Born in Pinar del Rio, Cuba and raised in Havana, Diaz has been dancing since the age of three. She trained with The National Ballet School in Havana and The Vocational Ballet School in Santa Clara, dancing with Ballet Nacional de Cuba for three years. Diaz won a silver medal in the International Ballet Competition of Cuba in 1999, and has toured all over the world. Gema performed with the Cincinnati Ballet for 10 years before retiring as a senior soloist in 2015.
West End community is very thankful for her support for Q-KIDZ!!!
More pictures are in our Photo Gallery
Two West End students fromHays-Porter Elementary School, Arerell Stanley and Nhy’Aire Dunn-North, have successfully graduated from the highly competitive summer camp program: Docentitos Academy
Docentitos is the Weston Art Gallery’s acclaimed art ambassadorial program for young people ages 9-12 years.
This two-week summer camp takes place in the Weston Art Gallery in the Aronoff Center for the Arts. Daily activities included classes, artist talks, theater tours, workshops, installation and studio visits, script rehearsals, field trips and a final project.
After graduation, both students were leading tours of the gallery’s summer exhibition(s).
Congratulations to both of them!
More pictures are in our Photo Gallery
As always, they did an awesome show, and received a strong ovation from the audience!
They were also recognized for the movie THE FITS in which they performed.
Mahisha Dellinger, CEO and Founder of Curls, delivered a great opening presentation about girls and young women becoming entrepreneurs.
The 2016 Cincy Games are over, and West End placed 14th out of 29 neighborhoods participating, winning 4 medals:
Congratulations to all medal winners and a big THANK YOU to all who represented West End!
See you in 4 years!
The movie "THE FITS" is creating an expetionally positve buzz among movie critics, earning incredible 97% on the "Tomatometer"
If you haven't see the movie yet, you can still see for two more days, till Thursday, June 16th, at the Esquire Theatre
What the Press has written about THE FITS:
The West End was definitely well represented in the Cincinnati Police Running Man Challenge video, parts of which were filmed right in front of the Taft IT High School!
It is also another testimonial to the awesomeness of the Q-KIDZ, when they are invited together with the Reds and Bengals to be part of the video
Check it out, and enjoy it!
Today the movie THE FITS had an official "Red Carpet Premiere" at the Esquire Theater, making history for the Cincinnati Film Commission! While lately we had several movies being filmed in Cincinnati, THE FITS was the first movie where almost all the lead actors were from Cincinnati, incl. the amazing Royalty Hightower. And of course, the fantastic Q-KIDZ Dance Team (www.q-kidz.com)
The movie is opening this Friday, June 10th, for general audience, in the Esquire Theater:
http://www.esquiretheatre.com/movie/2 ... The-Fits-Trailer-and-Info
Don't miss it!
Congratulations to the Film Director, Ms. Anna Rose Holmer, and to Ms. Marquicia Jones-Woods, the founder of Q-KIDZ (www.q-kidz.com).
And a "Thank you" to the Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky Film Commission for supporting this film.
We are looking for the sequel "THE FITS 2" :D
More pictures from today's event are on Facebook
Thanks to hard work from Taft IT High School officials and generous support from the health community, the Taft IT High School will be opening in the new school year a "School-Based Health Center" (SBHC) on campus, which will benefit both students and families.
The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony will take place on Tuesday, August 9th, 2016, at 4:00pm
School Based Health Centers are full service Cincinnati Health Department clinics located in Cincinnati Public Schools. These clinics serve the medical needs of children and families in the school and community. Currently, there are 11 School Based Health Centers serving over 10,000 students.
The clinics provide physicals, asthma management, immunizations, prescription medications, sick and injury care, and health education to children and families. Having a clinic in school makes it easier for parents to keep up with their children’s medical needs, and keep children in school.
School-Based Health Centers create better access to healthcare and help keep families healthy!
This new Health Center is a clear sign of changes taking place in the West End as part of the overall drive to create a better quality of life for our West End community, which recently created a strategic plan to get there as part of the "West End Speaks" initiative, led by Seven Hills Neighborhood House, and supported by LISC and CBI as part of the "Place Matters" program.
