Billy “Issim” Ramsey
Billy Ramsey is a professional entertainer and writer. He has studied and performed as a poet, actor/director, step master, musician, MC and motivational speaker. Issim began stage training at the age of 8 when he was introduced to the church choir. Still shy and timid at the age of 10 he began playing the drums for a professional gospel-recording group. Two years later Issim was introduced to the stage as an actor where he played roles in “Mandela”, Zooman and the Sign.
Future opportunities landed him roles in commercials, educational films, After-school special with Paul Rodgriguez, performances with Stevie Wonder, The Winans, Father M.C., Sister Souljah, Music Soulchild, Erika Badu, and many more. Recent accomplishments include 2004 Pan African Film Festival (poetry), Hip-Hop meets Mozart “Daniel Roumain” (step and spoken word) at ASU Gammage Auditorium, West Side Def Poetry Jam hosted by ASU West in February 2004, Sizwe Bansi is Dead (acting) with Arizona Lost Boys of Sudan Center, Peace Network Theater, MLK Celebration (spoken word) and 25th Annual Black Youth Recognition Conference (spoken word & MC).
Mr. Ramsey is a graduate of University of Michigan with a BA in Communications, minoring in Psychology. He is a founding member of BlackPoet Ventures, LLC a Phoenix based theatrical entity which a grant recipient of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and Arizona Commission of the Arts. Pressing works include a performance and residency at University of Georgoa – Athens spring of 2015. His past 25 years of serving youth and families is now mirrored in his role of Artistic Director for BPV, which has given a canvas of expression to over 300 artist in the valley over the last 10 years. This 2013 recipient of the President Barack Obama Volunteer Service Award takes pride in his service through collaborations with institutions, human-service organizations, community steak-holders and community members which have key in sustaining such an entity as well continuing the creation of relevant artistic staged production while fulfilling communities’ needs for arts programming.
Billy is also an arts education provider and operates through the support of the 21st Century Arts Grant as well as individual and corporate sponsors.