• Voices of Freedom

    • 7 February 2022
    • Posted By Ellen Muse-Lindeman

    Happy Black History Month!

    This winter, and throughout the year, we are pleased to present a variety of programs and events celebrating Black history, arts, culture and creativity.

    We are excited to once again partner with Juneteenth Cincinnati on a month-long, visual and performing arts series that examines Black history from a contemporary perspective and celebrates Black art and expression. 

    Voices of Freedom explores the promise and reality of “freedom” as experienced by those whose lives and destinies were touched by emancipation. This project is made possible by American Rescue Plan funds from the City of Cincinnati, administered through ArtsWave.

    The centerpiece of the project is an exhibition of new works by ten artists and ten poets, curated by Michael Coppage (visual art) and MoPoetry Phillips (poetry). Diverse, regional and national artists were commissioned to create new works in response to the theme of Voices of Freedom. Local poets were commissioned to write poems inspired by each piece of art, which will be displayed side-by-side with the artworks in the gallery.

    “The exhibition is meant to highlight the voices of Black artists working around the country, both emerging and established, whose individual practices address the human condition in regard to Black narratives and experiences. Each individual work is personal but should be seen as part of a larger collective diasporic voice,” remarked Coppage. “Through their lens we hope to offer compelling stories, unearth truths and define what the current state of liberation is, should be and could be.”

    Artists include: Desmond Beach, Mark Anthony Brown Jr., Kierston Ghaznavi, Jeni Jenkins, Fatima Laster, Dave McClinton, Komikka Patton, Blake Pierre, Vitus Shell, and Michael Thompson. Poets include: MoPoetry Phillips, Jacqueline “Gifted” Johnson-Wilkinson, Kimberly “Duwaup” Bolden, SoL, Dawn “The Psalmist” Crooks, Victoria Cipriani, Queens Jurnee, Manual Iris, ASlate, and Golden Goddess.

    The public is invited to attend a free, opening reception for Voices of Freedom on Saturday, February 26 from 6-8pm in KHAC’s Lindner Annex, 6620 Montgomery Road. The poets will perform their poems at 7pm. Tickets for Opening Reception

    Voices of Freedom will also include a series of three performances in March, all taking place at Kennedy Heights Arts Center’s Lindner Annex. Guests are encouraged to come early to view the Voices of Freedom exhibit in the gallery prior to the show.

    Playing for Freedom
    Saturday, March 5 at 7:30 pm
    Celebrate jazz and its influences with performances by Jazz Renaissance and Deondra Means. The evening will start with a South African Gumboot musical theatre presentation by acclaimed local actor Means, followed by a lively performance by Jazz Renaissance, an 8-piece group performing modern jazz in many styles, including bop, swing and Latin.

    Dancing for Freedom
    Saturday, March 19 at 7:30 pm
    Experience two unique forms of movement performed by local groups: praise dance by the Heavenly Doves and step dance by Cincinnati Metro Dance team. Then, audience members will learn some steps themselves!

    Singing for Freedom
    Saturday, March 26 at 7:30 pm
    Pianist, vocalist and composer Counterfeit Madison (Sharon Udoh of Columbus, OH) will take the stage, presenting a tribute to legendary musician Nina Simone. Udoh’s funky yet classical piano-playing and soul and gospel-tinged voice make her a powerful performer.

    All shows are free admission, but tickets are required and seating is limited. Reserve tickets online at kennedyarts.org or call 513-631-4278.

    Face masks and proof of COVID vaccination or negative COVID test with matching photo ID required for entry.

  • Arts OF, BY and FOR ALL

    • 22 November 2021
    • Posted By Ellen Muse-Lindeman

    If there is one lesson the global pandemic experience reminded us of, it’s that we’re all in this together.

    The past two years forced us into unwanted isolation, yet our shared challenges revealed a sense of community. The distance inspired us to create new ways to stay connected, to reach out and care for our neighbors.

    The pandemic also revealed the harsh realities of inequality and incited a global movement for social justice that is painfully long overdue.

    Since its founding, Kennedy Heights Arts Center has been dedicated to bringing people together and building community through arts engagement — and this mission has never felt more relevant. While we are proud of our work, we are also aware of how we’ve fallen short of this vision.

