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On Hiatus

July 2, 2021

The Maine Arts Education Blog is on hiatus

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Gotta Visit the Gardens

July 1, 2021

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

If you’ve never been to the botanical gardens in Boothbay I suggest that you add it to your list of places to visit. The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens has an exhibit of trolls. Now, these are not just any ordinary trolls but very large, interesting and each one has their own story. The exhibit is called ‘Guardians of the Seeds’ and the 5 trolls were created by Danish artist Thomas Dambo. Some of you know that I studied in Denmark while a junior year in college (100 years ago) so an exhibit by a Danish artist touches my heart. For me the magic of the little Scandinavian country is interwoven in the exhibit throughout the beautiful forest found along Back River.

I met music teacher Kate Smith and her family at the gardens on one of the hot and humid days last week. You might think there was a breeze since the gardens are located on the salt water but nope, not that day. We did our best to ignore the heat and to be honest it wasn’t hard since the trolls are so amazing.

The Botanical Garden makes education a priority and they do a really good job in all of their gardens so anyone can take the time and learn as they tour. The Guardian of the Seeds exhibit is no different. Walking through the woods is beautiful and at each troll there is ‘lesson’ that teaches why each part of the tree is important to the forest. Each troll’s clue helps visitors eventually find the ‘seeds’.

The Trolls

  • SOREN: Branches
  • LILYA: Flowers
  • GRO: Leaves
  • ROSKVA: Trunk
  • BIRK: Roots
ROSKVA and the Smith family and friends

It takes some time to walk from one troll to the next but well worth the adventure since each one is different and their personalities really come through. Plan about 3 to 4 hours for visits to all 5 plus the seeds.

Learn more about the trolls at THIS LINK. You can also use google to find video footage of them on youtube.

I can’t wait to go back and see this one in the winter with his beard filled with snow. The exhibit is scheduled to be there from 3 to 5 years. I do hope that you’ll have a chance to visit the trolls.

This would be a great topic to use to design stand alone and/or integrated curriculum lessons about. So many ideas popped into my head as I walked along the trails. If you can go, please do, you won’t regret it. This would be a great use of the Maine Arts Commission Ticket to Ride funding to help pay for your busses to transport students there.

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Cultural Alliance of Maine

June 30, 2021

Born during the pandemic

I’ve been reflecting on the many silver linings of the pandemic lately – not to look back and feel sad but to look forward and encouraged. Collectively there are so many and ones that we can learn from to help form our future work and play.

The Cultural Alliance of Maine (CAM) pilot project was established during the pandemic which starkly illuminated that Maine lacks structures to enable the cultural sector to learn, organize, and act as a unified statewide community .

Leaders from across the state, representing diverse nonprofit cultural organizations, came together to establish this alliance to:

  • explore models to address infrastructure gaps long-term
  • advocate for solutions to the unique challenges facing the sector now, and 
  • create pathways for ongoing peer-to-peer learning and information exchange. 

With generous support from The Onion Foundation, Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust, Virginia  Hodgkins Somers Foundation, and Libra Foundation, CAM hired Carla Pugliese as the Pilot Project Director to lead the work of convening stakeholders, assessing needs, researching comparable sector-wide alliances, building bridges with state government and other sectors, and determining next steps following the pilot project period.

CAM represents their members’ interests. Carla said: “We are collectivizing the cultural voice so there is more power at the State House, at the federal level and at the local level for the cultural sector. The pandemic shed light on the need for this type of organization but Carla also said: “the Cultural Alliance of Maine “is not a pandemic response. It is about building something that is useful and valuable and rich for many, many years going forward.”

Arts organizations are represented in CAM but also included are historical societies, libraries, and both for-profit and nonprofit entities such as galleries, theaters and museums, as well as individual artists and makers. “The attempt to bring together such an encompassing umbrella organization is a first”, Carla said.

To learn more CLICK HERE and read Carla’s letter to the cultural sector which provides the plan for the pilot.

To sign up for the monthly newsletter to hear ongoing news CLICK HERE.

Carla Pugliese, Cultural Alliance of Maine Director

Steering Committee

  • Mark Bessire, Portland Museum of Art
  • Steve Bromage, Maine Historical Society
  • Shoni Currier, Bates Dance Festival
  • Ben Fowlie, Points North Institute & Camden International Film Festival
  • Hugh French, Tides Institute
  • David Greenham, Maine Arts Commission
  • Sarah Hansen, Greater Portland Landmarks
  • Stuart Kestenbaum, Maine State Poet Laureate & Monson Arts
  • Monica Kelly,  Bay Chamber Concerts
  • Nat May, Onion Foundation
  • Daniel Minter, Indigo Arts Alliance
  • Linda Nelson, Portland Ovations
  • Chris Newell, Abbe Museum
  • Bari Newport, Penobscot Theatre Company
  • James Ritter, Maine State Library
  • Abbe Levin, Maine Office of Tourism – Contractor
  • Molly O’Connell, Maine Association of Nonprofits – Liaison
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Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony

June 29, 2021

Epic body percussion

Here’s what one teacher did since they couldn’t sing during the pandemic. Students of Saint-Michel-Garicoïts de Cambo School, in the Basque region of southwest France, have given a *striking* performance using their bodies. Using an elaborate mixture of claps, leg slaps, stomps, finger clicks and taps, the 185 students transform the orchestral movement into a body percussion. The sound is fascinating and to top it off a drone recorded the performance. The ensemble rehearsed in groups of 50 every day for five months during the 2020 school year. All students are masked in the final performance, one to remember as part of their pandemic learner.

The story was shared on Classic fm digital radio and found at THIS LINK.

Thanks for sharing this Sue Barre!

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Student Reflections on 2020

June 28, 2021

What would your students say?

Below is a video from TED Ed Student Talks. Students throughout the world were asked to reflect on what they learned in 2020 and share their thoughts. The comments included some of this: Climate change, Black Lives Matter, isolation, separation, high risk, losing a loved one, stopping fearing change, start leading through change, hopeful, I am not alone, extremely crucial to adapt, sanitize my hands several times through the day, focus on finding myself, sharing ideas, unparalleled experiences, reducing our footprint, supporting health care workers, something good will come out of this, people from all over the world can unite, how important it is to stay socialized and stay connected with others, pandemic give us opportunities, courage, a better world, diversity, we shall not be pitied who lost out but the generation to do better.

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World Alliance for Arts Education

June 27, 2021

World Summit – October 11-15

The World Alliance for Arts Education (WAAE) 2021 Virtual World Summit will take place from October 11-15, 2021. The summit is titled Arts Impact 2021: Context Matters, and focuses on Arts Assessment and Evaluation. The purpose of the summit is to bring together arts education professionals worldwide to share the latest research, thought, and practice in arts education assessment and evaluation. We invite primary and secondary school arts educators, higher education professionals, arts education researchers and policymakers, national, state and local education officials from across the world to come together virtually at this international event.

The WAAE 2021 summit will host one pre-summit event, the Young & Emerging Leaders Forum (YELF). This event provides a space for young scholars, emerging leaders, and new colleagues to the field of arts education to share work and develop a community of learning for expanding the pipeline of leaders in the global field of arts and cultural education. The Forum will be coordinated by Jeff M. Poulin, the managing director of Creative Generation.

Proposals are now being accepted for the Virtual World Summit and YELF.

Registration will open on July 6, 2021. If you are interested in registration information, please enter your contact information here

Please help us spread the word. At the close of this email, please find pre-written blurbs to include on social media or in organizational newsletters.

Sincerely, 

The Summit Co-Chairs

Dr. Timothy Brophy, University of Florida

Marcia McCaffrey, State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE); New Hampshire Department of Education

Jeff M. Poulin, Creative Generation

SAMPLE NEWSLETTER, FACEBOOK, OR LINKEDIN BLURB:

Call for Proposals: World Alliance for Arts Education Virtual Global Summit 

The World Alliance for Arts Education is partnering with the University of Florida and SEADAE to host a virtual World Summit from October 11-15, 2021. This event invites out-of-school time, primary and secondary school arts educators, higher education professionals, arts education researchers and policymakers, national, state and local education officials from across the world to submit proposals and attend the summit to network; share research; and examine quality structures, processes and practices. Ahead of the summit, there will be a Young & Emerging Leaders Forum on October 11. Deadline to submit a proposal is July 19, 2021, with decisions by August 30, 2021. More info: http://bit.ly/WAAE2021

SAMPLE SOCIAL MEDIA POST:

Submit a proposal now for the World Alliance for Arts Education Virtual Global Summit focused on examining quality structures, processes and practices of assessment and evaluation in #ArtsEd. The Summit will be held virtually from October 11-15, 2021.  More info: http://bit.ly/WAAE2021
— 
Jeff M. Poulin (he/him/his)Managing Director Creative Generation www.Creative-Generation.org@Campaign4GenC on TwitterInstagram, and FacebookFind us on LinkedIn

jeff@creative-generation.org

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Freedom

June 26, 2021

Jon Batiste

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Summer Stack

June 25, 2021

What are you reading this summer?

I love it – I asked my learners, what they intend to read this summer and the list was very long and varied. What’s on your list? Here’s where my list is starting and I plan to add to it as the summer progresses and you add your suggestions in the comments below this post. Thanks in advance for your help!

