About Us

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Our History

The Kennedy Heights Arts Center is housed in the former home of Lewis Kennedy, built in 1875. The historic, wood-frame building sits on 2.5 acres in the heart of Kennedy Heights, a diverse neighborhood in the City of Cincinnati.

Founded in 2004, Kennedy Heights Arts Center is an example of community action at its finest. When developers threatened to demolish the historic Kennedy Mansion, a group of local residents organized to save it. The City of Cincinnati contributed a grant for a down payment, and 40 neighborhood residents contributed money in personal certificates of deposit as collateral to secure the loan – and the Arts Center was born. 

A few people’s dream has become the inspiration of many – literally hundreds of people helped to transform the distressed property into a thriving community arts center. Initially all volunteer-run, the Arts Center hired its first executive director in 2008.

A decade later, Kennedy Heights Arts Center partnered with other nonprofits to revitalize another blighted property: a vacant, former grocery store adjacent to our main facility. After 5+ years of work, we completed a $2.4 million renovation transforming an eyesore into a multi-use cultural campus including KHAC’s Carl, Robert, Richard and Dorothy Lindner Annex. The 10,300 square foot satellite facility includes a multi-purpose performance and event venue, digital media lab and artist studios.


Our Mission

The mission of Kennedy Heights Arts Center is to enhance the life of the surrounding community through arts and cultural experiences that embrace diversity, foster creativity and build community.

Through a wide range of arts and cultural programs, the Arts Center strives to:

  • Promote community interaction across generations and all cultural and economic groups
  • Spark community dialogue
  • Provide a venue where artists are nurtured and connect with each other and the community
  • Create opportunities for joyful discovery and collaboration, and
  • Make the arts affordable and accessible to everyone.

    We’re proud that 100% of our programs are accessible to everyone regardless of ability to pay.

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Our Sponsors

Kennedy Heights Arts Center is grateful for the generous support of our donors.

Annual operating support provided by:





The Staff                                                              The Board

ellen-muse-lindeman-copyrightnataliejeannephotography-2Ellen Muse
Executive Director

Ellen Muse became Kennedy Heights Arts Center’s first Executive Director in January, 2008.  To Ellen, the position at Kennedy Heights Arts Center was her dream job, bringing together her love of the arts and her passion for building community. And it didn’t hurt that the Center is just two minutes from her home! In partnership with the Board of Directors, Ellen is responsible for the organization’s consistent achievement of its mission and financial objectives through strategic planning, fundraising, effective programs and community relations.  With more than 20 years experience in nonprofit leadership, Ellen previously served as the Program Director and Director of Development for the Center for Great Neighborhoods in Covington, Kentucky.  She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre from the College of Wooster (Ohio) and a Master’s of Social Work Administration from the University of Cincinnati.


Mallory Feltz
Director of Exhibitions and Public Art

Mallory Feltz joined the staff at the Kennedy Heights Arts Center in January 2015. Mallory’s love of all art forms and the desire to make art available to all people is what drew her to the organization. As a resident of the area, she is passionate about building a strong community and providing opportunities to its residents. Her own 2-D and 3-D artwork consists of a wide range of materials, mainly textiles, and explores applications of new techniques. Mallory held the position of Arts Education Coordinator at KHAC for four years. In January 2019, Mallory became the new Director of Exhibitions and Public Art for Kennedy Heights Arts Center. Mallory earned her Bachelor’s of Fine Art in Sculpture from the University of Cincinnati, College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning in 2006, and her MFA in Sculpture from Louisiana State University in 2009. Prior to working at KHAC, Mallory worked in custom framing and the commercial art world coordinating projects for a variety of clientele, including international companies. 


Mairi Huizinga

Mairi Huizinga has served in this part-time position since 2016. She has a three year business college degree specializing in computer programming. Mairi worked for IBM for 22 years before coming to Kennedy Heights Arts Center—first as a volunteer, then joining our staff.


Sarah Rodriguez
Director of Education

As an artist and art educator, Sarah Rodriguez strives to cultivate meaningful relationships and instill a love of making and creativity in all people. Sarah joined the KHAC staff in October 2022, having previously served as School Programs and Tour Manager at the Contemporary Arts Center. She holds a BFA from Wright State University and an MFA from Miami University.

Shawndale Thomas
After School Program Coordinator

With more than 15 years of dedicated service as an advocate and champion for the advancement and social wellbeing of youth, and as a professional photographer and arts educator, Shawndale Thomas joined our team in August 2022 to develop and run The Cr8 Club, an arts and social learning after-school program at Woodford Academy. He earned an Associate Degree in Interactive Media Design from the Art Institute of Ohio-Cincinnati.

Clare Miller
Program and Event Coordinator

A graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with a Masters of Oboe Performance, Clare Miller has served as the Operations Coordinator of Youth Jazz Cincinnati, our after-school jazz education program in partnership with Cincinnati Public Schools, since 2019. Clare also coordinates special events for the arts center and private rentals.

Quentin Coleman
Assistant to the Director, Youth Jazz Cincinnati

Jazz guitarist and proud graduate of Cincinnati Public Schools, Quentin Coleman pays it forward by helping young CPS student musicians develop their craft as assistant to Youth Jazz Cincinnati Director Dr. Isidore Rudnick.



Donita Parrish
Legal Aid Society of
Greater Cincinnati

Robert Ramsay
Barnes Dennig

Amber Hurak

Lisa Andrews
Sound Bites Nutrition

Nakia Coleman-Smith
Nyla’s Perspective Therapeutic Services

Ramsey Ford
TiER1 Performance

Jacqueline Goldman

Jackie Grant
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Robin Hartmann

Kristy High
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

William Jones

Hannah Lohr-Pearson
FEG Investment Advisors

Lise Sigward
Retired, Procter and Gamble
































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Annual Report

Please enjoy our 2023 Annual Report, offering highlights from our key initiatives, financial summary, and recognition of our partners and donors. 









Kennedy Heights Arts Center Annual Report 2023

Annual reports from previous years are also available for download.

Annual Report 2022
Annual Report 2019
Annual Report 2018
2013 Annual Report
2012 Annual Report
2011 Annual Report
2010 Annual Report

  • Tuesday - Friday: 10:00 - 5:00
  • Saturday: 11:00 - 4:00
  • Closed Sunday - Monday