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The Village

Engagement is their thing and they're really good at it. That's why they are on the team.

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BRENT BILLINGSLEY

FOUNDER AND CEO

Brent Billingsley is an artist and an empowering voice behind young disenfranchised youth.  He is also a Behavioral Health Specialist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital medical Center/Psychiatry.  Other endeavors include Independent Contracting Therapeutic Mentoring and the co-founder of 2 non-profits geared toward the utilization of therapeutic artistic engagement and the performance arts. Brent says a nihilistic state of being inspires him the most because the canvas must be needs repurposed and then re-primed before the painting can begin.  He graduated in 2013 from Miami University with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts with a concentration in Printmaking and from the University of Cincinnati in 2015 with a Masters in Social Work. This artist’s intention is to help all whom he is blessed to come in contact with realize that they are part of something bigger than themselves and that their part matters. The goal is to utilize art as rhetorical vernacular and encourage people to do something they have never done before, acknowledge the exertion, forfeit maladaptive ideations and upon one’s own artistic epiphany; act on it.  Brent believes that the world can be changed through art;

1 PIECE at a TIME!

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MonstaTheEngineer

Media Project Manager

MonstaTheEngineer leads and oversees the production of film, photography, web content, social media content, and other graphic works.  His multimedia skills include Audio Engineering, Photography and Videography. Monsta does exceptionally well at managing and directing a team.

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Michael Thompson

Lead Artist

A multimedia artist, designer, and poet. Michael takes on the role of artist as archivist; collecting things, spaces, and histories to add to his art and life. Michael draws in sensibilities and practices from scientific and philosophical fields and enjoys collaborating outside the typical scope of the art world. His practice focuses on visual and human ecology, dignity, and nuance; using both his art and poetry as a manner of abolishing the compartmentalized reality which Michael experiences as an observer of the world. His current work has found him using painting, journalism, and poetry in his multi-year project, "Sanctuaries". Michael is a TEDx Speaker, Artist-in-Residence at the Cincinnati Art Museum and Contemporary Arts Center and is formerly resident at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. Outside of his own practice he also works as a teaching artist and therapeutic artistic engagement specialist.

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Dale Adams

Social Media

A social media creator with millions of followers all over the internet who makes all types of unique videos to entertain and influence people. 

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JOHN WILLIS

CFO

A product of The School for Creative and Performing Arts and Central State University John Willis has been involved in the arts for the last 30 years. From productions with the Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Black Theater Company to recording with the Cincinnati Pops. John has worked for the past 17 years as a Behavioral Health Specialist for Cincinnati Childrens Hospital. John enjoys engaging with youth in the community. John has been a part of ARTE since it’s inception. John believes in it’s mission and Goals and is proud of the work it does in the community.

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LaDe Richardson

Communication Engineer 

An all-around creator and figure of many talents and skills who will flying in success to you spark your future by creating a meaningful and long-lasting impact. LaDe has been a part of many different events in the world making an impact in the world as he walks. Now he wants to stand like one of many legends in the world making an impact. LaDe is also a rising philanthropist doing whatever he can to give back and guide wise and young minds alike to a brighter path.

LaDe art gives joy and happiness to his viewers and a sense of awe and wonder. who loves to create stories and write poetry in his free time, but most of all he loves to help out whenever he can.

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Ella Emanuel

Lead Artist

Ella Emanuel is a 19 year old artist from Cincinnati, Ohio, and a student at the University of Cincinnati DAAP. She has been working as an artist for about four years, and operates as an artist, muralist, and engagement specialist with ARTE. She is skilled in painting and drawing.

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Isaiah Armstrong

Photographer

When folks ask me what I like to take pictures of, I often say “people that I love doing things that they love.” It is a sentiment that underlines my approach to photography at large. for me that seed was planted by my father, who got into photography when me and my brother were born, and he started his own family. My father did not have the best relationship with my grandfather, so he saw an opportunity to show us something different with how he raised us. He passed when I was 6, but by that point he had already made hundreds of prints of my brother and I growing up. It became a tradition to view his photos at every new home we moved into, and every time we pulled them out, I saw the love and compassion he had for us and those he photographed. He had a way of making people forget about the camera and just relax, his approach to the medium is at the core of how and why I make photos. 

My other grandfather gave me my first dslr alongside a retrospective on Gordon parks work going into 2020 when he saw I had an interest in the medium. that initial push along with being on the ground during the uprisings of that summer sparked my interest in photojournalism and the ways photography can be used to convey narrative. "

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WESLEY ERICSON

CHIEF OF STAFF

Leading artist, and Chief of Staff at ARTE, Wesley Ericson is a mentor for youth around the Cincinnati area.  Igniting community building, and participation by using art to create bounds of relatability.  Painting murals with others creates a positive, healthful environment, and space for healing.  Fostering relatability between all kinds of individuals, and demonstrating the importance of working together.  Public installations have been an important aspect of his artist career; since he began working with Artworks Cincinnati during his high school years. He believes that life is so precious, and everyone deserves a chance to experience art. In his personal practice he uses drawing and painting, to create visual narratives as commentaries on reality. Which take the form of landscapes, figurative works and portraiture.  Much can be discovered on behalf of individuals, communities and environments.  From urban street art scenes to the ocean shores. He hopes to encourage conversations about viewing life from a variety of lenses.  Finding Inspiration in daily life, and translating his human reaction with visual responses.  The Images leave clues to the internal conscious, and contrasts ones life.  How our environment’s impact how we move through space.  Hoping to inspire individuals to lead a life of intention and purpose."  

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Hannah D’Souza

Engagement Specialist 

A speech-language pathologist and Cincinnati native. Hannah received her undergraduate degree in Speech and Hearing Science from Ohio State University in 2013 followed by her Masters in Clinical Speech-Language Pathology from Purdue University in 2015. Hannah has a passion for engaging children in conversation, music, and play and is grateful for any opportunity in which she can make a child feel loved. In her free time, she enjoys singing, playing the piano, playing guitar, watching football, and reading.

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Joy

Artist

Joy is an artist currently studying graphic design and painting at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. She is an expressionist painter and designer who draws inspiration from nature, the history and evolution of people, time, and space, and a strong spiritual connection with the Creator. She embraces the practices of color theory through acrylic and watercolor painting, drawing, sculpture and abstract digital images. Saturated color, geometric shapes, typography, distorted imagery, landscape and architecture influence her artistic thoughts. Her life experiences and influences are juxtaposed into her artistic style, transforming the hearts and minds of others through art. 

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Reece Schmidt

Social Media

A social media creator with millions of followers all over the internet who makes all types of unique videos to entertain and influence people.