    To be meaningful FOR our diverse community, we must become more representative OF and co-created BY our community.

    Our team continues to innovate new ways to inspire, connect and uplift us, while developing transformative initiatives to become more inclusive and equitable for our diverse community.

    You can help.

    Your support is key in carrying out this important work. Please help put equity in action and make the arts accessible to everyone with your donation to Kennedy Heights Arts Center.


    Putting equity in action
    Emerging Black Artist Fellowship, a 12-month residency for local, early career Black creatives, enriching both the artist and the community
    Arts Educator Mentorship providing paid opportunities for artists who have not been formally trained to share their unique art practices and gain teaching experience
    Collaborations with BIPOC artists that elevate diverse voices


    Making the arts accessible to everyone
    Free arts and cultural experiences serving more than 6,000 youth and adults annually–on our campus, in parks and public spaces, on neighborhood streets, and in schools, libraries, treatment centers, nursing homes, and more



    Expanding horizons for students

    Woodford Arts & Culture Academy, integrating the arts to fuel student success in a public K-6 school in which 99% are eligible for free and reduced lunch
    Youth Jazz Cincinnati, a free after-school program offering exceptional music education and performance opportunities for students in grades 4-8 in partnership with Cincinnati Public Schools
    Teen Artists for Change, empowering students to use their creative skills to make a difference in the world around them


  • Season’s Greetings

    • 29 October 2021
    • Posted By Ellen Muse-Lindeman

    In this age of instant messaging, there is something really special about receiving a card.

    Think about picking up your mail, there’s a bright envelope among the bills, and instantly your day is brighter. It communicates that someone cares enough about you to take the time to select and mail a special message to you. What if that card was especially made for you by someone you haven’t met?

    This winter, Kennedy Heights Arts Center is sponsoring a community card exchange in which local residents in are invited to create handmade cards to be exchanged with another community member. Just like old fashioned pen pals, it connects people across divides. And, at a time when large community events are not advised due to the continued risk of COVID, this project brings us together in a safe and meaningful way.

    From November 6 to December 18, pick up a free, artist-designed kit with materials and instructions for to create a beautiful, unique and personal card. The project is appropriate for all ages. Making cards can be a fun activity for families or groups of friends to do together!

    Kits are available for pick up on the porch at Kennedy Heights Arts Center, 6546 Montgomery Road, and at select local businesses including: 
    Pleasant Ridge Library, Pleasant Ridge Rec Center, Gas Light Cafe, Everybody’s Records, Queen City Comics, Make.Do., Community Happens Here, C&M BBQ, Kennedy Heights Presbyterian Church, Italianette, Silverton Cafe, High Grain Brewing, Silverton Donut Shop, and MVP Sports Bar & Grille.

    Once complete, drop off your card(s) in the painted mailbox at Kennedy Heights Arts Center, 6546 Montgomery Rd, to be mailed to someone else in the neighborhood–and get one in exchange! Everyone who makes a card will also receive one in the mail. 

    Last day to drop off is Saturday, December 18.

    In this season of giving, we invite you to join us and your neighbors to spread positivity in our corner of the world. 

    Sometimes it’s these small, everyday acts of kindness that mean so much. Taking the time to create a card and write a message to someone is a priceless gift of your care, attention, and thought. You will brighten someone’s day–including your own!

  • Using art to engage and connect community

    • 13 October 2021
    • Posted By Ellen Muse-Lindeman

    Next week, our executive director Ellen Muse-Lindeman will be recognized as one of the Cincinnati Enquirer’s 2021 Women of the Year. The following is a reprint from an October 13, 2021 story.

    Ellen Muse-Lindeman uses art to engage, connect community
    Jeanne Houck
    Cincinnati Enquirer
    Published Oct 13, 2021

    Ellen Muse-Lindeman says the Kennedy Heights Arts Center was more active than ever in 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic

    “When public health orders forced the cancellation of all our programming, in some ways it was liberating,” said Muse-Lindeman, executive director of the arts center and one of the 2021 Enquirer Women of the Year.

