Car is Packed

October 8, 2015

Headed for the biennial conference

carAfter months of preparation that involved dozens of people we are really READY for the Biennial Statewide Arts Education Conference The Measure of Success. Today, with a car chock full of all that is needed, I head to Point Lookout Conference Center in Northport to set up for the conference being held tomorrow, Friday, October 9.

The 9 workshop leaders have prepared their 5X5s (5 minutes, 5 images), a long list of resources that will go live tomorrow morning, and their hour and 15 minute workshops. No small feat, of which I know will be incredible offerings for those in attendance! Arts integration, standards-based, creativity, student-centered, assessment, brain research, advocacy, teacher effectiveness, technology, and so much more will be covered, discussed, and unpacked. By the end of the day participants will have at least a handful of ideas that they will walk away with that can be put into practice come next Tuesday morning in their individual classrooms, schools, and districts.

The day will be filled with celebrations, recognitions, and multiple learning and networking opportunities! YOU’ve spoken to the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) and we’ve done our best to listen and create another professional learning opportunity that I hope will be challenging and enjoyable!

Without the many people who have contributed to the planning, tomorrow would not be possible. A GREAT BIG THANK YOU to all of you who have stepped up!

What??? You haven’t pre-registered? Well, you are in luck – arrive at Point Lookout tomorrow morning, Friday, October 9, by 8:30 and you can register at the door. Please be sure and bring a check, PO, or credit card! And, if you are available today you are welcome to come early and help unpack the car! YAHOOOOOO for Arts Education!

If you have questions please email me at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

Please note: On August 3, 2015, MAAI, the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative, announced its new name, MALI, the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative. MALI is a program of the Maine Arts Commission. You can read about it at https://meartsed.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/maai-goes-to-mali/. Please email Argy Nestor if you have any questions at argy.nestor@maine.gov.



October 7, 2015

Where are those MALI Teacher Leaders?

MALI_V1_Color_100ppiOver the summer one of the Maine Arts Commission interns created a giant map that hangs in the conference room at the Commission that shows where the 73 Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) teachers teach. It is very impressive and it reminds me of the impact that leaders in arts education are making across the state. We are fortunate! You can check out the map google map below which illustrates the information as well. Click on the marks to see who the Teacher Leader is and where they teach.

I hope you will consider being a MALI Teacher Leader in the next phase. You can read more about the initiative and learn more about the structure of the team and access great resources at http://www.maineartsassessment.com/.

Please note: On August 3, 2015, MAAI, the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative, announced its new name, MALI, the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative. MALI is a program of the Maine Arts Commission. You can read about it at https://meartsed.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/maai-goes-to-mali/. Please email Argy Nestor if you have any questions at argy.nestor@maine.gov.


Last Chance to Register

October 6, 2015

The Measure of Success conference

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 9.27.24 PMThere is still time and space to register for the Biennial Arts Education Conference: The Measure of Success being held this Friday, October 9 at the Point Lookout Conference Center in Northport. It is bound to provide great opportunities for learning, networking, and celebrations. If you have not registered, you have one more day at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Biennial-Statewide-Register. The cost today is $100. If you want to wait until Friday, walk-in registration is available at the door for $125.00. Make checks payable to Great Gatherings or pay with cash!

Maine Arts Education: The Measure of Success conference participants will:

  • Participate in a dynamic format of 5 x 5 presentations (9 topics, 5 minutes, 5 images).
  • Attend arts education workshops that are facilitated by colleagues.
  • Explore assessment methods and strategies designed to expand teaching and learning the proficiency-based education environment.
  • Build connections among the arts disciplines: dance, media arts, music, theatre and visual art.
  • Provide networking opportunities.
  • Learn more about creativity, literacy, authentic assessment, technology, and much more!

We are putting the finishing touches on the cake, running around completing the last minute details, and look forward to seeing you on Friday!

If you have any questions please email me at argy.nestor@maine.gov.


Call for Student Artwork

October 5, 2015



MDOE logo







For over ten years, the Maine Department of Education and the Maine Arts Commission have been fortunate to celebrate arts education by hosting rotating student art exhibits. These exhibits celebrate the high quality of visual art education in Maine.

This year, the Department and Commission are combining their efforts to provide these exhibits. The rotating exhibits will be displayed throughout the State House complex and in the Department of Education. Each exhibit will feature two districts from two superintendent regions in Maine. Each district will display 24 pieces so please reach out to the other art teachers in your district. During the period your students’ artwork is displayed, the artists and their families will be invited to the Hall of Flags for a Celebration of Excellence in Visual and Performing Arts Education reception. The Department of Education and the Maine Arts Commission will recognize each student for their accomplishments. The reception will feature performances from the districts represented in the art show.

Please consider submitting your students’ artwork. The exhibition guidelines are below. If you are interested in displaying your student artwork, please contact Beth Lambert at 624-6642 or beth.lambert@maine.gov.

Thank you for all you do!

~ Beth Lambert, Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, Maine Department of Education

~ Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education, Maine Arts Commission


Ideas Into Action

October 4, 2015

Teach to Lead does it again

Screen Shot 2015-10-03 at 8.02.02 PMIn August I wrote about a trip to Washington, D.C. that a team of 5 from the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) took. In fact, it was the trip when the name of the initiative switched from the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative to MALI. We spent time at the Teach to Lead Summit and it was an amazing opportunity for Maine.

The next Teach to Lead Summit was held last week in Tacoma, Washington. It was the fifth summit held in the country where teachers exchanged ideas to improve their schools and discussed plans to put those ideas into action. Over the past year-and-a-half, more than 560 ideas for expanding teacher leadership have been submitted from all over the country, and it’s only just the beginning of the effort to empower teachers to lead the improvement of their schools, says Secretary Duncan. Stay tuned to teachtolead.org to participate in the next summit.

Those who attended the Summit in Tacoma are boldly going back to schools, districts, and states to put their ideas into action.

Watch the Teach to Lead website for the next opportunity to apply for the Summit.


Maine Dance Network

October 3, 2015

Dance classes – Moving Target Portland

Moving Target Portland Poster

Oct 4 —  Cookie Harrist & Delaney McDonough @ MCMA

Oct 11 — Dante Brown @ MCMA

Oct 18  — CHOREOLAB w/ Sara Juli @ Denmark Arts Center      **FREE!

Oct 25  — Andrea Olsen @ Colby College **pre-registration required

Nov 1 — Ricarrdo Valentine & Orlando Hunter @ MCMA

Nov 8  — Annie Kloppenberg @ Casco Bay Movers

Nov 15 — Lida Winfield  @ Casco Bay Movers

Nov 22  —  Meredith Lyons @ MCMA

Nov 29 — Hana van der Kolk @ MCMA

Dec 6 — Asher Woodworth @ MCMA

Dec 13  — Rachel Boggia @ MCMA


National Core Arts Standards

October 2, 2015

2015-16 High School Model Cornerstone Assessment Pilot Project Launches

The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) has issued a call for high school arts educators to pilot the National Core Arts Standards Model Cornerstone Assessments (MCAs) in dance, media arts, music, theatre and visual arts during the 2015-2016 school year. MCAs are curriculum-embedded performance-based assessment examples that are designed to model standards-based arts assessment and student achievement. The pilot follows a similar project that was conducted during 2014-15, in which 75 arts educators piloted the MCAs at grades 2, 5, and 8. The 2015-16 pilot teachers, working with the MCAs at the high school benchmark levels of Proficient, Accomplished, and Advanced, will put the example tasks “on their feet,” focusing on students’ application of their knowledge and skills in in authentic and relevant contexts.

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 2.51.29 PMTwelve to fifteen pilot educators from each of the five arts disciplines will be selected, with an effort to achieve a balance of rural, suburban, and urban classroom settings across the country. Prior to the launch of the full project in January, 2016, chosen teachers will be asked to pre-pilot the assessment in their discipline with a small test population of 1-2 students in November. Those selected will be asked to participate in online training; secure administrator approval of participation and permissions to share student work; pilot the assessment with their students; select student work; and upload appropriate images, audio, or video files that documents student work.

Applications for Dance, Media Arts, Theatre and Visual Arts will be accepted through Wednesday October 21st, 2015. Applicants must complete an online application form at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HighSchoolMCA and forward a résumé or CV, along with a signed letter of permission from your principal or school administrator to the Project Manager at projectmanager@seadae.org. NCCAS will contact chosen applicants and announce selected pilot sites by November 5, 2015. Applicants for Music will be taking part in a research study and are asked to apply at: https://kstate.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9S0S2RlSn0udN1b

The Model Cornerstone Assessment pilot project is funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Questions should be addressed to NCCAS leadership representative Lynn Tuttle at LynnT@nafme.org.


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