GT Conference

October 22, 2016


screen-shot-2016-10-22-at-8-55-31-amCongratulations to the Maine Educators of the Gifted and Talented professional organization for a successful conference on Friday, October 21: The ‘Art’ of Technology: Inspiring Innovation in Advanced Learners. The planning committee and officers worked for several months planning an outstanding learning opportunity that focused on the arts and technology. The workshops included:

  • How does the use of technology improve teaching and deepen learning? Terri Dawson, Co-Director of Sebago Educational Alliance for Professional Development and Technology Integrator, Gorham School Department
  • Building and Strengthening your G/T Visual and Performing Arts Program – Beth Lambert
  • Use Poetry to Enhance Rigor and Depth with GT Students – Ruth Lyons and Kimberly Moran
  • Systemic Questions on GT Programming: MEGAT Board facilitation, open conversation
  • Creating Digital Breakout EDU’s – Terri Dawson
  • Collaboration: 2 STEAM Projects – Christine Carney and Adele Drake
  • MakerSpaces on a Dime: STEAM Focused – Lindsey Carnes
  • Visual Notetaking/Doodling in Class – Ann Marie Quirion Hutton
  • Praxis II, Certification, Endorsement: MEGAT Session with Ruth Lyons
  • Maine Landmarks, their Stories: an Art-based, Interdisciplinary, Community Unit – Ell Fanus and Jonathan Graffius
  • Getting Started with ArcGIS Online: Hands-on Workshop – Margaret Chernosky and Erin Towns

    Karin being recognized by the conference participants after viewing her video. Photo by Jonathan Graffius

    Karin being recognized by the conference participants after viewing her video. Photo by Jonathan Graffius

  • MakerSpaces on a Dime: STEAM Focused – Lindsey Carnes
  • Deepening Your Practice – Nuts and Bolts Session: Open Session, MEGAT Board facilitation

It was fabulous to see so many visual and performing arts teachers at the conference and the many Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leaders. I was thrilled to provide the morning keynote called Why the Arts Are Essential and grateful to have the opportunity to talk to such a diverse audience on the topic.

The biggest thrill of the day came just after lunch when we were treated to an amazing video on STEAM created by Karin Zimba from Hall School, Waterville. Her Doodle for Google creation was the Maine state winner and a finalist in the national contest last year. The MEGAT board recognized her for accomplishments. Congratulations to Karin and her sister whose submission was the Maine state winner in 2015. We’re hoping that Karin’s video will be made public in the future so others can appreciate her artwork and learn from her creation.


Gospel Singer

October 21, 2016

Subway in New York

Whether it is morning, noon or night when you are at this blog post take the time to … stop, breathe deeply, and watch this one minute and 2 seconds video of a man singing in the subway in New York City.

When we wake each morning we never know what will come our way when we get to school. Certainly there are situations that are out of our control. Some of them make us uncomfortable, challenge us, and provide the opportunity to grow. Sometimes they bring us a smile and even make us laugh uncontrollably. The one thing we do get to control is our attitude; how we wish to be and to respond to whatever students, parents, and colleagues say and whatever may happen. That’s why I say “make it a great day”. What will your attitude be today?




October 20, 2016

Suzanne Goulet

Congratulations to the Maine Art Education Association (MAEA) Teacher of the Year, Suzanne Goulet. At the annual fall conference at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in September Suzanne was recognized in front of her peers and shared the following message with her colleagues and members of the MAEA from across the state.

For more information on MAEA, their awards and other programs please CLICK HERE.

dscn4589‘I Didn’t Come This Far To Only Come This Far’ – borrowed from a quote Tom Brady found.  (Background discussion on ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences), Resiliency, Determination and how Tom Brady never gives up)

A Study of Only – Limitation or Inspiration?                                                        

Last winter I was in a very engaged conversation with a colleague about our school culture and proposals for consideration. We had a very stressful year (Starting with the Principal being suspended the first week of school, and ultimately fired…won’t share more at this time….but that was just the beginning of a tumultuous year)

We needed to examine our culture.

