A group of artist and a strong leadership team, joined together under a united vision to improve our city and our world.
The founding members of BAS include a diverse network of practicing artists of all career levels, business leaders and community organizers.
Visionary | Creator
Alandes Powell knew there was something that needed to be done. With a vision and a plan of what she would like to see, she began to execute with urgency. After penning the poem, "We Want What You Want," she has continued to work tirelessly to see that vision come to life.
Raised with understanding the importance of taking a stand for what was right and having a passion for the community, she has inspired many with the fire lit by witnessing her father's activism. Today, Alandes continues to fight for the rights of her people both in the corporate setting and in her community.
Tashawna Thomas Otabil currently serves as the Director of Managed Care for TriHealth a $2B Health System in Cincinnati, Ohio. She has nearly 20 years of Management experience and proven performance leadership with Managed Care Payer Contracting and Strategies. Tashawna is responsible for contractual relationship management valued at over $1.3 billion dollars in revenue.
Before joining TriHealth in 2017, she worked for both payer and provider organizations in various Healthcare leadership roles. She always strives for academic excellence which is evident in being recognized as one of Ohio’s National Diversity Top 15 Business Women (2018). In addition to her award, Tashawna is the published author of three books, “It Takes Money Honey” (2019) and “Leadership Tidbits” (2019) and “Leadership Tidbits 2”. All these publications empower women and young leaders to be the best version of themselves, providing useful practical tools to enhance both their personal and professional lives.
Tashawna received a bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Business Administration from DeVry University. Tashawna is also committed to public service and is actively involved in the community as a member of the Board of Directors for the Urban League of Greater Southwest Ohio, Southwest Ohio Healthcare Financial Management Association & the St. Aloysius organization.
Project Manager/Lead Artist
BRANDON HAWKINS "B"
Brandon Hawkins is the Co-Owner & Lead Teaching Artist of Soul Palette with more than 20 years of artistic experience. While infusing his love for history and art, Brandon lends his expertise to others by mentoring youth and young adult artists. He’s also an alum of the University of Cincinnati.
MICHAEL COPPAGE "L"
Michael Coppage is a conceptual artist using an interdisciplinary, dialectical approach to address social issues surrounding race and language. He gained international attention with his recent project “BLACK BOX”: a community impact project aimed at demystifying black men and creating authentic experiences that replace bias and preconceived notions related to the term “Black” This series was exhibited around the country, Puerto Rico and at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 21c Museum Hotel, Medici Museum, and the Ohio Arts Councils Riffe Gallery to name a few.
BRENT BILLINGSLEY "A"
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 believes that the world can be changed through art; 1 PIECE at a TIME!
LAHNA LEI "C"
Ja'Lana Bradford is a proud native of Cincinnati, OH, and resides in the Downtown OTR area with her three children; a newborn baby boy, her son, and her daughter. Under the beloved pseudonym "Lahna Lei," she demonstrates that she is creative at heart. Through art, she hopes to inspire growth and happiness for her audience. Her experience as an artist includes mural work, painting, and drawing, as well as a design portfolio for both commercial and individual clients in the Greater Cincinnati region.
TAMIA SAUNDERS "K"
Tamia Saunders is a Cincinnati-based artist currently studying Fine Arts at the University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. Inspired to pursue art by her father at the age of ten, she developed a passion for illustration, animation, and printmaking. Her work focuses on the heart and the enigma of human emotions specifically tied to adolescence.
GEE HORTON "L"
Born in Louisville, KY, in 1983, Gee is a Cincinnati-based self-trained Hyperrealist visual artist who is quickly becoming a household name in Cincinnati’s art scene. He has been focusing on art for the last three years and has been featured in local art exhibits such as The WE Gallery exhibit at the historic Cincinnati Music Hall, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center’s “#NewTruth” Art Show (where he was also on the panel for “The Listener’s Lounge: Black Male Image Unplugged”), ArtWorks’ “Secret ArtWorks 2018” at The Banks, and the Mohawk Gallery’s “Manifestations of Time: The Black Experience” exhibit. He is currently serving as the Mercantile Library’s first African American Artist-in-Residence. He has been commission to draw a 6ft portrait of Peter H. Clark, the Mercantile Library’s first African American member.
Gee serves on the Board of Trustees for Artworks, WavePool, and is a member of the Leadership Council for Non-profits Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Team, and is a Co-Host of the Urban Consulate Cincinnati Chapter. He also serves as a Hello Cincy Ambassador through the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber as well as a member of the Chamber’s Vox Futura Leadership Advisory Committee. Gee received his Master of Social Work from the University of Louisville in 2008.
