The original plan was exciting all on its own; Cincinnati Ballet would return to New York City for the first time in more than 30 years. They’d spend a high-profile week performing at the Joyce, the city’s most vibrant theater dedicated to dance.

But after she’d already arranged the dates, Artistic Director and CEO Victoria Morgan noticed something. The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the May Festival Chorus were scheduled to perform at Carnegie Hall the following week.

“I inquired if we could rearrange our dates to coincide with the CSO’s dates,” says Morgan. “I thought it might be fun to play off that somehow.”

She had no idea.

She confirmed the new dates with Julie Shifman, the ballet board member and founder and president of Cincinnati-based Act Three, who was charged with arranging the company’s New York festivities.

“I thought to myself, ‘Who else could we get to go?’ ” says Shifman. “I mean, when is this ever going to happen again?”

Very quickly, Cincinnati Ballet’s May 6-11 New York engagement grew into something much, much larger. And no, we don’t just mean the CSO/May Festival Chorus May 9 gig at Carnegie Hall.

By the end of February, Shifman had managed to recruit a “who’s who” of Greater Cincinnati arts groups to join the New York excursion, including:

• Cincinnati Opera, with a May 7 symposium with celebrated American composer Ricky Ian Gordon

• Playhouse in the Park, May 9, a staged reading of Fool by Cincinnati native Theresa Rebeck

• Cincinnati Art Museum, May 10, “Eyes on the Street,” a panel discussion about street photography moderated by the museum’s Associate Curator of Photography Brian Sholis, along with artists Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Jill Magid, James Nares and Curator/Art Historian Katherine A. Bussard

• Taft Museum, May 6-12, the museum’s Rembrandt, “Portrait of a Man Rising from a Chair” is reunited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with its partner painting, “Portrait of a Young Woman with a Fan”

• University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, May 6, CCM Jazz Alumni perform at Jazz Lincoln Center

• Ariel Quartet, CCM resident string quartet, May 12, performing at 92nd Street Y, SubCultur

• World Piano Competition, May 11, the gold medal winner of the Cincinnati-based competition performs at Carnegie Hall.

“There are several more that are on the verge of committing,” says Shifman. “By the time this article is published, I’m confident we’ll have at least three or four more major arts groups represented.”

But why go to all this trouble? It’s incredibly expensive to take artistic products like these on the road.

“Not only is it expensive, but we’re losing money,” says Morgan. “But there are so many positives that they outweigh the money that we have to sink into it.”

In the case of the ballet, additional performances—especially in a city like New York—not only help build a more experienced company, but when it’s time to hire new dancers, make the company more appealing to veteran performers.

There’s also the matter of institutional exposure. Each of the organizations involved stands to gain in stature from being seen by a geographically diverse audience, especially those in the city that is regarded as the arts capital of the United States.

But as the project grew, another benefit arose. With the increased profile and reach, CINCYinNYC, as it has been called, caught the attention of many people in the local business community.

After all, many multinationals headquartered here aim a good deal of their recruiting at younger professionals and creatives. Think of the likes of Procter & Gamble and Macy’s and the dozens of startups that are finding Greater Cincinnati a productive place to launch their businesses.

“This is the sort of thing that will make Cincinnati stand out, even in a city like New York,” says former Cincinnati Bengal Dhani Jones, whose own business, Proclamation, is now involved with CINCYinNYC.

Jones believes that the city’s substantial arts offerings will provide an ideal entrée for recruiting representatives to use to tout the benefits of Cincinnati.

He points out many of the major changes that have taken place in the city since he joined the Bengals roster in 2007.

“In the blink of an eye, all of the changes we now see in OTR popped up,” he says. “The Banks popped up. Washington Park became the place where everybody wanted to do yoga. The Bengals started going to the playoffs.”

Like a charismatic salesman, he rattles off dozens of businesses that were nowhere on the horizon a decade ago; Rhinegeist Brewery, the Brandery, Fusian, 21c Museum Hotel, Cintrifuse, Bakersfield, Powerhouse Factories, Kaze, Roadtrippers and Eli’s.

“And let’s not forget about the Horseshoe Casino and the Cincinnati Streetcar and the Scripps Network,” says Jones. “Cincinnati has gone through a complete transformation. And I think that will catch the attention of people in New York. I mean, that’s why I stayed in Cincinnati,” says Jones, who retired from the Bengals in the spring of 2011.

Shifman has even managed to expand the commercial side of CINCYinNYC to include international trade.

Anne Cappel, executive director of the European American Chamber of Commerce, confirms that her organization has arranged for Cincinnati culture and industry to be the subject of one of the six annual programs of the Foreign Trade Commissioners Association of New York. The group represents roughly 75 nations, from the UK and Russia to Australia, China and India.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Cincinnati to show itself to the world,” says Cappel. “Our organization is specifically devoted to fostering business growth and business development between Europe and Greater Cincinnati. But this group of foreign trade commissioners represents much, much more of the world than Europe.”

Though the roster of participants was not complete at press time, Cappel believes the combination of business and culture is ideal.

“With all of the major cultural organizations being in New York at the same time, trade commissioners will have an opportunity to see Greater Cincinnati as more than just a place to do business. They’ll have a chance to see the rich cultural heritage, too. And that can be a very important consideration.”

Shifman has gotten the City of Cincinnati involved, too, and the Cincinnati USA Chamber of Commerce.

“And to help get the attention of those YPs, we’ve planned a Friday-night event in an East Village club called Arlene’s Grocery,” says Shifman. “Anyone who went to a Greater Cincinnati high school or college in the area can come for free.” Jones has agreed to emcee.

“I think just about everything about CINCYinNYC is positive,” says Jones. “This will give all of us who are involved a point of entry to talk about what is so amazing here. What we all want is for people to understand how powerful and amazing and culturally diverse and progressive this area is.”