Archive for January, 2010


Portland Ovations Opportunities!

January 29, 2010

Sing on stage at the Merrill!!! Don’t hesitate!

CONTACT: Andy Gilbert, Director of Marketing and Audience Development at 207.773.3150 x4 or at
PORTLAND – Five Broadway stars are giving away the chance to join them on stage in Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway at the Merrill Auditorium on February 13th at 8pm. You can obtain the submission guidelines by clicking here.

Up to two winners and up to ten runners-up will be selected by the show’s panel of industry experts (including producers, singers, and managers as well as Neil Berg himself).

To submit, contestants should upload a 90 to 120 second video clip of themselves singing a Broadway favorite to YouTube, MySpace, or Facebook, and then go to and select your city. Fill out the submission form and send us a link to your video by midnight on February 5th, 2010. The panel will judge the audition tapes to decide the lucky winners who will get the chance to show off their singing skills in front of their family and friends with five Broadway stars and an all star New York band. Winners will also receive tickets for their family to see their Broadway debut!

The panel will announce the winners on Monday, February 8th. Winners will receive notification by email or phone.

Two-time Grammy Winning Soweto Gospel Choir for One Night Only

Grammy-winning Soweto Gospel Choir for one night only, Thursday, February 4th at Merrill Auditorium. This presentation will begin at the family-friendly start time of 7pm.

Also, members of the Soweto Gospel Choir will be appearing at Bull Moose on Middle Street in Portland at 12:15pm the afternoon of the performance. Visitors to the store can meet members of the group during the lunch hour, hear them sing a cappella, and get their CDs and DVDs signed.

There will also be a free, Ovations Offstage pre-performance lecture in the Merrill Auditorium Rehearsal Hall from 5:30 to 6:30pm, immediately prior to the Soweto Gospel Choir performance.  The lecture is part of a series of performances and activities organized by Portland Ovations and Ovations Offstage as a way to explore Portland’s ties to Africa and the African diaspora.

Tickets for the Soweto Gospel Choir performance on February 4h are $40, $35, $27 and students are $20. Tickets are available through PortTix, the box office at Merrill Auditorium; by phone at 207.842.0800; and online at The Soweto Gospel Choir performance is sponsored by Gorham Savings Bank. The Ovations Offstage pre-performance lecture is made possible by support from the Maine Humanities Council.


Busy and Sooooo Many Decisions

January 27, 2010

A friend and I were talking

Yesterday I had a conversation with a colleague and we were both wondering if we’d ever catch up, there are always so many things to do. This morning I received an email from a friend with a link to this article about choices and crayons. This is part of the article from an NPR blog called “Crayons and Choice: A Headache in 120 Colors” by Robert Krulwich. Did you know that “the number of Crayola colors doubles every 28 years”? Click here for the short article with some food for thought.


Two Opportunities

January 25, 2010

Integrated classes/programs offered

Art Educator, Catherine Ring whose last position was as principal of the Deer Isle Stonington Elementary School, is teaching two graduate classes. “Teaching Children’s Literature through the Arts” and “Teaching Writing through Visual Art Making” are being offered through the American Institute for Creative Education and are offered around the state of Maine.  Below are the descriptions.

“Teaching Children’s Literature through the Arts”

Unique in its arts approach, this course unlocks the potential of the arts for learning in the children’s literature classroom. This study provides a new perspective on how integrating the arts and literature fosters the active participation and in-depth understanding that is as important for future and practicing teachers as it is to children. We will use resources that combine an emphasis on multicultural and international literature with a focus on the aesthetic and artistic aspects of literature, music, the visual arts, and drama in order to promote culturally responsive and research-based teaching. The course caters to those who are interested in making reading more inviting to diverse groups with varied learning styles. Multiple points of entry open up new dimensions in literature, helping readers develop their unique talents and abilities. This will include experiential, project-based learning, with immediate applications to the Pre-K to 8 classrooms.

“Teaching Writing through Visual Art-Making”
An exciting and unique approach, this course combines the visual arts with the writing process to help students improve both the quality of their writing and understanding of art and literature. Hands-on art lessons are an integral part of the course and directly correspond to the writing process. No art experience is necessary! Teachers will learn simple, yet inspirational techniques to help students express themselves through art and the written word. The course helps teachers to diversify instruction to meet all students’ learning styles. This will include experiential, project-based learning, with immediate applications to the pre-K to 8 classrooms.

