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Bio

A Creative Force in the Arts Industry

Kai Simone is a seasoned professional whose remarkable talent and extensive experience have firmly established her as a prominent figure in the arts industry. With a career spanning over twenty-five years, she has made significant contributions as a director, producer, musician, performer, radio personality, and educator. Her dedication, skill, and unwavering passion for creativity have set her apart as a standout talent in her field.

Kai's journey in the arts began with her pursuit of a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theater Directing and Design at the prestigious University of Illinois-Chicago. During her time there, she immersed herself in a range of artistic disciplines, including music theory, composition, and voice technique. This diverse educational background provided her with a solid foundation in both theater and music, allowing her to excel in various creative roles.

Throughout her illustrious career, Kai has demonstrated her commitment to the arts community. She has served as a passionate and knowledgeable instructor, imparting her expertise to aspiring artists through her arts integration classes at Columbia College in Chicago. Kai's exceptional teaching abilities have inspired and nurtured countless talented individuals, shaping the next generation of artists.

In addition to her work in education, Kai has an impressive portfolio of productions she has produced. Notable among these are acclaimed plays such as A Raisin in the Sun, The Wiz, Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters, Aesop & the Fabulous Fable Sisters, and her own original Kwanzaa musical, Imani and the Magic Drum. The success of these productions is a testament to Kai's unwavering dedication to delivering high-quality performances.

In 2012, Kai co-founded the Skai Academy of the Performing Arts in Milwaukee, a transformative endeavor she embarked upon alongside musical director Emmanuel Turner. Through this academy, they have positively impacted the lives of over 3,000 students, offering workshops and performances that provide intense yet enjoyable learning experiences for aspiring youth from diverse backgrounds and abilities. One of the academy's notable achievements is the establishment of the Skai Stage Band, a remarkable fusion/cover band comprising talented vocalists and instrumentalists aged 10-18 from various cultural backgrounds. The band's distinct musical style has garnered recognition and made it a beloved presence in both Milwaukee and Madison.

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Today, Kai continues to make a profound difference in the Milwaukee community through her teaching endeavors. She imparts her signature Skai Music programs to schools and community centers across the metro area, bringing the transformative power of music to countless individuals. Kai has also formed a fruitful partnership with Arts@Large, delivering early childhood music and the Skai Music Arts program, enriching the lives of young learners. Furthermore, she actively contributes to the Discover Music, Discover Life, Inc. music education curriculum in Chicago by crafting captivating music lyrics.

Beyond her artistic abilities, Kai possesses exceptional time management skills, reliability, and an insatiable thirst for knowledge and growth. Her independent nature empowers her to take initiative and successfully execute projects. Additionally, her proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Suite showcases her versatility and adaptability in the ever-evolving digital age.

Throughout her remarkable career, Kai Simone has received well-deserved recognition for her invaluable contributions to the arts. Her accomplishments have garnered grants and prestigious awards, including the esteemed Illinois Arts Council/Illinois Arts Grant in 2008 and the coveted Milwaukee Black Excellence in Theater and Music award in 2016. These accolades serve as testaments to her ability to transform her immense talent and expertise into exceptional value for organizations and communities alike.

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