnati Art Museum
513-721-2787; 953 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, Oh
With Artist Workshops the third Saturday of the month; and Studio Classes taught weekly at the Rosenthal Education Center to help you become a better artist (both recommended for ages 6 and older), there is so much for families to experience! In addition, check out their See Play Learn Kits that help promote learning while families explore the CAM; includes a clear tote equipped with sketchpad, puppet, flashcards and more to make it a fun and educational experience. Check their website for details on their current virtual activities including Baby Tours which they hope to bring back in-person in 2022; join their Baby Tour mailing list for up-to-date information.
The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati
513-569-8080; 4015 Red Bank Road, Cincinnati, Oh
TCT’s MainStage shows are back at the Taft Theatre stage – see “Family Performances” on this page for the lineup! Plus, they will be the first theater to produce and present, The Wiz Jr. at the Taft, April 2022. Subscriptions and their new Flex Passes are now on sale now with single tickets going on sale August 23. Their digital programming is also expanding on Broadway on Demand including Jacqueline and the Beanstalk, Harriet Tubman: Straight Up Outta’ the Underground and more! These fabulous productions will be available online, plus many of these same titles will be touring live this year! Register now for TCT Academy classes for their fall session; in-person classes begin on Sept. 7; session includes Academy Live which combines instruction with the opportunity to perform in a fully-staged musical with props, costumes and sets; this fall’s show will be Heathers The Musical (High School Edition).