Some interesting (and controversial) ideas were being flushed in a personal collegial conversation… then abruptly my colleague, attempting to disqualify my contributions and stake, retorted with, “You’re just an Art Teacher”

Oh….yes…..that’s what was said…….and the engaged conversation ended there….for the moment.

ONLY?……what does that mean……if ONLY we could ONLY be ART Educators

4747f3_42a4e73771c0482099f1295cab14d835So what does ONLY MEAN?

Self-Assessment: Are You Only An Art Educator? (a physical self-reflective study)

This will be interactive – asking that you please stand, when asked, if any of the following statements describe you (does not have to only relate to teaching).

If you introduced a new word or term to someone’s active vocabulary this week please stand. 

If you have ever helped someone develop or refine work habits or best practices please stand.

If you have introduced a form of recreation to someone please stand

If you utilized your Blood Born Pathogens and Bodily Fluids training please stand…

     …Remain standing if it was this week

dscf7323bIf you have helped someone to be brave, to find courage to make a mistake or fail… and to learn from it please stand.

Stand if you have benefited from a colleague sharing a best practice with you.

You are or have been an active Art leader (Workshop presenter, MALI Teacher Leader, Board, Officer) please stand.

Stand if you made art in the last month before the school year started.

Continue standing if you made art since the school year began

… glean and learn from these people

Stand if you helped someone learn to use scissors safely

If you have created community (met with a colleague from a different school and shared a best practice…online, RSVP ME, in person) please stand.

Stand if you have helped someone with a difficult choice or to identify creative possibilities or solutions.

If you have wondered where or when a student’s next meal or place to sleep will be please stand.

Please let me expand on this one…

If you, at anytime, have, or think you have, saved someone’s life – in addition to rendering first aid… maybe you listened, referred someone to a counselor or medical professional please stand… thank you.

img_1315If you have guided someone to express themselves in a non-verbal form please stand. If you have helped someone to visit or experience a college campus please stand.

If you have had an influence on someone’s career or life decision please stand.

If you have helped someone better understand the world around them p lease stand…         (Are your legs burning? OK to sit now…)

If ONLY… If ONLY being an Art Teacher means that you are an active, reflective and compassionate educator, Then Bring it on.

‘I Didn’t Come This Far To Only Come This Far’

The Maine Art Education Association has been a great vehicle for helping me to become an active, reflective and compassionate educator/Art Teacher.

img_1038Holly, Jodi, Pam, Sheila, Chris, Jeff, Charlie, Lisa, Maryann, Marilyn, Catherine, Argy, Heidi, Deb, Carolyn, Aimee, Shalimar, Sandy, Nancy, Stephanie, Tim, George, Margaret, and Kay are only a few members and former members that I have to thank for sharing something with me that has advanced my personal profession. There are many, many more, and I apologize for not including the entire list.

As low as last year was (the “Only” conversation did not help), the honor of being nominated by a respected Art Education colleague and then recognized by our Associations highest honor was transforming. The honor only got better. My student, Scott Norman, during the presentation helped us to realize or remember how important… no….how vital, art, art education and art educators can be for our students….and us.

dscf6414Nominate a peer today. Ask me for help. Deadline is December 31 ….start Monday. Help others to appreciate what it is to be ONLY an “Art Teacher”.

Elections are coming this Spring. We have two year terms. President-Elect, Treasurer, Secretary and Membership are all positions that we are seeking candidates for. I first became treasurer when I left the room… no joke… and my life has forever been changed since… and so have my students. I am extremely thankful for this.

I am active, reflective and compassionate… I Am Only an Art Educator… We Are Only Art Educators.

‘We Didn’t Come This Far To Only Come This Far’

We Have Important Work to continue…

Thank you


Bob Dylan

October 19, 2016

2016 Nobel Prize in Literature

I graduated from high school in 1972. Many of you are aware of the following information, perhaps first hand, since you were growing up during that time as well. It was a period filled with challenges and turbulence. The Vietnam War started in 1955, escalated in the 60’s in response to military clashes. Even though the military fighting involvement ended in 1973 the war officially ended in 1975. The following year North and South Vietnam were reunified.

Bruce Aydelotte, my high school art teacher demonstrating pen and ink drawing with me wearing my Mondrian dress. You can read the post that includes this photo from March 2009 at https://meartsed.wordpress.com/2009/03/05/thank-a-teacher/.

Bruce Aydelotte, my high school art teacher demonstrating pen and ink drawing with me wearing my Mondrian dress. You can read the post that includes this photo from March 2009 at https://meartsed.wordpress.com/2009/03/05/thank-a-teacher/.

Bell bottom jeans, beads, headbands, fringe, tie-dyed t-shirts, leather sandals, Dr. Scholl’s wood-bottom sandals, and leather Earth shoes were popular attire. French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent created “The Mondrian Collection” as a homage to the work of several modernistic artists.

The Woodstock Festival was held in 1969 at a 600-acre cattle farm in the Catskills (NY) with an audience of more than 400,000 people. I have a brother who was at Woodstock for the pivotal moment in popular music history. Many of the songs performed at Woodstock by the 32 acts were protest songs.

Some of the musicians and artists of that time period were The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Claes Oldenburg. Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin as well (both died from drug related deaths).

Dylan did not perform at Woodstock but his song The Times They Are a-Changin’ documents the early-’60s turbulence and became an anthem for change. Most interesting, Dylan never claimed to be a protest singer.

What does Dylan and The Times Are a-Changin’ have to do with me and my high school graduation? My class sang the song at graduation – it was our small way of recognizing (and for some of us supporting) what was going on, even though we were at the tail end of it. My older brothers were in the thick of it so I was very aware at a family level of what was happening.

Consequently, I was gleeful to hear the recent news that Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature. So wonderful to know that he is the first musician to be recognized with this award makes it even more special!

If you’re around my age you may have a personal Dylan connection yourself. If you’re younger you may have (or will have) a personal connection to music or an artist from your past. Hopefully the memory will be as sweet as this is for me. I couldn’t let this opportunity pass without sharing my Dylan story. Enjoy Bob Dylan singing The Times They Are A-Changin in this Youtube video.

 Below is the article that came out on the AP by CBS on October 13, 2016.

STOCKHOLM — American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan won the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday, a stunning announcement that for the first time bestowed the prestigious award on a musician.

The Swedish Academy cited Dylan for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

Reporters and others gathered for the announcement at the academy’s headquarters in Stockholm’s Old Town reacted with a loud cheer as his name was read out.

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

Dylan, who turned 75 in May, had been mentioned in the Nobel speculation for years, but few experts expected the academy to extend the prestigious award to a genre such as popular music.

The academy’s permanent secretary, Sara Danius, said that while Dylan performs his poetry in the form of songs, that’s no different from the ancient Greeks, whose works were often performed to music.

“Bob Dylan writes poetry for the ear,” she said. “But it’s perfectly fine to read his works as poetry.”

Dylan was born on May 24, 1941, in Duluth, Minnesota. He grew up in a Jewish middle-class family. He’s the first American winner of the Nobel literature prize since Toni Morrison in 1992.

By his early 20s, he had taken the folk music world by storm. “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are A-Changin” became anthems for the anti-war and civil rights movements of the 1960s. Dylan was also awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for his contributions to music and American culture.

The literature award was the last of this year’s Nobel Prizes to be announced. The six awards will be handed out on Dec. 10, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel’s death in 1896.

Earlier this year, renowned photographer Ken Regan released a limited edition book capturing rare, intimate images of Dylan on tour.


Poetry Out Loud

October 18, 2016

Register now

All Maine High Schools Welcome to Participate in National Poetry Recitation Contest

image001Augusta, ME—The Maine Arts Commission is pleased to announce that online registration is now open for all Maine high schools to participate quickly and easily in Poetry Out Loud 2016-2017, a national competition organized by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation and administered at the state level by the Arts Commission. The deadline for registration at http://bit.do/MaineArts_POLRegister is November 7, 2016.

The Poetry Out Loud state champion earns $200 and an all-expenses paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington, D.C. to compete in the national finals. The state winner’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up will receive $100, with $200 for his or her school library. The National Endowment for the Arts will award $50,000 total in cash and school stipends at the national finals, with a $20,000 award for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion.