    “It required us to think creatively and focus even more keenly on our community’s needs. Our team innovated new ways to keep residents creative and connected despite distance, to combat social isolation and to take meaningful action against racism.”

    Under Muse-Lindeman’s 13-year leadership, the arts center has been more than a place to learn how to arrange flowers.

    “I believe the arts are unique in their power to engage and connect people. The arts give people a creative voice, a way to express shared values, to bridge and bond and make connections with people who aren’t like you,” she said.

    “Residents share common experiences, hear new perspectives and understand each other better. Kennedy Heights Arts Center creates social change through community-engaged practices that use art as a platform for human interaction and makes the arts accessible to everyone.”

    So, what did the arts center do during the pandemic?

    A lot.

    It distributed more than 3,000 free creativity kits to youth quarantining at home; partnered with artists and residents to make a series of outdoor art installations throughout the neighborhood that shared messages of hope; and created an outdoor art gallery displaying commissioned works by local Black artists exploring issues of racial justice that people could view as a drive-thru experience or explore on foot.

    It also hosted an online zine of art and writing created by teens and for teens; delivered handmade gifts created by local residents to older adults in nursing homes; and presented pop-up arts experiences on neighborhood streets with live music, performances, free food and art activities that neighbors could safely enjoy from their porches.

    “As businesses and schools began to shut down, Ellen vowed to keep Kennedy Heights Arts Center open, keep artists and teachers working and keep community members connected,” said Mary Ray, a vice president of the Kennedy Heights Community Council and a founder of the arts center.
    “She secured (Paycheck Protection Program) funding, and her staff never missed a paycheck. She challenged her team to be creative and come up with ways to keep normal activity going.”

    Normal activity at the Kennedy Heights Arts Center is offering a wide range of art and cultural programs for youths and adults, including exhibits, musical performances, classes, community events, summer camps and a gift shop featuring handmade items by local artists.

    The arts center, which is based in the historic Kennedy mansion at 6546 Montgomery Road, also has an events venue and artist studios in an annex nearby at Montgomery Road and Kennedy Avenue.

    Muse-Lindeman was named executive director of the arts center in 2008, after a 15-year career in community development at The Center for Great Neighborhoods of Covington.

    Kate Elliott, co-president of the Kennedy Heights Community Council, calls Muse-Lindeman “a local treasure.”

    “She acts quickly but thoughtfully and serves as a conduit for the inspiration and creativity of our community,” Elliott said.

    Muse-Lindeman has a background in theater and dance.

    “In my spare time, I love to go to the theater, take dance class, listen to live music, and go to museums and galleries,” she said. “The arts community in Cincinnati is so vibrant – I just wish I had more time.”

    Mimi Gingold, a founder of the Kennedy Heights Arts Center, is pleased that Muse-Lindeman has devoted so much of her time to the community.

    “She leads in ways that allow others to shine,” Gingold said.

    “She knows that the good we can do in this world takes all of us together.”

  • Tellus Zine seeks creative teens to join the editorial board!

    • 1 September 2021
    • Posted By Ellen Muse-Lindeman

    Are you passionate about sharing your voice, and the voice of other teens? Want to become part of an exciting group of teen leaders in Cincinnati? Tellus Zine seeks creative students, in grades 9-12, to join their all-youth editorial board. Applications due 9/12.

    Tellus Zine is a youth-led digital publication, showcasing art and creative writing by young adults from across Greater Cincinnati. Its mission is to provide a platform for young people to express themselves bravely and creatively as a part of our diverse community.

    The Tellus Zine Editorial Board plans, creates and shares creative works by teens about issues that matter to teens in an online zine, podcast and open mic events. Members also work on their own creative projects, and gain artistic and editorial skills through guest artists, professional mentors, and hands-on experience. Editorial board membership is a 10-month commitment, with meetings 3-4 times monthly.

    Members of the Tellus Editorial Board will reflect the diversity of teens in the Greater Cincinnati region and should be outside-of-the-box thinkers who feel passionate about making a difference and expressing their opinions through art and/or writing.

    To apply, submit a complete application by September 12, 2021.

