• Voices of Freedom 2024

    • 31 January 2024
    • Posted By Ellen Muse-Lindeman

    For the fourth year, Juneteenth Cincinnati and Kennedy Heights Arts Center are teaming up to present Voices of Freedom, a visual and performing arts series examining Black history from a contemporary perspective, from February 3 to April 13, 2024.

    This year’s theme for the series is seeing the African Diaspora through the eyes of our children.

    Opening February 3, the centerpiece of the project is an art exhibition of new works by ten local Black artists entitled Déjà vu: Creativity Repeats Itself. Co-curated by Ewaniki and Brandon Hawkins of Soul Palette, this exhibit pairs five youth/young adult artists with five seasoned/elder artists to symbolize how the past shapes the future – reflecting on and giving reverence to how we always look back to remember our history and show love to the ones who came before us, as we gather our strength again and again to sustain and forge a greater future.

    “Brandon and I are excited to curate this show to share works of art from local artists who are at different stages in their careers. The opportunity to present artworks from emerging novice creatives alongside established veteran artists is unique and impactful,” remarked Ewaniki Hawkins.

    The public is invited to the Opening Reception on Saturday, February 3 from 6-8pm; and an Artist Panel Discussion on Saturday, February 17 from 3 – 4:30pm.

    Voices of Freedom will also include three dynamic and intergenerational performances featuring dance, spoken word, and music on March 2, 26 and 23 by youth and adults performers.

    All events will take place at the Kennedy Heights Arts Center Lindner Annex, 6620 Montgomery Road. Free, but tickets are required and space is limited.

    Cincy Poetry Night
    Saturday, March 2 at 7:30 PM
    Hosted by MoPoetry Phillips of Regal Rhythms Poetry, this will be an epic night of poetry, musical entertainment, and community building featuring the HeartSounds Band, Zinnia Stewart, Jacqueline “Gifted” Johnson-Wilkinson, SoL, Kiyah Dean, and more.


    Our Connection is Africa
    Saturday, March 16 at 7:30 PM
    The Cincinnati Jazz Academy Junior High Combo under the direction of Dr. Isidore Rudrick will perform to open up this special night of intergenerational music and dance. Then, Cincy Brazil Samba Dance performance shares a world of African roots demonstrating the diaspora through its perspective and experience. 


    I Dream of Me
    Saturday, March 23 at 7:30 PM
    Revolution Dance Theatre in partnership with David Choate Productions presents “I Dream of Me”, a multi-generational performance supported by the United Way of Greater Cincinnati. Students from the Academy of World Languages learned choreography from the production and will display some of the same steps alongside professional dancers.


  • Writing to Exhale: Poet Concludes Fellowship with Open Mic

    • 21 July 2023
    • Posted By Ellen Muse-Lindeman

    Over the past five months, poet Jamie-Lee Elizabeth, a 2023 KHAC Vibrancy Fellow, has been exploring themes of love, friendship, loss, joy, and black womanhood through a series of workshops and her own writing. She will conclude her fellowship at Kennedy Heights Arts Center with an Open Mic in KHAC’s Lindner Annex on Saturday, July 29.

    We recently sat down with Jamie-Lee to talk about the fellowship experience, the Open Mic event, and what’s up next for this vibrant emerging artist.

    How has this fellowship impacted you as an artist?

    “This experience has been very affirming. Going through the fellowship helped me cultivate my identity as an artist.”

    “Having this opportunity helped me feel confident in creating brave spaces – and to see that these spaces are not only necessary but people value it. This is the space that I was personally looking for – for myself and others – where we can be vulnerable, share stories, share experiences, feel safe and supported as we create our own writing. It’s really refreshing to see.”

    What can we expect on July 29th?

    “I am excited to hear from all the poets [at the Open Mic event on July 29]. Many of these poets have been mentors to me. It feels good to give back to people who have poured into me and saw the artist in me. I’m also excited to hear from the workshop participants and other community members as they take the stage.”

    What’s next for you?

    “That’s a hard question! I hope to have more opportunities to grow into a clear vision of what it looks like to be an independent artist. Not limiting myself, challenging myself to put my work out there… even more than I’m comfortable with. And if the opportunity does not exist, I will create it for myself.”


