Archive for March, 2013


One Million Bones

March 31, 2013

As part of First Friday Art Walk in Portland on Friday, April 5 from 5-8 PM, Grace Restaurant is sharing their beautiful event space at 15 Chestnut St. in Portland to host a very special event to bring awareness and increase efforts to end genocide.

Come view inspiring and breathtaking works of art created by the following Falmouth High School student artists: Maggie Bohrmann, Nicole Cyr, Julia Gilman, Anna Hickey, Tessa Holbrook, Cassie Konkel, Natalie Kuhn, Ian Perry, Meaghan Piasio, Jane Pryzant, Ashely Solman, Emma VanWickler, Alyse Bazinet, Abby Dimick, Cam Clark-Harrod, Youngjin Kim, Natalie King, Kaitlyn O’Donnell, Erica Pugsley, Jade Russell-Johnson, Hawa Sayed, Kabria, Smith, Maya Spiegel, Sara Twombly, Geneva Waite, Ania Wright, and Jonah Zuckerman.  The installation will feature contrasting work representing the tragedy of genocide and the grace of its survivors.

A survivor of the genocide has been meeting with students at Falmouth to educate them about his and others’ experiences. It is from those meetings and further research on the students’ part that the art is being inspired and created.

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Troy Howard Middle School

March 30, 2013

“I say Tomato ,You Say Tomato”

DSCN2203 The students and staff of Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast has used their collaborative creative energy to combine two facets of the school’s program to form a fascinating art exhibit at the Belfast Co-op.  The title of the show, “I say Tomato ,You Say Tomato” reflects the ecology department as well as the art department. Each year the two departments coordinate using a theme to represent Troy Howard Middle School’s philosophy. This includes Ecology as one of it’s three Academies and the Art Department as an essential piece to all criteria of Education.
The show is comprised of 12 Tomato projects. Mediums include clay, paper mache, paint, pencil, ink, and a full sized farmer!  Pieces are for sale and six have been sold!  The show runs until the end of the month-don’t miss it!

Thank you to art teacher Lynnette Sproch for sending the information and photographs for this blog post. 




Thank you Jeff Beaudry

March 29, 2013

YAY for Jeff

Today, March 28, 2013, the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) recognizes Dr. Jeffrey Beaudry for his contributions to arts education in Maine. At the Mega-regional workshop held at Ellsworth High School, Jeff was presented with the Carol Trimble Award for Exemplary Service to Arts Education for his commitment, collaborative spirit, and contributions to the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative. During the last two years Jeff has served on the Leadership Team of the MAAI providing guidance and a wealth of knowledge and expertise. The MAAI has benefited from Jeff’s background in assessment and teaching at the University of Southern Maine coupled with his passion for the arts. Jeff did not hesitate when asked to serve and his contributions are greatly appreciated. He has helped track the feedback which provides data to support the work of the 38 teacher leaders and 5 leadership team members.

Carol Trimble was the Executive Director of the Maine Alliance for Arts Education for 10 years before retiring in December 2011. She worked tirelessly and had an enormous positive impact on arts education in Maine. Two Carol Trimble awards have been presented in the past. In 2011 to Catherine Ring and Rob Westerberg.

Jeff was thanked before an audience of 80 arts educators and received a plaque and a golden apple! The MAAI looks forward to many more years of collaborating with Jeff!



Join MaryEllen, Jake, Danette

March 29, 2013

Maine Arts Assessment Initiative

Maine Arts Assessment Initiative
Regional Workshop
April 3, 2013
Bonny Eagle Middle School
Join local arts educators in Dance, Music and Visual Arts
for a FREE workshop, including potluck dinner and networking opportunities!

Bring some food to share, and learn about what our colleagues are doing in their classrooms. Three workshops will be offered simultaneously in separate rooms that address innovations in assessment and best practices in the classroom.

Workshop #1


What do Netflix and this workshop have in common? Learn to use tools on your MLTI device to create formative and summative assessment that you can watch on demand.  (open to any art form and/or physical education)

Workshop #2

Individual Assessments in an Ensemble, Jake Sturtevant

Participants will learn how to use technology to help with individual assessments, sharing, and keeping track of them over an extended period of time.  The workshop will focus on using Quicktime, networked shared folders, and Bento to categorize files and assessment information. If time permits, participants may also explore web based recording and sharing including SoundCloud (which would require a free registration to use).

Workshop #3

Assessment, A Self Help Program for the Art Teacher,  Danette Kerrigan
A journey to understanding the power of authentic assessment and using technology to manage student product and track student growth.

(OR Please  contact any of the teacher leaders for more information about the event.)
Mary Ellen Schaper:
Jake Sturtevant:
Danette Kerrigan:








McTighe on National Core Arts Standards

March 28, 2013

McTighe Recording on Arts Assessment

Screen shot 2013-03-19 at 7.56.58 PMMost states have someone at their state Department of Education’s that represent visual and performing arts education. We are members of the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE). We have monthly online meetings and almost monthly we have professional development webinars that are often facilitated by our members.

