Music

D.S. Kinsel

BOOM Concepts is a creative hub that reflects the faces of the community on Pittsburgh's Penn Ave.

D.S. Kinsel, co-founder of Pittsburgh's BOOM Concepts, is a painter, installation artist, event maker, and art curator. He says he is always trying to make sure that his art is relevant to and a…


Andrew Eck and George Murray

Corner Concerts promotes Macon's local music scene with a placemaking agenda

Macon's Corner Concerts exists in a unique creative space where placemaking meets urban exploring meets pop-ups meets professionally-produced live concerts. If that sounds difficult to define,…


Metro Arts in Nashville - a leading organization and a learning organization

This story is part of a series of features on the members of the Leading Organizations pilot program, featuring organizations across the country working with artists in new and innovative ways. Learn…


Tony Garcia, executive artistic director of Su Teatro.

Building Equity in the Arts in Denver

Suzi Q. Smith was excited to bring her daughter to her first opera. A prominent Denver poet and teaching artist, Smith grew up listening to classical opera; she trained as an opera singer for two…


Tony Troppe

BLU Jazz+ brings world-class jazz to Akron

If you think of the top jazz cities in America, you'll likely count New Orleans, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, and New York among them. But Akron, Ohio? Not so much. But as 20th-century jazz…


Cado Dos Santos

Cado Dos Santos shares his Brazilian culture with the world through his world music

Ricardo "Cado" Dos Santos plays Brazilian music, but it's not the kind of Brazilian music you might be imagining. This is not bossa nova or samba; Cado's music is soulful, gentle, guitar-driven…


Elementz

ArtsWave Cincinnati is the oldest and largest united arts fund in the country

Funding sources for many arts organizations tends to be a hodgepodge of foundation, government, corporate, and patron support, which makes ArtsWave Cincinnati remarkably unique – it is the Greater…


Creative Thinkers

Rapping in Vacant Lots, Repping the Neighborhood

In 2013, Springboard for the Arts launched the Artist Organizers (AOs) pilot program as part of Irrigate’s artist-led community development. Supported by the Surdna Foundation, the pilot planted…


Cavem and Alkemia are making the rounds with a new series of Culinary Concerts.

OG (Organic Gardener) DJ Cavem Raps about Kale

Hip-hop and healthy eating are twin inspirations for Denver's DJ Cavem, who deftly melds music and food justice with both rhymes and activism. If you've ever met Ietef Vita, it was probably no…


Ralph Henry Reese

City of Asylum/Pittsburgh offers writers in exile sanctuary alongside expansive creative placemaking

"Asylum" – A place offering protection and safety; a shelter.   “Silence is death. If you are silent you are dead, And if you speak you are dead, So speak and die.” –…


Alexandra Wright

YEPAW encourages youth to pursue lifestyles of excellence through the arts

Youth Excellence Performing Arts Workshop (YEPAW) got its first start when founder and artistic director Leslie Barnes had a conversation with a friend who claimed that the youth…


Devon Akmon

Arab American National Museum is the first and only museum of its kind

The metro Detroit area is an area rich with cultural institutions that celebrate the heritage, history, legacy, and continued contributions of artistic, cultural, and intellectual…


Chris Nylund and Jared Wright

Field Note Stenographers want you to watch less TV and more live music

When Chris Nylund and Jared Wright started Field Note Stenographers in Macon, they didn't do it with the intention of making big-time blog money or becoming Internet famous (anyone…


Sheila Womble

Arts for Learning teaches valuable life skills through paid arts internships

Miami's Arts for Learning (A4L), a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing teaching and learning through the arts, launched nearly 15 years ago with a vision of connecting…


Morgan WIllis

Allied Media Conference incorporates all varieties of media to incite social change

This is the first in a series of artist profiles featuring the work of artists around social justice, policing, and activism. Look for more profiles in the coming weeks.  The Allied Media…


Karen Walters

Karen Walters reinvented herself by reinventing Cuyahoga Valley's independent music scene