    Concluding her Vibrancy Fellowship, Jamie-Lee Elizabeth invites everyone to a community Open Mic Night in Kennedy Heights Arts Center’s Lindner Annex on Saturday, July 29 at 7pm. Featuring local poets and community members sharing their work in a supportive setting, with free refreshments.

    Enjoy this exciting evening with music by DJ Queen Celine and eight featured poets: Camille Jones, DuWaup, Gifted, Keisa Speaks, Laura Wize, Lotus B Renée, The Silent Poet, and TyVictoria. We also invite others to sign up to share your original poetry/writing as well!

    Learn More

  • Arts for All

    • 11 May 2023
    • Posted By Ellen Muse-Lindeman

    Recently, ArtsWave invited community members to share their #MyFirstArts experiences. That got me thinking about my first ballet class at age 5 and how that ignited in me a life-long love of dance and all kinds of creative expression.

    Whether I was making a ceramic elephant in pottery class (which is still on display in my parents’ home), playing “If I Had a Hammer” on guitar (okay, it’s the only song I know), writing poetry and stories (and my own hard-hitting journalism The Muse News), high-kicking with precision and style (and doing classic Michael Jackson moves) in dance team, or performing on the stage in high school and college theatre (turns out, my greatest love), arts experiences shaped who I am today

    The arts ignited my creativity, gave me confidence, opened my mind to new ideas and perspectives, and instilled empathy and understanding.

    And for a kid who moved around a lot, the arts always provided me a space where I was welcomed, included, seen and heard. 

    So it’s probably no surprise that my greatest passion today is to make these life-changing experiences available for all kids. Because as much we know that these experiences positively impact young people, access to the arts is not equitable for everyone in our city or our country.

    That’s why Kennedy Heights Arts Center remains committed that 100 percent of our programs are accessible to everyone regardless of income. That’s a promise. ALL of our arts education programs are FREE or offered on a sliding scale basis, allowing families to pay only what they can afford. 

    Of course, none of this would be possible without YOU.

    Generous support from donors like you allows Kennedy Heights Arts Center to provide enriching arts experiences for more than 2,500 diverse youth annually including art classes, summer camps, Cincinnati Jazz Academy, arts integration in Cincinnati Public Schools classrooms, Cr8 Club after-school arts + social learning program, Teen Artists for Change, Tellus Zine teen-created publication of art and writing, Magnificent Makers workshops introducing contemporary BIPOC artists to kids at public libraries, and more.

    I invite you to join me in providing Arts for All with a gift to our Scholarship CampaignYour donation helps ensure that all kids can participate in arts activities with no financial barriers. Our goal is to raise $20,000 by June 30.


    You just may be changing the life of a child.

    Image above by Will Jones Photo.

  • 19th Annual Founders Day Honors Volunteer Leaders

    • 14 April 2023
    • Posted By Ellen Muse-Lindeman

    Each year, Kennedy Heights Arts Centers recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to KHAC’s mission and our community through their leadership and volunteer service through awards presented at our annual Founders Day event. The 19th Annual Founders Day will be held on Sunday, April 23 at 2 pm.

    We are pleased to announce this year’s honorees.

    Kennedy Award: Beth Muething

    “Leave no trace” was one of Beth Muething’s mottos. The Pleasant Ridge resident and mother of four believed in having the smallest ecological footprint possible.

    So when she visited a creative reuse center in Portland her first thought was how to create something similar in Cincinnati. She came home and gathered a team of local residents, and Kennedy Heights Arts Center as fiscal sponsor, to dream and plan.

    Beth wrote grants, scouted for sites, recruited volunteers, made presentations to community groups and funders, painted the walls, and laid the floor… literally and figuratively.

    The result was Scrap It Up, a volunteer-run nonprofit that promotes sustainability and creativity by keeping usable materials out of the waste stream and putting them into the hands of creators. Community members visit the store on Ridge Road to purchase yarn, fabric, paints, and any number of other supplies for creative pursuits for just pennies a pound.

    Since 2017, Scrap It Up has diverted more than 137,817 pounds of materials from the landfill and provided low-cost creative resources for thousands—from students to teachers to a quilter who uses the fabric to make blankets for sick kids. 100 percent of the net proceeds are donated back to arts and green community organizations.

