Arts Programs

September 2, 2014

Education Comes From Programs, Not Just Classes

We sometimes talk about the difference between Arts Education and Arts Experiences, both are valuable but are very different.  This is a story from Claire Stack, a 2011 graduate of Irondequoit High School in NY, that provides some food for thought on the topic.

“I had a wonderful four years at IHS, which prepared me for the rigor of my four years at Cornell University. However, much of my education was not in the classroom but in the Black Box Theater, where I acted in five productions and directed one. In that theater I found a home away from home; a place where I could develop in an environment that was both safe and fun. I made incredible friends and learned from teachers who challenged the way I thought and pushed me to become a better artist and performer”.

You can read the entire article by clicking here.




Jobs and the Arts and Humanities

September 1, 2014

Re-printed from Americans for the Arts Arts Education Weekly News Roundup

When you think “jobs,” do you think “arts and humanities”? No? Well, maybe you should. You see, as the world gets bigger and the world’s problems become more complex, employers seek more critical, comprehensive, and creative leaders. And the arts and humanities provide just that. To read the entire article please click here.




August 31, 2014

Can Kickstarter Save Arts Education?
Despite overwhelming evidence that arts education correlates with higher graduation rates, better college performance and future success in the workplace, in some school districts across the country shrinking school budgets and strict curriculum standards keep restricting the time that teenage students spend exploring their creative sides. So a panel of artists, educators and activists — including marquee names like Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, author Salman Rushdie and design duo Rodarte — have come up with a novel solution, perfectly suited to the Internet age: a free, crowdfunded, peer-to-peer online arts school that brings the arts to students who need them.

The Washington Post article can be read entirely by clicking here.

Thanks to Americans for the Arts for providing this information for me to pass forwrwd



MAAI Phase 4 Official

August 30, 2014

Off and running

Summit_photo1The Summit on Arts Education held at USM, July 29-August 1 officially marked the start of Phase 4 of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI). The Teacher Leaders (new from phase IV and returning from the first three phases) are busy creating workshops to provide for educators across the state. MAAI has 38 active Teacher Leaders this school year. Locations are being determined and dates are being selected for the mega-regional workshops for the 2014-15 school year. Plans are underway. Stay tuned for the details of the next phase.

Just a reminder: every other year we have the statewide conference so that will NOT be taking place this October. Hopefully you can attend a regional and mega-regional (or perhaps more than one) workshop somewhere in Maine.

The MAAI is proud of the work that Teacher Leaders are doing, they are the HEART of MAAI. The names, disciplines, and schools of the Phase IV Teacher Leaders are included on the Who We Are page at the new MAAI website recently launched. If you have a question feel free to contact them. Each of them are wonderful resources. You might be considering taking a leadership role and joining as a Teacher Leader ,but aren’t quite sure. Please email me argy.nestor@maine.gov or any one of the MAAI Teacher Leaders or Leadership Team members. You can find their contact information on the Who We Are page as well.

If you haven’t had time to go to the Maine Arts Assessment website yet, please do. There is all kinds of information that can assist you in getting started with your school year. The MAAI is a program of the Maine Arts Commission.




International Dot Day

August 29, 2014

Celebrate Creativity, Courage & Collaboration? – September 15

dot_secInternational Dot Day, a global celebration of creativity, courage and collaboration, began when teacher Terry Shay introduced his classroom to Peter H. Reynolds’ book The Dot on September 15, 2009. The Dot is the story of a caring teacher who dares a doubting student to trust in her own abilities by being brave enough to “make her mark”. What begins with a small dot on a piece of paper becomes a breakthrough in confidence and courage, igniting a journey of self-discovery and sharing, which has gone on to inspire countless children and adults around the globe.

Imagine the power and potential of a million people all around the world connecting, collaborating, creating and celebrating all that creativity inspires and invites. I hope you will join the growing global community of creativity champions using their talents, gifts and energy to move the world to a better place. Sign up now and celebrate Dot Day!

You can sign up to join the celebration by clicking here. And, available for teachers is an downloadable Educators Handbook which you can obtain for by clicking here.

This information is taken from the International Dot Day website that you can access by clicking here.


Funding Opportunities

August 28, 2014

 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

The NCTM is accepting applications from teachers of pre-K-2 mathematics for projects that incorporate music into the elementary school classroom to help young students learn mathematics. For 2015–16, grants of up to $3,000 will be awarded to individual classroom teachers or small groups of teachers collaborating in one grade or across grade levels. Any acquisition of equipment must support the proposed plan but not be the primary focus of the grant. Proposals must address the combining of mathematics and music, planning for improving students’ learning of mathematics, and/or the anticipated impact on students’ achievement. Please click here to read more.

