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Tattoos

October 25, 2014

A book by Isaac Fitzgerald and Wendy MacNaughton

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 8.38.59 AMWendy MacNaughton is a visual storyteller – “she of extraordinary sensitivity to the human experience” and  editor Isaac Fitzgerald “catalog the wild, wicked, wonderfully human stories behind people’s tattoos.” combine to create Pen & Ink: Tattoos and the Stories Behind Them (named after their popular Tumblr).

The book includes sixty-three stories from tattoo wearers. The introduction states:
“As long as I live I’ll never tire of people-watching. On city buses and park benches. In small-town cafes and crowded elevators. At concerts and swimming pools. To people-watch is to glimpse the mysterious and the banal, the public face and the private gesture, the strangest other and the most familiar self. It’s to wonder how and why and what and who and hardly ever find out.

This book is the answer to those questions. It’s an intimate collection of portraits and stories behind the images we carry on our flesh in the form of tattoos…

Each of the stories is like being let in on sixty-three secrets by sixty-three strangers who passed you on the street or sat across from you on the train. They’re raw and real and funny and sweet. They speak of lives you’ll never live and experiences you know precisely. Together, they do the work of great literature – gathering a force so true they ultimately tell a story that includes all.”

Read more about it and view some of the tattoos on the Brain Pickings site at http://www.brainpickings.org/2014/10/07/pen-and-ink-tattoos-wendy-macnaughton/.

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Benefits of Field Trips

October 24, 2014


Study: Culturally enriching field trips increase knowledge, tolerance, and the ability to read emotions of other

This is reprinted from EducationNext

As schools narrow their focus on improving performance on math and reading standardized tests, they have greater difficulty justifying taking students out of the classroom for experiences that are not related to improving those test scores. Culturally enriching field trips are being cut in schools without a clear understanding of what students may be learning from those experiences.

In a new study, Greene examines the impact of assigning student groups by lottery to see high-quality theater productions of Hamlet or A Christmas Carol. This is the first randomized experiment to discover what students get out of seeing live theater.

The study, “Learning from Live Theater: Students realize gains in knowledge, tolerance, and more,” will appear in the Winter 2015 issue of Education Next is available now on http://educationnext.org.

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In Today’s News

October 23, 2014

Portland Press Herald

This following article was written by Bob Keyes.

Stuart and wife Susan Webster receiving the Maine Alliance for Arts Education Advocacy award in 2012

Stuart and wife Susan Webster receiving the Maine Alliance for Arts Education Advocacy award in 2011

DEER ISLE — Stuart Kestenbaum, director of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts for 26 years, will leave his position in May 2015.

He recently informed the school’s board and staff of his intentions.

Kestenbaum, a poet, will stay in Deer Isle and continue to work in the arts.

“I can’t imagine a better place to work than Haystack,” he said in a statement. “I am leaving to continue the investigations that the school has inspired in me – to write and speak about creativity, to explore connections between art and science, and to consult with organizations on how to develop and maintain dynamic programs.”

During Kestenbaum’s tenure, Haystack has become a leading center for the study of craft, creativity and culture. The school attracts international students and teachers, offers workshops for high school students, conferences, retreats, a writing series and residency program and a digital fabrication studio.

Kestenbaum is known nationally. The College of Fellows of the American Craft Council elected him an honorary member and the James Renwick Alliance awarded him a Distinguished Educator’s Award.

A national search for his replacement is planned, said Lissa Hunter, chair of the school’s board.

Haystack “is a world-class institution in large part because of the dedication, skill and creativity” of Kestenbaum, she said.

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Tim Rollins at Colby

October 23, 2014

Speaking on November 13, Colby College

Based in New York, Tim Rollins is an artist and educator who works with K.O.S. (Kids of Survival). Rollins and K.O.S. develop work out of critical engagement with texts, an example of which is the Colby Museum’s recent acquisition Darkwater (after W. E. B. Du Bois), 2013, acquired in honor of Colby President Emeritus William D. Adams.

Please join Tim Rollins and members of K.O.S. on Thursday, November 13, at 7 pm in Given Auditorium for the Colby Museum’s Miles and Katharine Culbertson Prentice Distinguished Lecture.