    Sadly, Beth passed away in 2022 after a battle with pancreatic cancer, but her legacy continues to enrich our community and generations to come.

    “Beth cared deeply for her family, her community, the earth, and our scrappy little endeavor,” remarked fellow volunteer Mindy Burger. “She was a bright, kind, innovative, and humble leader who was passionate about making the world around her a better place.”

    Volunteer Award: The Kennedy Collective

    If you’ve attended events at Kennedy Heights Arts Center, or dropped by on any given day, chances are you encountered a member of the Kennedy Collective.

    This group of 40+ local artists commit to volunteer service as part of their membership in the creative community. Members contribute more than 200 hours annually leading activities at community events, assisting in the art shop, organizing and installing exhibitions, working in the office, and more.

    In 2022, members took on a special project to create a “book nook” at Talbert House’s Passages residential program for teen girls, where KHAC has offered an art therapy class for many years. The students love the weekly art class, but were asking for opportunities to do creative art making on their own between visits. Passages art instructor (and Collective member) Lynne Gibb shared this with the group and they sprang into action.

    Collaborating with Passages staff, Collective members contributed more than $2,000 and worked together to create a welcoming, healing space for the girls to explore and express their creativity. Artist and the students collaboratively painted an inspiring mural; comfy chairs and bright furnishings were purchased; a library of books donated; and individual art supply kits were provided for every student.

    “(The space helps me remember that) I’m worthy of moving on and healing,” said one of the Passages residents. “Today me isn’t tomorrow me.”

    All are invited to join us for the 19th Annual Founders Day celebration on Sunday, April 23 from 2 to 4 pm. The program starts at 2:30 pm. Free.

    RSVP appreciated by April 18. 

  • Voices of Freedom Returns for Year 3

    • 10 February 2023
    • Posted By Ellen Muse-Lindeman

    We are so excited to be continuing our partnership with Juneteenth Cincinnati to present Voices of Freedom, a visual and performing arts series celebrating Black history from a contemporary perspective, from February 25 to May 27, 2023.

    The 3rd annual series includes an art exhibition and three performances, all taking place at Kennedy Heights Arts Center’s Lindner Annex.

    “We are so excited to collaborate with Juneteenth and many amazing artists and performers from the region on a month-long celebration of Black arts and expression,” said Kennedy Heights Arts Center executive director Ellen Muse.

    The centerpiece of the project is a multi-disciplinary exhibition of new works by ten local Black artists entitled When Liberation Comes, opening Saturday, February 25. The exhibition is curated by Jeni Jenkins, who was a featured artist in the 2022 Voices of Freedom exhibit.

    For Jenkins, the show is an invitation to envision.

    “When liberation comes, what does it look like?” asked Jenkins. “What shape does it take? What’s at stake? What is lost, what is gained? While each artist’s experiences, perceptions, and visions are unique, their work contributes to the larger collective Black diasporic voice.”

    Featured artists include: Nytaya Babbitt, Brent Billingsley, James Brown, Cierra Fogle, Brandon Hawkins, Javarri Lewis, Josie Love Roebuck, Rashad Manuel Jr, Adoria Maxberry, and Annie Ruth.

    Voices of Freedom will also include a series of three performances in March, featuring dance, spoken word and music exploring the quest for freedom.

    Dayton Contemporary Dance Theatre presents Black History Mosaic
    Saturday, March 4 at 7:30 pm
    Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, the 10th largest modern contemporary dance company in the nation rooted in the African-American experience, presents Black History Mosaic. This show pieces together work from DCDC’s repertory that intersects our place in black history past, present and future, and opens the door to dancing the African diaspora.

    Nuyori-Cincy Poetry Cafe
    Saturday, March 11 at 7:30 pm
    Taking inspiration from the Nuyorican Poets Café in NYC, this immersive event will feature spoken word performances by ten diverse poets interspersed with live musical performances in an artful setting. Curated by Regal Rhythms Poetry, LLC.

