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    Arthur, 25, is an educator, composer, performer and curator. On Nov. 4, he played the title role in the Louisville Orchestra performance The Greatest: Muhammad Ali. Arthur lives in Parkland. “I was born and raised here,” he says. “The history is rich and no other part of Louisville resonates with me like the place formerly known as ‘Little Africa.’”

    Describe the space you’re in right now.

    “I just had my first child, bought my first house and made my first job my last job to fully pursue civic work. My space is crazy.” (Arthur recently resigned from teaching music at Hite Elementary to take on the Ali project.)


    Earliest childhood memory?

    “My great-grandmother used to make me the best sandwiches. She’d make every kind imaginable. The main ingredient was love. R.I.P., Nanny.”


    What song has been stuck in your head lately?

    “‘How Far I’ll Go’ from Moana is an unforgettable classic.”


    When/where are you most creative?

    “The middle of the night is an incredibly special time for me creatively. I’m usually lost in my own mind.”


    How’d you make your first dollar?

    “It was a gift from my mother on my first birthday. It’s in storage somewhere.”


    If you could be mayor of Louisville for a day, what would you do?

    “I would request to shut down everyone’s power, forcing them to go outside and interact with other humans, or at least interact with the people in their homes. It seems like human interaction is rapidly decreasing.”


    When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?

    “It changed often but mostly an astronaut, an architect and a professional Rollerblader.”


    Most noticeable quirk?

    “I don’t engage in small talk. Is that a quirk?”


    Who’s doing big things in Louisville under the radar?

    “The ultimate superhero is the public-school teacher.” 


    Besides your current job, what’s the best job you’ve ever had?

    “I canvassed for a mayoral campaign in high school.”


    Favorite possession? 

    “My 1942 Deagan marimba. Musicians of the ’40s, ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and today have played it. Sometimes when I play, I imagine the people before me and try to channel their energy, talent and era.” 


    What/who makes you laugh?

    “Things my students would say are hilarious. Since (his resignation from Hite Elementary) I’ve gotten many questions from confused students since I occasionally still see them. Recently a kid asked why I was walking out the door at Hite. I told him I wasn’t the music teacher. He replied, ‘So you don’t live here anymore?’ I guess I worked too much.”


    Best book you’ve read over the past year?

    How the Poor Can Save Capitalism: Rebuilding the Path to the Middle Class, by John Hope Bryant. You should read it.”


    Favorite movie scene?

    “Tupac’s monologue from the locker scene in Juice is the single greatest film moment of all time.”


    First thing on your bucket list?

    “Watch every episode of the animated Nickelodeon series Avatar: The Last Airbender after I retire.” 


    Fill in the blank: “________’s Louisville” should be the next banner on the side of a building.

    “Lionel Hampton!!! He was the greatest vibraphonist ever to live, and he’s from right here in Louisville!”


    What triggers your “aha!” moment?

    “When I can finally figure out a random chord progression in my brain.”


    Something unexpected you love in Louisville?

    “As filthy as it is, the Ohio River is calming.”


    If forced to get a tattoo today, what would you get?

    “The outline of marching tenor drums on my wrist. My friend has that tattoo on his leg and it’s awesomazing.”


    What three people (living or dead) would be on the guest list to your ideal dinner party?

    “Jesus, Malcolm X and Tchaikovsky.”


    If you could write it yourself, what would your headstone say?

    “I’m being cremated, but it would just be the crying-laughing emoji.”



    Biggest regret?
    “I missed seeing Jay Z and Kanye West’s Watch the Throne Tour.”

    What superstition do you believe in?

    One thing Louisville is missing?
    “A true artist network.”

    What Louisville dish have you eaten more than any other?
    “A B&B from Grind Burger.”

    What’s on your nightstand?
    “A salt lamp, a bible and a .380.”

    Your least favorite word?
    “I cringe when people say ‘um’ repeatedly.”

    Greatest movie ending?

    What brings you the greatest joy?
    "A colorful sunset. Isn't it almost unbelievable sometimes?"


    This originally appeared in the November 2017 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe to Louisville Magazineclick here. To find us on newsstands, click here.

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