Sometimes we have guests and recently SEADAE hosted a session with Jay McTighe of Wiggens & McTighe consultants. They are best known for originating the Understanding by Design approach. McTighe has worked with the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards and the writing teams creating the National Core Arts Standards with his work on assessment, arts assessment and the cornerstone assessments.

Fortunately, you can listen to the recording of the SEADAE webinar with Jay McTighe that has been archived. Jay has much to offer as we develop arts assessments as part of a complete curriculum. I was glad that the session was recorded since I wasn’t available to attend but you can hear many of my colleagues introduce themselves during the first 3 minutes at start of the webinar.

The archive link:

Download recording link:

It was great to attend a session while at the National Art Education conference in Texas earlier this month when Jay presented on the National Core Arts Standards. Daisy McTighe is an art teacher and has been working on the standards as well and is on webinar also. I suggest you check out this vimeo and hear Daisy discuss the work.


Art Exhibit-Bangor Mall

March 27, 2013

Doing it right!

Thank you to Kal Elmore for providing this great blog post describing the opportunity for students, teachers, and the public!

IMG_2943It was March 17 and it was cold outside. At 9:00 AM, all was quiet in the area in front of Macy’s in the Bangor Mall. By 10:00 the 28 wooden panels were on site. Then the magic really started! Art teachers started showing up and suddenly the area was alive with art work, staplers, and happy chatter, ooh’s, and ahhh’s. By noon, 56 art teachers had hung the work of over 500 students!!!!! The art is more fabulous than ever! All viewers are amazed by the colors, textures, and shapes on view. Drawings, paintings, photographs and collages from students pre-K to grade 12 delight the eyes!

But this is more than an exhibit. It is an event! Art teachers connect with each other about students, art, process, and product. Ideas are shared. Work is complimented. News is shared. There is news of programs cut and budgets cut.  This is more than an exhibit. This display is how we advocate for our students and the opportunities they may have. All art teachers must join the battle for recognition. What we do IS important. WE know it, but we have to share that information with others.

DO come by to see the exhibit! While there, DO take note of families of students who are proud to have their work on display. DO take note of random passers-by who are curious about how works were created. DO engage viewers in conversations about the work and the learning demonstrated. Do spread the word. The exhibit will be up until Friday night, March 29. The magic does not end there, but the exhibit does, as 56 art teachers will show up on Saturday morning to take the work down……. to remove the 28 wooden panels……. to take the panels back to the barn where they are stored…….. to take the work back to the schools where the work will be returned to students who are lucky to have such fabulous art teachers who take the time to promote their work.

It will not be quiet in front of Macy’s at the mall but whatever is there will not be as colorful, interesting, or meaningful as what was there for 2 weeks in March – in honor of Youth Art Month. A BIG thank you to all art teachers who helped to organize this exhibit – and all who took the time to help promote arts in education this month and always.

On my way south from Aroostook county last Friday night I stopped to see the art exhibit at the mall and it is FANTASTIC! I was able to listen to the conversations including the ooh’s and ahhh’s, speak to young artists and their proud families, and smile while considering the impact that art makes in our world. Please send me information about your exhibits and performances so they can be shared in the meartsed blog! Of course, I took photos while there that I have included above.


Dominique Comeau – grade 12, Bangor High School



Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Andria Chase

March 26, 2013

This is the 24th in a series of blog posts telling arts teacher’s stories. The first 19 were told last year by the phase I Maine Arts Assessment Initiative teacher leaders. The  series continues with the stories from the phase II teacher leaders. These posts contain a set of questions to provide the opportunity for you to read educators stories and to learn from other.

IMG_2645This weeks post highlights Andria Chase! She teaches in RSU 64, the towns of Bradford, Corinth, Hudson, Kenduskeag, and Stetson. This is her third year in the district where she currently teaches grades 4 and 5 general music, grade 5 band, grade 5 strings, grade 6 band, grade 7/8 band, and high school band. Andria previously taught at the Orland Consolidated School for three years where she taught K-8 General music, and grades 4-8 band and strings.

What do you like best about being an art educator?

Doing a job that I love every single day. Having the opportunity to better myself as an educator and musician.  Seeing student growth and seeing the students recognize their own growth.

What do you believe are three keys to ANY successful visual and performing arts education?

  1. TIME

How have you found assessment to be helpful to you in your classroom?

I have found that assessment is helpful is understanding what the students know. Assessments are also helpful in determining where you want the students to go. They also help students see where they are and help them achieve their goals.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the arts assessment initiative?

