Cincinnati Song Initiative wins ‘Stand for the Arts’ award

Cincinnati Song Initiative participants around the piano (L-R): Alex Hurd, Ahyoung Jung, Samuel Martin, Ivy Walz, Kenneth Griffiths, Marie Marquis

America’s only arts network, Ovation TV, in partnership with Spectrum, has awarded Cincinnati Song Initiative a 2018 Stand for the Arts award. The award includes $10,000 in funding. Officials will hold a formal award presentation in Cincinnati on Oct. 8.

Cincinnati Song Initiative is a three-year-old concert series devoted to art song. The project, led by founding artistic director Samuel Martin, presents beautifully-sung, well-researched programs on themes such as American song, the French group, Les Six, and the art song of Spanish-speaking nations, “Alma de España,” which kicks off the third season on Sept. 22.

“What Ovation TV and Spectrum identified in Cincinnati Song Initiative’s work is exactly what our audiences have known since we first began in 2016, and that is when beautiful music and perfect poetry meld and are made accessible to all, the power of the classical art song genre can connect diverse communities which would not otherwise be connected,” Martin said.
Shareese Johnson

The nonprofit has several local partners, including Willis Music Steinway Gallery of Kenwood, Cincinnati Wagner Society, Lynx Project, and others. Concerts are held in a variety of local venues. You’ll recognize many faculty artists and singers from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.


The awards recognize outstanding local arts, cultural and educational organizations in Spectrum markets across the U.S., and are part of Ovation’s national arts advocacy platform called Stand for the Arts. This year, $120,000 in award money is committed to supporting awardees in 12 Spectrum markets.

Andrew Garland, with Donna Loewy at the piano

The idea, said Sol Doten, Ovation’s vice president of content distribution marketing, is to put “a spotlight on the value of the arts across America and specifically these organizations that fuel the local economies through creativity and innovation, as well as providing communities with rich cultural and educational experiences.”

Martin doesn’t think they will be appearing on television any time soon. But to check out Ovation TV, here are the channels:
Time Warner: 210
Cincinnati Bell: 238 (HD: 638)
DirectTV: 274
AT&T U-verse: 385 (HD: 1385)
For more information regarding upcoming concerts, artists, and CSI’s thematic projects, please visit

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