Osubi Craig, a multi-talented higher education administrator, engineer, arts presenter, African Diasporan percussionist, and arts advocate, brings a great deal of experience and energy to his new role as Director of the Center for the Arts, Migration, and Entrepreneurship (CAME) in the College of Arts at the University of Florida (CoTA). Osubi recently served as the chair of the working group on Access, Equity, and Inclusion as Functional Catalystsfor the College of The Arts Meta Strategy and currently serves as the college representative on the UF Equitable AI workgroup. He has over 20 years of experience as an Arts Administrator, developing and running programming, cultivating relationships, establishing collaborative partnerships, crafting shared visions and strategic directions, and working effectively with Arts programs and organizations nestled under the umbrella of higher education institutions.
Osubi is one of the oldest of ten children from a large and extended family. As a child growing up in Brooklyn, NY he was immersed in the African diasporic cultural arts movement. As a third generation percussionist, Osubi’s youth was focused on the preservation, perpetuation, and study of cultural arts of the African Diaspora. A Gainesville High School (GHS) graduate and a proud member of the Purple Hurricane Marching Band, his passion for science, technology and problem solving led him to earn a B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering while minoring in Jazz Studies at Florida A&M University (FAMU). During his time at FAMU he performed with the prestigious FAMU Marching “100” band, FAMU Jazz Ensemble, Dromatala Hand and-Stick Percussion Ensemble, African Carribean Dance Theater and FAMU’s Orchesis Contemporary Dance Theater throughout the U.S., Caribbean, South America and Europe. Osubi is a proud Charter Member of the FAMU’s Omicron Gamma Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Professional Music Fraternity of America and an Honorary Member of the Zeta Psi Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band at Virginia State University.
Early in his career, he followed his passion for the Arts, working extensively with major performing arts organizations, serving as a staff musician and program consultant for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and National Dance Institute's Arts in Education programs. He served as lead drummer for Kulu Mele African Dance & Drum Ensemble (Philadelphia, PA) and African Caribbean Dance Theater (Tallahassee, FL), and as a teaching artist for the Philly Pops (Philadelphia, PA), New Jersey Performing Arts Center (Newark, NJ), Lincoln Center Institute arts in education program (New York, NY) and Urban Bush Women (New York, NY). Osubi is also the founder and artistic director of the Prophecy Music Project, a Philadelphia- and New York City-based ensemble of professional dancers and musicians dedicated to the performance, practice and preservation of traditional African and African diasporic music and dance.
Osubi's desire for continued growth led him back to Tallahassee where he earned an M.A. from Florida State University (FSU) in Arts Administration with an emphasis on Grants and Program Management. During and after graduate school, Craig served as the Assistant Director of the Office of Black Diasporan Culture at FAMU facilitating concerts and performances, lecture series, international education travel experiences, and community outreach programming throughout north Florida and south Georgia.
As an arts administrator, Mr. Craig has experience with 1890 land grant programming, having served as Grant Specialist, Construction Project Manager, and Research Coordinator for the College of Engineering, Sciences, Technology and Agriculture (CESTA) at Florida A&M University (FAMU). During his time at Florida Memorial University (FMU) as Director of Grants and Sponsored Research/HBCU Title III Programs Craig led FMU to increases in grants submitted and awarded to the university. Mr. Craig successfully renegotiated the university's indirect cost rate agreement with the federal government allowing for greater funds to be recovered when operating grants and sponsored agreements.
He has served as Director of Arts and Cultural Affairs at Polk State College in Lake Wales, Florida, cultivating a diverse audience, commissioning performing and visual arts programming that covered a broad base of genres and taste profiles. Under his leadership, the Lake Wales Arts Center was rebranded as one of the primary cultural hubs in Central Florida for Visual and Performing Arts.
Osubi is coming to the University of Florida from Virginia State University (VSU), where he served as the Special Assistant to the President for Strategic Initiatives and Director of Government Relations. As the top advisor to the president, he provided direct support for high priority Presidential initiatives on policy, project implementation, and financial issues that directly impacts the core operations of the University, community relationships, external affairs, as well as student experience, matriculation, access, affordability and success. He was the primary representative for the president in communications with the vice presidents and senior leaders within the organization, the spokesperson for most external constituents, and the direct liaison to officials and agencies of the federal, state and local governments.
Osubi is excited to have returned to Gainesville to be a part of the Gator Nation.