    Student interviews will be held Saturday, September 18 and 25, 2021

    Accepted applicants will meet regularly on Wednesdays, October 2021 – May 2022. These gatherings will happen virtually on Zoom or in-person at Kennedy Heights Arts Center (6546 Montgomery Rd.) with masks and social distancing, following recommended COVID-19 health and safety precautions.Questions? Email bethany@kennedyarts.org or call 513-800-4567.

    For more information, visit telluszine.org and follow us on Instagram @tellus_zine.

    Tellus Zine is made possible by a grant from the Charles H. Dater Foundation.

    For more information, visit telluszine.org and follow us on Instagram @tellus_zine.


  • Founders Day Honors Leaders & Volunteers

    • 27 May 2021
    • Posted By Ellen Muse-Lindeman

    Each year, Kennedy Heights Arts Centers recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to KHAC’s mission through their leadership and volunteer service through awards presented at our annual Founders Day event. The 17th Annual Founders Day will be held outside at the Arts Center on Sunday, June 13.

    We are pleased to announce this year’s honorees.

    Kennedy Award: Ernie Barbeau

    Ernie Barbeau was born and raised in New Hampshire but made his way to Ohio in 1962, eventually settling in Kennedy Heights where he has lived with his wife Judy for 31 years. With a background in social work, Ernie had a strong commitment to civic engagement and diversity, so Kennedy Heights is the perfect place for him. Ernie has held just about every leadership position in the neighborhood as president of the Kennedy Heights Community Council, board member of the Kennedy Heights Development Corporation, and now as community historian. For the past six years, Ernie has been preserving and telling The Kennedy Heights Story in a series of articles in the neighborhood newsletter.

    Ernie first became involved with Kennedy Heights Arts Center in 2003 when residents were organizing to purchase the Kennedy Mansion, and he and Judy became one of the founders of the center. Ernie continues to stay involved and support the Arts Center because its mission is important to him, as well as the commitment to diversity. When asked about receiving the Kennedy Award Ernie stated, “I was surprised at the recognition. Receiving this award at 85 is incredible to me.”

    Volunteer of the Year: Allison Goodman

    Allison “Allie” Goodman has lived with her family in Kennedy Heights for 16 years, after previously living on the Pleasant Ridge/Norwood border. Allie has a degree in art education and has been working as a preschool teacher for the past 14 years. She is also PTO President at Pleasant Ridge Montessori — which is why she was approached by Josh Harden, the athletic director for Woodford Academy, about helping students during the pandemic. Allie felt it was her duty to get involved, not just as PTO president, but a personal duty.

    During 2020, Allie spent five months volunteering 3 days a week at Woodford Academy in Kennedy Heights, assisting with the distribution of food and supplies to area families. And when Kennedy Heights Arts Center offered to provide free Creativity Kits for youth, it was Allie who made sure students received them. She worked with KHAC staff to pick up and distribute nearly 3,000 kits to local youth last summer. When asked about receiving this award, Allie stated, “I love the honor, but I am very surprised because I don’t do this work for recognition. I respect the Art Center’s place in the community, and it gives me hope and optimism working with them.”


    Please join us for our 17th Annual Founders’ Day  on Sunday, June 13 from 2 to 4 pm.

    We are excited to share a retrospective look at the past year’s accomplishments and plans for the coming year. As we continue to champion the arts, we gain perspective through diversity, strength through unity, and hope through community.

    The event will be held outdoors under a tent, with light refreshments. Masks are required for everyone inside our buildings; masks are optional outdoors for those who are vaccinated. Social distancing is encouraged.

    At 2:00 pm, join us for an artist-led tour of our new outdoor exhibit Undermining Silence: The Language of Change and community-created HIVE sculpture. The program will begin at 2:30 pm.

    RSVP appreciated to ellen@kennedyarts.org or 513-631-4278.

  • Arts for All

    • 10 May 2021
    • Posted By Ellen Muse-Lindeman

    At this time last year, our ability to provide artistic experiences for youth was uncertain. With the public health crisis brought on by COVID-19, we were forced to cancel summer camps and other programming.

    Yet, creativity didn’t stop. We knew that creative expression was needed more than ever, and we asked you for help.