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TIM ROLLINS and K.O.S. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – On the Raft (after Mark Twain), 2011 matte acrylic, book pages on canvas 96 x 72 x 1.5 inches 243.8 x 182.9 x 3.8 cm LM14598

Tim Rollins is an artist, teacher and activist who began his career as the assistant of the conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth. In 1979, he founded Group Material in New York. In the early 1980s, he taught ‘at risk’ students with learning disabilities at Intermediate School 52 in the Bronx and went on to create the Art & Knowledge Workshop. His highly acclaimed collaboration with the members of K.O.S. (Kids of Survival) continues to this day. Rollins combines lessons in reading and writing with making artworks. The source material laid out and studied by the students generally relates to literary or musical classics, such as works by William Shakespeare, George Orwell, Ralph Ellison or Franz Schubert, but can also include comics or legal documents. Their collaborative work takes the form of drawings, photographs, sculptural objects and paintings on canvas and paper. The backgrounds of works are often comprised of pages of books pasted into a grid. The results blend elements of Minimalism with an interest in the revival of painting that took place in the 1980s and in art that is socially and politically engaged. He has said: “What we’re doing changes people’s conception about who can make art, how art is made, who can learn and what’s possible, because a lot of these kids had been written off by the school system. This is our revenge.”

Tim Rollins and K.O.S. have been involved in numerous solo and group exhibitions including the Whitney Biennale in New York in 1985, 1991 and 2006 and Documenta in Kassel in 1987.

Tim Rollins was born in Pittsfield, Maine, USA, in 1955. He lives and works in New York. The original K.O.S. members dispersed and now live in several different American cities. Some have gone on to become artists in their own right. Tim Rollins continues to work with young people via the K.O.S. project.

The schedule of events for Colby College is located at http://www.colby.edu/events/?startdate=11/1/2014&enddate=11/30/2014.

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Another Student’s Story: Aaron Robinson

October 22, 2014

An interview with musician Aaron Robinson

Periodically individuals are featured on the Maine Arts Education blog as part of a series called “Another Student’s Story”. Their “Arts” stories are shared with you, the Arts Education community. Please share with others. If you know of anyone who should be sharing their stories, please contact me at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

Aaron Robinson is an award-winning composer, conductor, musicologist and best-selling author. He has written for television, film, radio and the theatrical Choralstage. Aaron has recorded several best-selling albums including ‘They All Played Ragtime’, ‘Black Nativity – In Concert: A Gospel Celebration’ and ‘The Legend of Jim Cullen – A Dramatic Musical’, among others. He is the author of the best-selling memoir: ‘Does God Sing – A Musical Journey’.

Aaron attended Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro and graduated in 1989. He attended the Boston Conservatory of Music and studied Composition with John Adams and Thomas Lawrence Bell and Film Score at Berklee School of Music with John Williams.

Aaron was kind enough to answer the following questions for the Maine Arts Education blog readers.

What do you value most from your arts education?

The greatest gift I received from my education at the High School level was the validation, support and advocacy from teachers and administrators who realized that my talents were not academic but instinctively artistic. They could see that not all students fit a cookie-cutter assembly line form when it came to receiving a High School education and that my goals and dreams for furthering my secondary education in music did not necessarily puzzle piece perfectly within the curriculum of the standard student. Lucky for me.

Name three skills, ideas, or life-long tools that you have learned in your visual or performing arts classes/courses?

I am a huge proponent of stepping back and approaching any situation from a “Zen” standpoint: taking it all in from a larger perspective and combining all the little elements that so many only focus on one at a time without being able to see the entire picture. I learned this from watching Matisse drawing on the walls late in life with his famous extended paint-stick. The tip touched at a very small point, but his eye and view point encompassed the entire work as a whole at all times and never lost sight of the painting as a whole. In all forms of art it is the same. Even in cooking, a good chef will not prepare one dish at a time, but like a skilled plate-spinner, create the entire meal all at once and go from dish to dish, bringing it all together masterfully. Too many people focus their attention on one part, finish it, and move on, only to find that at the end they have a bunch of little pieces of a puzzle that not only do not fit together, but do not make a completed, understandable picture because they never took the time to step back, Zen the experience, and take it all in as they were creating it. When George Gershwin wrote, “Rhapsody in Blue” on a train from New York to Boston, even though it is made up of short little 16-bar musical vignettes, he heard the work as a whole, instantly … and that’s how we hear it. That’s how I compose and write: as a whole.

