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The Boneyfiddle Project Logo

Governor's Awards 2022: Boneyfiddle Project, Community Development and Participation

The Boneyfiddle Project is a nonprofit organization created to promote commerce through the arts in the historic district of Boneyfiddle in Portsmouth, the county seat of Scioto County. Founded by Robert and Julia Black, the Boneyfiddle Project is driven by a belief in music and the arts as healing forces capable of spurring lasting, positive change. In 2015, Robert and Julia hosted the first full season of “Final Friday in Boneyfiddle” outdoor concerts, which featured local artists and musicians sharing their talents in the Boneyfiddle district. “Final Fridays” continue to be a Boneyfiddle tradition and have since expanded to include regional and national musical acts performing alongside local groups and artists. The monthly summertime concerts have become known for regularly welcoming more than 500 guests and showcasing the work of local graphic designers who make collectible event posters, artwork for album covers, and merchandise. The concerts also serve as a catalyst for economic development as concertgoers partake in the local cuisine and shopping.

The success of the “Final Fridays” concert series has sparked renewed interest and local pride in Portsmouth’s arts and culture scene. In 2018, Robert and Julia opened the Three Bridges Outdoor Concert Venue, a permanent home for “Final Fridays” concerts that overlooks the Ohio River. Their most recent project, completed in April 2021, included the design and installation of a stone-and-wrought-iron entry sign that welcomes locals and visitors alike to the historic Boneyfiddle district and all it has to offer.

Since its beginning in 1971, the Governor's Awards has recognized individuals and organizations who have been vital to the growth and development of Ohio's cultural resources. One of the most prestigious arts events in Ohio, the Governor's Awards showcases and celebrates exceptional Ohio artists, arts organizations, arts leaders and patrons, and business support of the arts. Governor's Awards recipients are honored at a luncheon ceremony in Columbus, where they are presented with the only arts award in the state that is conferred by the governor. Each award winner receives an original piece of artwork created specifically for the event by an Ohio artist and the opportunity to share their story with other arts supporters statewide.

The Ohio Arts Council is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. Connect with the OAC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or visit our website at


Video by the Ohio Channel

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