World Upside Down Story

Mission

About World Upside Down

The World Upside Down story started with a dream in 2006. Founder, Joanna Puello, had just been offered a job at the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to work for a small communications team that worked directly with the ambassador. Her kids were young, the job required a lot of weekend travel, and her husband was already touring heavily with his band. It was definitely the case of “dream job, wrong time”. But it was the first opportunity that Joanna had as a young wife and mother, to ask God and herself the question, “What is my purpose on this earth? What did you create me to do? If I could do anything in the world, what would it be?” The answer came quickly and clearly: arts education. Joanna turned down the embassy job and started a business plan for an after school program that could offer students classes in music, visual arts, dance, and theater–all under one roof. Investors were interested, plans started evolving, and then the economy crashed. The Puellos moved to Orlando, FL, and World Upside Down took a pause.

In 2010-11, while completing her Masters of Science in Instructional Design, Joanna piloted the concept of video curriculum in the arts–videos that teachers anywhere could integrate into their classrooms. Three schools and more than fifty students in the Dominican Republic participated in the pilot program, and the results were very favorable, and professors encouraged Joanna to pursue her World Upside Down after graduation.

World Upside Down (WUD) was founded as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2013 with a mission to make arts education accessible and affordable to students K-12 around the world. World Upside Down Arts Studio builds upon the World Upside Down brand and mission as a for-profit venture, owned and operated by Joanna and Jairo Puello.

We believe that arts education is the best tool we can use to change the world for good. We aim to share the mind and heart of Jesus through every class we teach because we believe that in doing so, we can give people a hope and a future.

Core Team

Jairo Puello

Owner

Jairo Puello, owner and advisor, has 25+ years of experience as an educator, nonprofit director, sales and customer service manager, and small business owner as an INDIE recording artist. He has an AS in Theology from Puerto Rico Baptist College and a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies from Maranatha University. He is currently an insurance agent for Mahler Nunez State Farm Agency.

Joanna Puello

Owner and Director

Joanna Puello has 25+ years of experience as an educator, nonprofit founder and director, senior instructional designer, and project manager. She plays the piano and violin. Theater and video production are her jam. She has a BA in Creative Writing from Bob Jones University and an MS in Instructional Design from Full Sail University. She is currently a Senior Instructional Designer for PowerTrain.

Megan Puello

Graphic Designer and Customer Service

Megan is a talented vocalist. She has recorded background vocals for indie artists like Jairo Puello and Charlee Buitrago. She loves to lead worship for Fuse at NewSpring church and is passionate about mentoring young artists. She plans to study Front End Development at Bethel Tech bootcamp. At the studio, Megan manages graphic design, birthday parties, camp counselor, and customer service.

Milca Puello

Assistant Director Intern

Milca is an amazing vocalist and plays saxophone and has recorded vocals for several indie artists. She is a social media influencer and leads worship at NewSpring church. She has a BS in Special Education from the Universidad Nacional Pedro Enrique Ureña and is excited about offering classes and services to students with special needs. She teaches music classes and private voice lessons at the studio.