Athiri is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization funding artists, organizing action, and affecting communities. “Athiri” is Swahili for influence and we believe the arts are the most civically, socially, and politically influential aspect of humanity. We use artists to address community issues, events as platforms to organize action around those issues, and work with service providers to affect those issues.
ARTS — art is the best way to connect humans because it is our most engaging natural instinct
ACTION — disorganization is the most lethal weapon used against disadvantaged people
AFFECT — if our work doesn't speak to or through someone in need it cant have impact
Jecorey "1200" Arthur is an award-winning educator, musician, and activist from the West End of Louisville, KY. He earned the nickname “1200” after teaching himself to produce hip hop on a KORG D-1200 studio at age 12. A decade later he became a classically trained musician, and earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s in Music Education at the University of Louisville.
1200 has taught hundreds of thousands of students around the world in public schools, community centers, and beyond, including a tour to Boys and Girls Clubs of America, a cultural exchange with De Montfort University in England, and an artist-in-residency at New York City's 92nd Street Y. As a performer, he has appeared at Big Ears Festival, Forecastle Festival, and Jungfrau Erzählfestival in Switzerland. He has performed as a soloist with the Stereo Hideout Brooklyn Orchestra and the Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Nashville, Columbus, and Oregon Symphony Orchestras. He was also the first hip hop artist to perform with the Louisville Orchestra including world premieres of folk opera The Way Forth and rap opera The Greatest: Muhammad Ali, in which he starred as his hometown hero.
1200 is currently the Music Education Manager at Louisville Public Media, Professor of Percussion Studies at Simmons College of Kentucky, a member of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network Artist Roster, endorsed by Salyers Percussion, a Black Male Engagement Genius Fellow, and President of Athiri, a nonprofit he founded using arts and action to affect communities. 1200’s latest EP, Arsnova, is available on all platforms and you can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @1200LLC.
“Athiri was created to give artists a platform to positively influence others, do something about the struggles we reflect in our art, and have an impact on my city. I’ve spent my career as an artist priortizing education over enteraintment, and met a number of other artists along the way that shared this sentiment. It wasn’t enough for us to educate, we had to also dedicate — our art, our actions, and ways we wanted to affect the communities we live in.”
- Jecorey “1200” Arthur, Athiri Inc. Founder and President