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.
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:
We’re proud that 100% of our programs are accessible to everyone regardless of ability to pay.
Kennedy Heights Arts Center is grateful for the generous support of our donors.
Operating support provided by:
2019 Annual Fund Print Sponsor:
2018 Foundations and Grants:
The Greater Cincinnati Foundation
George and Margaret McLane Foundation
John A. Schroth Family Charitable Trust, PNC Bank, Trustee
Thomas J. Emery Memorial
Ruth and Robert Conway Foundation
Scripps Howard Foundation
Clyde N. Day Foundation Inc.
2018 Business and Organization Sponsors:
Kennedy Heights Community Council
Pleasant Ridge Community Council
Pleasant Ridge Business Association
Donovan’s Auto and Tire Center
Dr. Dana Bateman, DDS
Ellen 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.
Tausha Cox joined our staff in March, 2018. She is responsible for managing and coordinating special events and private event rentals at Kennedy Heights Arts Center and our Lindner Annex. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Illustration from the Columbus School of Art and Design (2007) and a Master’s of Art Education from the University of Cincinnati, College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning (2020). With a background in event planning, Tausha was the creator of In Awe Celebrations providing themed parties.
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.
Bethany is responsible for creating opportunities for engagement and learning with the arts both onsite and out in the community. Bethany brings 15 years experience creating engaging learning environments within community, academic, and private institutions to her new role at KHAC. Her recent experience in Cincinnati includes: a teaching artist residency at Woodford Paideia Academy; management of BLOC Ministries’ Pottery & Ceramics program; Project Manager of “Hey, Let’s Talk”–an ArtWorks Mental Health Social Intervention Project; and Creation/Direction of Make Someone’s Day–a social art project & pop-up community art studio made possible by a People’s Liberty Globe Grant. As an arts educator, Bethany has cultivated inclusive classrooms in both higher-education and community settings. She served as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute, Faculty at the 92nd Street Y in New York, and Instructor of Record at Tyler School of Art. Bethany holds a BFA in Ceramics from University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL (2007) and an MFA in Ceramics from Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA (2012).
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.
Please enjoy our 2019 Annual Report, offering highlights from our key initiatives, financial summary, and recognition of our partners and donors.
Annual reports from previous years are also available for download.
Selected recent articles about Kennedy Heights Arts Center: