Fred Neurohr is a volunteer, a husband and a father. I met him through his involvement as a board member for
the Cincinnati nonprofit Elementz, an arts center dedicated to encouraging young people’s creativity and positive choices, the promotion and development of Urban Arts, and the betterment of our city. Fred’s passion for bringing out the best in young people is loud and clear. He is an inspiration.
I asked Fred about the GOOD in his life. This is what he had to say.
What is something really good that has happened recently or in your life?
I recently took a position at the Council on Aging, which combines several of my passions: working with data to tell a story, working in service of people in our community, and contributing toward a better Cincinnati.
Who is someone who has inspired you in your life and why?
Peter Block. My work with him at Elementz really drives home the notion that everyone has a gift, and our duty as members of a community is to help nurture and bring those gifts into the light.
What is one of your favorite quotes that inspires you?
“Everything in moderation, including moderation.” It reminds me that it’s okay to let things escape the cold, everyday calculus. In truth, we need not count everything all the time and can choose not to impose quantitative judgments in all corners of life. It’s good for the soul to both recognize and exercise the pleasant randomness life brings, and to act with passion and helpful excess from time-to-time.
What is something that is sure to make you smile?
A trip home to my native New York City, especially sharing it with my family. Watching my kids light up at the sights and sounds of Times Square, or when they stare in wonderment at the awesome characters of Coney Island, or when they try food they’ve never seen before – it’s the best! Unless we attend a Mets or Jets game. That doesn’t leave me smiling so much lately. 😉
Living in Cincinnati, we’ve all experienced over the past few weeks how music can uplift and transform us. It can bring out talents and inspire dreams.
Those magical abilities of young people, many of whom never even knew they had it within themselves to create, are the mortar for an Over-the-Rhine nonprofit whose sole purpose is to nurture strengths through hip hop arts.
Elementz sparks the flame
The origins for Elementz trace back to 2005 when community leaders began an outreach effort to give Cincinnati’s urban teens a safe place to hang out after school. It didn’t take long for them to realize the huge untapped potential in young minds with imagination and passion.
Today, in its new building at 1100 Race Street, over 320 aspiring artists ages 14 to 24, are building their confidence, becoming leaders and collaborators, learning about pushing their comfort zone as they perform new hip hop dance moves before live audiences, honing communication skills through writing and performing rap; and using their creativity to paint graffiti, and shoot videos and photos.
One of the great things about nurturing a young person’s strengths is that that energy tends to ebb into so many other aspects of that person’s life. Since coming to the nonprofit Elementz studio, a number of youth have attained their GED’s and are either enrolled in or are preparing for college.
Executive Director Tom Kent told me, “The bottom line is – every youth has gifts. Sometimes they don’t realize that those gifts are and so we are on a mission to help them figure that out.”
Elementz Spring 2012 Video Newsletter