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Photo Credit: Olivia Moon

J. Cottle
(he, him)

Founder, Chief Alchemist

Founder, Executive Director, Dunamis Inc. 

Producer & Co-Host Playblack Podcast

Producer & Co-Host Heart Behind the Hustle

I’ll be the first to tell you that I wear many hats.

I’m an Educator, Arts Administrator, Musician, Writer, Host and Advocate. I’m the Founder/Executive Director of Dunamis, the Creative Director of Petrichor, and a Co-Host of the podcasts Playblack, and Heart Behind the Hustle.

But if you found yourself lucky enough to own a TARDIS and traversed back to my earliest days you would discover that before I was any of those things, I was always a lover of stories. Reading was my personality, my mother called me a T.V Tick, I would watch my VHS tapes again and again until they were worn out.

I realized recently that a lot of who I am as an artist was shaped in the backseat of my mother’s car. I grew up as an only child and as such, wherever she went, I was in tow. The albums we listened to in that car like Kurt Carr, John Denver, The Jackson Five and so much more, remain touchstones in my musicianship. There was a Christian radio station that played old-fashioned dramas that I now realize shaped my love for fiction podcasts.

But the backseat couldn’t last forever. While my connection to the arts remained, I grew up and explored other passions as an educator and administrator.

My lens developed to explore the intersection of art, equity, civic engagement, transformative growth, and joy.

But I still loved stories.

And the more I worked with artists, helping them transform their dreams into living, breathing, brilliant truth, the more I knew that I also had stories living in me that deserved some of that same alchemical magic. Thus, Akeem’s Alchemy was born.

While I have been blessed to be a performer in many spaces, Akeem’s Alchemy is where my artistry and love of stories has been able to flourish for the first time.

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Mom and I after having been somewhere in the car I'm sure. This is mostly a gratuitous image included to pull at your heart-strings. 

These stories will be queer. They will be hella black. And they will be wrapped in magic and the fantastical.

 

My goal is to weave all the strands of my identity into the stories we tell here. The educator in me wants them to be transformational for you as you take them in. The civic advocate wants them to inspire you to transform the world around you. The arts administrator wants to bring them to life across mediums.

Whatever you take from these stories, I hope they move you. I hope they make you feel seen. I hope they inspire wonder and joy within you.

 

I hope they give you magic.  

-J.Cottle

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