Archive for September, 2013


High School Standards Review

September 30, 2013

Starting today – September 30!

The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) is conducting a public review of substantive portions of draft high school national core arts standards for dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts beginning today, Monday, September 30 and ending Monday, October 21, 2013. Music will include draft high school music standards for the strand of secondary ensembles as part of the review. Everyone with an interest is welcome to participate in the public review. To participate in the review process and to view all public documents related to the arts standards, please go to

Thursday, October 24, 2013Lynn Tuttle, Arizona Department of Education Director of Arts Education and one of the leaders in the revision of the National Core Arts Standards will be providing a presentation at the opening session at the Arts Education: Leading the Way conference on the standards. This is a unique opportunity to hear first-hand and to ask questions about the standards document and provide your input on what you think Maine’s next steps should be with the national standards. To learn more about the conference and see the fabulous offerings included in the day please click To go directly to registration please go to If you have any questions please email Please note: Purchase orders will not be accepted.

Wednesday October 1, 2013
In coordination with Americans for the Arts, the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards will update the field in a town hall meeting on Tuesday, October 1, 5:00 p.m. -6:00 p.m. EST to discuss the standards revision project. Tune in using Adobe Connect to view the visual presentation:
And dial the following line to listen in and ask questions: 712-432-3066, code 584096#

As America’s education system moves toward increased accountability measures, it is imperative that the arts have current standards as well as assessment and evaluation models that can inform best practice for teaching and learning. Join this town hall meeting to learn more about the progress of the arts standards and their anticipated launch in 2014. For more information about joining the town hall session email

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A Trip to the Nutcracker

September 29, 2013

Portland Student Story

Taurean Green, a dancer with the Dance Theatre of Harlem, discovered his love of ballet while an elementary student in the Portland (Maine) Public Schools. His class saw a production of “The Nutcracker,” and he vowed that one day he would dance in it. The next year, he was chosen for a new ballet program run by Portland Ballet Company – and that same year, he danced in “The Nutcracker” at Portland’s premiere theater. He continued to pursue his ballet studies, with financial help from actress Victoria Rowell, a Portland native, and support from his teachers in the Portland Public Schools. Since graduating from Portland High School and Portland Adult Education in 2002, he has performed all over the world as a professional ballet dancer.

Hear Taurean tell his story on YouTube.


NH Arts Conference

September 28, 2013

NH Arts Education Partnership Conference

Explore Creativity & the Arts as Effective Learning Tools!! At the NH Arts Education Partnership Conference – October 25 and 26th


Join Us!  Please help spread the word.   Registration is now open for the 2013 Statewide Arts Education Partnership Conference, “Exploring Creativity: Making Space for the Arts in our Classrooms, Schools and Communities,” October 25 and 26, 2013, at Camp Cody on Beautiful Lake Ossipee. This conference brings together educators, teaching artists, youth workers, parents plus community and education leaders to implement quality arts education and programming in schools and communities. Keynote speakers: Eric Booth, author & artist, “nationally known teacher of “creativity” and Heidi Joann Welch, music educator & 2013 NH Teacher of the Year. Workshop topics include Arts & the Common Core, STEM to STEAM (+Arts), the new National Standards for the Arts, grantwriting and creative writing. Participants receive contact hours and graduate level credits are available through PSU. For full and commuter registration rates or to learn more about the conference agenda and workshop descriptions visit: or  For more information contact Catherine O’Brian, NH State Council on the Arts,

  • Learn to incorporate creative process into lesson plans and curriculum – become a more creative teacher
  • Explore connections between the arts, 21st Century Learning Skills and Common Core State Standards
  • STEAM (+Arts) Up STEM
  • Introduction to the newly developed National Arts Standards with an award winning music educator Heidi Joann Welch
  • Learn about Grants Writing for the Arts plus ways to assess and evaluate student work
  • Make your teaching and classroom atmosphere more “Inclusive”
  • Hands-on Workshops with Professional Teaching Artists
  • Viewing of award winning documentary, “Inocente”
  • Meet and network with teaching artists from NH and New England
  • Live the arts for a weekend! Overcome teaching fatigue!
  • Opportunities to dialogue with arts-integration specialists & teachers with expertise in implementing arts integration practices in their classrooms
  • Join an active and dynamic community of arts learning advocates & learn about the NH Arts Learning Network
  • Find a way to bring it all home to your life, your practice, your classrooms, schools and communities!
  • Get your hands in clay * make music * dance * sing * create something meaningful * write * make a poem that sings * dream up new partnerships * design a mural * draw a comic * weave a basket * try something new! * join a “thrown down community concert * make music * write an unforgettable blues song with friends * build community!

National Endowment for the Arts Funding

September 27, 2013

Immediate Release: September 24, 2013

Contact for media queries: Victoria Hutter,, 202-682-5692
Contact for application inquiries: Design staff,

National Endowment for the Arts releases funding guidelines for Our Town
Grants ranging from $25,000 to $200,000 available to support creative placemaking projects

Now available on the NEA website are guidelines and application materials for Our Town, the agency’s primary creative placemaking grants program. Pending availability of funding, grants will range from $25,000 to $200,000.

