Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category


Sir Ken Robinson: Educating the Heart

July 29, 2014

The heart and mind

I think this is an appropriate post to provide today as we begin the 3-day Summit on Arts Education at USM. I have posted the work of Ken Robinson in the past. He has thought-provoking videos on YouTube and TED talks and travels around the world talking about creativity. And, on top of that he is funny. He has written several books that I have enjoyed reading and highly recommend them. Anyway, this video called Educating the Heart and Mind and I hope that you enjoy it!


Big Week for Maine Arts Ed

July 28, 2014

This is a BIG WEEK for Arts Education in Maine!!


MAAI Logo_Color_TxtCtr

We have more than 90 educators attending the Summit on Arts Education at USM, Portland campus on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and almost half of those will also be attending on Friday for the Teacher Leader day. Included on the attendee list are dance, music, theatre, and visual arts PK-12 teachers, teaching artists, other educators, and representatives from arts organizations and the university. There are 13 teams participating. The Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) Leadership team and Teacher Leaders have been crazy busy with the agenda planning that will be full of rich learning opportunities.

Included on the agenda:

  • Sessions on Assessment, Leadership, Student-centered, Standards-based, Proficiency, Advocacy, Arts Integration, Creativity, Literacy, Technology and much more provided by MAAI teacher leaders, leadership team, members, Lesley University staff, technology integrators from NC, MLTI, and MICDL, and teaching artists
  • The unveiling of the Teacher Leader Resource Bank by Julie Richard, Executive Director of the Maine Arts Commission
  • An electronic discussion with the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE) who are at a conference in Washington, DC this week
  • Arts Education Program Director, Jeff Poulin from Americans for the Arts will be presenting a session on Leadership and Advocacy
  • Stories and examples from MAAI Teacher Leaders
  • Time for networking with other Maine educators
  • Arts Education organizations, higher ed representatives, and community groups will be exhibiting and sharing information
  • The opportunity to create an Individual Action Plan and/or a Team Action Plan to implement back home in teachers school districts

Teachers who are attending the Summit will receive contact hours, CEUs or graduate credit.

If you have not registered for the Summit you may still do so no later than TODAY by clicking here For more information please click here



Maine Focus Groups and Community Conversations – don’t miss this opportunity!

Are you interested in joining others interested in arts education to talk about the future of arts education in Maine? If so, please plan on attending the event on

Tuesday, July 29, 7:00-8:00pm at the Maine College of Art, 522 Congress St, Portland, ME.

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 2.27.24 PMWe have a wonderful opportunity to help influence the future of our community and the future of our state. Please join me  to participate in a discussion about the kinds of creative opportunities and activities you would like to see available for our residents, our children, and our families. Often times, plans are created for us, instead of with us they miss the mark and we miss the opportunity to see what we value included in the mix.

If you have questions about either of these opportunities taking place this week please don’t hesitate to email me at


7 More Days!

July 22, 2014

There is still time to register

MAAI Logo_Color_TxtRtThe Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) Teacher Leaders are busy putting the last minute touches on their presentations, the food is ordered, the space is ready to go, the participant bags are being stuffed full of information, and the excitement is intense at the Maine Arts Commission. The Summit on Arts Education is only a week away!

Not a day goes by that I don’t receive an email or a phone call from someone inquiring about the Summit on Arts Education being held July 29-31, USM, Portland. Just when I think that everyone who wants to attend has registered or that there can’t possibly be someone who hasn’t registered that wants to attend. Sooooo… if you are still thinking about attending please don’t hesitate any longer. For more information please click here and to go directly to registration please click here If you have questions please email me at

And, if you are an arts organization and would like to join us for Wednesday morning only, July 30, for a Carousel. The morning is designed for organizations who wish to provide information for Summit participants to learn about what there is available for arts education opportunities for field trips, etc. Please contact me if you think this might be a match for your organization. Deadline for this is tomorrow, Wednesday, July 23.

The Summit is designed for you to attend as an individual or part of a team to receive professional development in assessment, leadership, technology, and teaching and learning for the 21st century curriculum. Topics include proficiency, standards-based teaching and learning, student-centered, arts integration and more. You will create a plan that fits your needs in your classroom, school, and district.

I hope you can join us for this first time MAAI offered learning opportunity!






Embrace the Shake!

July 19, 2014

Ya gotta see this!

Recently I had a lovely conversation with the Maine Art Teacher of the Year, Allison Price. We brainstormed about a collaboration on altering books, how our memories from childhood come alive with smells and sites, how as we grow older the importance of family in what we do is evident, how fortunate we are to watch the art work of young students grow and change as they mature and many, many other topics.

We mentioned how great it is to have the internet to inform our thinking and  provide educational experiences that didn’t exist during our younger learning days. She reminded me of this TED Talk done by artist Phil Hansen. It is a GOT TO SEE talk. And, also worth going to Phil’s website.

This is part of Phil’s bio:

As an art student, Phil Hansen’s intense style of pointillism led to a tremor in his hand and a diagnosis of nerve damage. Devastated, he dropped out and lost his way … until a neurologist suggested he “embrace the shake.” That piece of advice tweaked Hansen’s point of view and sent him on a quest to invent different approaches to making art by embracing personal and universal limitations.

