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the arts

ART ROCKS! We checked in with four local hot spots to talk about how their programs keep kids engaged.

Music enthusiasts ages 5 - 18 record songs and more at the O’Keefe Music Foundation.

By Sherry Hang and Sarah Blankenship

The O’Keefe Music Foundation Talent? Sure. Hard work? Definitely, according to Aaron O’Keefe, founder of the O’Keefe Music Foundation, which offers kids ages 5 - 18 the chance to experience the process of professional recording, all for free or at a very

low rate. In a nutshell, a group of students work together on a challenging song. With the help of volunteers and donations, the students record and film themselves performing the song in a professional studio. “It’s really a team effort,” says O’Keefe, explaining that recordings are a major commitment for the kids and their parents, as well as a reward for the kids’ hard work. The entire process — finding the right song, learning the various parts and rehearsing — teaches discipline, hard work and perseverance. With 18 projects in the works currently, the

The Kennedy Heights Art Center

A young artist shows off her masterpiece at the Kennedy Heights Art Center. Photo by Natalie Jeanne Photography.


August 2016

One of this year’s recipients of an ArtWorks mural is the Kennedy Heights Art Center, a home for artists of all kinds and ages. Born out of a community effort to save the historic building from demolition, the center is a resource for art appreciation and creation. “We offer an array of different opportunities,” says Dominique Springs, events and marketing manager. Classes cover drawing and photography and camps touch on fashion, animation, musical instruments and even Spanish rhythm. The Center also displays artwork from professional artists which are inspirational to kids.

“Where Every Family Matters.”

next few months are busy for the foundation. Meanwhile, the kids have developed an online following on their YouTube channel (where they also learned the real-world lesson that their best work doesn’t always translate into the mostwatched videos). Regardless, the kids have something they can be proud of, says O’Keefe, and most importantly, they learn that “If you work hard, you can make it happen.” Learn more at okmusicfoundation. org.

“We have some kids who come every week,” Springs says of the camps,” and that tells us that we are doing something right!” She points out that the center lets participants take a break from their techfilled lives. “I don’t really see kids on their phones at the center,” she says. That’s because their hands are busy with chalk, crayons, paint and other tools. Best of all, the center’s programs are offered at affordable prices, Springs says. Camp tuition is offered on a sliding scale. Learn more and get a look at fall and winter classes at

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Cincinnati Family magazine August 2016


Cincinnati Family magazine August 2016

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