I recently moved to Dayton and therefore was not aware of the tradition that is Dayton Art Institute's Oktoberfest. I soon learned it's a big deal - so much so that this year's event brought in 26,000 people.
Oktoberfest serves as the largest arts fundraiser in the Miami Valley, generating over a quarter million dollars for the art institute every year. Institute CEO Michael Roedinger explained to me the role the museum has in the surrounding Dayton area, and how it serves as the heart of the region's art community. While donations are encouraged, most of the institute's art collections, as well as some of the programs it provides, remain free to the public. Oktoberfest generates the funds making that possible while highlighting German-American food, entertainment and culture.