On this beautiful Saturday morning in Maine, I share them both with you. TED Talk below and CLICK HERE for Phil’s website. (Hint: listen to the talk first and be sure you have time to meander when you go to the site). My apology I can’t find the embed code so you can just watch it in the blog – please click on the link below for the talk.


Thanks to Allison Price, art educator and the 2014 Maine Art Teacher of the Year, for sharing this link.


ZOOM Planning

July 15, 2014

Getting ready

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 11.23.53 PMMany of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) Teacher Leaders and Leadership Team have been working (almost) around the clock getting ready for the Arts Education Summit happening on July 29-31 at USM, Portland campus. The Summit is chock full of sessions facilitated by educators with years of experience in teaching and assessment practices. To learn more please click here.

During the last three summers the MAAI has provided a summer institute for teachers interested in being Teacher Leaders. The feedback we received from many teachers included requests to provide summer extended professional development for everyone, not just those who wish to be MAAI Teacher Leaders.

Recently several of the Teacher Leaders planning the Summit came together for a planning meeting using which provides video conferencing. MAAI has been using it for meetings recently and found it very simple and reliable! Above is an image that I took (screen shot) during the meeting attended by 16 educators. Direct registration to the Summit can be accessed by clicking here.

MAAI is continually breaking new territory to meet the needs of arts educators across the state which we know ultimately impacts arts education and all students. It is not to late to register for the Summit! Don’t miss this fabulous opportunity! Please contact me by email if you have any questions at The image below is arts educators (plus 1) jamming last year at the MAAI summer institute.

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Carrot Clarinet

July 8, 2014

Continue the Creativity conversation

Yesterday I shared a link to Peter Reynolds from FableVision info asking: What does Creativity mean to you? Today, I am sharing a YouTube video that is a TED Talk given in April at TEDxSydney 2014 by Linsey Pollak. Linsey defines creativity as putting together two previously unrelated things, could be objects or ideas, and creating something new. And, Linsey proceeds to demonstrate how to make a carrot into a clarinet. It has a saxophone mouth piece and a funnel for the bell. It might just make you think about what other foods could be used to create an instrument!! And, just what is creativity?

Thank you to Bangor art teacher Kal Elmore for sharing this link.


What is Creativity?

July 7, 2014

Peter H. Reynolds, FableVision

I am on the mailing list for FableVision and recently co-founder Peter Reynolds sent an email with the image below.

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The fine print on the image above says:

My idea of what creativity means is…

At the bottom of the circular design it says:

How creative are you? (circle one)  I’m not sure.   Sorta/kinda       Very       Very Very      Super-very   Beyond-very

The next line says:

Send your ideas to Peter H. Reynolds, PO Box 1299 Dedham MA 02027 or email to

(I tried to make it large and embed it  but it just wouldn’t cooperate.)
Peter’s email contained this message above the image:

Sipping a cup of tea and looking forward to hearing from you….. Click on the image below to enter your comments into a google form, or send me your comments by email or snail mail!

The link takes you to

The form on the page asks a few detail questions with a box that says: My idea of what creativity means is….

What do you imagine your students might dream up! I hope you’ll take a minute and think about what creativity means to you.


Community Art and Skatepark Beautification

June 30, 2014

Story from Waterville High School Art Teacher, Suzanne Goulet

WSHSkatePaula Raymond, a colleague with Adult Education and a resident of the South End planted the seed with
community members and Matt Skehan with Waterville Parks and Rec about making a connection with the
Waterville Senior High School Art Department.

Plans were made in the Fall……but cold weather came a bit early (remember?) ….the Spring arrived!

Laden with Sherwin-Williams donated paint and supplies, a volunteer group of Art and Outing Club students converged on the weather beaten skatepad to add a bit of color. Students came prepared with designs and having explored the culture of street art (Keith Harring, Shephard Fairey, Banksy, etc) and were then joined by visiting community members.

Alternative Education Educator, Ryan Guerrero, shared his street art skills with a transformation of the center pad and mini-ed sessions on the fineries of spray tips.

The canvas is large…..and the inspiration is to contribute two times a year to create a quilt of color and images.

You can read the entire article published in the Kennebec Journal by clicking here.



iPads Even the Playing Field in Band

June 29, 2014

NPR story

I suggest that you listen to this NPR piece called iPads Allow Kids With Challenges to Play in High School’s Band. It addresses the topic and also provides light how fortunate we are in Maine to have 1-2-1 laptop devices. It is easy to forget.

The link is embedded here so others can access the information provided. I am embedding the link here so you can access the story. If you’d rather just read the story please click here.

Thanks to Kevin Facer for sending this link.




Great Leaders

June 23, 2014

TED talk Simon Sinek

This is an interesting TED talk that I am certain that some of you will find interesting. Simon Sinek talks about leadership and how leaders inspire cooperation, trust and change. Hopefully you will think about who you work with that perhaps does one or more of these and what your place is in your school, district, and/or state level in arts education.




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