Center Faculty & Staff

Kawachi A. Clemons, Ph.D. Executive Director & Professor of Music
Dr. Kawachi A. Clemons brings over 20 years of experience in higher education as an administrator, faculty member, composer, and conductor. He currently serves as Professor of Music and Executive Director of the Center for Creative and Entertainment Arts at Virginia State University (VSU). While at VSU he held numerous administrative appointments, including Vice Provost for Academics, Innovation and Strategic Initiatives, Assistant Vice President for Academics and Special Assistant to the Provost. Prior to his appointment at VSU, he spent nearly a decade at Florida A&M University in numerous roles including Chair of the Department of Music, founding director of the Institute for Research in Music and Entertainment Industry Studies, Coordinator of Music Education and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Dr. Clemons engineered, co-produced, and scored music for the acclaimed Sony Pictures Entertainment animated series, The Boondocks with GRAMMY® Award-winning producer Patrick “9th Wonder” Douthit. Additionally, he served on the production staff of The Academy Awards, Super Bowl XXXIII Halftime Show, FIU Music Festival, and he has managed numerous special events with Walt Disney Entertainment.

Christopher “Play” Martin Director of Production
A Queens, N.Y. native, Christopher “Play” Martin is considered a pioneer in the entertainment industry. As half of the iconic and groundbreaking Hip Hop duo “Kid ‘n’ Play,” he has contributed to some of the most defining moments in popular culture. Martin is a celebrated, award-winning and self-taught documentarian, and founder of cutting-edge production company Playground Solutionz, which develops and produces short and full-length multimedia projects.

He recently served as a professional in residence at Florida A&M University in the Music Industry & Hip Hop Institute. He previously served in this role at Miles College, North Carolina Central University and Healthy Start Academy Charter School.

In addition, schools, churches, community organizations, and groups from around the nation have called upon Martin to deliver empowering, insightful and inspiring keynote addresses and presentations. These include Duke University, Stanford University, Florida State University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Illinois, and Western New England University.

Martin is a recipient of the 2007 New York International Film Festival Award for “best full-length feature documentary” for his production work on “Welcome to Durham.” He has also received Grammy and Stellar Award nominations for his production contributions to “Taking the Gospel to the Streets” Volumes 1, 2, and 3 and the successful release of “Holy Hip Hop the Movie” a DVD documentary. He’s completing three additional documentaries titled: “Can Hip Hop Go To School?,” “... AND iDANCE,” and "The Marching 100."

In 2006, after a life-changing incident, which left him incapacitated and faced with learning to walk again, Martin was inspired to create the multimedia news company Brand Newz. For Martin, the painful experience was anything but an accident. During his recovery, his time was spent praying, reading and reflecting. He found himself engulfed in watching biographies, documentaries and 24-hour “news” networks.

What he saw on the news was disappointing and awakened him to the reality that the stories being told by mainstream media were filled subjective reporting and misconceptions that served the purpose of dividing and discouraging people, instead of unifying and uplifting them.

He furiously asked, “Why isn’t there a network that focuses and reports on the positive people and events occurring in today’s society?” His question was divinely answered with another question: “Why don’t you do something about it?” From that point on, Christopher has been dedicated to producing content that tells the often-untold stories of the inspiring people and moments that impact our world every day, stories which reveal that "Hip Hop Has A New Direction," and that direction is up!

Kevin McCloskey, Instructor
Kevin McCloskey is a Grammy nominated Multi-Platinum mixer and producer. Kevin attended North Carolina Central University as well as Full Sail University studying music industry and recording arts. Based out of Charlotte, NC, he is the current owner of Safe and Sounds studios and continues to mix and master for major record labels and independent artists alike. Kevin teaches courses in Music Production, Mixing and Mastering in the Sound Recording Production program.

VSUPHI Resources

VSUPHI Steering Committee

VSUPHI Steering Committee

Current VSU Participants on the Steering Committee.

The VSUPHI will address the public health deficiencies in the immediate Central Virginia area and throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia in underserved communities where there is a significant need.  

Click Here

VSUPHI Advisory Committee

VSUPHI Advisory Committee

Current VSU Advisory Committee

The VSUPHI seeks to support underserved communities with focus on African Americans, lower-income populations, rural communities, and overall racial inequality.

Click Here