I am a different person due to my involvement in the arts because…

I never stop learning. I am fully against Academic exclusion. When I first entered into the musical world in the 1990’s, everyone greeted me with: “Where did you study? Who did you study with? Where did you get your degree?” If you didn’t answer correctly, you were not accepted. You were not seen to be worthy in their eyes. A degree was everything. Without it, you were nothing. It didn’t matter if you had talent, knew what you were talking about or if you could walk the walk or talk the talk. This disturbed me to no end. Four years of study from years eighteen to twenty-one does not and should not allow one to be seen as an expert or professional in any field. Not only that, talent can’t be taught. So, I never rest on my laurels or achievements or credentials. Fortunately we live in a day and time now that degrees, more so in music and the arts, do not speak as loudly as they did … and rightly so. One never stops learning.

If you could change any part of your arts education, what would it be?

I wouldn’t have spent so much time in the classroom. I would have hopped a train and spent it more in the concert halls … the jazz clubs … the musical theaters … the film studios … the street corners … making music rather than studying it. I’ve had all the time in the world to study music on my own time at home, but those experiences that come but once in a lifetime … those I miss most of all and feel that’s the education that can’t be taught, created or bought.

What’s the most creatively inspiring experience you remember?

All of them.

Why is making art or music and/or performing so important to you? Why can’t you live without it?

Absolutely 100% impossible to put into words. If I could, I’d be signing copies of the New York Times best-selling book right now …

Thank you Aaron for taking the time to answer these questions. I was fortunate to have Aaron as a student during his middle school years.

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Registration Open: MAAI Mega MDI

October 21, 2014

Mount Desert Island High School Mega-regional workshop, Tuesday, November 25

The Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) is once again offering Mega-regional workshops in five locations across the state of Maine during the 2014-15 school year. The workshops are being facilitated by the MAAI Teacher Leaders with each location scheduled with different workshops.

The five Mega dates and locations for the 2014-15 school year

  • Tuesday, November 25 Mount Desert Island High School
  • Friday, March 6 Aroostook county
  • Friday, March 13 Oxford Hills Middle School South Campus
  • Thursday, April 2 UMaine, Orono
  • Friday, April 3 University of Southern Maine, Portland

The information for MDIHS Mega is located at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/MAAI-Mega-Regionals-2014-2015#.

Once you read through the details, you can determine which workshop you’d like to attend for Session I and Session II. Click on this link

http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07e9vs7ccfi0fmlna1/start to complete the registration. You can pay the $25 registration fee using PayPal or you can pay by sending a check to me at the Maine Arts Commission. You will find all of the information and details that you need. Please contact me if you have any questions at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

Overall Workshop Schedule

  • 8:15 a.m. Registration begins
  • 8:45 a.m. Opening Session and Morning Workshops
  • 9:10 – 10:20 a.m. Breakout Workshop Session I
  • 10:20 – 10:30 a.m. Break
  • 10:30 – 11:40 a.m. Breakout Workshop Session II
  • 11:40 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Lunch, participants on their own
  • 12:30 – 12:45 p.m. Artist Showcase
  • 12:45 – 2:45 p.m. Session III Large group by Arts Discipline
  • 2:45 – 3:00 p.m. Closing Session

The workshop titles and descriptions for the MDIHS Mega are included below.

Session I

The Studio Habits of Mind: Using the “Hidden Curriculum” to Encourage Student Autonomy

Join us in our exploration of assessment and proficiency using the Studio Habits of Mind. This workshop will present a practical look at how we came to understand and use the constructs of Studio Thinking in our K-4 and K-8 classrooms to promote independent, self-directed learning. You will gain hands-on knowledge of these habits and leave with strategies you can use in your own classroom. Grades K-8 (Easily adapted for grades 9-12.)

