Social connection projects take place in era of physical distancing

In an effort to prioritize the health and safety of our patrons, neighbors, and local and global communities during the COVID19 crisis, we are moving all large public Wave Pool events to live stream video format rather than hosting them in person for the next month. Please check out and follow our COVIDeo YouTube channel to fulfill your contemporary art needs during this time. Let’s stay connected, healthy, and safe.

A series of artist-led projects are being funded in this uncertain time to keep Cincinnati together, separately. Eric Avner posted on his facebook feed on March 13th, “Okay #Cincinnati: How do we remain socially connected when we have to be physically distanced?” He asked folks to submit ideas to People’s Liberty’s website, which resulted in 38 idea submissions. Seven of these bright ideas are now being funded by The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation in partnership with Wave Pool.

The projects range from mobile projections to food delivery to roving yard flamingos. One thing they all have in common: they aim to connect people to each other, from a distance.

Here are the projects:

Projection Connections by Douglas Borntrager: A traveling light projection installation, Borntrager will be coordinating with artists to develop content that will be seen as light-up displays from their houses and apartments throughout the city. Created in partnership with Know Theater. Learn about the first route here.

Soup and Bread Cincy by Katie Vogel: Virtual dinnertime is an opportunity to check-in and share a meal. Weekly dinners will be made out of pantry staples and shared virtually among strangers. Additionally, the delivery of needed food staples will be coordinated for people who need them to participate. The project also supports local musicians with a mid-dinner set from folks including The Tillers’ Mike Oberst, and Kate Wakefield.

Dial-Up coordinated by Colleen O’Connor, inspired from an idea by Katherine Durack: A series of dynamic and participatory community conversations with artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, and others to inspire connection to ones’ neighbors both near and far through shared-experiences. Referencing past ways of communicating and connecting with larger groups of people through telephone party-lines and internet chat rooms – Dial Up’s approach is inclusive and plural. It does not discriminate or eliminate participation and intends to reflect, commiserate, and postulate on what we are currently experiencing, how we are coping, and why our world will never be the same.

Pink Flamingo Rescue by Jeffrey Miller: Intended to elicit a smile and a reminder of our connection to the community, this project uses a flock of 100 portable yard flamingos. Participants can sign up to ‘adopt’ this flock for a few days in their yard, and Miller will install and then move the flock to a new, randomly-selected location. Those adopting the flock are encouraged to participate in the yard placement process and creative decorating of the flamingos. Request the flock to come to your home here!

Tour-to-Door Care Packages by Barb Cooper: Presented by Cincinnati Food Tours, a small box of non-perishable items from Findlay market merchants will be delivered to your door. Send a special gift to a family member, friend, or neighbor. Thank a first responder. Order in bulk for your next virtual meeting with co-workers. Or just treat yourself! This grant provides free shipping to the first 80 orders.

Signs of Respect by ART HAGS: Signs of Respect is a call for neighbors to interact with each other outside of digital communication by utilizing a DIY approach to create homemade, upcycled signage. Individuals are invited to follow prompts using simple templates to create signs for their yard or windows to support methods of ‘IRL’ connectedness, holding space for creativity, and recognition of one another in our most immediate surroundings during these anxious and trying times. The ART HAGS group is comprised of Linnea Gartin, Liz Miller, Amy Scarpello, Kate Tepe, and Cori Wolff.

Crosstown Penpals by Derek Scacchetti: A service that matches up penpal participants from different geographical locations (within the I-275 loop), creating social interactions and fostering new relationships. At a time of social distancing, we have lost the multitude of daily connections we make with strangers in the public environment. Crosstown Penpals replaces random connections and bonds strangers through a non-digital means. Learn more and sign up at

This program is funded by a grant from The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation

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