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NPR Podcast Challenge

December 13, 2018

Grades 5 through 12

National Public Radio is offering an opportunity for teachers and students in grades five through 12 across the country to turn your classrooms into production studios, your assignments into scripts and your ideas into sound.

Here’s how it’s going to work: You’ll produce a podcast, three to 12 minutes long. You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment or a studio — you should be able to do this with just a smartphone and a computer, with easily available software. And you don’t need to be an expert in radio production: We’ll offer lots of help for students and teachers along the way.

Start planning now — we’ll open the contest up to entries on Jan. 1, 2019, and close them on March 31, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Then, our panel of judges will pick two winners: one from grades five through eight and one from grades nine through 12.

CLICK HERE to LEARN MORE!

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Federal Junior Duck Stamp

December 12, 2018

Statewide call for student artwork

Maine Audubon is collaborating with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and L.L. Bean for the 25th annual statewide opportunity for the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program. The program has a free downloadable curricular guide to help support learning about waterfowl habitat and conservation. The guides provide fun, age-level appropriate activities that will enhance curriculum and students’ knowledge of wildlife and habitat.

Students will be able to submit an entry of approved waterfowl art into the competition. Designs are judged in four age categories, with awards for first, second, and third places and honorable mentions. Entries must be postmarked by March 1, 2019. This year judging will take place at the L.L. Bean Flagship Store in Freeport, ME on Wednesday, March 13, with award presentations on Saturday, March 23, at 9 a.m.

2018 Maine Best of Show

The Maine Best of Show entry will compete with contest winners from other states in a national competition. The first place national winning design is used to create the Federal Junior Duck Stamp. Proceeds from the sale of Junior Duck Stamps (which cost $5 each) support conservation education by providing awards and scholarships for students, teachers, and schools.

Submission deadline must be postmarked by March 1, 2019.

Please Send Submissions To:

Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge

Attn: Junior Duck Stamp Program Coordinator

321 Port Road

Wells, ME 04090

You can download the teacher guides here and view the contest rules and entry forms here.  For questions and/or curricular support, please contact Maine Audubon’s Lead Educator by email Linda Woodard or call Linda at 207-781-2330 ext.213.

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Dance Education Grant Opportunity

December 11, 2018

Dance Education Grant Deadline January 31, 2019

Don’t miss this great opportunity for Maine schools and teaching artists

January 31, 2019, 5:00 p.m. is the deadline for the Maine Arts Commission’s dance education grant for PK-12 schools and teaching artists. Applications must be filed using the Commission’s online grants management system at www.MaineArts.com.

Launched in 2015, the dance education grant provides high quality learning opportunities for students and educators in schools where dance education is not being offered. Dance education changes lives, yet only 5 percent of all schools in Maine offer opportunities in this artistic discipline, according to the Arts Education Census study conducted in 2016 by the Maine Arts Commission.

During this past grant cycle, the program funded artist residencies at Maranacook Middle School in Readfield and Freeport High School. Both residencies are taking place during this school year. Nancy Salmon is the teaching artist on the  Maine Arts Commission’s Teaching Artist Roster who is providing instruction.

You can read the stories of past recipients of the dance education grant. Six schools have been awarded funding during the last three years. You can read about the success stories on this blog by searching using “dance education”.

Funding for this program is made possible through the generosity of an annual dance performance in November called “Fall Into Dance”. This year two schools and ten dance studios collaborated to put on the performance. It is facilitated by Thornton Academy dance educator and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader Emma Arenstam Campbell.

This year the event raised $3,810.00. To date the dance education grant has awarded $17,421.00. Dancers Making a Difference contributing one year to this grant in addition to the funds raised by Fall Into Dance. All of this money goes directly to schools to create a dance education opportunity that works towards establishing dance education programs.

“We are extremely appreciative of these contributions and the impact they will have on dance education in Maine,” said Julie Richard, Executive Director of the Maine Arts Commission. “There are so few dance education programs in our state and this is one important way we can make a difference for the students that we serve.”

Review Criteria

  1. Clear demonstration of high-quality arts education teaching and learning opportunity.
  2. Evidence of significant collaborative planning among teachers and other partners, and the capacity to carry it out.
  3. Clear demonstration of equity and access to learning addressing the differences of learners.
  4. Description of evaluation methodology with clear objectives and outcomes.
  5. Alignment with dance standards.
  6. Commitment beyond the conclusion of the project.

Grant guidelines and application criteria are at www.MaineArts.com and the Commission encourages PK-12 educators or teaching artists to review them prior to applying. The funding cycle for these grants is for projects from September 1, 2019 through March 30, 2020. Applicants may apply up to $2,500 and are not eligible if they’ve applied in the past.

For more information visit the grants and the teaching artist roster webpages at www.MaineArts.com.

Watch for a notice announcing when the application will be available. Begin planning and be sure and communicate about your ideas with Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education at 207-287-2713 or email at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

All photos in this blog post were taken at the November 2018 Dance Into Fall performance at Thornton Academy.