 

 
Jane Snider Hancock Grammar School Visual Arts
Lisa Ingraham Madison Elementary School Visual Arts

 

Making Evidence of Learning from a Sequence of Artworks

This hands-on workshop will explore a simple photographic darkroom technique to produce artworks to use as examples of proficiency for several of the National Core Arts Standards along with links to Maine’s present P.E.I.’s. Student work will also be presented as examples/exemplars for levels of proficiency. Grades 6-12

 

Charlie Johnson Mount Desert Island High School Visual Arts

Efficient and Effective Assessment in the Elementary Music Classroom

When you see 200 or more students each week, assessing everyone is challenging.  The lack of time seems insurmountable!  At this collaborative session, we will discuss ways to make assessments efficient for both class time and your time, while still keeping them effective for teaching and learning.  The presentation is directed toward elementary classroom music, but all are welcome to attend and give input. Grades K-5

 

Frances Kellogg  Ellsworth Elementary Middle School Music 

Let the Maine Learning Results guide your Ensemble Curriculum

The Maine Learning Results are still the state wide Visual and Performing Arts Standards. Take a closer look at your ensemble and discover how you are using the MLRs each and every day.  Learn new ways to integrate all of the MLRs. This workshop is applicable for any age ensemble elementary through high school.  Grades 5-8

 

Sue Barre Waterville Junior and Senior High Schools Music

Session II

Standards-Based Grading and Assessing for Proficiency

 

This workshop is about how to use standards and create learning targets in the visual art classroom.  We will be focusing on using standards in every day art lessons, assessing for proficiency and showing growth through the use of portfolios.  Grades 6-12

 

Shannon Westphal Ellsworth High School Visual Art

It’s Elementary, My Dear!

 

 

Come find out ways you can advocate for your elementary school arts program. In this workshop, we will share ideas and strategies to get what you need for your visual art or music classroom and simultaneously take arts education to a whole new level.  Let’s put all those wonderful resources and tried and true strategies to work for us!  Grades PK-8

 

 

Catherine Ring New England Institute for Teacher Education Visual Art

Stir-Crazy: A Movement Tool Kit for the Sedentary Classroom

 

Kids not sitting still in class?  Unable to focus?  This session is for all teachers wanting to add some movement activities and games into the classroom without sacrificing important academic time.  All games can be adapted to fit all subject areas. Grades PK-12 All Teachers

 

 

Stephanie McGary Dance

Resources, Resources and MORE Resources for Music Educators

 

This session will identify helpful, meaningful resources for every need under the sun! Attendees will inform the conversation, bringing their own unique needs to the table. The take-away will be for every music teacher to leave with a bucketful of assistance towards implementing standards, proficiency and assessment practices into their own classrooms. Grades PK-12

 

Rob Westerberg York High School Music

Session III

The Arts and Proficiency: What, Why and How?

The afternoon session will be focused around group discussions utilizing key questions on how proficiency is being implemented across the state of Maine in our own arts classrooms. Participants will leave with concrete ideas and/or plans to facilitate their own actions. These may lead to breakout sessions to deeper discussions and common concerns. This session will be separated between visual and performing arts teachers.

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MAAI Teachers as Resources

October 20, 2014

Teacher Leaders as leaders

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 8.15.47 PMResponding to the needs and voices of teachers in the field, the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAA) has begun a series of steps to help all PK-12 Dance, Music, Theatre, and Visual Art teachers develop their own quality work as Maine implements the new proficiency law, Maine Statute 4722-A-Proficiency Based Diploma Standards, that requires all students to display “proficiency” in all subject areas.

The first of these steps is designating past and current MAAI Teacher Leaders to serve as live “go-to” people for advice, talking through problems and ideas and providing support. Between the Leadership Team and Teacher Leaders, there are over three dozen people who have volunteered to be these live resources. Go to maineartsassessment.com, click on either of those two pages (Leadership Team and/or Teacher Leaders) under the dropdown, “About MAAI: who we are”. You will find contact information in red for those who are willing to work with you, as well as what grade levels and subject areas they teach, where they teach it, and a list of topics they have had experience with.

DSC02227As the only grassroots arts assessment entity in the United States, it remains a goal of MAAI to be here in a practical way for teachers in the field, “removing us from the islands” for once and for all. Please take advantage of the work that has already gone on in recent years by respected colleagues throughout Maine, and contact them often as you progress through your proficiency work!

If you have questions or ideas for other needs that you have during the transition, please contact MAAI Leadership Team member Rob Westerberg at mllama4@maine.rr.com or Argy Nestor at argy.nestor@maine.gov. MAAI is a program of the Maine Arts Commission with many partners including MAEA, MMEA, New England Institute for Teacher Education, USM, MLTI, MDOE, and MAAE.

 

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