Cecilia Rodhe is an artist and certified expressive art therapist who has spent more than two decades sculpting, She has had exhibitions at many prestigious galleries in New York, Paris, Stockholm and Geneva. All of her sculptures express the dichotomy of strength and fragility that is at the very center of what it is to be human.
Cecilia’s professional career began as model at the age of fourteen. After winning the title of Miss Sweden in 1978, she moved to New York for the first time and signed a contract with the Elite Agency. At age of 45, she went back to school to further her education as an expressive art therapist, receiving her certificate in the creative art therapy program at the New School for Social Research.
In 2010, Cecilia co-founded NAF alongside her son, Joakim. She personally created the “Expression from the Inside for Kids®” art program, which allows children to express how they feel by creating sculptures from clay. Cecilia believes that when young people are presented with a range of emotions, and then shown how to apply those concepts to their clay, they learn how to sculpt not only what they see – but also what they feel.
Under Cecilia’s direction and guidance, NAF launched the Drop of Consciousness™ movement to promote peace, unity and positive change in Chicago. The symbol of the movement is the Drop of Consciousness™ pendant, based on a sculpture of the same name created by Cecilia nearly two decades ago. The Drop of Consciousness™ represents the tears and strength of the mothers who have lost children to gun violence, and those who wear it pledge to take a stand against violence.
Joakim Noah was born in New York City on February 25, 1985. A third-generation athlete, the fiery center of the New York Knicks (formerly of the Chicago Bulls) has become renown for his unstoppable passion, tireless energy and relentless work ethic – both on and off the court.
After experiencing success at both the high school and collegiate levels – including two consecutive National Championships with the Florida Gators – Joakim was selected as the ninth overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by the six-time NBA Champion Chicago Bulls. He played a key role as "the man in the middle” night after night at the United Center, and propelled the Bulls to seven consecutive playoff appearances. In 2016, Joakim realized a childhood dream to play in his hometown on the New York Knicks. Joakim is a two-time All Star, and was named the Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2014.
For Joakim, giving back to the community is a priority and is something he has been committed to since early in his career. He is passionate about the well-being, emotional development and physical safety of children, so he founded Noah’s Arc Foundation in 2010 with his mother, Cecilia Rodhe.
Joakim is incredibly active within the foundation, developing strong relationships with the children, teens and young adults who participate in the art and sports programs. He also is a huge advocate for peace in Chicago, and works diligently to facilitate programs and events that encourage young people to reduce violence in their communities. In recognition of his community efforts, Joakim was named the winner of the February 2015 NBA Cares Community Assist Award and was selected as the recipient of the 2015 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award.
Anna-Claire Whitehead joined the Noah’s Arc Foundation as Executive Director in January 2017. She is a results-driven non-profit leader who is eager to build positive and effective relationships with stakeholders to effect positive change and drive outcomes. As Executive Director, Anna-Claire works to expand NAF’s programs and partnerships in support of our youth and movement for unity, peace, and positive change.
Prior to joining NAF, Anna-Claire served as Managing Director of External Affairs for the national youth mentoring non-profit Spark. During her time at Spark, Anna-Claire formed a relationship with NAF when three of her program participants created the Shoot Hoops Not Guns campaign. After witnessing the youth take the #RockYourDrop pledge and seeing how inspired they were by the moment, she felt deeply connected to NAF’s mission which led to her joining the team.
Anna-Claire began her career in Washington, DC, working closely with national, political and business leaders. She is a native Washingtonian with deep family ties to New York. Anna-Claire is a graduate of James Madison University in Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and is completing a Business Foundations Specialization from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Cobe Williams, community director
Cobe is a crucial part to the Noah's Arc Foundation mission in addition to his important work with Cure Violence spreading peace across the globe. Cobe is a co-creator with Noah's Arc Foundation leadership of many sports and community outreach programs, and is a champion of the Rock Your Drop: Drop of Consciousness movement.
Mikey Davis, community coordinator
Mikey is an integral part of Noah's Arc Foundation and has taken on a leadership role in co-developing the sports curriculum. In addition to his work with Noah's Arc Foundation, Mikey is a celebrated youth counselor with Youth Guidance's Becoming A Man program. His warm and caring energy inspires and motivates all who have the pleasure of working with him.
Board of Directors
Joakim Noah, Co-Founder
New York Knicks
Two-Time NBA All-Star & 2014 Defensive Player of the Year
Cecilia Rodhe, Co-Founder & President
Sculptor, Art Therapist / Instructor
Interested in donating your time & talent to create positive change in our community?
On an ongoing basis, we are looking for:
Artists & coaches who want to bring their talent into schools to inspire kids
Undergraduate & graduate students who are interested in getting involved with research related to arts, sports, policy, program evaluation, & education
Email email@example.com & tell us why you want to get involved.
Art Program Intern
Do you want to use your creative talents to create positive change? NAF's Art Program Intern opportunity may be right for you!
Research & Evaluation Intern
Are you interested in making data-driven improvements to youth programming? NAF is seeking a Research & Evaluation Intern to help build and implement our program evaluation model.
Are you a professional or hobby photographer looking to use your talent for a good cause? NAF is looking for volunteer photographers to help capture programming in Chicago and New York.
SquareSpace Website Designer
Do you have a passion for building beautiful websites? NAF is looking for a SquareSpace website designer to help take our sight to the next level!