    You responded – big time. Thanks to your generous support, last year Kennedy Heights Arts Center distributed 2,780 FREE artist-designed Creativity Kits to local youth containing weekly, at-home activities promoting creativity, imaginative play, and emotional wellness.

    Now, we look forward to welcoming students to our campus in-person for the first time in more than a year. We, and our community, could not be more excited! After a year spent isolated and in front of screens, young people are yearning for interaction and social engagement.

    This summer, 240 diverse young people will attend 10 weeks of arts camps, expressing their creativity through visual arts, music, creative writing, animation and more, mentored by professional teaching artists. High school students will gain valuable leadership skills serving as camp assistants.

    The health and safety of our students, staff and community are of utmost importance. In order to ensure a safe and fun experience for everyone, our COVID safety plan includes outdoor settings, small group sizes, socially distant spacing, mandatory masks, and frequent sanitizing.

    As always, we continue to commit unwaveringly to full inclusion. With your support, these enriching experiences are affordable and accessible to everyone regardless of economic circumstance.

    At summer camp and throughout the year, young people develop their creative potential, build skills, and connect with each other and the community through extraordinary programs such as Woodford Arts + Culture Academy, Teen Artists for Change, Tellus Zine, and the CPS Jazz Academy—all at no cost.

    To ensure that EVERY child has the benefit of high quality arts education, we ask for your support through our Arts for All Campaign. Our goal is to raise $20,000 by May 31.

    Join us in making a positive impact on the lives of youth in our community with your donation today!


  • Introducing our 2021 Artists-in-Residence

    • 9 April 2021
    • Posted By Ellen Muse-Lindeman

    We are excited to announce our 2021 Creative Community Artists-in-Residence: Helen Atkins and Will Geusz of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

    Helen Atkins and Will Geusz are ceramic artists who partner on installations and public works. They met in a mosaic apprenticeship program in 2012, and began collaborating together in 2019. Independently, they have built respective careers: Will as an installation artist and sculptor, and Helen as an artist, curator and arts administrator. They live in an artist compound in the South Valley of Albuquerque, where they are currently working on a public mosaic for the Fort Logan Mental Health Institute in Colorado.

    During their four-week residency at KHAC from April 28 – May 22, Helen and Will will lead HIVE, a collaborative sculptural mosaic project that explores notions of community and identity in response to colony collapse disorder. Participants will create handmade ceramic tiles and mosaics that will be incorporated in a larger hexagonal sculpture installed on the grounds of Kennedy Heights Art Center.

    Join us for an online conversation with the artists on Thursday, April 15th at 7pm to learn about their practices, the project they will lead at KHAC, and how you can be involved.  

    Residents of all ages are invited to contribute to HIVE by participating in free ceramic workshops and/or open studio sessions. You will create mini-mosaics representing your unique identities within the micro-system. No experience required. We will be working outside under a tent, and masks are required.

    Register now! Participation is free, but space is limited. 

    Support for this residency is provided by Ohio Arts Council and Eleanora C. U. Alms Trust, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee.


  • Artigo at Home

    • 4 March 2021
    • Posted By Ellen Muse-Lindeman

    Are you searching for fun – and safe – activities for your family that don’t involve looking at a screen? Does date night seem like a distant memory? Let us deliver custom curated experiences to your door!

    Artigo at Home provides all you need for a fun and creative night in. Five themed experiences were designed by local professional artists, drawn from their unique arts practice.


    Each box contains instructions and materials for a 1-2 hour interactive activity for families, couples or friends to create lasting memories from the comfort of your living room. No prior experience is necessary – just a sense of adventure!

    Artigo at Home boxes are $39 – $59 for up to 4 participants. Custom kits for groups up to 10 are available as well. Order online for curbside pick-up at Kennedy Heights Arts Center or select delivery via US mail (for an additional fee).



  • The Legacy Continues

    • 8 February 2021
    • Posted By Ellen Muse-Lindeman

    Next month, we honor those who were the original pioneers of a black lives matter movement that reshaped the way society would see and respect people of color.

    The Harlem Renaissance was an intellectual, cultural, social, and artistic movement that took place in the 1920s and 1930s following the Great Migration during which thousands of African Americans left the south and moved north. It was marked by a flourishing of art, music and literature that reflected the history and experience of African Americans.