    The Quest for Freedom
    Saturday, March 18 at 7:30 pm
    This exciting event will highlight the quest for freedom throughout the diaspora with dance, music and food representing Brazil, Cuba and Jamaica, ending with a Carnival inspired experience with audience participation. Performances by Cincy Brazil Samba Dancers, Brazilian Capoeira Dancers, Afrakan Artist Alliance’s Mokkojombie, and Legendari-E.

    Performances will take place at the Kennedy Heights Arts Center Lindner Annex, 6620 Montgomery Road. All events are free, but tickets are required and space is limited. Reserve tickets online at kennedyarts.org or call 513-631-4278.

    When Liberation Comes will remain on view in the KHAC Lindner Gallery through May 27, 2023. Gallery hours are Tuesday and Thursday from 12:00 to 5:00 pm, and by appointment.

    Image above: KHAC Executive Director Ellen Muse and Juneteenth Cincinnati President Lydia Morgan at Voices of Freedom 2022. Photo by Will Jones.

  • You Belong Here

    • 19 December 2022
    • Posted By Ellen Muse-Lindeman

    Since its founding, Kennedy Heights Arts Center has been dedicated to bringing people together and building community through arts engagement.

    Too often, arts institutions have been associated with privilege and exclusion. Creating truly welcoming and inclusive cultural experiences goes beyond removing financial barriers to participation. It requires moving from a mindset of doing for to co-creating with our community.

    Last spring, we set out to make the idea of “welcome” tangible. We partnered with diverse artists to create spaces on the grounds of the arts center that are unequivocally welcoming and deeply inviting. We transformed our façade with large-scale photos, comfy gathering places, colorful street paintings, inspiring messages and vibrant installations. And at Hello & Welcome Community Days on the 4th Saturday every month, the artists and area residents came together in this space to create and connect.

    The power of the arts can be transformative. We filled our campus with color, but more than that, it was filled with a sense of joy and togetherness not often experienced.

    You can help create welcoming spaces where ALL are empowered to share their talents with your donation to Kennedy Heights Arts Center.


  • Art Exhibitions Spark Dialogue

    • 1 November 2022
    • Posted By Ellen Muse-Lindeman

    Looking back on our 2022 season, it is clear that art has an amazing ability to spark dialogue. Though we are a small community art center, the exhibitions we present are reflective of world events and social issues that impact many people worldwide. Art has an effect on viewers, and discussions are started by what they see in our galleries.

    Tina Gutierrez’s The Coronavirus Wearable Art Response Project, a selection of over 100 photography portraits taken in 2020 and 2021, displayed how our local community navigated the global Covid pandemic. Participants were asked to respond with clothing, costume, or other wearable art to express how they felt about the coronavirus, quarantine, and social distancing. Some displayed personal empowerment, and in many cases, gathered strength through objects and adornments. For others, garments of beauty helped them feel reconnected to the world.

    For many, Covid-19 led to isolation and loneliness. For me, this work is about embracing rather than resisting sadness, loss and discomfort using the creative process. Wearable art allows these emotions to be expressed in a non-verbal, yet extremely powerful visual language. This time of Covid-19 challenges us all, and the act of creating art as a response can be a healing act,” remarked Tina Gutierrez.

    Tina strongly believes that the camera is a tool for change. She works to create images that show the beauty of humanity and also give hope and promote healing in individuals and communities. Her exhibit was a celebration of human strength, a commentary on community support, and a reflection on how, even three years later, we are still healing together.

    Last summer, curator Saad Ghosn (SOS ART) once again gathered an amazing collection of artworks from another country, opening up our world and sharing another culture through various printmaking techniques. Voices from Czechia (Czech Republic) was the third biennial exhibit organized and curated by SOS ART in partnership with Kennedy Heights Arts Center featuring prints from countries with a rich tradition in printmaking (first being Oaxaca/Mexico and second being Lebanon).

    The purpose of these “Voices from…” exhibits and events is to share with the Cincinnati public art from different cultures where artists use their artwork as a voice to reflect on their life, culture, beliefs, and the problems they face as a society – heightening SOS ART’s goal to promote the arts as vehicles for peace and justice, and for a better world. Through a coinciding festival, the area residents exposed to various cultural aspects of that country through music, dance, poetry, and food. 

