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Opportunities abound

Hamilton, Ohio – First things first.

While no new rink lies on the immediate horizon, skating will be part of the 2023-2024 season at the Fitton Center.

The Cincinnati Roller Girls roller derby team headlines a Celebrating Self luncheon speaker series event exactly a year from yesterday – April 3, 2024. (Yes, it will be in the ballroom.) Additional details coming soon.

Meantime, there are plenty of places for an outdoor skate in and around Hamilton, including the Hamilton Beltline Recreational Trail. More than a mile of the proposed three-mile loop is already open, with additional construction planned this year.

Looking for other outdoor activities? The Hamilton Parks Conservancy operates 40 parks and recreational facilities on more than 1,300 acres, including five dedicated natural areas. They operate public tennis, pickleball and basketball courts free of charge. Not to mention disc golf at Millikin Woods and actual golf at Twin Run and Potter’s Park.

Hamilton is known as the City of Sculpture. Check out any or all of the 40-plus sculptures around the city. Or visit Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park, more than 300 rolling acres with another 60 pieces of art on the grounds and year-round programming to celebrate both art and nature.

Our own Street Spark program helps beautify the city with public art – 17 murals and 14 utility boxes created since 2016 – with two more murals and three more utility boxes planned this summer. (In fact, we should have an announcement on the selected designs for 2023 any day now.)

Need more? How about the Artspace Hamilton Lofts and Resident Gallery. Not only does the gallery host numerous art shows and other events, it provides an affordable place for artists to live.

Is music more your thing? Look no further than the 3,000-seat RiversEdge amphitheater at Marcum Park offers a dozen free concerts every summer between Memorial Day and Labor Day and draws national acts like native son David Shaw and the Revivalists to the Big River Get Down.

Want to play music, not watch? Can do when you join the Butler Philharmonic Orchestra, which also has a robust youth orchestra program.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Hamilton offer academic-, character-and-leadership- and health-oriented programs at both the East Club and the Grand Club. The Booker T. Washington Community Center provides another recreational and educational outlet for children in Hamilton. As do HYPE (Hamilton Young People Empowered) and local chapters of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

And that doesn’t even mention the full slate of classes year-round at the Fitton Center. (And not just for kids. We have adult- and senior-specific classes, too.) Or our workshops and acclaimed summer camps. Or the community outreach programs we do during events like Operation Pumpkin. Or the 40 or so shows and events we produce every year – one entire series of which is devoted to cultivating young people’s interest in a variety of performing arts.

Many – if not most – of these opportunities are free of charge. Several of those that aren’t have ways to make sure nobody is left out. (The Fitton Center, for example, will give away more than 100 scholarships a year to cover the cost of classes and camps for people who otherwise might not be able to afford them.)

All of which merely scratches the surface of what Hamilton offers its residents.

We are proud to be part of a city that is so inclusive and provides so many opportunities for its residents. We are grateful for the people who keep striving to make it even better. And we appreciate being a part of – and sometimes driving - the conversation about how we can do that. Together.

The Fitton Center for Creative Arts is located at 101 S. Monument Avenue on the Riverfront in downtown Hamilton, Ohio.

Building Community Excellence through the Arts and Culture

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