CreativeOhio (CO) was established in 1976 as Ohio Citizens for the Arts, a 501(c)4. Its purpose was to increase public funding for the arts through citizen-based lobbying in the state biennial budget process, a six month, every other year legislative cycle.
While that focus continues today, the effort has necessarily grown in scope and impact. The untapped potential of Ohio’s creative sector coupled with the critical needs of the recent pandemic catalyzed an evolution in the mission and reach of the organization’s work, extending to every day, all year advocacy.
Since 2020, CO has raised a historic, unprecedented $110 million for the arts and creatives in Ohio and repositioned the arts and creative sector as an essential, contributing component of Ohio’s economy.
The new name, announced in January 2023, acknowledges the broad impact of creative practice in—and beyond—the arts. This progression in name, and critically our mission, enables us to stay closely connected to our existing members and open to the possibility of new members and alliances that expand our opportunities to fuse arts, creativity, community, citizens, and the economy.
CreativeOhio, also captures the spirit of our work, “A Power Beyond One.” Working collectively and collaboratively—statewide and locally—we can secure the public policies and investment needed to advance creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship throughout Ohio, and in so doing build a strong, sustainable creative sector.