Association of Volunteers Has Its Designs on Cincinnati

For the past 50 years, the Association of Volunteers has organized The Cincinnati Art & Antiques Festival, a fundraising event in support of Convalescent Hospital for Children and Children's Hospital Medical Center. The group has raised over $4 million over the past five decades, funding special projects for Children's Hospital, particularly in the areas providing care for children with long-term conditions, including occupational and physical therapies. This event has predominately  taken place at Cincinnati's beloved landmark Music Hall, after brief stints at the Sharonville Convention Center, the Alms Hotels and, where the event first began in 1966, The Carousel Inn.


"The Cincinnati Art & Antiques Festival has been a part of the fabric of Cincinnati since 1966," explained the group's Historian Marie Huenefeld. "A high-end antiques show, and a show with a philanthropic benefit, were both relatively new concepts at the time. But the nine volunteers, called Angels, were definitely on to something. Not only has the show continued to grow and evolve, but it has also raised millions of dollars, thanks to a roster that has grown to hundreds of dedicated volunteers." Each year, this event presents a celebrated lecture and luncheon, and each year brings in a design or antiques celebrity as its speaker. Past speakers have included Suzanne Kasler, Martha Stewart, Bunny Williams and James Farmer.


With the temporary closing of Music Hall this year, the Association of Volunteers is on the move again, launching a new event in celebration of a new Cincinnati.  Dubbed "Design Cincinnati, A Legacy of Antiques, A New Era of Style," the event will take place on October 13 at the Anderson Pavilion at Smale Park, and will feature boutique, pop-up shops selling home and decor items. The luncheon and lecture will welcome architect/interior designer and HGTV star, Vern Yip.


"Cincinnati is a growing, changing city," said Association of Volunteers president Jennifer Moriarty. "We're thrilled to present a refreshed event to celebrate both home decor and the city itself. Anderson Pavilion gives us one of the best views of our city and we like to think that our event will curate some of the best home and decor shopping that our region has to offer. At the same time, we will continue to honor our group's heritage that celebrates the timelessness of antiques as a part of home decor." The pop-up shopping event is attracting high-end artisans, designers and home decor vendors.


The group is excited to welcome Vern Yip as its celebrity speaker. Yip is known for his four seasons on TLC's Trading Spaces, NBC's Home Intervention and one of HGTV's most recognized designers, thanks so shows such as Deserving Design, Urban Oasis and Design Star. "We love Vern's overall design philosophy," said the Lecture & Luncheon chairperson Carrie Carothers. "He is a design trendsetter. with an aesthetic that truly has a global flair. His tips and advice, however, make interior design something that's accessible to everyone and every budget." 


Tickets will go on sale in August through the group's website, which will launch earlier this summer. Admission will include  Vern Yip's lecture and a book signing for his debut home design book, "Design Wise," a gourmet basket lunch, and exclusive access to the curated shopping event. Proceeds from this year's event will benefit the Physical and Occupational Therapy Department at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. 


For more information about the event, please call (513) 561-0950 or email