Noelle Picara Hired as Arts Integration Specialist at Kuumba Academy Charter School

​Noelle Picara, Wilmington-based arts professional and educator, recently joined Kuumba Academy Charter School as their Arts Integration Specialist for the 2019-2020 school year. Starting August 12, Noelle began to focus on creating and implementing arts integration throughout the school within the four National Arts Disciplines — visual art, music, dance and theater. This position works with educators in multiple areas of study to incorporate each discipline into their curriculum.

In this role, Noelle will focus on three major goals for authentic arts integration. First, she will ensure content area standards are met through the four arts disciplines, in addition to language arts. Second, she will see that National Arts Standards are met by making sure students are evaluated and guided by teachers with art literacy. Teachers can receive assistance from experts who are able to provide professional insight if they choose. Third and finally, students should learn content in all subjects through the arts as a means of communication.

“I think many educators are afraid of integrating the arts, and especially performing arts, because they are afraid of losing control of their classes,” says Noelle Picara. “When you do that successfully, though, you will find that the students take over the class in a beautiful dance, creating and achieving in ways that you never would have imagined.”

As an educator, Noelle plans to shake up an education system that too often forces students to focus on production and consumption or that promotes white supremacy culture. The outdated education system consistently fails Black and Brown students, funneling them from schools to prisons. Noelle’s mission is to use arts education to empower the next generation to solve the world’s issues, bringing communities together and creating a system where every child can thrive.

Currently, Kuumba Academy is preparing for an arts commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved African who was brought to Jamestown in 1619. Noelle Picara is helping to implement this project, as well as several others, including improvisational ensembles in all subjects throughout the school.

About Noelle Picara

Noelle Picara is an arts educator, with over 35 years of experience in studying music and dance. Noelle is inspired to use art for activism, as seen in her social-justice art exhibit, “Unwarranted,” where she curated pieces from students that addressed the criminalization of poverty. She hopes to build an educational model that could be successfully implemented into other schools.

About Kuumba Academy Charter School

Kuumba Academy is a K-8 school that focuses on innovative education, arts education, and the belief that all children can maximize their learning potential, given the opportunity to do so. KACS operates on the Seven Principles, or Nguzo Saba, of Kwanzaa: Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith. KACS was also the first school model in Delaware to partner a public charter school with a non-profit community organization, Christina Cultural Arts Center.

Source: Noelle Picara


Categories: Education

Tags: arts, arts integration specialist, education, kuumba academy charter school, noelle picara