8 arts & culture
Tendani Mpulubusi El is a DC based entrepreneur and interdisciplinary artist. His leadership as CEO and founder of 8 Arts & Culture (formerly Ward 8 Arts & Council) has contributed to the cultural fabric of Washington, DC by bridging gaps between grassroots, city officials, and the private sector. Tendani has dedicated over 10 years to the social and economic advancement of D.C. residents of underprivileged communities focusing on artistic, cultural, and environmental programming.
At 26 years old, Tendani served as a DC Arts Commissioner, the youngest board member of a DC Agency in the history of the DC government. Since 2013, Tendani's DC based for-profit ventures have provided a myriad of contractual opportunities for individuals and small businesses.
Following Tendani's feature length documentary, "People Past & Present: Hillsdale"- which illuminated the African American legacy and the socioeconomic impact of gentrification and displacement - he was compelled to build relationships with the developers that sought to dissipate the communities he served. Tendani's leadership has been influential in several developments such as the 11th Street Bridge Park, Barry Farm ReDevelopment and St. Elizabeth's East.
Tendani's murals throughout South West waterfront developments evidence his passion to preserve community history and vitality. He furthers his mission via Discover Hillsdale Project, a media arts and tech related workforce training program. This organization helps position members of his community to reap the benefits of the aggressive economic development taking place around them. His commitment has led to copious paid internships for Ward 8 based individuals within the Monumental Sports and Entertainment's Summer 2016 Content Production Department. He stresses the importance of health and wellness through a student-built aquaponics system, created within the 8AC Summer Program. Furthermore, his talent for nurturing artistic ability can be seen through various art projects commissioned by the 11th Street Bridge Park, American University Radio, and the DC Department of Parks and Recreation.