To inspire and engage inner city youth through innovative hip hop arts programs, leadership development and community building.

With hip hop culture as our base, we will develop programs, partnerships, collaborations, and campaigns to enhance the lives of youth we work with and for. We envision Elementz being open as a full-time after school program, where artistic, educational, and entrepreneurial opportunities are available. By consistently listening and providing relevant resources, we will build strong trust and relationships and identify what our constituency needs in order to continue to learn and grow. We will always work to support and develop a pipeline of leadership that is connected to the community - at all levels of the organization. Financial support will come from a broad spectrum of individuals, businesses, foundations and others. Our vision is to build a sustainable organization with a close connection to inner city youth.

1. We treat all people with respect
2. We believe in the leadership ability of youth
3. We encourage innovation to create programs of relevance
4. We are committed to community-based leadership and grassroots connections.
5. We work to keep our decision making transparent and open.
6. We value accountability to ourselves and our community
7. We believe in the positive power of hip hop culture


abdullah Brother Abdullah - Program Director
Abdullah first started out volunteering as a recording engineer at Elementz during its opening year in 2005. He has since spent 4 years of dedicated work at Elementz as the manager of the Audio Production Program, as a facilitator of leadership development programs and as a mentor to youth. Abdullah is currently the Program Director of Elementz.

Abdullah gained a great deal of insight in using music production and using music as a tool for social change from his father Chris Powell who is a musician, producer and the founder of the non-profit organization for youth called S.T.A.R.S. Abdullah is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati with a degree in Electronic Media, and is also certified in Audio Recording and Studio Maintenance from the Recording Workshop. He also is an alumnus of the AmeriCorps social services program. Through his experience with media and social services he intends to direct Elementz towards its goals of becoming a sustainable youth arts organization that plays a major role in the development of its community and that provides further opportunities for its members.

abdullahTom Kent - Executive Director
Email: tkent@elementz.org
Tom Kent is a long-time resident of Greater Cincinnati and consultant in Information Technology. As Chair of the Outreach Board at Christ Church Cathedral (Episcopal) in downtown Cincinnati, he has participated in a multi-year effort to provide financial support to Elementz and other non-profits who are working with youth in the core city. As a Board member, Tom is pleased to work on finding community support for the young artists who have found a home at Elementz.

abdullahFrank Morris - Hip Hop Artist/ Recording Studio Assistant
Email: youngFnitty@yahoo.com

Frankie Morris a.k.a Young Frank Nitty or Nitty for short is 22 years old and is from Downtown, Cincinnati. He is a hip hop artist and Assistant Audio Engineer Instructor. His job is to lead the way as an hip hop artist and  teach the youth how to record their music/lyrics, how to edit their recording and how to do a basic mix their recording. Nitty has been an active  member of Elementz for 3 years since 2006. As a member he was an active performing artist, a leader and student of audio production witch made him eligible to work in the position he has today. Nitty is a proud parent of one son. Nitty is also one of the original members of “Tha LeaD”  witch  specializes in Leadership and artist development.

abdullahAnthony Williams - Hip Hop Artist/ Recording Studio Assistant
Anthony Williams also known as “Gamm” was born in Lincoln Heights but raised in various neighborhoods in Cincinnati. He became familiar with Elementz as he was attending Taft High school in 2005. He initially was interested in Elementz because of his passion to pursue the music industry as a rap artist. Since his membership at Elementz he has become more involved in volunteering and has found interest in Elementz mission, vision and values. In 2008 Gamm’s membership and service at Elementz led to an employment opportunity through AmeriCorps. He currently is one of Elementz most active performing artists and he assists in the recording program, coordinating Elementz Showcases and is a member of "Tha Lead". Gamm believes that his overall experience at Elementz has directed his art skills and also influenced him to contribute to his community.

abdullahAprina Johnson - Dance Instructor
Known around the city for her energetic articulate dancing, Aprina has been honored to work with the youth as the Dance instructor at Elementz. She has frequently been instructing dance workshops in greater Cincinnati for the last 3 ½ years. Performances and workshops within schools, festivals, libraries, and youth events have been apart of her journey towards success. The more positive side of dance is a great need at Elementz and that’s what Aprina is determined to contribute. Instead of creating youth competitions, Aprina hopes to continue to find ways for her youth to collaborate and connect with others in the community.

abdullahBen “Dayst”- Graffiti Arts Instructor
Benjamin has been painting graffiti-styled art off and on for about 9 years. For the past 7 years, he has been painting in what he believes to be a more positive light. Benjamin has been teaching the graffiti class since January of 2007. He is currently writing as "Dayst," which is short for "Daystar." He hopes to help guide youth in the right direction with their passion for the visual artistic element of hip hop.

abdullahDJ Apryl Reign - DJ instructor
April Carr aka, DJ Apryl Reign has been deejaying since 1996 and has been teaching DJ Classes at Elementz since 2005. Her vast experience and knowledge in this element of Hip-Hop has helped students explore the many avenues that deejaying provides especially in the area of entrepreneurship. She graduated from Dayton Dunbar High School and then from Central State in 1997 with a degree in Psychology.


abdullahPeter Block
Peter Block is an author, consultant, and citizen of Cincinnati, Ohio. His work is about empowerment, stewardship, chosen accountability, and the reconciliation of community. He is the author of several best selling books, the most widely known being Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used; Stewardship: Choosing Service Over Self-Interest and The Empowered Manager: Positive Political Skills at Work. His latest book is Community: The Structure of Belonging. Peter is the recipient of the Organization Development Network's 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2004 he received their first place Members' Choice Award, which recognized Flawless Consulting as the most influential book for OD practitioners over the past 40 years.

