Archive for July, 2010


Back to the Farnsworth Today

July 30, 2010

Lincoln Center Institute workshop wonderful opportunity

It has been a fascinating week… and it is not over yet. I am headed back to the Farnsworth this morning for the culmination of the Lincoln Center Institute International Workshop called Introduction to Imaginative Learning through Aesthetic Education.

Forty educators, 37 from Maine, have had the opportunity to learn from Lincoln Center top notch facilitators and today they will zero in on the planning process for using the artworks in their curriculum.

Earlier in the week the participants paired up to create these “travelers” who had wonderful stories about where they had been and where they were going.

Art Teacher Jim Small, Madison Memorial High School


MLTI at Castine

July 30, 2010

Maine’s Technology Summer Insitute

The Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) planned another great professional learning opportunity for educators at the Maine Maritime Academy in beautiful Castine. I am always amazed at how peaceful it is in Castine. I love my early morning walks to process what I am learning, so much in so few minutes. With so much going on this week I wasn’t able to spend all four days in Castine but I knew I just had to be there for the keynote given by Jason Ohler.

He was the perfect keynote for a conference with the theme of Digital Citizenship. His website is full of GREAT resources which I suggest you check out. And arts educators will be thrilled to read and use his article which was published in Educational Leadership Magazine, October 2000 called “Art Becomes the Next R”. You can download the .pdf of the article. Be sure and scroll down to the article in English (unless of course, you’d like it in another language).

“In an era when students design Web sites for projects and integrate video, graphics, and animation into their presentations, art is fast becoming the new literacy for our times.”

Jason’s presentation included a slide showing traditional writing and the writing necessary for success in the 21st century that included not only text but images. It looked more like a piece of art then a piece of writing. His statement “new media collage is the new base line literacy” resonated with me. It makes me think about the writing requirements for students and ask what is the task given to young people to assess writing and what kind of skills do they need for success?

The second bullet on Jason’s website is “Art the Next R”. Yes, it is in alphabetical order but all the more reason you need to go to the site since it is simple to find the arts reference.

One of the stories Jason shared with us and is in the Educational Leadership article:

“I had an amazing experience a few years ago that helped me fully appreciate art’s new importance in education. I was watching a 10th grader struggle at his computer to create a multimedia presentation for his language-arts project. He wasn’t struggling with the technology-like any infoage kid, he could click around the screen with considerable ease. It was the aesthetics that seemed insurmountable. As I watched him clumsily cramming together scads of video clips, graphics, sounds, buttons, and a few words, it suddenly hit me like a ton of bits: He was trying to create art, and no one had shown him how. In the process of fumbling with the medium, he was losing his sense of what he wanted to communicate in the first place.”

If you were at Castine you know how fortunate we are that MLTI exists and continues to bring us top notch educational opportunities. If you missed Castine this year plan on attending next year. And by all means, download Jason’s article today!


Arts in Education Week

July 29, 2010

Second Sunday in September

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved by voice vote H.Con.Res. 275, a concurrent resolution expressing support for designation of the week beginning on the second Sunday of September as Arts in Education Week. The resolution had 101 cosponsors and was authored by Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA), with encouragement and support of Broadway legend Carol Channing.


Youth Development Institute – Orono

July 29, 2010

Fascinating day!

What a beautiful day Tuesday was and I had the opportunity to spend it at the statewide Youth Development Institute (formerly called the drop out prevention conference). It was wonderful to see the many agencies represented in the planning, presenting and attending at UMaine. This is the first time I have attended an institute that represented such a cross section of people and organizations.

Catherine Ring and I faciliated a workshop called Motivating Adolescents: The Power of the Arts. We put together a wiki that is filled with arts education research and resources that I invite you to look at, read, and use. Some of the information is linked to websites, some are .pdf’s that you can download and some are embedded in the site. Please click here to get to the youth development institute wiki.



July 29, 2010

Finalist for Maine Teacher of the Year!

Announced today were the three finalists for Maine’s Teacher of the Year for 2011. A warm congratulations to William Buzza, Music Educator from Leavitt High School! We are proud of you! Next Monday Bill will be interviewed as part of the final phase of the process. GOOD LUCK BILL!


Arts Teachers Team Up

July 28, 2010

Maine Support Network awarded ARRA grant

The Maine Support Network (now a division of Syntiro), in collaboration with the Maine Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE), was awarded a NCLB American Recovery and Reinvestment Act competitive grant to provide professional development (PD) to educators. The project requires the use of technology and will provide a co-teaching model that can be replicated throughout the state.

Six teams of educators from a large application pool were selected to develop units aligned to the Maine Learning Results that integrate two content areas, one of which is the Visual and Performing Arts.

The teams met in Readfield last Thursday and Friday to learn more about arts integration and co-teaching, and to begin development of the PD models they will pilot in their schools.

The professional development days were led by Department of Education Visual and Performing Arts Specialist Argy Nestor, MAAE Executive Director Carol Trimble, and Project Director Therese Bernier Burns. Also participating was Catherine Ring presenting on work that she did with the Kennedy Foundation that included statistics that demonstrated the importance of keeping the arts in schools.

Stay tuned for more exciting information about this project, including a Winter Retreat Conference on January 28 and 29, 2011, that will showcase the models each team develops.