HANNAH JONES "I"
Hannah Jones is a 27-year old mixed-race queer artist and muralist currently based in Cincinnati, OH. Her work fantasizes a world that thrives outside basic hetero-normative thinking. She uses loud, vivid, saturated, pop imagery to illuminate and dignify ALL HUMANS on every level of the spectrum who are visualized happily thriving in full flying, glorious colors outside the rigid black and white boxes society places on them and their identities.
She encourages you to see yourself in living color.
VINAY DUNCAN "V"
Vinay Duncan, creator of ToonSpray, originates from Dayton, Ohio and currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio.The self taught artist uses cartoons and a semi realistic art style to create traditional and digital artwork. Self discovery & total healing are two components she hopes personify through her work. In viewing her art, she hopes to challenge others to see that there is always room to grow. Her overall desire is to continually develop, while allowing her art to speak and promote change, growth, and peace.
LATAUSHA COX "E"
Latausha Cox was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her work currently focuses on her personal experiences with race and identity. By sharing her journey, she hopes to inspire others to explore their own stories to discover and release their authentic voice. She is an illustrator, educator, and researcher who uses her art practice to expose evidence of racism and bias and educating others. Latausha graduated with a BFA in Illustration from Columbus College of Art & Design in 2007 and is nearing a Master’s degree in Art Education and licensure from DAAP (Design, Art, Architecture and Planning) at the University of Cincinnati.
KE’MONTE FIGGS "S"
Cincinnati native KéMonté J Figgs, better known by his artist and pen name K.J Figgs The Artist, is an artist who inspires to be the Black Dr. Suess. He brings his very own fresh concept to the world that intrigues the mind's perspective on dreams and how to achieve them.
ADORIA MAXBERRY "M"
Adoria L. Maxberry is a visual and performance artist, designer, licensed educator, wife and mother of three, in Cincinnati, Ohio. She facilitates unique, meaningful art experiences focusing on creativity, exploration and reflection. Her company, Most OutGROWing LLC, is dedicated to helping others grow spiritually, mentally and creatively through art.
JUE AMMAN "A"
After being a student ambassador to Great Britain, diversity and culture has always been integrated in Jianni Amman's art exploration. Being intrigued with detailed sketching at the age of 6, eventually led to her study of Architecture and Design at Cincinnati State. Being sent to Baker Hunt Art and Cultural Center, along with taking private art classes at St. Bartholomew, were ways her parents invested in their children's gifts. Amman has experience in multiple areas including poetry writing, styling, creative direction, art direction, photography, personal shopping, advertising, sketching, and painting.
KATE TEPE "T"
Kate Tepe is a Cincinnati based artist who creates work related to group and personal identities, interpersonal relationships and community networks. She toggles back and forth from design and fine art, but enjoys opening her practice to develop collaborative projects, that encourage participants to take as much ownership in the work as she does. She aims to explore conscious and unconscious identities, (racial, sexual, national, or cultural) as well as established social codes.
ASHA WHITE "T"
Asha is an artist, entrepreneur, and arts educator. Her work centers her personal identity as a queer African American woman, exploring social justice themes such as race, sexuality, women’s rights, and mental health. With her work, she strives to unite diverse populations through shared experiences and common narratives to facilitate understanding and promote change.
CEDRIC COX "E"
Cedric Michael Cox is known for paintings that catapult color into rhythmic action with abstract and recognizable images inspired by themes in music and the natural world. Working under several influences which include architecture and art history, Cox’s work ranges from the geometric, to floral-like forms, all dancing within surrealistic environments.
ANNIE RUTH "R"
Inspirational Artist & Community Advocate
Annie Ruth is an internationally respected artist. Her career spans 40+years. She has exhibited in both national and international museums. Ruth earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from National University in San Diego, California. She is a trailblazer who collaborates with major cultural institutions and museums.
Toilynn O'Neal Turner "!"
Toilynn O'Neal Turner holds many hats in the cultural, educational, and artistic communities. She is a talented artist, businesswoman, and cultural activist who passionately promotes diversity through the arts and education, connecting local artists, businesses, and cultural institutions. She has 25+ years of experience working in audience development, the arts, diversity, and community engagement in nonprofit organizations.
Toilynn is currently the Founding Director of the Robert O'Neal Multicultural Art Center (ROMAC) and the Executive Director of Queen City Foundation (QCF). The ROMAC is a nonprofit organization based in Cincinnati's West End neighborhood dedicated to celebrating, advancing, and preserving African American culture and achievement through arts, history, and education while uplifting the rich diversity of artists and cultures of Greater Cincinnati.
JONATHAN SEARS "!"
Artist and traditionally trained graphic designer, Jonathan Sears is the Executive Director of Professional Artistic Research (PAR) Projects. As an individual, he’s been studying art his entire life culminating with an MFA degree from The University of Maryland College Park in 2006.