P. Buckley Moss Foundation Accepting Applications For Arts-Integrated Education Programs
The mission of the P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children’s Education is to promote the integration of the arts into all educational programs, with a special focus on children who learn in different ways. The foundation is accepting grant applications from educators who need financial assistance to maintain or implement an arts education program. Grants of up to $1,000 will be awarded to support new or evolving programs that integrate the arts into educational programming. Although the purpose of the grant program is to assist teachers who wish to establish an effective way of using the arts to teach children who learn differently, proposed projects must serve all children in the classroom, including those with no trouble learning in a general education setting. Please click here to read more.

Teens Teaching Tech
Apply for a grant to hold your own Teens Teaching Tech program in your community. Older adults have gadgets like digital cameras, tablets, mobile phones, and apps that they find challenging to use. The goal of this program is to help senior citizens feel comfortable with ever-evolving technology. The applicant must be part of a school-based club or homeschool community organization in the United States. The $250.00 grants are provided to high school clubs: community service, National Honors Society, and computer clubs. http://bit.ly/TeenTechGrant Deadline: September 15

Laura W. Bush Traveling Fellowship 
The State Department is currently accepting applications to help fund innovative travel around the world by young people who use education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and/or communication and information to build strong ties among nations. The fellowship is intended for American college students who have not been afforded many opportunities to travel abroad. Through 4 to 6 weeks of travel anywhere in the world, you can have the opportunity to interact with individuals from other nations while promoting the goals of UNESCO! http://bit.ly/statedeptfellowship Deadline: September 22

Captain Planet Foundation Grants 
Captain Planet Foundation will accept small grant requests for amounts between $500 – $2,500.  All proposed activities must be project-based, projects must be performed by youth; and projects must have real environmental outcomes. The Captain Planet Foundation primarily makes grants to U.S.-based schools and organizations with an annual operating budget of less than $3 million.  International requests are also accepted, with preference given to international projects that have U.S.-based partners. Preferential consideration is given to requests who have secured at least 50% matching or in-kind funding for their projects.  http://bit.ly/y1tPpz   Deadline: September 30

Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Grants 
Whatever goals and dreams you have for your school, Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Grant Program can help fulfill them with grants of $2,000 to $5,000. K-12 public schools as well as school parent-teacher groups are eligible. Preference is given to funding requests that have a permanent impact such as facility enhancement (both indoor and outdoor) and landscaping or clean up projects. http://bit.ly/195qDKm  Deadline: October 15

Ben & Jerry’s Foundation Grassroots Organizing for Social Change Program
The Grassroots Organizing for Social Change Program supports non-profit grassroots, constituent-led organizations across the country that are using direct action, grassroots community-organizing strategies to accomplish their goals. Proposals should align with the Foundation’s broad interests in social justice, environmental justice and sustainable food systems. They fund organizations with budgets of $500,000 or less. Grant awards are up to $20,000 for a one-year period.  http://bit.ly/1pQmD6A                      Deadline: October 15

NYLC Youth Leadership for Service-Learning Excellence Award
The Youth Leadership for Service-Learning Excellence Award recognizes service-learning programs and projects that demonstrate outstanding youth leadership. This award focuses on projects that show a high level of youth initiative in all areas including identifying an authentic need, planning the service, and putting that plan into action. Teams of young people participating in service-learning projects can apply. http://bit.ly/1rfyhas  Deadline: November 7

NYLC Service-Learning Practitioner Leadership Award
The Service-Learning Practitioner Leadership Award recognizes those who have equipped young people to lead and serve, both through their direct work with youth and by nurturing other practitioners. Nominations are accepted from the general public, and a committee of leaders from the service-learning field will select the winners. http://bit.ly/1rfyhas  Deadline: November 7


Arts at the Core: Making Standards Work

August 27, 2014

Online course starting September 17

Arts at the Core: Making Standards Work is being taught completely online. The 5 week course designed and taught by Barbara (Packales) Vinal. Registration opens soon and located at hhttp://bit.ly/artsSept17.

Course description
Arts teachers set high standards for their students by the nature of what they do. But how can you readily prove what your students know and are able to do? No matter where you are, this class will show you how to “begin with the end in mind” and structure your teaching around State, National and/or Common Core standards. We’ll explore online tools, building authentic rubrics, and how to manage your data. More importantly, you’ll learn how to enhance what you already do while meeting your Standards requirements.

For more information please go to the link above or email Barbara at barbvinal@gmail.com.


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