Video Opportunity for High School Students

September 20, 2014

First Freedom Student Competition

This national essay and video contest offers 9th – 12th grade students an opportunity to compete for $2,500 awards as they examine the First Amendment and history and implementation of freedom of religion and conscience in American democracy and the world today.  Students then present their evaluation in written essay or video format.

This school year, students will select a religion from their local community, state or region that was or is a minority group.  They will research and analyze its history as it encounters issues of religious freedom and equality, and then, by written essay or video production, present their evaluation of how this group’s local history compares to the broader narrative of U.S. history and First Amendment law. For the complete topic, essay and video guidelines, registration, classroom poster, student flyer and other details, visit http://www.firstfreedom.org, and then click on the First Freedom Student Competition button.

Student online registration is required on or before Monday, November 17, 2014, and the postmark deadline for students to mail their essays or videos with the accompanying entry materials is Monday, November 24, 2014.  Winners will be announced on Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, April 13, 2015.

Please forward this email to your social studies, English, media, library, guidance and other appropriate educators—and we will look forward to more great entries from Maine students in this school year’s First Freedom Student Competition!

If you have any questions please contact Sandra M. Poulsen, Coordinator, First Freedom Center, 1321 E. Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219, 804.643.1786 phone, competition@firstfreedom.org. Visit us online at: http://www.firstfreedom.org


Music Workshop

September 19, 2014

September 26

The Maine Music Educators Association and the Maine Chapter (American Orff- Schulwerk Association)

is proud to present a General Music Workshop with

Karen Medley

Nationally Known Orff-Schulwerk Clinician

The Journey Is the Destination:

the adventure continues…

Kid-tested Lessons for the Music Classroom

Come spend the day singing, playing, moving, creating and speaking together as we explore some of my students’ favorite kid-tested lessons! Songs, games, stories, poetry, dances, and drumming foster a sense of play and community for younger children, create a sense of adventure for middle grades children and challenge and celebrate older children. Are you looking for ways to involve your children in creative music-making? Come play!!


When: Friday, September 26, 2014

Time: 9 AM – 3 PM

Where: Le Club Calumet

334 West River Road

Augusta, Maine (directions attached)

Credit: 1.5 CEUs from the University of Maine with a paper and lesson plan ($10. Charge)

(Note: 1.5 CEUs = 1 Recertification Credit)

Cost: $50. For the workshop (includes lunch)

To register please contact Nancy Cash-Cobb at ncash-cobb@windhamraymondschools.org.


MAAE New Director

September 18, 2014

Maine Alliance for Arts Education announces new Executive Director

IMG_0721Stephen Wicks, president of the Maine Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE), has announced that Education Director Susan Potters of Kittery has been chosen to head the non-profit as Executive Director, taking over from retiring director, Peter Alexander.

“The board is pleased to have a director of Potters’ experience and we look forward to working with her” said Wicks. Potters, a former teacher from New York City, has been involved with MAAE since the early 1990’s, first serving as a board member from Veazie. After organizing the successful 1997 “Arts in Our Schools K-12” conference in Bangor, Potters was tapped to direct the organization’s first regional office in Greater Bangor, a post that was later expanded to include the two-county Penquis Region.

Since becoming MAAE’s statewide Education Director in 2003 Potters has been most closely associated with “Building Community Through the Arts” (BCTA), the creative theater and dance high school residency program she designed in 2000, just after the Columbine High School tragedy, to generate trust and support among students.

Outgoing Director Alexander, who helped to promote BCTA during his two-year tenure at MAAE, is enthusiastic about the board’s selection: “I am delighted that the board has chosen Susan Potters to take on the role of Executive Director,” said Alexander. “She has the qualifications, connections, experience, and most importantly the passion to take the organization to the next level in fulfilling its mission.” Potters sees a vital role for the arts in education: “The arts develop and engage all students as motivated and joyful learners, “ she said. “Making the arts a thriving reality in young people’s lives means providing lots of opportunities to be creative – in the home, the school classroom and the community. MAAE is here to help show what those opportunities look like and to help make them happen.”