    In celebration of Black History Month, Juneteenth Cincinnati is collaborating with Kennedy Heights Arts Center to present a multi-faceted celebration of the Harlem Renaissance from February 27 to March 27, 2021.

    A Celebration of the Harlem Renaissance will highlight the artistic and cultural achievements and enduring legacy of this era through an art exhibition, poetry reading, dance and jazz performances. 

    Specially designed curriculum for intermediate and high school classrooms will allow local students to interact with the project. Students will learn about the social, cultural and political circumstances which gave rise to the Harlem Renaissance and the influences that inspired the work of the artists, writers, and musicians of the period, and create their own Harlem Renaissance inspired work.

    “I want students to understand the positive impact of African Americans in our country, how big the movement was, to know their history and build their self-esteem,” said Juneteenth Cincinnati President Lydia Morgan. “I want this experience to help them recognize their importance and use it to aspire to greater things.”

    The centerpiece of the project is an exhibition of commissioned new works by contemporary artists inspired by artists of the Harlem Renaissance.

    Reflections of the Harlem Renaissance: the legacy continues, curated by Lex Nycole and Gee Horton, pays homage to the Harlem Renaissance era and how its artistic endeavors have shifted the American cultural, economic and political landscape. 12 contemporary artists have created new works, in their own mediums, in a way that authentically pays tribute to the artists of that era. The exhibition will be on view from February 27 – March 27 in Kennedy Heights Arts Center’s Lindner Gallery at 6620 Montgomery Road, as well as online.

    Artists include: Paris Abstract, Asmara, Cedric Michael Cox, FEALART, Cherie Garces, Lance Johnson, Hannah Jones, Prosper Jones, Natasha Quitano, Skye Schaffner, Ike Slimster, and TC Flowers.

    “The artistic, literary and musical contributions of Harlem Renaissance artists continue to serve as an inspiration for today’s artists,” remarked co-curator Lex Nycole. “It was a time where holding your tongue was scoffed upon and dwelling in your authenticity became the only elixir for success. An era that has paved an impenetrable path to greatness for anyone who so chooses to follow.”

    A Celebration of the Harlem Renaissance will also include a series of free, virtual performances on the four Saturdays in March.

    An Evening of Jazz
    Premieres March 6 at 7:30 p.m. • Available to stream through March 27
    Cincinnati Public Schools jazz faculty and prominent local jazz artists perform music of the Harlem Renaissance. Legendary jazz selections such as Duke Ellington’s Mood Indigo and Caravan and Fats Waller’s Ain’t Misbehavin’ will be performed.

    At Home in Harlem hosted by Jennie Wright
    March 13 at 7:30 pm
    Poet and performer Jennie Wright will host At Home in Harlem, an immersive poetry experience and open mic via Zoom. Local poets will read their work; and adult and teen poets are invited to sign up for a time slot to read during the open mic.

    Revolution Dance Theatre | Resilience: Rising to Renaissance
    Premieres March 20 at 7:30 p.m. • Available to stream through March 27
    Revolution Dance Theatre celebrates the spirit of African American excellence and the legacy of African American resilience in this dance tribute to the Harlem Renaissance. In this spirited work, RDT showcases the incredible artistic contributions made by African Americans against the backdrop of Jim Crow, racial disparity, and inequality in America.

    CPS Students Perform Music of the Harlem Renaissance
    March 27 at 7:30 pm
    The Cincinnati Public Schools Elementary Jazz Orchestra and the Middle School Jazz Orchestra directed by Dr. Isidore Rudnick present a musical tribute to the great Harlem Renaissance musicians Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, and Billie Holiday. The orchestras will be joined by special guest artist, brilliant Louisville saxophonist, Ron Jones.

    All performances are free and accessible through the project’s website at www.renaissanceincincy.org. After the release dates, videos of each performance will be available for viewing on demand. Art activities for students and curriculum for teachers are available for free download on the project website, as well.

    Join us in the celebration of the Harlem Renaissance, as we pay homage to an era that has undoubtedly changed African American history and culture forever.

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