    Sharing the art of printmakers from the Czech Republic with the Cincinnati community contributes to cultural exchange and illustrates the power of art as the artist’s voice for a better world,” remarked Ghosn.

    Examining humans’ contribution to climate change, What’s Left Behind, our FotoFocus 2022 exhibition, asked local photographers to explore how what we consume, what we collect, and what we discard affects the environment we live in and our lives in the greater context. What we discard exposes our attitudes towards consumption, class, mobility, sustainability, and the environment. Works by 40 local artists made us question what record we are leaving behind for future generations. Mountains of trash speak to a disposable and materialistic society. However, works also highlighted human’s attachment to objects containing personal memories and significance. This moving exhibit full of subtleties made viewers think about our society’s habits and priorities, the disposability of not only things, but also people and animals, and inequalities around the world. 

    These exhibitions encouraged important conversations about social issues of our time. Through showcasing local, national, and international artists with a variety of voices, it allows us all to take a deeper look at our world. We can only strive to improve our lives and the lives of others by examining our world, asking difficult questions, and discussing it together.

    Luckily, artwork can help us do just that.

  • Local artist aspires to be Black Dr. Suess

    • 27 October 2022
    • Posted By Ellen Muse-Lindeman

    Local artist Ke’Monte Figgs aspires to become the Black Dr. Suess of Cincinnati.

    His new book, Dreams, Art and Success, is a guide to young people to follow their dreams.

    He will release the book at an event at Kennedy Heights Arts Center on Saturday, October 29 at 11:00 am. Ke’Monte will read and share his inspiration for Dreams, Art and Success. Books will be available for purchase, signed by the author. There will also be free seasonal goodies and fun activities for children of all ages to enjoy.

    A 2022 Kennedy Heights Arts Center Vibrancy Fellow, Ke’Monte Figgs is a self-taught, Cincinnati-based artist. From the hand painted illustrations, to the poetic writing on each page, he created every aspect of the book. With support from Kennedy Heights Arts Center and Black Art Speaks, he self-published the book in September, 2022.

    Our DAAP intern Sarah Walker sat down with Ke’Monte recently to interview him about the project.

    When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
    “That’s actually kind of a tragic situation. This is Everett Howard (motions to painting) one of my best friends from high school who passed away. He was tased by UC police and he had a heart murmur and his heart exploded. There was something about that day and his death that sent my life in to a spiral. I started having all kind of epiphanies and my mind was changing. It was fresh after high school, really early, and it was just kind of like, man, any one of us could die at any moment. I started hearing spirits in my head, that’s what it felt like, a spiritual moment. It was telling me to write a book. I still haven’t written that book I’m supposed to write. That’s my mission. Out of one of these children’s books – I plan on writing 19-20 books – but one of these children’s books is why I am sitting here to even be here on the earth in the first place. It’s my mission- I don’t know which [book] it is, but it’s going to impact the world in a way that God will want the world to be impacted, so that’s my purpose. It is to create something for Him that would affect everybody in a positive way.”

    Tell me about your process for writing your book Art, Dreams and Success.
    “My process for writing is, really it’s like having fun and just being like a child. Being creative, using your imagination, and just thinking of all the ‘what-ifs’ and the possibilities. I put myself into the [mindset] of even though I’ve never done it before, even though I never went to college for it, I know what a good book is because I’ve seen good books so I can recreate a good book based off the idea of what I’ve experienced and learned from in the past. I am like the blood, sweat and tears type of guy, I want to pour everything into it. My heart is an open bottle and I just pour it out. I wanted to put everything into it from drawing to sketching it on the canvas and painting to writing it, being the author. I just wanted to pour me out.

    “I also wanted to make it look simple, like any kid can pick up a pencil and do it. I want to inspire children. I want people to be inspired to chase their dreams. I know everyone wants to be successful, not one person in their right mind wakes up and says, “I want to be a failure today.” Everyone wants to be successful, even if they sometimes make the wrong choice. So I just know we all are inspired by dreams, art, and success and it inspired me to make a simple guide for kids with self-confidence issues and people who don’t believe in themselves. People are still searching for what’s inside of them so they can stand out into the world and create something that would fulfill their purpose. It’s all about fulfillment, so I was like okay, let me just start with the basics. Be the best you, by being yourself. In that way people hear that and build up their self-esteem and I just let you know, this is how you accomplish your dreams. Be creative, using your art. Then, you will be successful.”