Karen Walters is a lifelong resident of Peninsula, Ohio, located in the heart of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. She worked in advertising for 17 years before her job got sent to the Dominican…


Detroit Youth Volume students

Detroit Youth Volume inspires east side kids with no-cost violin lessons

Detroit Youth Volume, the only program in the city to offer no-cost violin lessons using a special training known as the Suzuki Method, has an innovative ethic that makes learning to…


Jami Duffy

Denver-based Youth on Record is an innovative music education program with national relevance

Youth on Record was formed in 2007 by members of Denver hip hop and rock band Flobots as a platform for youth and youth-adult organizing. It has evolved significantly since those early days, and is…


Vinson Muhammad

As Allah's Apprentice, Vinson Muhammad leads his 'be yourself' motto by example

Oscar Wilde once said, "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." Vinson Muhammad embodies that ethos and lives it every single day. Muhammad is known by the stage name "Allah's Apprentice," or…


David Swirsky

David Swirsky has such Big Love for Akron, he's even leading an Intervention

David Swirsky is the Chapter Leader of the Akron League of Creative Interventionists, a global network that creates shared experiences in public space that break down social barriers and catalyze…


The Raiz Up

Antonio Cosme is a young artist, activist, and social organizer in Southwest Detroit

Antonio Cosme is working on a mural. But before any brush touches paint, before any pencil hits a pad, Cosme has meetings to attend, books to read. The new mural will go up in Delray, “essentially…


Erik Urycki

Erik Urycki of The Speedbumps bolsters Northeast Ohio's singer-songwriter community

Erik Urycki is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist with the Akron-based indie folk band The Speedbumps. That's his "day job," at least; when he's not writing for, playing or recording with the band,…


Nathaniel Chaitkin

Bach and Boombox declassifies the classics, mixing the Beastie Boys with Beethoven

Nathaniel ("Nat") Chaitkin grew up in the music world. Both of his parents were musicians and he grew up about a mile from the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York. "My idea of living…


Gayle Isa

Asian Arts Initiative shepherds community engagement and integration in Philly's Chinatown North

Gayle Isa started working at the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia in 1993. This was in the aftermath of the infamous Rodney King verdict and the riots in Los Angeles that followed. Racial…


Laura Zabel

Welcome to Creative Exchange (again)

"I believe in the magic of storytelling, not only for teller but also the listener," says agrarian artist Nikiko Masumoto, who lives and works in California's Central Valley. "The possibility of…


Andrew Novick posing with a model from his Blood Lustre photography exhibit.

The weird world of Andrew Novick: Blood, pancakes and punk rock

"If I'm not back in a few hours," I said to my husband on an otherwise ordinary Saturday, "let the police know I was having coffee with the man who makes art out of human blood." My fears were put to…


The itchy-O sound is a catchy mixture of percussion and  handmade electronic instruments.

Denver's itchy-O Marching Band: Chaos of the best variety

Imagine this: It's late on a weekend night and Denverites are out and about. Maybe they're hanging out at the latest hipster bar along South Broadway or enjoying an adult beverage at a popular…


Adam Lerner is the Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.

Adam Lerner is mixing tastes at MCA Denver

Fact: MCA Denver Director Adam Lerner grew up in Queens, New York, in a family of Jewish immigrants who square danced competitively. As the youngest dancer at the AL'e'MO Squares square dance club,…


John Haywood

John Haywood re-paints the narrative of what it means to be Appalachian and to be an artist

John Haywood grew up in the Appalachian region of southeastern Kentucky with dreams of becoming a rock star. But mountain folk don't become rock stars. Mountain folk don't even go to college.…


The FAME Shop

Clement Brown, Jr. celebrates Fashion, Arts, Music & Entertainment in an underserved area of Detroit

The west side neighborhood around the intersection of Joy Rd. and Meyers in Detroit can be a tough place, but theFAME Shop, located at 10608 Joy Road, is a brightening presence. FAME…