Tafari McDade – Front Administration
Tafari joined the Elementz staff in 2015 handling receptionist duties, greeting guests and helping to register members. Tafari is no stranger to Elementz as he has been one of our highlighted rap artists since 2011. He was also the subject of a documentary produced by Elementz entitled “The Spirit of Tafari” which showed Tafari working through his past to become the brilliant, and insightful person and artist that he is today.
Frank “Nitty” Morris – Youth Center Leadership / Beats & Rhymes Instructor
Frankie Morris a.k.a Nitty Morris is from Downtown, Cincinnati. At Elementz Nitty strives to build relationships with new and existing members and influence the positive culture that exists within the center. In the Beats & Rhymes program he works to develops song writers, recording engineers and performers. Nitty has been an active member of Elementz for since 2006. As a member he was an active performing artist, a leader and student of Elementz Artist Development program which 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” which was an Elementz program that specialized in Leadership and artistic development.
Abdullah Powell – Creative Director
Abdullah Powell is an emerging leader, community organizer and media artist from Columbus, Ohio. Abdullah graduated from the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati with a B.A. in Electronic Media. He has spent the last decade developing young inner city artists at Elementz. As the Creative Director of Elementz Abdullah’s focus is on programming, community building and artistic vision. Abdullah has led his team through collaborations and performances with various organizations throughout Cincinnati. While performances and community events have been very exciting his passion is most connected to the day to day interactions that he has with the youth and staff at Elementz. Abdullah has been recognized in several media outlets as a future leader and as one of the people making an impact on Cincinnati arts. He is also still active in his own pursuits as a producer of instrumental hip hop.
Donial Curry – Manager of Development & Communications
A graduate of Miami University, Donial was a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals “New Faces of Fundraising 2014” class. Most recently, Donial worked at Episcopal Retirement Homes then Wilberforce University. In this new role at Elementz Donial will focus on engaging with the organization’s stakeholders. “I am excited to energize and nurture a deeper connection between the community and the youth at Elementz”
Tom Kent – Managing Director
Tom Kent is a long-time resident of Greater Cincinnati and retired consultant in Information Technology. Tom served on funding committees at ArtsWave, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation (Weathering the Economic Storm) and Christ Church Cathedral Grants Program. Prior to serving as Executive Director, Tom served on the Elementz Board of Directors and the Lower Price Hill Community School Board of Directors. Tom brings an enthusiasm for youth programs and particularly for the mission of Elementz.
Apryl Reign – DJing
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.
Julius Jenkins – Street Dance
Over the last 15yrs, Julius Jenkins has focused his attention on all the major street dance style starting with Breaking (breakdance) then moving to Popping, Locking, House and Krump. His preferred style is Popping and specifically Robotic Animation.
With the knowledge gained directly from originators of the styles or their students, Julius trained. In the battle world he became known for his hard hitting aggressive style of popping. After many years he step away from competition to perform. First with a group called the 20/Twenty Cru and eventually, he created The Millennium Robots performance group. He’s opened for and performed with various International acts like KRS-One, Lupe Fiasco, Rusko, Flux Pavilion, MrCarmack, Troi Boy and Black Thought of The Roots. Locally, The Millennium Robots perform at festivals, concerts and have had many television appearances including City Lights, Living Dayton and Good Morning America. Julius was featured with Elementz at the Cincinnati Ballet New Works 2014 project where audiences had close up taste of his mechanical style. Since then he’s created choreography for multiple high profile classical collaborations. Most notably Concert Nova: Alleged Dances of 2015 and the recent Elementz showcase with MyCincinnati at HipArt 2016.
From competing to judging and now teaching, he’s quickly becoming a force in the street culture community. His goal now is to bring true street dance culture back to light in the Cincinnati area. He is now working closely with Elementz to achieve this goal.
Jamie-Lee Elizabeth is an aspiring writer and spoken word artist. The wealth of insight Jamie-Lee has gained from working directly with the community has certainly helped shape who she is as a writer. She is as passionate about her writing and artistry as she is community organizing. She believes storytelling provides the strength needed to survive day to day. Her inspiration to write comes from personal experience as well as local and world issues. Jamie-Lee joined the Elementz team in summer of 2017. Within Elementz she will function as is the lead organizer of the City wide Poetry slam “Louder Than a Bomb Cincy.” She will also spend a great deal of her time working closely with our teenage members as the leader of our Creative Futures initiative.
Brandon Hawkins – Visual Arts
Brandon “Illzotic” Hawkins is a visual artist and instructor with over 12 years of experience. He has his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Arts & Sciences in African and African American Studies. Brandon also earned his certificate in Fine Arts from DAAP. Infusing his love for history and art, Brandon has created his own “Illzotic” technique for art and design. While fine tuning his craft and gaining valuable life experience, Brandon has found time to teach and mentor young artists at his church and neighboring communities. During the summer of 2009, he assembled a group of youth to paint a 15 foot high by 30 foot wide mural of the Church and the Holy Trinity. In the summer of 2010, Brandon was awarded the key to the city of Middletown for his depiction of a multicultural playground at a newly remodeled community center. In January 2016, Brandon and his wife launched the company Soul Palette which is a unique mobile concept of customizable painting experiences. In June 2016, Brandon was commissioned to create a piece of visual art that depicted fatherhood that was given to Daddy’s Night Out honorees. Brandon’s ultimate mission and dream is to bless others with his talent for painting and arts. His goal is to return to school to earn his Master’s Degree in Art Education, continue to pursue a career in art and launch his lifestyle apparel label.
Brandon will be teaching visual art on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-7PM to youth here at Elementz. We are excited to have Brandon join our community of teaching artists in 2018!
Alexander “Stallitix” Stallings – Artist Fellow
Stallitix is a multitalented artist who joined the artist community at Elementz in 2016. His background is in theatre and spoken word and Alex is also very active in live finger drumming using the electronic production device known as “Machine.” You can find Alex performing live using his Machine during our Artist Showcases and community performances!