Deidre Clark, Kuumba’s Founder attends Straight A’s Training


From June 3rd– 7th Deidre Clark, Kuumba Community Art’s Founder attended the The Straight A’s Institute  with teaching artist Karen Erikson. During the four-day training, which was held at the Birmingham Museum of Art, participants learned  to create arts based curricula that is consistent with Birmingham City’s School Standards.

The teaching artist covered a number of ways to integrate arts into almost any lesson plan, which would lead to better student engagement, stronger arts instruction and higher academic achievement.

Straight A’s (Arts Advance Academic Achievement) is a federally funded program that was created to integrate arts into elementary and middle school curricula.  This is the first time a federally funded program such as this has been implemented in Alabama.

“The Straight A’s training was particularly helpful because of how it fits into Kuumba’s goals of using art as a tool to foster learning and self-esteem in elementary and middle school children,” said Deidre Clark.

Straight A’s is a joint partnership between the Kennedy Center, Birmingham City School District, and the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham.

For more information on Straight A’s please visit:

Kuumba’s First Photo Exhibition

On May 30, 2013, the students of the Kuumba Arts  held their first photography exhibit at the Ensley Recreation Center in Ensley, Alabama.  The exhibit drew a crowd of close to 75 people which included the students’ families, teachers and other community members. This event was very exciting not only for the Kuumba staff, but also for the students. The event was such a success that two of the student artists were interviewed by the Birmingham Times Newspaper.  The student artists, all young Black boys ranging in ages from 8-12 years old took photographs of places in their communities with a Canon Powershot A2300, they were given very little direction and the results were breath taking.

By encouraging the students to see places and objects that are a part of their daily lives in new, creative ways we hope to inspire them to also see their lives and the lives of others with a new lens.  Below are some of the photographs from the exhibition.

Click  Birmingham Times 6.13.2013 to read the news article from the Birmingham Times.

week 4 (2 of 9) week 4 (8 of 10) Slide (1 of 1) week 4 (3 of 10)week 4 (4 of 10) week 4 (7 of 9) Baseball and Bridges (7 of 10) Converse (1 of 1)