Congratulations to the team members for being selected and good luck with your task that has the potential to impact Maine arts education classrooms throughout the state.

  • Sally Gilbride and Kate Smith, Central Elementary School/SAD 35
  • Lisa Roux and Jodie Dupuy, Morse Memorial School/SAD 3
  • Aimee Sutherland and Miranda Casey, Shapleigh Middle School, Kittery
  • Lisa Marin and Lee Rose, Jonesport-Beals High School
  • Sarah Sutter and Mary Ellen Bell, Wiscasset High School
  • Katharine Ayer and Mary O’Brien, Manchester Elementary School

Thank you to Therese Bernier-Burns for contributing this blog post.


New Music Website

July 27, 2010

Just live a week ago

MusicPLN (Professional Learning Network) is just a week old and was created for Music Teachers and Pre-Music Teachers interested in continual professional development in their field of music education.

The mission of the MPLN is simple:

to generate better, more accessible,  information about music, education, and technology and to use technologies to bring musicians of all types together to benefit by it, discuss it, and collaborate with it for the generation of  even better and even more accessible information about music, education, and technology…

You can visit the site by clicking here. Thank you to elementary music teacher from Central School, South Berwick, Kate Smith for sharing this new site.


Lincoln Center Institute

July 26, 2010

Today at the Farnsworth…

… was the first day of a 5 day institute with New York City’s Lincoln Center. The collaboration with the Farnsworth Art Museum and the Maine Department of Education to provide a top quality professional development arts education integration workshop was off to a GREAT start!

The facilitators are skilled teachers who make learning engaging and fun! The day flew by with the opportunity to get to know the 40 participants and view and discuss some of the Farnsworth’s Louise Nevelson collection.

Tomorrow the learning will continue and the evening will end with a performance at 6 p.m., at the Strand Theater in Rockland with a performance of Nightingale by the Figures of Speech Theatre, of Freeport. The performance is open to the public, free of charge, and no reservations are necessary.

Please join us at the Strand Theater at 6, Tuesday, July 27th!

Below photos from today’s participants and the work they were involved with.


CI2 Awards

July 26, 2010

Video awards

This Spring the Maine Design Team sponsored a video contest where students were invited to submit work that highlights Maine’s most innovative, creative, and imaginative school projects. The winners were chosen by the Maine Design Team, a group of educators and thinkers from local schools, the Maine Department of Education, the arts community, and the Maine Learning Technology Institute (MLTI), who have come together to help kickstart Maine’s learning environments and build on all the ways that we can teach our students to imagine, innovate, and create.

Oxford Hills School District MSAD 17 and Narraguagus High School in Washington Country are the 2010 winners of the CI2 Awards. You can view their videos and learn more about the projects at the Maine Arts Commission’s blog.


Figures of Speech

July 24, 2010

Farnsworth Art Museum Introduces New York City’s Lincoln Center Institute with Free Live Performance at the Strand Theatre, Rockland

Beginning on Monday, July 26, the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine, will be one of only eight sites worldwide hosting New York City’s Lincoln Center Institute’s International Educator Workshop. The Farnsworth’s strategic alliance with the Lincoln Center Institute will be launched at Rockland’s Strand Theatre on Tuesday, July 27, at 6 p.m., with a performance of Nightingale by the Figures of Speech Theatre, of Freeport, Maine. The performance is open to the public, free of charge, and no reservations are necessary.

Lincoln Center Institute’s International Educator Workshop, intended for educators, artists, school or arts administrators, curriculum developers, and college and university professors, focuses on imaginative teaching and learning through the experiential study of theater and visual arts for K-12 teachers. This one-week workshop is an immersion experience using live works of art and guided inquiry that includes art making, questioning, reflection and contextual research to support imaginative teaching and learning across all subject areas. It includes support for teachers in building their own aesthetic practice related to their subject/grade or area of expertise. This year’s workshop will explore the visual arts through the Farnsworth’s Louise Nevelson exhibition, and the performing arts through Figure of Speech Theatre’s performance of Nightingale.

Nightingale is Figure of Speech Theatre’s exotic musical adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen story of the Emperor who is moved by the song of a plain gray bird until he receives the gift of a jeweled mechanical bird with which he becomes obsessed. The production gently stresses the importance of connection with nature, and with the true essences of life. Nightingale enjoyed a successful Broadway run at the New Victory Theater, and is also a UNIMA Citation of Excellence winner (1996). It is intended for children and adults of all ages.

The Farnsworth’s strategic alliance with Lincoln Center Institute is made possible through funding support provided by the Arthur K. Watson Charitable Trust, and Amy and Bob Campbell, and with the collaboration of the Maine Department of Education, the University of Maine and The Strand Theatre, Rockland.

Lincoln Center Institute for the Arts in Education, established in 1975 and located in New York City, is the educational cornerstone of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. It is the leading organization in developing skills of observation, inquiry, imagination and creativity through guided encounters with the visual and performing arts. For nearly thirty-five years, Lincoln Center Institute has shared its unique method of education with more than twenty million students, teachers, college professors and arts administrators representing public schools, arts organizations and professional teaching colleges in New York City, across the nation and around the world.

For more information please visit or call 207-596-6457 ext 103.

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