Special "Thank You" to the major donor making this Health Center possible: Interact for Health
Toyota Family Learning is a multi-generational solution to educational challenges that responds to societal changes and opportunities. This modern-day movement, now in 10 communities nationwide, is a harbinger for Family Service Learning—families learning and achieving together and mentoring each other—and is a visible partner in environmental stewardship, financial literacy, volunteerism, and civic engagement.
It was created to address educational needs and provide opportunities for low-income and ethnically diverse families to roll up their sleeves and build stronger communities. When children and families solve community issues together, they are simultaneously learning and applying 21st-century college and career readiness skills.
For the second year, thanks to Beech Acres Parenting Center agency, a group of parents from Hays-Porter Elementray School participated in this program, as West End was one of only three communities in Cincinnati selected for this program! And on Tuesday, May 31, 2016, it was Graduation Time!
They've spent many months together, and as part of their journey, they've learned how to create and maintain a Website, where they documented the program and their activities: the "West End Toyota Family Learning" website
Congratulations to all participaints, and a big "Thank You" to Toyota, Beech Acres Parenting Center , Ms. Jennifer Wikette, the Program Manager, and to Ms. Mary Flagg, who was the Project Leader.
More pictures are in our Photo Gallery
Ending school year with the Bang! That's what members of the Hays-Porter "IT/Robotics Club" did, by competing on the last day of school in "Frozen" from Code.org (see http://goo.gl/McnI7V), and walking away with computers, a laptop, and a 27" TV as the winning prizes.
When you start early and work hard, sky is the limit, as Titi has proved. She is still in kindergarten, but consistently participated in all IT/Robotics training sessions, and thanks to her hard work and dedication, she placed 4th, winning against several older students!
With these talented and very hard working students, with Hays-Porter becoming now Ohio's first "High-Tech Elementary School", and together with Taft Information Technology High School right next to Hays-Porter, the "West End IT Education Pipeline" has become a reality!
If you would like to donate computer equipment and other prize items for future competitions, please contact us.
It takes a village to raise a child, and it's always inspiring when people are stepping up and joining the movement to create such a village in West End!
Ashraf Orabi, owner of Jet-In Market, a Grocery Store located at 1207 Linn St. in West End, did just that! After hearing about Q-KIDZ need for funds for their trip to New York, he offered to hold a BBQ Fundraiser for them, and donate the food for it:
Please join the Q-KIDZ this Saturday, May 28th, 2016, at 2pm at:
1207 Linn St.
JET-IN Market is very supportive of the West End community, by promoting healthy life style and healthy eating habits, organizing events like this one in collaboration with Closing the Health Gap organization.
Picture credit: The Enquirer/Kareem Elgazzar
Sinita Scott, an English teacher from Taft IT High School went an extra mile for her graduating students! She decided to give each of her 87 students individual gifts with an individual letter. As she stated on her fundraising page, she knew "their favorite colors, favorite sports teams, and favorite super heroes in addition to knowing them as individual students". People donated money for the gifts and as a result all students received a wonderful surprise!
Thank you Ms. Scott for reminding us all what it means to be a great teacher who truly cares about her students! We are so lucky to have you as a teacher here in West End!
At the recent West End Community Council meeting, Messer Construction Co. presented the vision for new Headquarters to be located in West End Cincinnati, between Cutter St., Court St., Mound St. and I-75.
The residents expressed strong support for the move and applauded Messer's commitment to help with jobs creation for West End residents, and for becoming the Corporate Sponsor of George Hays-Jennie Porter Elementary, which recently became Ohio's first "High-Tech Elementary School". The engagement at Hays-Porter would be similar to what Cincinnati Bell did with Taft Information Technology High School. Both companies expressed interest to collaborate in supporting the creation of the "IT Education Hub" in West End.
Construction of the 50,000-square-foot facility is expected to start later this year, with completion slated for late 2017. The building will accommodate the 116 employees who currently work at the corporate office, along with another 40 the company plans to hire over the next three years.
BHDP Architecture will design the building, and Messer has committed to a 30 percent spend with certified minority- and women-owned contractors during the construction process.
On April 19, 2016, it was announced that Messer Construction Co. has earned eighth place on DiversityInc’s 2016 Top 13 Companies for Supplier Diversity ranking.
