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LEARNING CURVE is a powerful one-person play that tells the true story of Jodie Knowles as a kid growing up in Nashville Tennessee that was unjustly diagnosed with a Learning Disability and put into Special Education for 9 years segregated from peers and endured bullying and student shaming. She eventually moved to Seattle Wa where she was quickly put into an Arts Based Program where she thrived. Her story is set in1981 to 1998 during the era of war on drugs and the rampage of pharmaceutical drug companies entering our school system. Knowles highlights Special Education as the bed rock that fuels the school to prison pipeline as she recalls witnessing the loss of her friends and peers to futile suspensions and three strikes your out rule.  Learning Curve bravely explores the school-to-prison pipeline, over-diagnosing, medicating, isolation, segregation and expulsion of students while breaking the silence of shame and stigma around these vital issues. Knowles uses spoken word poetry, dance and traditional story telling to open your mind to the power of the creative arts.   Told from a personal perspective, Jodie hopes that all educators, teachers, school counselors, parents, activists, and civic leaders begin to understand the lived LD/ADHD experience, not only the academic struggle, but the social and emotional reality that students in Special Ed go through every day. After each performance audience members will be invited to reflect on how we might begin to collectively move forward toward inclusion, awareness and social change in the education system. 


California School Resource Officers Association fully supports the presentation of Jodie Knowles. As you are aware, she brings to life the many challenges and negative stereotypes of those with learning disabilities. Her presentation brings understanding to the issues, challenges and emotions so many of our adolescents in and out of the juvenile justice system face. In turn, this understanding should bring about change in the way we view young people and how we conduct operations.

Wayne Sakamoto

Executive Director



Performer Jodie Knowles has over 20 years of experience in the performing arts. Critics have called her “Intuitively Brilliant.” She has performed in numerous award-winning independent films, theatrical productions, and festivals, in schools, prisons and institutions. In 2007 she clashed her love of performing and writing; becoming a highly sought after female voice throughout the West Coast as a spoken word artist.

Jodie began writing her story in 2014 to help others with LD/ADHD find representation and validation.  Jodie created Luminous Minds Project during her research of Learning Curve to help support youth and adults with LD/ADHD. LMP provides coaching, education, workshops, community meetings, outreach and advocacy to help creative minds labeled LD/ADHD to identify and tell their stories artfully. 

Director NIKKI VISEL is a Seattle based actor, director and teaching artist performing locally with Taproot Theatre Company, Seattle Shakespeare Company, ArtWest, ReAct Theatre and others. Nikki is also a teaching artist for Path With Art (an organization providing arts access and education to people recovering from homelessness, addiction, and other trauma), Taproot Theatre Company (in collaboration with Fairfax Psychiatric Hospitals), and Seattle Shakespeare Company (including their in school residencies). Her directing work includes the short plays Ordinary Giants and O2 at On The Boards/12 Minutes Max, the premiere of Arcana at Open Circle and Arthur: The Hunt at Fringe Act. Nikki believes that art is required in order to thrive and has a deep and vital faith in the power of storytelling to change lives, cultures and the future.

Special Thanks To:

Roma Raye -  Volunteer, 

Ebo Barton- Book Design 

Carlo Nakar - Sound Engineer, 

Lily McLeod - Lighting Designer

Jessica Jobaris - Choreographer 

Marc Bamuthi Joesph- Mentor

Bruce and Doc- Arts Based School

Friends and Family for continued support, shared knowledge and resources. 


Apr 30, 2019

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BOOST Conference

BOOST Collaborative is a unique, purpose-driven organization committed to supporting those serving youth in the out-of-school time hours by providing quality professional development, opportunities for networking & partnerships, and leadership training. Together, we make a difference. Creator of LMP Jodie Knowles will be on a panel for the talk back of '
The New Normal' speaking on critical issues and creative solutions of LD/ADHD.

Jan 01, 2020

Youth Empowerment Conference

The purpose of this conference is to inspire young people to make a difference in their community. Students, educators, political leaders and activists from all over the state will come together to gather and share the tools, resources, ideas and support need to make a positive change. Registration will be open soon

Feb 01, 2019

San Diego, CA

Juvenile Court Showcase


Learning Curve will be presented in front of Judges, District Attorneys, Public Defenders, Probation Officers, Juvenile Correction Officers, Educators, Law Enforcement and activists at The San Diego Juvenile Court. 

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Jan 12, 2018

Bainbridge High School - MLK Day

Keynote Speaker for MLK Day

Jan 05, 2018

A Day of Understanding - San Diego

A day of Understanding Conference. 

Dec 15, 2017

Kitsap County Conference for Human Rights

Kitsap County Conference for Human Rights takes place 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, December 15 at Olympic College in Bremerton. This year's theme is "Historical Perspectives and Moving Forward." The conference is organized by the Kitsap County Council for Human Rights and sponsors include Olympic College, the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners and Sound Publishing.

Nov 16, 2017

Debut at Slate Theater

Debut of Learning Curve: Confessions of a Special Ed kid at The Slate Theater in Seattle, Wa November 16-19th 2018

Jan 17, 2018

Solo Fest - Los Angeles

Pop Up performance in Los Angeles. We are honored to be selected to perform in Solos Fest.

Celebrating the solo journey with 60 Solo Shows in 60 Days. Tickets go on Sale December 11th

May 01, 2018

BOOST Conference

2018 General Session: LEARNING CURVE: Confessions of a Special Ed Kid
Written and performed by Jodie Knowles

Join the largest, most recognized and comprehensive global convening for after school, expanded learning, and in and out-of-school time professionals. Set in a retreat-like atmosphere, this annual, extraordinary event will rejuvenate your passion, boost your direction for quality programming and provide tools and resources that will inspire you to create change.

Sep 20, 2018

Spotlight on Girls: Critical Issues, Trends & Strategies Conference

Please check back for more information including where to purchase tickets/costs.

Oct 18, 2018

Sound Options Group Annual Cadre Meeting

Training/Continued Education

Nov 02, 2018

Nashville Public Library

​Join the Nashville AfterZone Alliance (NAZA), Nashville Public Library, and Peabody College of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University for a powerful one-person play that tells the true story of Jodie Knowles as a kid growing up in the special education system.


NAZA is a nationally recognized system of free, high-quality afterschool programs that provide academic support and new creative outlets for Metro Nashville Public Schools’ middle school students (grades five to eight) at safe and convenient locations, both at school and in the community. NAZA reaches middle school students who cannot access other afterschool programs due to cost or transportation issues. The system is organized around five geographic zones that encompass Davidson County. 

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LEARNING CURVE is a 60 minute show that can be adapted to your audience, venue or educational purposes. Making it meaningful for every audience and budget. 

Each Time the play is booked, it also brings the Luminous Minds Project to your area to speak with students, teachers, academics, and or mental health professionals. Please fill out the contact form to the right and we will reach out as soon as possible. Currently booking for the 2019 Season

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"I'm  telling my story in hopes to find others that have had a similar experience; create honest representation and give validation to those that often feel alone. That teachers and parents see and begin to understand the lived experience, not only the academic struggle, but the social and emotional reality that we go through everyday. My hope is that it builds understanding and empathy within the hearts of viewers that trickle into social change.  It's time to start having real change in our school system and it starts by sharing our experience and having brave conversations. 

                                                                                                    Jodie Knowles


Luminous Minds Project  2018