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Art for Healing

August 15, 2018

Interactive Webinar from NAEA

The National Art Education Association is providing an interactive webinar on Wednesday, August 29, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. called Art for Healing in Difficult Situations. This webinar is FREE for NAEA members and $49 for non-members.
A growing number of children are experiencing traumatic life events during their childhood. How can we, as arts educators, help?
Visual arts can provide an outlet for children to express their feelings, communicate their needs, and reach out for support. Join us for this timely webinar as three art educators share their teaching experiences, strategies, and art projects for helping children alleviate stress and heal. 
The presenters include:
  • Donalyn Heise, EdD, Artist, Educator, Author from Austin, TX
  • Adrienne D. Hunter, Med, Art Educator from Pittsburgh, PA
  • Beverly H. Johns, Professional Fellow, MacMurray College, Jacksonville, IL

REGISTER HERE!

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ECET2 Spot On!

August 14, 2018

Gathering at Colby College

The ECET2 – Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teachers – conference held last week at Colby College was outstanding. ECET2 Maine is an educator community and two-day event and based on the ECET2 national model offering a unique opportunity for teachers from across Maine to connect with other practitioners to gain leadership skills, share innovative classroom practices, and be “celebrated” for their work on behalf of Maine’s students.

Allan Monga speaking with Sydney Chaffee

There were three Cultivating the Calling speeches that provided seeds of inspiration. Hearing educators stories is motivating and validating. One was provided by the 2017 National Teacher of the Year, Sydney Chaffee. She has been moved by her own students stories and by Maine’s Poetry Out Loud champ Allan Monga.

The breakout sessions were terrific, presented by thoughtful educators sharing their ideas and practices. The Colleague Circles provided time to discuss challenges and successes and it was made clear that we share so much across our state in schools/districts.

Colleague Circle presentations during Gallery Walk

Participants could add their “Why I Teach” to a wall and I’ve included some of them in this blog post. You can see that the arts were well represented.

The conference closed out with a Shark Tank where three teams pitched their ideas. Five hundred dollars was given to the most convincing idea which was decided by participants votes on Twitter. And, of course, the door prizes were super!

A great big thank you to the planners – once again they did an outstanding job providing an opportunity that was “spot on” for educators!

There were at least 5 participants who said they will be working on having an ECET2 event in their communities. Watch for the information as it becomes available on their website or Facebook.

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In Today’s News

August 13, 2018

Ashley Bryan

Bob Keyes article in the Maine Sunday Telegram provides the latest news on Ashley Bryan. His show opened recently at the Portland Museum of Art and it is fantastic. At age 95 Ashley is working on a number of books and is planning on one being completed within the month. It is a book of collages based on Christina Rosetti’s poems. He’s also working on a larger project based on his time during WWII when he served in the segregated Army. Seventy four years ago he was at Omaha Beach.

I was very excited to read that he is working with Maine composer Aaron Robinson who happens to be a former student of mine. They are collaborating on an African-American requiem for chamber orchestra, choir and spoken voice.

He’s calling it “A Tender Bridge: An African American Requiem,” based on a Bryan quote: “I always confuse the past and the future, the way I mix up death and life – they are connected only by a tender bridge. This is why stories are at the heart of civilization.”

Plan to take your students to the museum for the show and watch for information on the performance of one of Ashley’s books scheduled for the end of October.

READ the entire article.

“Oh, When the Children Sing in Peace,” 2006, collage of cut colored paper on paper, from “Let It Shine: Three Favorite Spirituals,” 12 by 20 inches. Photo from Portland Museum of Art

 

 

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The Arts and USM

August 10, 2018

In today’s news

Rendering by Scott Simons Architects

The University of Southern Maine announced Wednesday that an anonymous donor has contributed $1 million toward its new Center for the Arts project which will be located on the Portland campus.

The Center for the Arts will feature a 1,000-seat concert hall – about half the size of Portland’s Merrill Auditorium – as well as a recital hall, black box theater performance and an art gallery.

READ MORE in the Press Herald.

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Junco’s Nest

August 9, 2018

Influenced by Maine artists

While growing up Anya Tuton spent every summer in Maine with her grandparents. This week she returns to read and sign her first children’s book, Junco’s Nest, at Owl and Turtle bookstore in Camden, Sunday, August 12, 2:00 p.m.

Anya has volunteered extensively in schools and the story came to her while talking to children about teasing. The teasing had resulted in one boy concluding that “I can’t draw”.  This broke Anya’s heart as drawing has always been such an important practice for her, and further because the uninhibited art of children (and art brut!) is some of her most favorite.

back cover

Anya says: “We lose so much when we disrespect another’s creative process and creative view. I made this story with the intention of touching the hearts of those who doubt their creative selves, helping them to know that staying true to their work while respecting others is a path worth taking.”

Anya has a special place in her heart for Maine and much of her inspiration comes from our state – the sea, and the air, and the land itself. Also the artists that she grew up with including Dennie Deitz, Stell and Shevis, Blackie Langly, Siri Beckman, Bill Thon and more. “They were like lampposts for me before I even knew it.”
In Anya’s words
“It has been such a pleasure, and an out breath to bring this work from inside of my head and studio, into the world of people!
I’ve had SO MANY INCREDIBLE teachers, both in the classroom setting and outside of it. I have been very very fortunate in this way. They have taught me to not be afraid of messes and mistakes, to try, and work hard, to be disciplined but to allow the work to evolve as it wants to. They have taught me that there is tremendous value in seeing from another’s perspective and that this is truly one of the greatest gifts of art and art making. They have taught me that art making is a journey and a practice and can be a beautiful social act. We are human! Art is in us!
I have always loved books and am loving making them. I enjoy the layers of meaning that
illustration can add to text and vice versa.
I chose birds as my protagonists because the children were drawing birds, but also because birds are like ideas- hard to grasp, elusive, beautiful and squawking at the same time. They inhabit a space that we can’t always access. The act of making the nest- of bringing the idea to the ground, actually materializing it, that is the work of the creative.  it is a diligent process and calls for support not unkind criticism.
This story is dedicated to teachers. I am so thankful to them for their work, for nurturing and guiding generations of individuals into a healthy future. Their heartfelt, thoughtful work is really a gift to all of us. As said, initially the story was written for that kindergarden class, but really it is for everyone. We all have to come to terms with how our
creative selves meet the world at one point and/or another.”
Thanks Anya for contributing to the Maine Arts Education blog.
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Summer Program for Kids

August 8, 2018

Scholarships available!

Be an Illustrator for a Day is a new workshop for kids and is the first one-day session in an upcoming series that focus on Careers in Art for kids (two age groups). The new Careers in Art program Series is created through a partnership with WMAG, Fiber & VIne, and The Folk Art Studio in Norway.
They have received scholarship donations from the Rotary Club, Norway Savings Bank, Fiber & Vine and more pending, so the cost is practically free for those who qualify for financial need. (Parents/students only need to submit a brief letter to Fiber & Vine from a non-family member stating financial need i.e. a teacher. minister, etc.)
The first workshop is coming up soon on Tuesday, August 14th at The Folk Art Studio @ Fiber & Vine.

Scholarships are available for this workshop, sponsored by the Rotary Club and Norway Savings Bank! They are based on financial need and parents/students only need to submit a brief letter from a teacher or non-family member requesting funds. 

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MALI Summer Institute

August 7, 2018

Work is just beginning

Even though another Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Summer Institute (MAL) is history (number 8), the work for the MALI Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artist Leaders is just beginning.

I am so impressed with the topics that participants have taken on – each year the work is more comprehensive! I will include information about the research the leaders have underway in a future blog post.

The work is challenging and participants make a commitment to stretch themselves as they build on their knowledge and expertise as educators in the arts. MALI’s educators are committed to providing quality arts education for every Maine learner.

Often I am asked so what’s MALI all about and how can it impact me as a teacher? Below you will find some of the initial feedback received at the conclusion of the institute. The comments reflect the thoughtfulness of the participants and will provide a glimpse of the power of participating in MALI as a “leader”.

  • This institute may have changed my entire outlook. I feel like I have value and can help others through my work.
  • The energy was great.
  • Thank you for bringing us all together! The constant stimulating conversations are exhilarating! (joyfully exhausting). I LOVED the storytelling element.
  • Powerful presentations great stories
  • Gained a tremendous amount of insight into other teacher’s schools, jobs and lives. Always amazing experiences with MALI.
  • Thank you for the community connection of the Museum of Art and Ashley. Very inspiring.
  • Lots of great info. Introduced to new concepts. Networking and connections.
  • Amazing sharing! Inspired beyond belief by my peers.
  • Once again, I’m leaving excited about this year.
  • Leadership and creativity hit the spot for me personally. As always you can’t beat the connections made and renewed at MALI. I think I have benefitted a lot from a few key conversations.
  • OMG! I needed a 4thday now! Can you believe it? Great re-boot to my goals as an educator. Focused organization to start the year!
  • It was great! I have much to ponder over the coming months.
  • Lots of great information and inspiration. I liked the small workshops best.
  • I feel motivated and empowered by being around so many like-minded people. The positive energy that is found in this room is amazing.
  • This might be my favorite yet! I feel so fulfilled but not overwhelmed! So re-energized! Thank you and so much love for this organization!
  • I find it fascinating that as we add years on to our MALI gatherings our topics and ideas for our projects and presentations get bigger, better, deeper, more thoughtful, more global. I am so lucky to be part of this organization. Your hard pre-game work was truly appreciated!
  • Love the peeps – Love the sharing – especially the personal journeys. Leadership and artistic.
  • My overall reflection brings me to WOW! I have thoroughly been challenged, inquisitive, curious, exhausted, reignited, and REWARDED. Being surrounded by greatness has, again, been humbling.
  • This was an awesome opportunity to converse with people with similar professions and a wealth of experience to reflect on.
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