    What did you learn while writing this book? What surprised you the most?
    “I learned a lot about myself through the process of writing this book. It was just me showing myself, first of all, that I can accomplish my dreams. It’s possible. I learned that I was capable of accomplishing my dreams in my art and using my art to become successful. It’s been all about showing myself what I can do by believing in myself and taking a first step. I learned a lot about myself from my past too. I realized when I was a kid I didn’t give it my best effort. I slacked a lot. I was told I was a genius by a psychiatrist named Dr. Bender. He had this cross-eyed dog, a little bulldog that would sit in the corner and look at me while he asked me questions. [Dr. Brenner] told my mom, “Your son is a genius, you should take consideration in what you do with his future.” My mom was always busy, a single parent, and I didn’t have anybody to stay on my tail, and I needed someone to stay on me. There wasn’t anybody really and my mom had to do what she had to do. So I was at home just doing whatever I wanted to. I needed that guidance, that mentorship, somebody to show me what I can do with my talent at a young age so that I can be inspired to do what I am doing now. I want to be that person for other young artists, and that’s kind of what I learned from myself. I learned that I like to teach too, but I can only teach if you like to do art.”

    Why did you choose the title you did?
    “We all are inspired by our dreams. Dreams are the spark of the future. Without the dreams and the creativity of the artists, the world, the future wouldn’t even exist. We are here because of creativity and art. It’s very important to follow your dreams. I want to show people that you can do that. There are so many different dreams, different routes you can take, that’s why my character one minute is a boxer, the next minute he’s a skateboarder, the next minute he’s a gardener, next he’s a mountain climber, then he’s an astronaut, then he’s a skydiver, then he’s a pirate. Then a school teacher and a superhero. There are so many different dreams that people can capitalize on and find their repurpose and fulfillment in life.”

    Was your character inspired by anyone?
    “I remember that my brother, he was four years older than me, I think it was his first year of high school and he brought back a drawing a friend had done for me and it was a short version of my brother. My brother was always short so they drew a shorter version of my brother and it was hilarious. When I was a kid I took it and I drew it, copied it, made my own cartoons, comic books and stuff like that. It was so good, I had my family members in it, my cousins, all of us.

    Another thing that inspired me [to create the character Mr. Craven] is because it can kind of bring a positive light on the history of the last name Craven. In my family it has a dark turn for what my grandpa and his reputation in the streets and the influence the way he had over our lives. I’m not saying he was a bad person, I’m not going to talk down or anything because I never really met him. There’s people in my family who have criminal records that are really good people. The last name is like a warranty. I wanted to flip that last name into something positive by starting a legacy behind it.”

    If your character was real, where would be be now?
    “My character would be in city hall of Cincinnati or probably the President of the United States of America. Mr. Craven for President! He would be telling the country it’s the American Dream. We’re going to fix this nonsense going on, we’re going to bring the basketball courts back in the neighborhoods and bring more innovative things back to the cities of America.”

    What is the future for this book? Are you writing another book?
    “The future for this book is I have a book launch at the Kennedy Heights Arts Center on the 29th of October and then I also am planning one with the public library. I want the books in schools. I just want to be able to just hand it out in the community. That’s the possible dream, here everyone take one, this is homework read it, build your self-esteem, believe in yourself, chase your dreams, get through school. I want to take my character, to make mathematical books, education books, reading writing, coloring books, puzzles, anything to challenge your mind and help you develop yourself. I want to help kids in Cincinnati Public Schools in my own special way.”

    “Be on the lookout for more books. I feel heavily inspired by being as good of a children’s book writer and illustrator as Dr. Suess. I want to continue to do this and I want to place a book in everybody’s home. I believe that this book right here, I created this book with the love and passion in my heart, and it manifested in this thing and I want to pass this energy to other people. It’ll bring good vibes and a helpful spirit into their house.”