  • Brown Girl Dreaming – This one’s been on my list for a while so I’m moving it to the top of my pile. Written by poet Jacqueline Woodson who was raised in South Carolina and New York; it is the story of her life told in poem form. She shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.
  • Creativity Takes Courage by Irene Smit & Astrid Van Der Hulst – The editors of FLOW bring together inspiration, hands-on projects, boundary-pushing activate, and a variety of paper goodies to help unleash creativity. This is going to be partially activity book and the other part thought provoking that will give me a chance to journal along the way.
  • Soul on Ice by Eldridge Cleaver – This is a classic memoir that helped people look at the civil rights movement and the black experience in a different way. In Cleaver’s words about Soul on Ice, “I’m perfectly aware that I’m in prison, that I’m a Negro, that I’ve been a rapist, and that I have a Higher Uneducation.”
  • Breathe: The New Science of a Lost Art – The author, James Nestor (no relation) puts together science and ancient breathing practices to present ideas around breathing. It’s billed with “You will never breathe the same again.” I’ll let you know how this goes.
  • Ten Years a Nomad by Matthew Kepnes – I love to travel and look forward to digging into Matthew’s stories about quitting his job and traveling and how it turns into his job.
  • Let’s Talk About Hard Things – Anna Sale hosts a podcast and she has taken what she has learned and written this book. She focuses on courage to talk about the hard things which lead to learning about ourselves, others and the world that we make together. I’m really looking forward to reading this one.

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Jazz All-State

June 24, 2021

Performance

This is a letter from Sandra Barry, President of the Maine Music Educators Association (MMEA) sharing the recording from the Maine All State Jazz Choir singing Just the Two of Us.

Dear Jazz All-State Musicians, Parents, Educators and Guests;


The Maine Music Educators Association is thrilled to present the 2020-21 Jazz All-State Festival! This performance represents a great opportunity for some of Maine’s finest high school jazz musicians to come together as ensembles and work with highly regarded jazz educators and musicians from across the United States. 

In this year of all years, the vital importance of music in our lives could not be more obvious. Great performances and favorite pieces buoy our spirits, inspire, and soothe us. Before the wonderful performances come the work. The hours of practice, preparation and effort from each individual is an accomplishment unto itself, but goes largely unseen and unheard. To our musicians and the people who support them, we thank you. We know the work is challenging, and the time and self-discipline to prepare is difficult to find. This year, you also faced isolation, technical hurdles and perhaps limited access to your teachers and peers. You did it anyway. You are a unique group of musicians who can be proud of the inclusion you earned in Maine Jazz All-State 2021. 

Planning for this yearly event begins as the final notes sound at the concert, led by Jazz Vice President Matt Waite of Millinocket. Matt’s vision, attention to detail and thorough planning has set the stage for an outstanding student (and teacher!) experience. We are so appreciative, Matt!  Special recognition goes to Instrumental Jazz Chair Becky Mallory and Managers Kyle Smith, Honors Jazz Band, Michelle Snow, SATB Jazz Choir, Pat Michaud, Jazz Combo and Mike Sakash, Jazz Band.

Before the actual festival, students prepare audition materials. An audition is like no other experience, and this year students and teachers alike had to shift to an online format. Brian Hutchinson, Auditions Chair and retired music educator from Winslow, worked all summer on behalf of MMEA to learn and modify an entirely new platform. Brian’s persistence, technical ability and background as a music educator resulted in an opportunity for over 1,000 students to  audition for state and district events this year. Brian also assembled and supported the adjudicators who heard each audition. This would not have been possible without you, Brian!  

Normally, the festival host would have put in countless hours of effort. This year our host was the internet, corralled and controlled by Webmaster Adam Metzler of Mars Hill. Adam ensured that we had Zoom Rooms galore, and provided great technical advice and expertise. Thank you, Adam!    
At every step of the way, assisting us all is MMEA Executive Director Beth LaBrie. Whether it be ordering music, delivering T-shirts or answering the endless questions, Beth guides MMEA  in all manner of details, big and small. Kudos Beth!

This festival exists because of the need to create, perform and experience music. Join me in thanking Maine’s music educators for their efforts to inspire, instruct and guide our students, culminating in this event we witness today.  Their work in these unprecedented times is nothing short of heroic. 

Finally, we thank you–parents, guardians, family, friends and community members. Your support of these musicians is a crucial factor in their success. Continue to support music education for all in any way you can. Our children need and deserve robust and exemplary music programs and opportunities throughout the state of Maine.   

Sincerely, 
Sandy

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How We See Now

June 23, 2021

Brunswick High School Exhibit

How We See Now, New Dimensions of Photography is an exhibit of works by Brunswick High School photography students hosted by Brunswick Public Art and Merrymeeting Plaza. The work seeks to question how photography can be used to visualize new realities. Students worked with the Portland artist Justin Levesque, One Dynamic System, in a virtual visiting artist residency sponsored by a grant from the Maine Department of Education with support from the Maine Arts Commission. Deconstructed and reconstructed photographic images allowed students to question our perception of reality. Photographs become manipulated into new imagery utilizing digital tools such as Googles Poly and Photopea. Come drive by this window exhibit in Brunswick at 147 Bath Road next to Peppers Landing. The work will be on exhibit from June through August.

 

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