More information regarding locations and dates can be found at or by clicking here. Look under “courses”.

You can earn your Master’s degree in Integrated Teaching Through the Arts from Lesley University while staying in Maine. A cohort is being established at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School. The cohort is looking for artists/musicians/drama coaches/classroom teachers/arts educators for the 22 month program in Maine. FMI contact Alice Lee, Site Coordinator, Lesley University, 207-357-6600 or email


Job Opening at MAC

January 25, 2010

Maine Arts Commission Arts in Education Associate

Code: 0822 Pay Grade: 24 Salary: $37,544 – $50,876.80 annually

The Maine Arts Commission has Arts & Humanities Associate position in Augusta, Maine.

This is professional services work providing leadership and oversight in the planning, development, coordination, administration and evaluation of the Maine Arts Commission’s Arts in Education program. The position works at the state level to implement Arts in Education programs and projects statewide, provide professional development opportunities and technical assistance to arts educators, teaching artists, arts organizations and others, and collaborates with state and national arts organizations and agencies to promote best practice and exemplary programming in visual art, music, theater and dance. An ability to intuitively engage in cross sector advocacy and the ability to make a case for arts in education and increase funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, Legislative appropriations and private sources.

TYPICAL DUTIES: in this job classification include:
•    Provide leadership and oversight in the planning, development and implementation of Arts in Education programs and projects in the visual and performing arts
•    Consult with superintendents, school administrators, curriculum coordinators, arts specialists, teachers arts leaders, arts organizations and others in order to provide grant information, technical assistance and determine effective use of funds available through the Maine Arts Commission.
•    Research grant and funding opportunities, prepare proposals, and review and evaluate grant applications for state or federal funds as appropriate opportunities are available.
•    Provide technical assistance statewide for arts in education initiatives.
•    Work collaboratively, as a member of a team, with other arts in education entities, individuals and affiliations.
•    Interpret state and federal laws, rules, regulations, and policies as they pertain to grant funding for arts in education projects and programming at schools and other organizations in order to answer questions and ensure uniform understanding.
•    Analyze, evaluate, and develop Arts in Education program implementation methods in order to enhance program effectiveness.
•    Provide information and make recommendations to the director of the Maine Arts Commission regarding the Arts in Education program.
•    Collaborate and consult with state and national arts organizations and institutions to promote best practice and exemplary Arts in Education programming in visual art, music, theater and dance, to implement professional development opportunities for teachers and teaching artists.
•    Develop and maintain national contacts and be current in research and exemplary practice in visual ands performing arts education.

KNOWLEDGE’S, SKILLS AND ABILITIES REQUIRED:  These are among the requirements to successfully perform the work assigned.
•    Knowledge of current learning research and exemplary educational practice in the visual and performing arts (VPA)
•    Knowledge of community involvement issues in education policy decisions and operations related to VPA education.
•    Knowledge of current and emerging state and federal legislation, rules and regulations impacting VPA education.
•    Knowledge of exemplary curriculum, learner-centered instruction, assessment, developmental education, and experiential learning in VPA. Ability to lead and supervise the state program
•    Ability to apply and facilitate group dynamics and use exemplary interpersonal skills.
•    Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships and provide quality service.
•    Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing.
•    Ability to use fax, technology-based communications (i.e., Internet, Web) and e-mail systems, laptop and desktop computer systems, word processing and data applications, including the ability to access technology resources for VPA education.
•    Ability to work collaboratively in a team environment, and with other organizations and institutions.

A Bachelors Degree in Art, Art History, Art Education, or Art Administration, or a related field and two (2) years experience working with artists, art groups, and/or humanities organizations. Directly related experience may be substituted for education on a year-for-year basis. A master’s degree or commensurate work experience is preferred.

Please forward a letter of interest, resume and direct hire application form available at the Division of Financial & Personnel Services in Augusta, all Maine Career Center Offices, and on the Division of Financial & Personnel Services web page at The completed material must be submitted by the closing date to: Julie Cotnoir, Personnel Specialist, Division of Financial & Personnel Services, 74 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333-0074, Telephone (207) 624-7417.