Maine’s 2016 Poetry Out Loud Champion Rose Horowitz of Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham, who also took first place nationally in a new opportunity for the finalists to showcase their original poetry through an optional competition called Poetry Ourselves, shown here with National Endowment for the Arts chair Jane Chu at the competition finals in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy Maine Arts Commission.

Maine’s 2016 Poetry Out Loud Champion Rose Horowitz of Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham, who also took first place nationally in a new opportunity for the finalists to showcase their original poetry through an optional competition called Poetry Ourselves, shown here with National Endowment for the Arts chair Jane Chu at the competition finals in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy Maine Arts Commission.

Poetry Out Loud begins at the local level, and can take place in schools anytime between now and January 9, 2017 as the program does not require full class periods and can be completed in just two to three weeks. Almost 10,000 Maine students and 220 teachers from 45 high schools across the state participated in Poetry Out Loud in 2015-2016, mastering public-speaking skills, building self-confidence, and learning about their literary heritage. The program encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. Since Poetry Out Loud began, millions of students at more than 7,300 schools nationwide have been involved. Starting at the classroom level, teachers are provided with free multimedia curriculum materials – a Learning Recitation audio guide, a teacher’s guide, posters and comprehensive website, http://www.poetryoutloud.org, all aligned to national standards – to augment their regular poetry curriculum with poetry recitation at a school-level, then district-level competition.

“Poetry Out Loud is one of many examples of high-quality, partnership-based programs that the NEA offers to schools and communities across the country,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “By helping students foster creative thinking skills and inspire self-expression, we are laying a foundation for lifelong learning in the arts.”

To learn more about Poetry out Loud in Maine, see the promotional national videos “Get involved in POL!” and “Why Poetry Out Loud?” as well as a short video highlighting the 2015 Maine State Finals. In addition, Poetry Out Loud is aligned with both the NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) Standards and Common Core State Standards: learn more at www.poetryoutloud.org/teaching-resources/ncte-english-teaching-standards.

The Maine Arts Commission believes that the arts are an essential part of a well-rounded education. Through its Arts Education program, the Commission creates and supports innovative arts learning opportunities that engage both students and teachers in creative thinking, arts participation and the building of vibrant learning communities. Please visit mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Arts-in-Education to find more information about the benefits of Poetry Out Loud, as well as information on all educational programming offered by the Maine Arts Commission.

Additional information on Poetry Out Loud is available at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/POL-Home, or by contacting Argy Nestor, Maine Arts Commission Director of Arts Education at argy.nestor@maine.gov or 207-287-2713.

The Maine Arts Commission shall encourage and stimulate public interest and participation in the cultural heritage and cultural programs of our state; shall expand the state’s cultural resources; and shall encourage and assist freedom of artistic expression for the well being of the arts, to meet the needs and aspirations of persons in all parts of the state.


Edward Little High School

October 17, 2016

The Band plays on

One of three musical performances provided by PreK-grade 12 students at the recent Maine International Conference on the Arts was provided by students from Edward Little High School in Auburn under the direction of William Buzza. The conference provided by the Maine Arts Commission on October 6 and 7 had several pop-up performances throughout the conference. The band marched up the street next to the Franco Center in Lewiston where conference participants poured onto the sidewalk to watch and listen. Afterwards the musicians performed a couple more songs inside the center. Below are two video clips.


Sculpture Symposium

October 16, 2016

Viles Arboretum Sculpture Symposium

camille-close-upViles Arboretum held another successful sculpture symposium. Sculptor Anne Alexander worked with classes of students throughout the symposium. The other participating sculptors answered viewers questions as they worked away at their individual creations.

Maranacook Community High School art teacher Jeremy Smith remarked about the opportunity: “This experience was extremely valuable. We are so thankful for opportunities like these where students can really see the creative process from beginning to end and also share with professionals their excitement!”

Viles Arboretum Sculpture Symposium is partially funded by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission through the Arts Learning grant.




%d bloggers like this: