In Today’s News

July 25, 2016

MAC offers Teaching Artist opportunity

Read about it by CLICKING HERE.


Berklee Pitched Slapped

July 24, 2016

Singing Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish”



In Today’s News

July 23, 2016

Dan Ryder

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 2.56.39 PM“If you looked inside Dan Ryder’s classroom at Mt. Blue High School in Farmington, you might think that he taught engineering. A 3-D printer sits in the corner, there’s a giant box of Legos, and a full cart of electronics right beside. Ryder, though, teaches English. And he uses a method called design thinking, in which he combines books, inventions and brainstorming to create a new kind of classroom experience.”

Dan Ryder presented at last falls statewide arts education conference with Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Leadership Team member Kate Smith. You can read the entire article about Dan and listen as well at http://www.mpbn.net/post/teacher-mt-blue-uses-engineering-and-design-principles-english-class#stream/0.


First Lady Michelle Obama

July 22, 2016

Carpool Karaoke

CLICK HERE to see and hear the First Lady singing Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” Then, Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.” And finishes with Missy Elliott singing “Get Ur Freak On” circa 2001.


Early Bird Registration

July 20, 2016

MICA – July 31

The Maine Arts Commission’s second Maine International Conference on the Arts will be proudly held in Lewiston/Auburn October 6-7. Due to busy summer schedules, we’ve just extended theEARLY BIRD REGISTRATION DEADLINE until July 31! Register today to get a 25% discount on Maine’s ONLY statewide convening of artists, arts organizations, arts educators, public policy makers, and community and economic development specialists who know the power arts and culture brings to Maine’s communities. With featured speakers Sherry Wagner-Henry and Pam Breaux; an Idea Lab featuring five of Maine’s most innovative artists; 20 breakout sessions in Leveraging Investment, Visibility for Arts & Culture, Arts Education & Lifelong Learning, Cultural Tourism, and Building Capacity; and more than a dozen pop-up performances showcasing Maine talent this is a once-in-every-two-years experience! Plus: celebrate the convergence of Creativity, Industry, Art and Innovation in historic Lewiston/Auburn, Maine’s second largest urban area and home to many of Maine’s newest citizens. Register now by CLICKING HERE!



Blog is on Vacation

July 7, 2016

Gone to Malawi

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 11.18.50 PMThe blog is on vacation. Yes, it is true – I am taking a break from the daily posts since I am on a trip to Malawi, Africa with Go! Malawi. Lindsay Pinchbeck, founder and director of Sweetland School in Hope and I are in Malawi working with teachers on arts integration. In addition, we are going to help create a summer arts camp for girls to take place in August 2017. I am sure that I will learn so much during our time there.

There is a chance that I will be able to blog from there but the connectivity is not totally reliable so I am not sure if it will work out. If it does you will see photos and perhaps stories from there. If not, on our return I will be sure to blog and include photos.

“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.”   -Bernice Johnson Reagon

Speaking of blogging my friend Rob Pheiffer spent 6 months with Go! Malawi returning this past April. Below is his last blog post after his return to Maine. You can read more of his blog posts on the site at http://go-malawi.org/category/news-and-events/.

The adjustment period goes on and I am quite surprised by the intensity. The central issues are consumption and complaining. As I reflect on the way people live in Malawi, it seems incredible how little consumption goes on day to day. They walk everywhere with a few bicycles thrown in and buy almost nothing as the barter economy works well enough to keep people alive. There are so few vehicles that the passing of one is cause for everyone to pause and note the direction, the occupants, and to hypothesize about the destination and purpose of the trip. All, and I emphasize all, movement is purposeful. For instance, no one goes out just for a walk. They are going somewhere to deliver something or pick up something and usually both. People were always curious about my bike rides as I just went and came back without a pile of firewood or a bag of corn strapped on somehow. My behavior was very unusual (no surprise to those of you who know me!). So, for a Malawian to see our huge vehicles roaring about with one occupant would be surprising and confusing. A pickup truck or a van over there will always be loaded with upwards of 20 people all going somewhere like a hospital or on a serious mission of some sort. As I sit here typing (on a full key board now. What a relief!) I have heard at least 50 cars go by on the rural road we live on. To hear that many vehicles in the hill country of Malawi would take most of six months.
As to the complaining issue, we here in America are masters of the art. I am thinking it has to do with all that we have and are used to using.  If our “normal” patterns are disrupted and our power goes out or the car won’t start it really throws us for a loop. When you are used to living without some of the privileges we take pretty much for granted, your expectations are lower and you just go ahead with your day. There are widespread areas of Malawi with no power and those with power have it sporadically. I would hazard a guess that only about ten percent of Malawians have access to a vehicle on a regular basis and a high percentage of those work for the government. I am left with the simplistic thought that having less might increase a happiness quotient in us that is presently tarnished with unmet expectations. I am not suggesting that we do without things which make our lives run smoothly and allow us to be productive. I am wondering if we could do with less in general and would that help us to feel more happy? The happiness of the Malawian people and their “can do” spirit in spite of everything they face daily has opened me up to a great deal of wondering.
I have spent portions of three days in schools here in Maine sharing some of my experiences and that has been most gratifying as the students seem to realize how fortunate we are to have what we have. The tantrums and demanding behavior I observed earlier upon my return seem to be pretty much contained within the confines of airports and grocery stores, both of which are probably high stress areas for children. I have been fortunate to have had opportunities to chat with bright motivated young people who seem unfazed by the amounts of “stuff” we all seem to have accumulated here. That is some of the news from back here in the good old USA where clean tap water, showers, and toilets are very special all of a sudden.

Teaching Artist Opportunity

July 6, 2016

MALI Summer Institute

Calling Teaching Artists – You’re Invited!

Summer professional development

Wednesday, August 10, 8:00 to 4:00

USM, Portland

Cost: $20 to reserve your spot and cover lunch

Teaching Artist Tim Christensen works with a student at Camden-Rockport Middle School

Teaching Artist Tim Christensen works with a student at Camden-Rockport Middle School

The Maine Arts Commission invites you to an all day professional development workshop that will include structured networking with more than 50 PK-12 Visual and Performing Arts teachers from throughout Maine!

This year’s Teaching Artist professional development day is designed to focus in depth on the role of the teaching artist in the K-12 classroom, and the relationship between the K-12 arts educator and the teaching artist.

The day includes workshops designed specifically for Teaching Artists focusing on topics including: how to get funding, best practices for Teaching Artists, standards, assessment, advocacy, and more.

The goal? More high quality K-12 Artist in Residence programs in the state of Maine!

What will you get when you attend the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Summer Institute?

  • Opportunities to connect with and engage collaboratively with PK-12 visual and performing arts teachers from Maine schools
  • An exciting, teacher – driven environment for teaching artists who are interested in professional development with peers
  • Sessions that are planned to fit your needs as a teaching artist
  • Morning coffee/tea, a yummy lunch and afternoon snacks

To register please CLICK HERE.

Presented by Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) of the Maine Arts Commission. To learn more about the MALI please go to http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/MAAI#.

If you have any questions please contact Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education, Maine Arts Commission, argy.nestor@maine.gov or John Morris at JohnMorris08@gmail.com.


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