The initiative has helped in getting to know other arts teachers throughout the state. I am really enjoying the opportunity to collaborate and share stories and ideas with fellow teachers as well. It also has allowed me to assess myself and what I am doing in my classroom.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I am proud to be able to work everyday in a job that is both rewarding and fun; having the opportunity to make a students day better and being a positive influence in their life is a wonderful feeling.

What gets in the way of being a better teacher or doing a better job as a teacher?

The schedules this year have made it very challenging for me to do the best that I possibly can to educate students. The lack of support from fellow teachers and knowing that the arts is for the most part left on the back burner is very frustrating.  Knowing how all of these factors impact my program, makes me work that much harder.

What have you accomplished through hard work and determination that might otherwise appear at first glance to be due to “luck” or circumstances?

I am currently working on building my band programs, especially at the high school level. In order to do this, I’ve had to make my elementary and middle school programs stronger. My biggest accomplishment so far is keeping the retention rate low. When I first started working in RSU 64 I had 35 students in the 5th grade band. They are now 7th graders and I currently have 29 students. Only losing 6 students in two years is a huge thing and knowing that those 29 students will be at the high school level in a year and a half is very exciting!

Look into your crystal ball: what advice would you give to teachers? 

Take one day at a time and breathe!! Always find time for yourself. As arts educators we are stretched very thin and need to manage our time wisely. I try to find sometime during the week, even if it is just once, to do something for myself. Whether it be practice my cello or read, just to do something else keeps me grounded.

If you were given a $500,000.00 to do with whatever you please, what would it be?

  • Pay off my school loans
  • Buy a house or a bigger apartment for my four cats
  • Make sure my parent’s and my brother’s finances were taken care of
  • Purchase a more environmentally friendly car
  • Start multiple strings programs throughout the state!!

Thank you so much for sharing your story Andria!


In Today’s News

March 25, 2013

Middle School JAZZZZZ

The Portland Press Herald today included a photo and caption of music educator Heidi Anderson and her Brunswick Junior High School Jazz Band from the middle school jazz festival held this weekend in Westbrook. Located at

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Essence of the North Student Art Exhibit

March 25, 2013

Aroostook county

Thank you to art teacher Ruth McAtee for contributing this blog post and the photos that accompany it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This is our fifth annual Essence of the North Student Art Exhibit. It is now on display at the Aroostook Centre Mall in Presque, Maine. This show is put on by the Northern pARTners Aroostook county regional art educators, a group of art teachers from school districts around Aroostook county. Throughout the year we meet once a month or every other month to share information on what’s happening in the visual arts at the state and national level as well as what we are doing in our own visual arts programs. We usually meet at a school site, and art teachers who cannot come to the site, attend via Tandberg. Planning for the our annual art show takes place at these meetings.

This year the show features selected art pieces from the following districts: Caribou, Limestone, Connor, Easton, St. Agatha, Frenchville, Hodgdon, Houlton, Mars Hill, Presque Isle, Mapleton, Ashland, and Washburn.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA reception for the student artists, their families, teachers, and administrators took place March 15 from 7:00-7:30 in the gallery space at the Aroostook Centre Mall where the student work is being showcased. Visual Arts teachers at the reception:  Judy Babbidge (Pre-K-6, Connor) absent from photo, Ruth McAtee (MSAD#1 grs. 3-5 Zippel and Pre-K-5 Mapleton Elementary schools), Beth Ann Walker (K-8, Washburn),  Sue Beaulier (Pre-K-12, Ashland), Jane Hutchison (K-12, Easton), Bonnie Tidd (High School, Houlton), Wanda Jackins (K-12 Mars Hill).

The art work is on display from March 11-April 6th.


While in Aroostook county for the Mega-regional workshop in Easton I had a chance to visit the exhibit at the mall. It was great to see the work of the Northern pARTners. I could imagine the art teachers there together putting the show in place and the families at the opening enjoying it. The collaboration that the art teachers have is marvelous. CONGRATULATIONS and THANK YOU for providing the opportunity for your community!

Angela Wang, grade 10, Drawing II - student of Ellyn Whitten Smith at Presque Isle High School

Angela Wang, grade 10, Drawing II – student of Ellyn Whitten Smith at Presque Isle High School


“Founder” of Bates Dance Festival

March 24, 2013

TEDx Houston

Thank you to Nancy Salmon for sending this TED talk given by Jane Weiner, the Executive and Artistic Director at Hope Stone. Jane is the “founder” of Bates Dance Festival’s program for local youth, Youth Arts Program held each summer at Bates College. Jane left Maine years ago but her legacy thrives at the Bates Dance Festival.

In this TEDx talk that Jane gave in Houston she speaks eloquently about the importance of arts education. As Nancy said: “Jane is such a perfect Arts Education advocate”. Take a look for yourself and hear this inspiring talk that likens art to salt and salt to art and what life would be like without art (and salt!)

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