Contemporary Arts Center: Built to Last

Contemporary Arts Center: Built to Last

Cincinnati has a wealth of incredible architecture, from the Gothic Revival grandeur of Music Hall to the art deco splendor of Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal. But only one building in the city has been hailed as the “most important American building to be completed since the end of the Cold War.” 

In 2003, the Contemporary Arts Center moved into the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, designed by Zaha Hadid, the first museum in the United States designed by a woman. 

With more than 85,000 square feet of exhibition space, a dedicated performance space and a Creativity Center perfect for multi-generational exhibition and education programs, the CAC remains one of the largest and most dynamic contemporary arts organizations in the United State. The CAC is also a highly sought- after space for creative events, weddings, corporate meetings and more. And it’s no wonder why. 

On one of the most electrifying corners in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, this exciting modern venue promises that even an ordinary meeting will be transformed into a memorable experience. No matter which of the dramatic spaces chosen for an event, guests will be inspired by the spirit of cutting-edge art housed in an architectural landmark. 

Piece of Cake 

Shouldn’t the most memorable day for a happy couple be held in one of the most memorable buildings in the region? 

“Our bridal client had many friends coming from all over the country, so they wanted to welcome their guests to the Queen City in style,” says Laura Wolf, owner of Wolf & Bird Event Design & Styling. “They were searching for a party venue that would provide an unexpected juxtaposition of design and style from the traditionally elegant feel of their wedding venue. The CAC was the perfect contrast with its extraordinary blend of modern, minimalist architecture and city-chic style!” 

Kaplan Hall, the distinctive expanse in the CAC’s main lobby, is truly a room with a view. With glass walls that offer an incomparable perspective on the busy streetscape just beyond the entrance, it will feel like the whole city is celebrating too, setting a vibrant and dazzling scene for the wedding day. The lobby can be a dance floor, surrounded by multi-colored lighted columns! 

Along with the lobby space, the CAC’s exhibition galleries are also available for events, setting the most significant occasions among the work of the world’s most significant contemporary artists. In addition, The Black Box Theatre offers a more intimate space, perfect for both a seated dinner and a raucous dance party. 

“Having the flexibility of a completely customizable layout allows us to find a balance of form and function for all our clients’ events,” says Wolf. 

Down to Business 

Innovation is more than a buzzword when the next meeting is in a space renowned for its boldness and imagination. Take a brainstorming session or board meeting to the next level. 

The Black Box Performance Theatre’s high ceiling, large projection screen, and lighting, sound, and video systems offer the latest technology for any presentation. The Alice F. & Harris K. Weston Boardroom is an ideal space for creative off-site sessions and intimate roundtable discussions. 

Make it Special 

Whether someone needs to plan a baby shower, a recognition dinner or even a Sunday brunch, the CAC has spaces that will bring creative energy to both small and large gatherings. The Black Box Performance Theatre comfortably seats up to 150 people, with enhanced A/V equipment to use for videos and slideshows to help tell the story. The Alice F. & Harris K. Weston Boardroom offers a welcome retreat for an intimate dinner or even a Sunday brunch. With a list of professional preferred caterers and attentive events staff, each special event — whether it’s a birthday celebration, retirement party, or reunion dinner — will be even more special in this world-class building. 

With a vibrant urban setting, thoughtfully designed spaces, and work by contemporary artists, the CAC is an iconic venue. From a small gathering of friends to a blow-out gala for everyone in town, an event will be wholly original and completely unforgettable.

Events at CAC 

Kaplan Hall 

Kaplan Hall, the large lobby space, accommodates 180 seated guests or up to 200 for cocktails. 

Lower Lobby Lounge & Black Box Performance Theatre

The Ronnie Sassoon and Vidal Sassoon Foundation and P&G Fund Lobbies work well for cocktail parties. The Black Box Theatre accommodates 150 seated and more than 200 for dancing. 

Board Room & Urban Terrace 

The Alice F. & Harris K. Weston Boardroom has a capacity for 50 people, with an adjacent terrace offering striking views of the buzzing arts and entertainment district below. 

Amenities available: 

  • On-site catering and preferred catering options 

  • Tables, chairs and staging included 

  • Full-service bar options 

  • Preferred vendor lists – Florists, Photographers, DJs, Live Bands, Entertainment, and A/V 

  • Convenient downtown location at Sixth & Walnut streets with parking available at Fountain Square, The Garage at 600 Vine, the 580 Building and a valet at 21C. 

  • Close to several downtown hotels and restaurants 

  • Easy access to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport 

  • Plentiful natural light and custom lighting options 

  • Private exhibition tours available 

  • Easy access for loading and unloading

Wondering if the Contemporary Arts Center is right for your next event? Visit for-visitors/event-space or call 513-345-8415.

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