The Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) unveiled the artwork that has been selected for welcome materials for two of this summer’s largest multicultural conventions – The Church of God in Christ Auxiliaries in Ministries Convention (COGIC) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The unveiling event was held at the Aronoff Center on Monday, June 20.

The CVB worked with the New American Art Gallery to gather local artist submissions to be considered for each convention’s welcome program. Artists were encouraged to reflect on the convention themes and missions when submitting artwork. The two works selected for the welcome materials were “Prayer and Praise” by Annie Ruth (selected for COGIC), and “Foot Soldiers of Freedom” created by Joyce Phillips Young (selected for NAACP).

“The arts are an integral part of what makes Cincinnati such a world-class destination,” said Edgar Smith, Chairman of the Board for the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau. “This marks the first time we’ve partnered with the region’s artists for our welcome program, showcasing our local culture to so many thousands of visitors.”
The CVB’s Convention welcome program is designed to provide a visual welcome message to high-profile convention groups throughout the year, and can be implemented through street banners, sidewalk decals, hotel lobby signs, welcome posters and buttons. The selected artwork will be featured downtown during the July 2016 conventions and will also be available on postcards at the Visitors Center on Fountain Square. 

Click here for high-resolution image of COGIC artwork   

Click here for high-resolution image of NAACP artwork

In addition to the visual art and welcome program materials throughout the downtown, the CVB is also coordinating performances by local entertainers and musicians to take place throughout the convention dates through the organization’s new VIBE Cincinnati platform.

“July will be a historic month for Cincinnati’s multicultural development, as we host the Church of God in Christ and the NAACP Convention,” said Jason Dunn, Vice President of Multicultural and Community Development at the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau. “These works of art will be part of our new Multicultural platform, VIBE Cincinnati, which will showcase the authentic arts, music and energy of our diverse community during major events.”

About the Conventions:
The 2016 COGIC Auxiliaries in Ministries Convention will take place July 1-8, 2016 and is expected to attract 13,000 attendees to Cincinnati, using more than 7,500 hotel room nights with estimated direct visitor spending of $2.2 million.

The 2016 NAACP Convention will take place July 16-20 in Cincinnati, and is expected to attract 5,000 attendees from around the country, as well as bring thousands more local and regional residents downtown for the event’s speakers and programming. The NAACP Convention is contracted for approximately 7,500 hotel room nights, with an estimated direct visitor spending of $2.3 million.

About the Artists:
Joyce Phillips Young is a Yellow Springs, Ohio native but has lived most of her adult life in Cincinnati.  Joyce studied art and design at Miami University where she received BFA and ME degrees. She has also done post graduate work at the University of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Art academy. Joyce taught art for many years in the public schools and was the K-12 Art Supervisor and Curriculum Consultant with the Cincinnati Public Schools for several years. She is now a professional artist, art consultant and with her son owns My Joy Fine Art.

Annie Ruth is an award-winning visual artist/poet who creates work that celebrates the human spirit. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from National University in San Diego, California and studied graphic design at the University of Cincinnati, College of Design Architecture and Art. Annie Ruth is a trailblazer who has received critical acclaim for her work in the community. She fuses her artistic talents with arts education and collaborates with major cultural institutions and museums to bring art directly to communities throughout the United States and abroad.

About the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau is an aggressive sales, marketing and service organization whose primary responsibility is to positively impact Hamilton County's and the City of Cincinnati's economy through convention, trade show and visitor expenditures. The travel and tourism industry traditionally has been a $4.4 billion industry in Cincinnati USA, employing 74,000 people in a variety of fields and bringing 24.1 million visitors to the region annually. Visit for more.