Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category


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.



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.


Art and Music Courses

August 24, 2014

Course Opportunities for Art and Music Educators

As arts educators, we know how important a quality arts education is for every student. That is why we are constantly seeking to improve teaching and learning  in our classrooms. And the arts have never been more relevant and essential than they are right now – in the 21st century.  But where do we find quality, professional development in arts education?

The New England Institute for Teacher Education is proud to announce that it will be offering three courses in Visual Art and Music Assessment practices this fall to any Art or Music educators, K-12.  The courses are all taught by leaders in art and music education who have played an integral role in the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative in the past three years.

Don’t miss this special opportunity to work with Rob Westerberg, who will be bringing the Music course to Hanover, New Hampshire (Vermont and New Hampshire music educators, take note!), Jake Sturtevant who is teaching Music Assessment in Standish, Maine, or Catherine Ring who is teaching Visual Art Assessment in Bangor, Maine.  All of these courses meet on teacher-friendly schedules (two weekend sessions with 10-12 weeks in between) and are tailored to meet each individual’s needs.

If you want to be in on the most current thinking, research and best practices used in arts classrooms, this is a great way to get started and connect to a network of other professionals and a wealth of shared resources. Over 85 arts educators have taken advantage of arts assessment courses through the New England Institute and many have taken on leadership roles in their schools and districts as a result of their work. Three graduate credits will be awarded upon successful completion through the New England Institute’s academic partnership with Endicott College.

So please join us. We’re excited to share what we have with you and to learn from you!

Questions?  Call the New England Institute at 207-367-5807 or email

Catherine, Rob and Jake



Drawing with Camera-Like Precision

August 22, 2014

Twins reproduce Edward Steichen photogragh

Identical twins Ryan and Trevor Oakes have come up with a method for “tracing camera-obscura renderings”  onto a concave grid. The article in The New York Times Magazine from August 15 provides the information and a video with the twins discussing their work. It is very cool and I highly recommend that you check it out by clicking here.

Thanks to Anne Kofler for sending me the information.



Fireworks in Your Brain

August 16, 2014

Video on the brain and music

Thanks to Madison Art Teacher Lisa Ingraham for sending me the link to this TEDed video called How Playing an Instrument Creates Fireworks in Your Brain. In her words: “It’s pretty great!” Researchers have looked closely at the brain to see what is happening when people are “listening” to music AND when “making music” is taking place. The music making strengthens the brains capacity. Check it out for yourself.



Schoodic Sculpture Symposium

August 15, 2014

August 3 – September 14, 2014

DSCN3300The 2014 Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium runs 7 days a week and is free and open to the public. The Symposium
forms an outdoor sculpture studio event, allowing people to interact with the artists and see the process from start to finish.
The location is next to US Bells Foundry, in a ball field in Prospect Harbor, ME. This i s the fifth SISS held in Maine, the longest reoccurring public outdoor sculpture Symposium in the U.S.A. The event features a large welcome tent, restrooms,
a picnic area and ample parking. Closing Ceremonies are likely to be held on Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 in the afternoon (time to be determined).
Those of you who have attended one of the past four symposiums are well aware about how unique this opportunity is for visitors. You have the opportunity to speak with the sculptors and see them in action. I have been able to attend on multiple occasions during the last 4 symposiums and I must say coming back during the symposium to see the progress being made is very fun!
The following artists are participating in the symposium which is scheduled August 3 – September 10, 2014.
DSCN3296School and student information

Over 500 students visit the Symposium during each event thanks to the teachers and administrators that make this opportunity happen!
The closing ceremonies will most likely be held on Wednesday, September 10th, 2014. The goal is that
sculptures will be installed in their respective communities during the final week of the Symposium. Therefore, to see the sculptures in one place, it is recommended that you consider bringing school children to the site earlier on or before the closing ceremonies and also plan on a trip to the place where the sculpture will be installed in your town, so that the children can be there as the sculpture is placed.
We are hoping this way the artists will be present when the sculpture comes to your town/city, making the event even more meaningful and rich!
The exact date that each sculpture will be installed will be determined during the Symposium and is dependent on several things, including the readiness of the site to receive the sculpture. The logistics of moving the piece from Prospect Harbor to its permanent location can be tricky and delays due to equipment or weather can be frequent. All sculptures are expected to be finished by the closing ceremony date, but will remain on display at the event site until they are one by one, moved to the communities over the course of the final week.
Let us know when you are coming to the Symposium site, so we can alert the artists and assistants and engage in enhanced health and safety procedures. The artists enjoy talking to the children, and will stop work during your tour of the site.
We look forward to seeing you there! If you have any questions please contact, Cathy Lewis Principal, Surry School and SISS Board Member

In Today’s News

August 14, 2014

Just out from the Maine Department of Education, Commissioner’s Update

August 14, 2014


Maine Arts Assessment Initiative hosts New England Summit on Arts Education

The Maine DOE joined over 90 educators, teaching artists, and interdisciplinary teams at the New England Summit on Arts Education, July 29-August 1, at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. This three day professional training opportunity was coordinated by the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) and provided participants with a collaborative approach to explore methods of teaching, learning, and assessment in arts education.

Jeff Poulin, Arts Education Program Coordinator for Americans for the Arts, delivered an important message about the critical role of arts education in developing essential knowledge, skills and creative abilities needed for success in school, work and life. During the Summit, educators developed individual action plans focused on essential components of student learning and proficiency including arts integration, studio habits, technology and assessment.

Veteran teacher-leaders and educators new to MAAI joined together to learn from each other through numerous presentations, workshops and lectures. Over the past year, the MAAI teacher-leaders have developed standards-based units, including assessments, lesson plans and resources, and have provided guidance on how to select appropriate tools for classroom assessment. These materials are now available for review and use on the MAAI Resource Bank.

Representatives from the Department and arts organizations and institutions from across New England were in attendance at the Summit, including Lesley University, Lincoln Street Center and Northland Village Foundation, Maine Art Education Association, Maine Music Educators Association, Maine College of Art, New England Institute for Teacher Education, Portland Ovations, Portland Museum of Art, Portland Symphony Orchestra, and the Art Education and Music Education Departments of the University of Maine.

The Maine Arts Assessment Initiative was an initiative established in 2011 to create an environment in Maine where quality assessment is an integral part of the work of all integral part of the work of all arts educators in order to improve student achievement through teaching and learning. The initiative builds capacity through collaboration and the development of professional practices designed by teachers, for teachers.

For more information about MAAI, contact the Maine Arts Commission’s Director of Arts Education, Argy Nestor at or 207-287-2713.

For more information about arts integration, contact the DOE’s Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, Kevin Facer, at or 207-624-6826.

To read the above article on the Department’s website please click here.


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