Jonathan co-founded PAR-Projects with the goal of showing how the arts can positively affect the dynamics of a community. He's an artist. He's a thinker. He's a maker.
An all-around creator and figure of many talents and skills who will be flying in success to you spark your future by creating a meaningful and long-lasting impact in the Flow of life in our World. He has been a part of many different events in the world making an impact in the world as he walks. His art gives joy and happiness to his viewers and a sense of awe and wonder. To create an experience of journeys unseen before.
Born and raised in Chicago IL., MonstaTheEngineer is a storyteller. His motto, “My paint brush varies,” can be seen through his journey in the fields of audio engineering, directing, videography, and photography.
While understanding his passion and gift for visual storytelling Monsta went on to form MAAV, MonstaAudioandVideo specializing in the art of sound and video, capturing current struggles, community movements and leaders, documenting artist, and so much more. He began to recognize the importance of these individuals, groups, companies, and nonprofits and has committed his time to accurately telling their stories
A music artist and creative entrepreneur. As the owner of NaQuia The CreatHER LLC, she provides creative consulting and marketing services for small businesses and non-profit organizations. She currently serves as the Marketing Director for the Robert O'Neal Neal Cultural Arts Center and on the Advisory Board for Queens Village and The Cincinnati Memorial Hall Longworth Concert Series.
is the Director of the B.O.S.S. (Bravely Overcome Self Sabotage) documentary and the Co-Producer of “Presence Over Presents” Black Fatherhood the documentary. She is a loving, single mother of 3 beautiful girls. She is a business owner of Black Women Cultivating Change where she hopes to advocate, educate, and provide platforms for mental health in the black community. Ashley stands by her quote “life is not surface level” and challenges others to Be kind and practice giving grace everyone.
Justin J-Gutz Jackson
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, General Manager of ARTS OTA, Owner of GODS V$ ODDS Lifestyle Company & CEO of LOUDER SOUNDS STUDIO…Father, Black Art Speaks Host and EMCEE … Model, Recording Artist, Audio Engineer, Actor, Philanthropist.
Justin has become an example of perseverance and dedication in his community. He continues to raise the bar of excellence through his Artistry AND voice. Justin is adamant about making the necessary changes to make our communities better through CREATIVITY and the Arts.
A Writer, Composer, Performer, Music Director, Director-Choreographer, Producer, and Teacher from the metro Atlanta area. He attended Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts (CCCEPA) at Pebblebrook High School, Ball State University for Musical Theatre, and Kennesaw State University for Musical Theatre and Business Management. JT is the CEO of Butler Productions and has produced, directed, and choreographed multiple shows. He has written three musicals, Pride, Young Love, and Sailing, and has produced and worked with several artists, including Terica Marie, Rico Bravo, and Amber Talley. He has performed in various shows at The Atlanta Lyric Theatre, Out Front Theatre, and Legacy Theatre.
Eric "E" Barber
A self-taught Artist based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Eric developed a passion for youth development by working summer camps as a teen. He continued working with youth during the day and then art in the evening. Eric founded Kreative Connect to inspire youth and make art a fun experience for everyone.
A painter and tattoo artist living in Middletown, Ohio. She works on all art mediums including canvas, and paper, and does murals for businesses. She specializes in portraits and realism. Since 2020, she has been doing art consistently and accomplishing her goals. She is now a full-time artist and entrepreneur.
"I’m very passionate about my work that I put out and can’t wait to see what the world has in store for me. " -Deja
Hello! My name is Alexis Patton, and I enjoy traveling, crafting and art! My passion is bringing others vision to life and giving back to my community and others. I Inspire crafters, artist and most importantly you to live a colorful & creative life!
Inspired by randomness. One day it could be a song, or a tree and next week it could be a conversation. But He’s constantly inspired. Drye is a native Cincinnatian and a graduate of Central State University. Currently, Christian is a teaching and traveling visual artist who focuses on the paint medium, along with his ongoing duty to mentor. As a 33year old proud Black man, he recognizes his duty to use his influence properly and show our children their capacity to excel no matter where they live or the difficult circumstances they may face.
Owner of Multimedia company Pixxel Designs, Whitney Dixon is A professional Photographer and Graphic Designer residing in Cincinnati, Ohio. With the love, support and partnership with her husband MonstaTheEngineer, Whitney was able to open Pixxel Designs Mother's Day 2019,
With a passion for storytelling, Whitney and her husband capture the essence of Cincinnati through their photographic coverage and graphic design, working with various companies, organizations, non-profits, foundations, and universities. Her company Pixxel Designs, photographs immortalize memorable and historic moments, while her designs create captivating branding and narratives. Her work has become an integral part of Cincinnati's cultural tapestry, leaving an indelible mark on its history.