Peter is a partner in Designed Learning (www.designedlearning.com), a training company that offers workshops designed by Peter to build the skills outlined in his books.
With other volunteers in Cincinnati, Peter began A Small Group (www.asmallgroup.net), whose work is to create a new community narrative and to bring his work on civic engagement into being. He is active with Cincinnati Public Radio and Elementz, a Hip Hop urban youth center.

He supports Elementz because it values the gifts and talents of young people which is what is most needed. They do not need to be fixed or changed. It is welcoming place that accepts people where they are. Elementz is a place where youth can discover the possibility that they are and understand that we as a community need them.

abdullahTanzee Miller

Tanzee Miller is the newest board member to join Elementz spring of 2010    She is committed to several of service organizations that support children in the community.     A past board member National Black MBA Association – Cincinnati Chapter,  Program Director for Jack and Jill of America - Cincinnati Chapter,   volunteer and tutor at the US Bank Boys and Girls of America Club.    Tanzee is currently employed with Ethicon Endo-Surgery,   A Johnson and Johnson family of companies in Blue Ash.    She is please to serve a group of diversely talented young people and will focus her efforts on marketing Elementz throughout greater Cincinnati. 

abdullahGavin Leonard
Gavin Leonard is the State Director for Ohio’s Center for Progressive Leadership, based in Cincinnati. He is a co-founder, and former Executive Director of Elementz and transitioned onto the board in 2008. Gavin worked for 5 years doing construction and project management for community development corporations focused on affordable housing, also in Cincinnati. Originally from Chicago, and raised in rural Northwest Ohio, Gavin attended New York University and served as the Vice President of Students for a Free Tibet before leaving school to pursue full-time social justice work. Gavin also canvassed for environmental organizations in Denver, Cleveland, and Columbus before settling in Cincinnati just prior to the riots that took place in 2001. He serves on the boards of the League of Young Voters, Wiretap Magazine, and the All-Ages Movement Project. Gavin is passionate about providing opportunities for inner city youth in Cincinnati, and believes strongly in Elementz’ mission. He believes that inspiring and engaging youth through the arts is the first step toward increased civic engagement and young people being heard and taken seriously in the community.

abdullahBrook Westheimer
Brook Westheimer loves Cincinnati's river, hills, parks, and its great library system. Promoting a place where youth can create the music that is unique and essential to the city is one of the best ways to show love for Cincinnati. She firmly believes that Elementz is the voice of downtown, started by and run by the people it serves. Over the years she's been involved with several independent media related projects. She runs a web design company, Watercourse Technology, teaches computer classes at the public library, and lives in Spring Grove Village

Devonte Roach - Elementz Youth Board Member
abdullahDiane Jordan
Diane graduated from the University of Cincinnati with Bachelor and Master Degrees in Education. A Class XXXII member of Leadership Cincinnati, she is also a Class I alumna of Urban League Leadership Development Program. Diane is a systems thinker and critical listener, two strengths that helped propel her twelve-year career success at Beech Acres Parenting Center, first as Vice President of Organizational Effectiveness and then as Chief Operating Officer, the position she holds today. As a member of Black Career Women, Diane presented at the national Can We Talk ™ Conferences. In 2009 Diane was honored by Fifth Third Bank as a Profile in Courage. She was listed among the one hundred notable African Americans in the July 13, 2008 Cincinnati Enquirer and was profiled in the July 2005 Cincinnati Women’s Business. From her experiences abroad, Diane believes everyone has natural gifts and a personal responsibility to use those gifts to improve the community they inhabit. Diane is a member of Leadership Cincinnati Steering Committee, Toastmasters International, Vistage Key Group, the Society for Human Resource Management, Cincinnati Urban League, A Small Group, and current board member of Elementz Hip Hop Center, Sankofa Enrichment, and NAMI-Hamilton County. She is a past board member of Lighthouse Youth Services, Comprehensive Community Child Care (4 C), and the American Heart Association (Cincinnati Affiliate). Her former advisory affiliations include the National Advisory Committee for Cultural Competence of the Child Welfare League of America and Children’s Defense Fund.

abdullahChristopher Smitherman
Cincinnati native Christopher Smitherman is an entrepreneur who started a financial planning practice. He was elected to Cincinnati City Council in November 2003. He served as the Vice-Chair of the Arts & Culture Committee and on the Law & Public Safety, Neighborhood and Public Services and the Community Development, Education & Intergovernmental Affairs Committees. He also served as a Hamilton County Transportation Improvement District board member. He is committed to establishing a comprehensive urban policy. His success as an independent businessman is the visible testimony of his persistence and productivity. The combination of his enthusiasm and leadership serve as the foundation for his team-building talents to accomplish a set goal.


abdullahRob Wall
In 2007, Rob, a staff attorney at the Ohio Justice & Policy Center and Cincinnati native, began working with Elementz to create a free community legal clinic for youth to address their legal issues on their own terms. Since then, the clinic has provided relevant legal services to over 200 young people, helping with issues from criminal records to housing, education and more.



Join our mailing list

Support us:

Elementz Hours:
3:00-10:00pm on Monday - Thursday.

Got a Question?
Visit the FAQ page.




1599 Central Parkway Cincinnati, OH
Phone: 513.721.5800 Fax: 513.721.5801