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In Today’s News

December 10, 2018

Maine Sunday Telegram

Walt Whitman by Brooksville painter Robert Shetterly

Article about Robert Shetterly and Americans Who Tell the Truth paintings in the Maine Sunday Telegram, December 9. Having followed Rob’s work for quite awhile it is so interesting to read this interview with Rob about his paintings. As I’ve included in recent blog posts about Rob’s work the article includes information and the interview about the exhibit at Syracuse University.

“For the first time, all 238 paintings in Maine artist Robert Shetterly’s “Americans Who Tell the Truth” portrait series are on view together at Syracuse University in New York. Shetterly, who lives in Brooksville, began painting portraits of courageous Americans 17 years ago as an act of defiance against the war in Iraq.” For the entire article written by Bob Keyes,  CLICK HERE.

Walt Whitman was the first portrait he painted. The quote on the painting is the preface to “Leaves of Grass”, a poem of Whitman’s:

“This is what you shall do: love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone who asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown.”

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Good Read

December 9, 2018

The Arts at the Center

Recently on Facebook Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader Janie Snider from Hancock Grammar School shared a link to Mind/Shift with an excerpt from Sir Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica’s book You, Your Child, and School: Navigate Your Way to the Best Education. The book was published on March 13, 2018 by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

The piece talks about schools that are changing and successfully meeting the best interests of their students, families, and communities. Teachers and school leaders are using innovative ideas to envision the school plan.

Sir Ken Robinson

Orchard Gardens Elementary School in Roxbury, MA was one of these schools. In 2010 students were doing poorly by all measures and there was a revolving door of teachers and principals. They spent more than $250,000 a year on security guards. Principal number six arrived and decided to spend that same money on arts education. Together staff and administration established systems to support students as individuals, established a school culture and did all that we know is impactful in the arts. Teaching artists, investment in instruments, displayed artwork in the halls and classrooms, and offered creative workshops for teachers and parents.

Orchard Gardens is one example that Robinson and Aronica outline in the book. The essence of the book is really about how schools can transform. It’s not about the learners in the school, most likely the problem is the system. Change the school and many of the problems will disappear. It is possible and is happening.

You can read the entire article by CLICKING HERE.

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Doodle Chaos

December 8, 2018

Line Rider – Mountain King

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Maine Excellence in Arts Education Celebration

December 7, 2018

Maine Arts Commission to honor Excellence in Arts Education

The Maine Arts Commission will honor nine schools – nine visual art educators – 36 students for their artwork – 158 students for their music – two music educators at the Maine State House with a special reception with First Lady Ann LePage in the Hall of Flags, December 11, 2:00 p.m.

Marshwood Middle School is recognizing their students in the arts with this sign outside their school!

Starting December 1, 2018 through April 2019, the Arts Commission is featuring an art exhibit of 45 pieces that will include for the first time ever, student work combined with their respective art teacher’s work. The student art exhibit is being showcased throughout the State House Capitol building, the Burton M. Cross building, and the offices of the Maine Arts Commission. Additionally, each student artist and their families are invited to the Hall of Flags for a special reception on December 11, starting at 2 p.m. The reception includes student performances and a certificate ceremony with First Lady Ann LePage.

Acrylic painting by grade 8 student Lydia Phipps, Marshwood Middle School

“The Maine Arts Commission believes it is essential for every student to have access to a quality and comprehensive visual and performing arts education,” said Julie Richard, Executive Director of the Maine Arts Commission. “The arts let’s students develop the critical thinking, collaborative, and creative skills necessary to succeed in the ever changing diverse and global economies of today’s world. “

The following schools, teachers and 4 students from each school will be honored and featured in the student exhibit:

  • Gorham Middle School, Teacher: Amy Cousins
  • Hancock Grammar School, Teacher: Jane Snider
  • Jonesport Elementary and Jonesport Beals High School, Teacher: Lisa Marin
  • Marshwood Middle School, Eliot, Teacher: Melanie Crowe
  • Maranacook Middle School, Readfield, Teacher: Hope Lord
  • Oxford Hills High School, South Paris, Teacher: Cindi Kugell
  • Brewer High School, Teacher: Lori Spruce
  • Richmond Middle School and High School, Teacher: Jeff Orth
  • Waterville High School, Teacher: Suzanne Goulet

“Great Third Hill” created by Marshwood Middle School art teacher Melanie Crowe

Two choruses will be recognized and performing at the celebration. Seventy five students will be traveling from Sedomocha School in Dover-Foxcroft with their music teacher Kaitlin Young. Traveling from Marshwood Middle School in Eliot will be seventy five students with their music teacher Kris Bisson. Their programs will highlight their amazing students and a collaborative project that Kris’ students participated with teaching artist Brian Evans-Jones.

All of the teachers involved are teacher leaders in the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative, a program of the Maine Arts Commission.

The reception is open to the public on Tuesday, December 11, 2:00 p.m.

For more information about the Maine Excellence in Arts Education please contact Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education at 207-287-2713, argy.nestor@maine.gov.

For more information about the Maine Arts Commission’s programs and services, please visit www.MaineArts.com; follow the agency on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, or contact the offices at 207-287-2724.

 

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