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Artis J. Olds

Director of Arts Education and Community Programs


Chicago native Artis J. Olds is a corporate creative turned performing and teaching artist with over a decade of experience designing, implementing, and executing artistically driven programs for students and audiences around the globe. Before graduating from Central State University, Artis served as the marching band’s Head Drum Major, and as a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, he honed his skill as a stepper- winning first prize in over 50 step shows: most notably, America’s largest step competition, The Sprite Step-Off. He’s worked with Mark Twain Prize recipient, Dave Chappelle and performed with Grammy Award-winning artists including- Alessia Cara, Drake, Erica Campbell, John Legend, The Roots, and Kanye West. Artis has toured with the international percussion sensation, STOMP, and before returning to Step Afrika! as Director of Arts Education and Community Programs, he was, once upon a time, a company member. Artis toured, taught, and performed in over 25 countries, choreographed and directed work for The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, performed at The White House, and is a featured teaching artist in Step Afrika!’s interactive virtual exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. “Home is where the heart is, and it’s good to be home!”