SACRED CYPHER CREATIVES 2020-02-18T20:44:19+00:00

2019-2020 Sacred Cypher Creatives

Frank Waln

                                                   Music: Performance, Services | Chicago, IL

Tuesday, March 3 | 3:00-6pm

Sage & Clay 

Join Sacred Cypher Creative, Frank Waln, and fellow Sicangu Lakota hip-hop artist, Rollie Raps, for a special edition workshop in which you will learn a hand building ceramic bowl technique, while learning about the healing properties of smudging sage and a connection to our Earth.

 *Limited space available RSVP at

Wednesday, March 4 | 5:30pm – Dinner | 6:00 pm – Program 

Grassroots Power Hour

Learn about how art is used as a form of healing and resistance amongst Indigenous communities. RSVP encouraged via

Friday, March 6 | 6:30 – 9:00pm 

Songs and Stories from Lakota Country 

Through music and poetry, this workshop-styled performance will take attendees on a journey to Lakota Country by engaging the ancestral Lakota approach to songwriting that facilitates healing and resistance while exploring colonization’s impact on the struggles of Indigenous communities and other oppressed people. Light refreshments will be available.

*RSVP at*

Saturday, March 7 | 2:00-6:00pm

Private Studio Recording Session

Unleash the power of healing and expression through an intentional creative process and record your own poetry during a private studio session. Because space is limited, all attendees must receive approval from hip hop artist and producer, Frank Waln. Friday evening event attendance is required to be considered. Location will be shared with confirmed guests. Inquire via

Frank Waln is an award-winning Lakota Hip Hop artist, producer & audio engineer from the Rosebud Rez in South Dakota. A recipient of the Gates Millennium Scholarship, he attended Columbia College Chicago where he received a BA in Audio Arts and Acoustics. His awards include three Native American Music Awards, the 3Arts Grant for Chicago Artists and the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development Native American 40 Under 40. He has been featured in The Fader, Vibe, NPR, Paper Magazine, ESPN, and MTV’s Rebel Music. Frank Waln travels the world sharing his story through music and presentations focusing on self-healing and expression of truth.

Bassel Almadani

                                                  Music: Performance | Chicago, IL

Monday, October 21st 

6-8p | Emerging Artist Series 1 

IMAN | 2745 W. 63rd St.

  • Sacred Cypher Creative, Bassel Almadani, will lead a two-part workshop on achieving a sustainable career in the arts by developing a mission & brand, setting goals, building a team, coordinating logistics, budgeting, and more. 

Tuesday, October 22nd 

2:30-4:30p | Staff workshop

  • A private workshop for IMAN staff. 

6-8p | Emerging Artist Series 2

IMAN | 2745 W. 63rd St.

  • Sacred Cypher Creative, Bassel Almadani, will lead a two-part workshop on achieving a sustainable career in the arts by developing a mission & brand, setting goals, building a team, coordinating logistics, budgeting, and more. 

Wednesday, October 23rd

10:30-12:30p | Green ReEntry workshop

  • A private workshop for members of IMAN’s Green ReEntry program.

6-8p | Emerging Artist Series 3

IMAN | 2744 W. 63rd St.

  • An opportunity to have personalized one-on-one time with Bassel to discuss your artistry goals and needs.

Thursday, October 24th 

3:30-5p | Music Moves Institute Workshop

  • A private workshop for community members of the Music Moves Institute. 

5:30-8p | Enrich Chicago 5-year celebration 

  • A private performance for the Enrich Chicago community. 

10:00p | The Re Up Media Interview 

  • Check back for the interview link.

Friday, October 25th 

7 p | Words, Poems, and Music of Resilience

Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center | 4048 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, Illinois

  • Performances will promote tolerance, cultural understanding, equality and justice through the lens of the Afro-Puerto Rican and Muslim American communities’ history and diversity. 
  • *Limited free tickets available* Please email to claim your free ticket. 
Bassel Almadani is a Syrian-American artist, producer, and logistics professional based in Chicago, IL. Born and raised in Northeast Ohio by immigrants from Aleppo, Syria, he now leads the nationally touring soul & funk ensemble Bassel & The Supernaturals in addition to booking and producing events, studio productions, and speaking engagements around North America.
With over 20 years of experience as a performing artist, Bassel has been raising awareness around issues of social justice facing Arab and Muslim communities for much of his professional career. He planned charity events with numerous organizations while earning two degrees from The Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University in Logistics Management and International Business. Bassel now collaborates with schools, arts centers, and cultural centers on performances and educational programs highlighting his Syrian-American heritage in an effort to build empathy and cultural understanding during a humanitarian crisis that has deeply impacted his family as well as over 10,000,000 others.