Links to Articles

January 25, 2010

Several interesting articles you might want to read!

Please click on the title to go to the article. If you have comments on any of the articles please be sure and include them. It would be good to hear your comments on any of the articles.

Putting New Standards Into Practice a Tough Job by Stephen Sawchuk, Education Week, January 14.

Debunking the Case for National Standards by Alfie Kohn, Education Week, January 14.

All But 10 States Throw Hats Into Race for Top Ring by Michele McNell, Education Week, January 19.

Duncan Carves Deep Mark on Policy in First Year by Michele McNell, Education Week, January 19.

Teachers Should Be Seen and Not Heard by Anthony Mullen, National Teacher of the Year, Teacher Magazine, January 21.

All in the Name of “Fun” by Tamara Fisher, Teacher Magazine, January 21.

College and the Workforce: What ‘Readiness’ Means by Catherine Gewertz, Education Week, January 14.

Transforming Classrooms Into 21st-Century Work Spaces by Kathleen Kennedy Manzo, Education Week, Digital Directions, June 25.

Design Thinking and 21st-Century Skills by Kathleen Kennedy Manzo,  Education Week, January 20.

Differentiate, Don’t Standardize, by Nel Noddings, Education Week, January 14.

How Much Is ‘STEM’ Education Worth to Obama? by Erik Robelen, Ed Week, January 14.


Art, Science, Math Used by Artist

January 23, 2010

Interesting exhibits

Installation artist, Amy Stacey Curtis, during the past 10 years has had 12 installations in abandoned mills throughout the state. She depended on the audience members to interact in a variety of ways. In her exploration the theme of how we are an integral part of the whole.

This 5 minute youtube presents an overview of the installations. Amy will be giving a public lectures about the solo works on January 18th, Olin Arts Center, Bates College, 75 Russell St., Lewiston. Refreshments following in the Bates College Museum of Art. Directions and Amy’s website.


Paul Faria Retires

January 23, 2010

So Long Paul and Best Wishes for a Wonderful Retirement

For many years Paul Faria has served at the Maine Arts Commission (MAC) as the Arts and Education Associate. It is true that Paul is retiring after many years of service to the state of Maine. He will be missed but I am sure he will be finding greener pastures in which to work and play! Best Wishes Paul!


Today’s Bar Harbor Times-Music Teacher Article

January 23, 2010

Mount Desert Island High School Teacher, Bronwyn Kortge

Great article in the newspaper today about one of the music educators at Mount Desert Island High School. Students are incorporating the use of GarageBand to as a teaching tool. You can read the details by clicking the link.

Congratulations Bronwyn!


Bay Chamber Concerts Seeking Students

January 22, 2010

Residency and workshop opportunity

Daniel Bernard Roumain

Bay Chamber Concerts is participating in Daniel Bernard Roumain’s (DBR) “New Clef Coalition” and will present a residency and workshop for youth orchestra March 5 and 6 and a concert March 7.

Bay Chambers is premiering his new work entitled, “Symphony for the Dance Floor”.  Recognizing today’s particularly challenging economic environment NEW CLEF COALITION was created out of DBR’s determination to help youth orchestra’s not merely survive, but to THRIVE.

Bay Chamber is looking for the following youth musicians to complete the orchestration:

1 contrabass           1 oboe              2 bassoons              2 horns             2 trumpets
1 trombone             1 piano

If you are interested, please contact Allison Lakin, Assistant Director of Education, before February 1, at


Snow, Snow, Snow!

January 21, 2010

So much life out and about in the snow!

When our children were younger we couldn’t keep them inside when we had snow like we’ve had this week. Three days of snow has been such a gift for snow lovers. We spent many days sliding on many favorite hills and building sculptures. As the boys grew, the hills grew, the sculptures became more interesting.

Now, we walk, snowshoe, cross country ski, still building and unfortunately, not to much sledding. Last week while we were out in the woods, we saw weasel and deer tracks. In four different places we found where the deer had bedded down. In each location there were three or four rounded spots where we could see signs of deer. I took pictures but the deer yards don’t show to well.

The days are getting a little longer and giving us a better chance of getting outside at either end of busy days or on the weekend. I hope you’ve had a few minutes to do so, smile at the snow, go for a walk, breathe in some cool air, whatever makes you happy!

%d bloggers like this: