Interview with Karen Nobel, Founder and Director of “Kids Need More Art” in South Florida
September 5, 2017 Jessica 0 Comments
Kids need more art. This isn’t just a statement – it’s also the name of a teacher-created, advocacy-based children’s art studio located in South Florida. Kids Need More Art offers art classes, camps, and programs in Jupiter, Stuart, Wellington, and at the Pine Jog Environmental Education Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. All of the studio’s instructors are certified art teachers who are advocates for the Visual Arts in their schools. KNMA’s art curriculums are discipline-based, stressing art criticism, art production, art history, and aesthetics. Dreamed up and established by certified art teacher and adjunct professor Karen Nobel, Kids Need More Art began to take shape in the summer of 2009.
The Evolution of Kids Need More Art
Kids Need More Art currently has 10-20 rotating teachers during the school year. During the summer, it has about 35. However, KNMA had humble beginnings. The studio looked very different in 2009 than it does today. Like every organization, it evolved. First of all, it didn’t begin in a studio; it began in a public school. Karen, a full-time public school teacher at the time, rented out her art classroom at the Pine Jog Elementary School for 2 weeks during the summer of 2009 to host a summer enrichment art program. The following summer, Karen named the in-demand program “Kids Need More Art.” Just one year later, the KNMA art and nature programs were relocated to Pine Jog Environmental Education Center, a facility that boasted 150 acres begging to be explored by the program’s youth. Soon, the program grew to demand full-time direction from Ms. Nobel, and became an official LLC in 2011. Karen was still a full-time teacher at the time. Just a few short months later, Karen secured another location in Jupiter that gave her additional opportunities to offer more art programs to local children. This studio location became and remains home to the administrative offices of Kids Need More Art.
How Kids Need More Art Directly Benefits Children
The programs offered by Kids Need More Art are so much more than just fun – they also benefit children emotionally and intellectually. Karen Nobel has seen firsthand how positively the creative process affects the children who attend her programs. In an exclusive interview with Segmation, Karen said, “Art teaches kids to be observers of life and be aware, to be mindful.” KNMA’s programs are designed to open young minds to a new way of looking at the world, and then teach them to express their experiences through the visual arts.
In order to get quality art instruction to children, Karen, who has a mind for business, chose not to go the non-profit route with KNMA. Karen said, “I didn’t want Kids Need More Art to be a non-profit because there is a lot of red tape to go through. I had a vision and wanted my vision to take off on its own without others telling me what to do.” While KNMA offers limited scholarships, they are only given to serious, committed students.
Karen Nobel Shares What it Takes for a Kid’s Art Studio to Be Successful
There are probably hundreds of individuals who would like to start an art studio or art program/camp for children. Some of these ambitious people try to make things work, yet it seems there are few art program for kids that are as successful as Kids Need More Art. Why is this? One reason is because Karen has a background in business and is a certified teacher. In her own words,
“I have a business background and am both right brained and left brained. I approached creating KNMA from both a teacher’s perspective as well as a mom’s perspective. I always ask myself, ‘What would I want this camp to look like if my child were involved?’ I run this camp like my daughter is in every class. I approach things from a mom’s standpoint. Also, I am an advocate for the field of art education (I have a Master’s in art education). In my opinion, being a certified teacher is crucial to starting a successful art program for kids.”
What KNMA Art Classes Do Kids Love Most?
Kids Need More Art offers an impressive number and variety of art classes for children. Read about them here. However, of all the classes, Karen reported that kids tend to favor mixed media.
“Every parent wants his or her child to paint on a canvas. Parents just tend to think their kids want to paint on a canvas. However, kids love mixed media,” Karen shared. In addition to mixed media and painting, KNMA offers many other types of art classes. Find art class schedules for each Kids Need More Art location below.
Get in Touch with Kids Need More Art Today
Want more information about KNMA? If so, follow Kids Need More Art on Instagram and Facebook, and visit the KNMA website. Don’t forget to check out the happenings and class offerings at each studio location:
Contact Kids Need More Art today for more information.
Kids Need More Art’s goal “is that every child come to love and appreciate the creative process and find self-worth and fulfillment through each student-created masterpiece.” The teachers at KNMA are accomplishing this goal, one child at a time.
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