This fall Elementz will provide several new programs for the youth. A few of these new programs include videography, graphic design, web design, lighting and sound engineering, fashion design and sneaker design.
“Our main objective is to particularly share with minority students what is possible, and I think that is an important understanding,” said Damian Hoskins the Executive Director of Elementz.
Elementz is a cultural hip-hop center. The name Elementz comes from the four elements of hip hop: DJing, emceeing, graffiti, and breakdancing, according to Hoskins.
The program was founded in 2002 as a response to the killing of Timothy Thomas, a young Black man who was shot by the Cincinnati Police Department as stated by the U.S Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs.
Hoskins explained that this outcome led to a civic uprising in the community.
As a result, four young men decided that they were going to provide a safe space for the youth in the community to express themselves, according to Hoskins.
The cultural hip-hop center currently offers four programs: music production, DJ, visual arts and dance. As a former schoolteacher Hoskins explained that he wanted to introduce another side of the creative world to the program.
Hoskins mentioned that there is a performative side to the art world, but there is also a production side.
“The production side is for individuals who have a different side of creativity, and it may not be performative,” he said.
“Elementz wants to be able to provide for students who like to design, produce, and develop content,” says Hoskins.
He explained that the new programs this fall will provide students with a completely different lens by being able to view themselves as creative problem solvers.
According to Hoskins, when he worked as an inner-city school’s teacher, his students would particularly say that they would like to be 1 out 5 things: a doctor, a lawyer, a beautician, an entertainer or an athlete.
“That’s only because that’s what they were exposed to. None of them ever said I want to be a lighting engineer, a graphic designer, or a fashion designer, but if we can expose them to those things, then it changes the narrative for them,” he said.
Due to this occurrence, Elementz understands that sometimes the youth of Over-The-Rhine can’t come to them, so they go to them.
Elementz has partnered with a variety of schools to make sure that as many students as possible have the ability to experience multiple options for their future careers.
From summer enrichment programs to after school programming, Elementz is determined to make an impact on the community.
“It all depends on what the school needs and what the school has the capacity for,” Hoskins said.
For more information about Elementz click here.