Press articles about Messer's move to West End:
Robert Killins, member of the West End Community Council, was honored on Monday, May 17th, at the United Way's "Leaders and Legends" Luncheon for his contributions to our Region:
Strengthening Our Region: Robert Killins Jr., program director, Vibrant Places, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation. Killins led the Vibrant Neighborhoods Vision Council and was among a select group of volunteers that helped influence the final Agenda for Community Impact.
Robert is a past President of the West End Community Council and currently chairs the Board of Directors of the Seven Hills Neighborhood House located in West End.
Congratulations Robert on this well deserved award!
West End is hosting the 1st Annual "Sonny Kim Martial Arts Tournament", which will take place:
This Annual "Sonny Kim Martial Arts Tournament" has been created to:
a) honor Officer Sonny Kim's memory, a 6th Degree Black Belt in Shotokan Karate, and ensure that he is not forgotten
b) use it as a platform for raising awareness against violence
c) reach out to and engage in a positive way underprivileged youth
d) strengthen community and law enforcement relationships
The tournament is a non-profit event, with ALL proceeds going to martial arts scholarships for underprivileged kids in Officer Sonny Kim's name. There will be a special committee of several Black Belt martial artists from Cincinnati that would manage the scholarship.
The Honorary Chair of the 2016 Sonny Kim Martial Arts Tournament is Herb Perez, the 1992 Olympic Gold Medalist in Taekwondo:
Please invite all Martial Artists you know to participate, and help us with the organization of this tournament!
Three-times Salsa Champion of Cincinnati, Tiffany Wilson, volunteered with Michael Beck, her original Salsa teacher, to teach the Q-KIDZ Dance Team Salsa dancing!
Salsa music is a general term referring to a genre that is based largely on Cuban and Puerto Rican popular dance music. It initially arose in New York City during the 1970s.
Salsa is primarily Cuban son, itself a fusion of Spanish canción and guitar and Afro-Cuban percussion, merged with North American music styles such as jazz. Musically speaking Salsa is a group of Latin rhythmic styles that contain the Clave beat; the five note syncopated rhythmic cell of African origin.
The Q-KIDZ Dance Team enjoys the high-energy dance:
Next year the Q-KIDZ would like to visit Cuba and explore more in-depth the world of Afro-Cuban dancing.
Below you can see Tiffany's winning performance at the 2009 Cincinnati Salsa Championships, together with Greg Palmer (the couple in white):
May 14, 2016 – At the Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses – Findlay Street Center, Dr. Melinda Butsch Kovacic and Curtis Maples, held the first “Meet and Greet” session to kick off the West End Community Citizen Science Program. This program is a research initiative intended to investigate strategies to identify and address potential public health concerns within the West End community specifically related to air pollution and drinking water. Under leadership of members of the community, the participants of the program will receive training in the application of the scientific process to gain insights into the public health and environment of the West End community.
The program is currently based in the Seven Hills Community Houses Center where it will also host its meetings. The program will last about two months which will culminate into a West End Clean Up Day and a presentation of the results of the study.
The program is currently seeking more volunteers. Those who are interested in participating are encouraged to contact Curtis Maples at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Q-Kidz Dance Team will be holding a Sign-Up this Friday, May 13, 4-7pm at their Dance Studio located in West End:
1524 Linn Street
This will be the only Sign-up this summer!
The movie was filmed right here in Cincinnati's West End, and the lead roles are played by #QKIDZ members.
More information about Q-KIDZ Dance Team, their importance for West End, and the FUNDRAISER is on the Go Fund Me Website
The reviews of the movie are excellent:
http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowanda ... into-dance-20160122
http://variety.com/2016/film/features ... undance-1201683106/
http://www.indiewire.com/article/veni ... ing-debuts-20150907
And Royalty Hightower just received the Best Actress Award at the RiverRun International Film Festival!
The movie and Royalty continue to make waves:
Q-KIDZ are the best ambassadors of West End and Cincinnati, showing how much talent we have here, and how hard our kids are working to achieve their dreams!
Please support the wonderful work done by these kids: https://www.gofundme.com/vuaumc7g