Virtual NAEA Conference

September 17, 2014

September 27 & 28

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National Art Education Association is providing a virtual conference titled: New Visual Arts Standards: Instructional, Assessable, & Aspirational. Two members of the visual arts writing team are the speakers, Olivia Gude & Marilyn Stewart. Join them for a conversation about art learning and implications for everyday teaching practice. Ask your questions in real-time and participate in the discussion.

Saturday, 1:00 – 4:45 pm ET and Sunday, 1:00 – 4:45 pm ET. $89.00 for NAEA members and $129.00 for Non-Members. Register and obtain the details by clicking here.


Jump Right In!

September 16, 2014


We’ve been receiving feedback during the last month on the NEW WEBSITE that brings together the plethora of resources that the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) has created and located during the first three phases of the initiative. It is especially timely since it has many components that can help guide and direct you as you work in your individual schools/districts on the high school graduation/proficiency requirement. If you have not had a chance to check it out, please do. Once you spend some time roaming around the site send me an email at argy.nestor@maine.gov or post a comment at the bottom of this blog post. If you find that something is missing or you are looking for something that is not provided, please let me know. The MAAI leadership team is interested in hearing from you. Thanks to Rob Westerberg for bringing all of these resources together and creating the new website.

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MAAI is a program of the Maine Arts Commission with several partners including: New England Institute for Teacher Education, University of Southern Maine, Maine College of Art, Maine Art Education Association, Maine Music Educators Association, Maine Department of Education, Maine Learning Technology Initiative, and the Maine Alliance for Arts Education.



Maine Educational Theatre Conference

September 15, 2014

Calling all Thespians

Friday, October 10, 2014
9:00 am to 5:15 pm
Russell Hall, University of Southern Maine
37 College Ave., Gorham, ME 04038

The Maine Educational Theatre Conference will be a full-day event (9:00am to 5:15pm) on Friday, October 10th held on the Gorham campus of the University of Southern Maine. All high school theater groups in Maine are welcome to attend, and groups of all sizes can attend, whether you’re bringing 2 students or 25 students! It’s a day for high school students and high school theater directors to attend workshops led by professional theater-makers and meet and share ideas with groups from other schools. Workshops include sessions on playwriting, vocal technique in musicals, stage combat, makeup design, and much much more.

Information available at http://www.northeastedta.org/Maine.html


Portland Symphony Orchestra

September 14, 2014

KinderKonzerts and other info


Strings, Brass, and Winds KinderKonzerts: The Music and Life of Ludwig von Beethoven
October 2014, February 2015, and March 2015
In celebration of the PSO’s 90th Anniversary Celebration and the launch of a three-year Beethoven Symphony Cycle, the Brass, Strings, and Winds KinderKonzert Quintets will focus on the music and life of Ludwig von Beethoven. Join us as we explore the music that Beethoven listened to as a young child (when he was KinderKonzert age!), his early compositions, and his ability to persevere through hearing loss to write beautiful symphonies.

Although the story of Beethoven’s life will be similar across the three KinderKonzert ensembles, audiences will learn unique characteristics of each ensemble and instrument family. Students will benefit from attending multiple performances by engrossing themselves in the familiar theme of Beethoven, approached through the eyes of several different musicians.


Percussion KinderKonzerts: What You See & What You Hear!
May 2015

Audiences should be prepared to make some noise with the Percussion KinderKonzerts: What You See and What You Hear! Using a variety of instruments, the PSO’s percussion ensemble leads attendees in an exploration of percussive sound using mallets, brushes, sticks, and their bare hands.

WARNING: Attendees of the Percussion KinderKonzerts may leave with the strong desire to turn everything in front of them into homemade percussion instruments!
Open Dress Rehearsals
Behind the Scenes at Merrill Auditorium: Grades 6 – College

Students and community organizations are welcome to observe our open dress rehearsals at Merrill Auditorium. These are a casual, informal way to experience working rehearsals, where the conductors might decide to perform pieces in a different order, suggest changes, and make performance decisions prior to the full concerts.


Host a KinderKonzert
In addition to our performances in Portland, Lewiston, and Brunswick, the PSO KinderKonzert quintets are available to perform at your school or organization. Rates begin at $1300 for two performances. Schools are welcome to sell tickets to the public and to co-host with other schools and organizations, to help offset costs. Contact education@portlandsymphony.org for more information.

For more information, including purchasing tickets. please click here.


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