Amir “Tubad” Gray

                                                  Music: Performance, Arts Education | New Orleans, LA

12:15p – 1:30p | Human Piano Staff Workshop
  • A private workshop for IMAN staff. 
5p – 7p | Human Piano and Drum Circle
  • A private workshop for youth in the ATL area. 
2:30p – 4p | Even the Kitchen Sink 
  • A private workshop for youth in the ATL area.
6p – 8p | Drum Circle
  • Glenrose Gardens Clubhouse; 85 Mount Zion Road
  • During this interactive public workshop, participants will explore the metaphor of community through creating music with percussive instruments.
  • Please RSVP here.
2p – 4p | WRFG 89.3 Interview 
6p – 8p | Human Piano
  • Held in partnership with IMAN’s weekly Grassroots Power Hour, this workshop will get participants to create music together through non-verbal communication driving the point of team work and communities working together. 
SATURDAY, AUGUST 31 | 6p – 9:30p | Sacred Cypher
  • Porter Sanford III Performing Arts & Community Center; 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur, GA 30034
  • This Sacred Cypher is an intimate, immersive artistic experience that will invite attendees to dig deeper into IMAN’s issue areas and holistic model and will feature performances by IMAN Sacred Cypher Creatives: Tubad and Jasiri X. Co-hosted by  AläZ and Sadia “Ms. DiJa” Nawab.
  • Please RSVP here

Amir ‘Tubad’ Gray is a multi-talented tuba and trumpet player, rapper, and producer. He has been a student and practitioner of music since his youth. Hailing out of Chicago and having spent formative years in New Orleans, he is a classically trained artist influenced by Jazz, RnB, Hip-Hop, and Soul music. The sounds and culture of New Orleans has influenced his musical and performance style. Tubad is passionate about working with communities to facilitate collaboration and resourcefulness through making music together.

Jasiri X

                                                  Music:  Arts Education, Performance | Pittsburgh, PA

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 2  |  6p – 8p |  Fight Fear Build Power: Labor Day Town Hall
  • Atlanta University Center; Exact location will be emailed upon RSVP here
  • Through a dynamic panel discussion on Labor Day, active community members will discuss how communities-under-attack can show up as authentic solidarity partners to each other, and what unity looks like on an artistic and economic level.
Two-Part Emerging Artist Series: Hip Hop, Activism, and Technology
  • IMAN Office; 1523 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd
  • This interactive workshop will educate emerging artists on how art and technology have changed how social justice movements are born, how to combat negativity within Hip Hop as an artist, and Jasiri X’s personal success in making a viable career as an artist and an on-the-ground activist.
  • Attendance for both workshops highly recommended; RSVP here.

Jasiri X is the first independent hip-hop artist to be awarded an Honorary Doctorate, which he received from Chicago Theological Seminary in 2016. This recognition grew out of the spiritual/political urgency he shared on songs like “Trayvon” and “Strange Fruit”, which documented the unjust police killings of Blacks in the Millennial Generation.

He is the founder of the Pittsburgh based organization, 1Hood Media, which teaches youth of color how to analyze and create media for themselves. Jasiri is a recipient of the Nathan Cummings Foundation Fellowship, USA Cummings Fellowship in Music, and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Artist as Activist Fellowship.

K-Love the Poet

                                                   Poetry: Performance, Public Speaking | Chicago, IL

K-Love the Poet is an international Spoken Word Artist/Motivational Speaker. She’s shared stages with arts & activist legends as Angela Davis, Ameena Mathews, Ava Muhammad, Jessie Jackson, Common, just to name a few. A recipient of several awards for her community work and humanitarianism, she also has titles to her credit of actress, author, and mentor. In 2009 she co-founded LYRIC Mentoring (Let Your Rhymes Inspire Creativity), a grassroots endeavor that has become one of the most impactful youth movements in Chicago.