“Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has!”

-Margaret Mead


CCAC is a collaborative, regional arts center fueled by a shared passion and singular belief – that the collective experience of creative and artistic expression brings together diverse communities and nurtures more inspired, more insightful children and adults.

The Clifton Cultural Arts Center was conceived in 2002, when the century-old Clifton School building, a beloved neighborhood landmark, was about to stand vacant. From the unbridled imaginations of a few visionary minds, the idea to re-imagine the historic building as a thriving cultural arts center emerged. Soon, a growing group of neighbors, volunteers, activists and community leaders – from Clifton, Uptown and across Cincinnati – joined forces to make that crazy dream a reality.

The result was the Clifton Cultural Arts Center, an emergent non-profit arts organization formed in 2004 to breathe new life into the Clifton School building and campus – and to offer people of all ages, races, culture and socioeconomic status a place to connect with one another through creation, interpretation and appreciation of art.

Today, after almost two decades of consistent growth and support – including countless volunteer hours and millions in donations and investment – CCAC is an essential thread in the fabric of Cincinnati’s arts community, a vital hub to our Uptown communities, and an aspiring regional destination for classes, concerts, events and exhibits.

CCAC was recognized by the Cincinnatus Association in May 2022 with the Donald & Marian Spencer Spirit of America Award for conspicuous and enduring contributions to creating greater inclusion and promoting diversity in the Greater Cincinnati Community. This video was used to introduce the organization for that honor.

  • The Clifton School

    The Clifton School

    Cincinnati Public Schools determines Clifton School will cease operations in the 1906 Beaux Arts building per Facilities Master Plan

  • Clifton Cultural Arts Center

    Clifton Cultural Arts Center

    Grassroots community effort borne out of CPS Community Engagement Process creates non-profit Clifton Cultural Arts Center

  • Executive Director

    Executive Director

    Founding Executive Director, Ruth Dickey hired

  • CCAC Opens

    CCAC Opens

    CCAC opens in August with nationally acclaimed, multimedia exhibit Floodwall

  • Phase 1

    Phase 1

    CCAC awarded $1 million grant to begin Phase 1 renovations

  • Top 10 Opportunities

    Top 10 Opportunities

    Historic Clifton School building, home of CCAC, named to Heritage Ohio’s 2009 Top 10 Opportunities

  • Growth


    CCAC offers 44 classes, 7 exhibits and 21 community events, with a total attendance of 9,675

  • Phase 1 Renovations Complete

    Phase 1 Renovations Complete

    CCAC completes $1.9 million Phase 1 Renovations, making all four floors fully accessible and fire-rated for occupancy

  • Wednesdays on the Green

    Wednesdays on the Green

    CCAC’s Wednesdays on the Green concert series named “Best of the City: Best Family Music Night” by Cincinnati Magazine

  • Best Small Nonprofit

    Best Small Nonprofit

    Uptown Consortium honors CCAC as “Best Small Nonprofit” in the 5 Uptown neighborhoods

  • 5th Anniversary

    5th Anniversary

    CCAC celebrates 5th Anniversary

  • New Executive Director

    New Executive Director

    Second Executive Director, Leslie Mooney hired

  • Phase 2 Renovations Complete

    Phase 2 Renovations Complete

    CCAC completes Phase 2 Renovations, totaling $650,000, including 3rd Floor Great Hall, Roof and installation of Catering Services Area

  • Growth


    CCAC annual attendance surpasses 40,000 by offering 296 classes, 13 exhibits and 318 events

  • The Golden Ticket

    The Golden Ticket

    In its seventh year, The Golden Ticket juried art exhibition receives record number of entries at 333 across all fine arts disciplines

  • Art Education for All

    Art Education for All

    CCAC’s Art Education for All program provides scholarships for students in need

  • Search for a new home

    Cincinnati Public Schools concludes that it will re-open the Clifton Neighborhood School in 2019, thus ending its long-term lease with CCAC on the historic Clifton School building. CCAC begins search for new home.

  • Office Move

    Office Move

    CCAC moves offices into Samuel Hannaford-designed Turner Hall building at 2728 Short Vine, holding classes, exhibits and programs on site, as well as at many satellite locations in Clifton and throughout the Uptown neighborhoods.

  • Donald and Marian Spencer Spirit of America Award

    CCAC is awarded the Donald and Marian Spencer Spirit of America Award by the Cincinnatus Association in honor of its commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, justice, and basic human rights.

  • New Building Opening!

    CCAC will open the first purpose-built community arts center in the city of Cincinnati featuring 18,000 square feet of classroom, gallery, and performance space as well as a green rooftop terrace.