    Photo by Shawndale Thomas

  • Jazz Students Shine

    • 3 September 2022
    • Posted By Ellen Muse-Lindeman

    This year saw tremendous growth in our Cincinnati Public Schools youth jazz academy.

    Launched in 2018, Youth Jazz Cincinnati (YJC) inspires underserved students to develop their creative ability and confidence through the dynamic music of jazz. In partnership with Cincinnati Public Schools, this extraordinary program provides jazz instrumental music training and performance opportunities for racially and economically diverse students in grades 4-12. Students meet five days a week after-school at KHAC’s Lindner Annex. All students receive a free instrument, transportation and meals, and participate in weekly individual music lessons, ensemble rehearsals and sectionals led by professional jazz artists and educators.

    In the 2021-2022 year, participation climbed to 120 students and our young musicians shined in master classes and performances both near and far.

    The school year concluded in May with the Cincinnati Public Schools International Jazz Festival. This extraordinary experience included four days of master classes with renowned jazz artists and a final concert at the Aronoff Center for the Arts featuring all YJC student ensembles with featured guest Joan Chomorro, jazz musician and director of the Sant Andreu Jazz Band in Barcelona, Spain.

    The middle school combo students traveled to Pittsburgh and New York City by invitation in June for a recording session at the world-class Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild studios, a performance at the Harlem Jazz Club, and master classes at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

    The older elementary combo group then traveled to Barcelona, Spain in August to perform at the JAZZING International Festival and to collaborate with the St. Andreu Jazz Academy.

    These kids are really going places.

  • Hello & Welcome!

    • 11 April 2022
    • Posted By Ellen Muse-Lindeman

    This year, we set out to make the idea of “welcome” tangible, partnering with diverse artists to create spaces that are unassailably welcoming and deeply inviting for everyone.

    The Hello & Welcome project developed out of our participation in OF/BY/FOR ALL, a network of arts and cultural organizations across the globe working to put equity in action. Kennedy Heights Arts Center is dedicated to making the arts accessible for everyone. Over the past three years, our team has engaged in deep listening and collaborative planning with BIPOC creatives to develop strategies to become more representative OF, co-created BY, and welcoming FOR our diverse community.

    From April to September, KHAC collaborated with local Black artists to design outdoor installations that transformed our campus into a welcoming space for community members to create and connect. Each month concluded with a free Community Day celebration with art-making, music, games, activities, food, and other activities for all ages.

    • You Belong Here with William Jones
      Photographer Will Jones captured images of his diverse neighbors to become part of a larger archive of the People of Kennedy Heights. A selection of these portraits were printed at large scale on vinyl and installed on the windows of Kennedy Heights Arts Center’s three-story facility.
    • Sit and Stay Awhile with Jennifer Cox
      Designer and fiber artist Jennifer Cox collaborated with local residents to transform the Arts Center’s wide, open porch into a homey, inviting space to “sit and stay awhile”. They created new seating arrangements with hand-stamped fabric coverings and pillows, vibrantly painted vinyl rugs, plants with crocheted fruits, wind chimes and an herb garden.
    • A World of Color with Adoria Maxberry, Ke’Monte’ Figgs and Brent Billingsley
      Local artists Adoria Maxberry, Ke’Monte Figgs and Brent Billingsley invited community members to help paint a large, colorful streetscape painting on our driveways–as well make artful sundaes and as hand-painted bandanas to take home.
    • Post No Ills with Lance Johnson
      Lance Johnson, a Columbus-based artist with roots in graffiti and street art, collaborated with residents to layer vibrant colors, textures, and words of inspiration on picnic tables on the front lawn of the arts center, as well as yard signs to take home to share inspiring messages with their neighbors.
    • We Belong Together with the Kennedy Collective
      This last hurrah to summer celebrated the creativity in everyone with art and games designed by members of the Kennedy Artist Collective.


    This initiative received great response from local community members, with more than 1,000 people participating in the events. 15 percent of attendees had never been to the Arts Center before, and another 39% had few prior experiences at KHAC. 100 percent of participants surveyed reported that they felt “very welcome” and more connected to their community. 92% said they hope to be involved in more art activities in the future.

    Hello & Welcome was supported by grants from the Ohio Arts Council and the Greater Cincinnati Foundation.


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