Our Town will invest in creative and innovative projects in which communities, together with arts and/or design organizations and artists, seek to:
•        Improve their quality of life;
•        Encourage greater creative activity;
•        Foster stronger community identity and a sense of place; and
•        Revitalize economic development.

Projects may focus on, arts engagement activities including:

  • innovative arts programming
  • festivals/performances
  • public art that improves public spaces

Cultural planning activities including:

  • creative asset mapping
  • cultural district planning
  • master plans or community-wide strategies for public art.
  • creative entrepreneurship.
  • creative industry cluster/hub development

Design activities including:


  • design of rehearsal, studio, or live/work spaces for artists
  • design of cultural spaces
  • design of public spaces
  • design charrettes, design competitions, and community design workshops

Other key information:

  • Complete Our Town application guidelines are available in the Apply for a Grant section  on
  • Application deadline is January 13, 2014 at 11:59 pm. ET
  • Our Town FAQs provide answers to many questions about the program.
  • A webinar to learn more about this funding opportunity will be held on November 4, 2013 at 2:00 PM ET
  • For program inquiries, please email with specific questions and a design specialist will respond.
  • Sample application narratives for these types of projects can be found at

Now in its fourth year, Our Town has provided $16 million to support 190 projects in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  These projects are diverse in geographic distribution, number and types of partnerships, artistic discipline, and type of project. In FY 2013 alone, 35 of the 59 grants supported projects in communities with populations under 100,000.

To view a map of all the Our Town projects along with project descriptions and images, visit the Our Town section of


Early Childhood Conference

September 26, 2013

Screen shot 2013-09-10 at 9.50.59 PMSaturday, November 16, 2013

Augusta State Armory, Western Ave, Augusta, ME

8:30 am-4:45 pm

$50.00 before October 15-$60.00 after October 15



8:30-9:00 am- Welcome and Keynote address-Argy Nestor, Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, Maine Department of Education    

9:15-10:45 am- Session I

  1. Confidence in Creative Singing (Yes, even YOU!): Presented by, Martin Swinger.  This fun, safe and affirming workshop helps even uncertain singers freely invent instruction and transition songs using simple scaffolding steps. Find confidence to creatively ‘fail’ maintaining pride and self-respect! Bravely model the joy of singing!
  2. Telling true stories: How to inspire kids to write about their lives and family: Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Barbara Walsh, author of August Gale: A Father and Daughter’s Journey into the Storm and Sammy in the Sky, will discuss how to get children excited about writing stories about their lives or family. Walsh, a long-time journalist and non-fiction author, believes children should be encouraged to write down and share stories of their past and present. If families don’t document their lives and their history, their stories are lost forever. Learn tips and ideas about how to inspire kids to tell their stories and make their own “mini-books.” (Copies of Barbara Walsh’s books will be available at the conference, where she will gladly personalize them.)
  3. Allowing Music to Unlock the Door to Literacy: Presented by, Judy Fricke. Music used in a variety of ways can be the key that opens the door to literacy for infants and toddlers, preschoolers and teachers alike.  During this workshop Judy will present three groups of hands on activities which can encourage and empower the early childhood educator to engage in “music to literacy” activities regularly with their children. Simple and enjoyable tools from bounces, tickles and wiggles to simple folk dancing and drumming create a fun-filled time of sharing. Music and movement can create a fun activity that helps open children’s minds to their culture and their imaginations and introduce their bodies to the freedom of artistic expression. The first half hour will concentrate on infants and toddlers. The second will concentrate on preschoolers and beyond. And the third will address arts based read alouds with an emphasis on music, drama and dance.
  4. Bringing Children’s Literacy to Life: Presented by, Elizabeth Richards. Bring great children’s books to life on the stage!  Literacy learning is more engaging and exciting when children have an opportunity to become the characters, explore the illustrations more closely and create scenery, and learn the book inside and out through movement and repetition.  Participants will learn how acting stories out builds literacy skills, and how to create exciting performances out of familiar stories.

11:00 am-12:30 pm- Session II-Repeat of Session 1 workshops

12:30-1:30 pm- Lunch on your own (you will be provided with a list of area restaurants or you may bring your lunch)

1:30-3:00 pm- Session III

  1. Dance Mad Louie Dance!: This workshop will teach you how to use dance and other physical activities to help you and the children you care for maintain a healthy body and healthy mind well having fun! You will also learn how to use these activities to teach team work and listening skills.  This workshop requires proper footwear as you will be dancing and moving.
  2. 6.      Collaborative Art Making: Developing 21st Century Skills through the Arts:  Presented by, Megan Pollino. This presentation will focus on how to facilitate dynamic collaborative art projects that strengthen communication, problem solving, and team work skills in children.  Megan will speak on her experiences using creative mediums such as animation, film making, painting, and design to prepare children to work in collaborative environments. Educators and caregivers will participate in hands-on activities reflective of the approaches presented and sample lesson plans will be provided. 
  3. From Storybooks to Bookmaking: Incorporating Creative Writing in Early Childhood Classrooms: Presented by, Megan London.  In this workshop, participants will explore ways to bring creative writing and poetry into their work with children.  You will learn about active storytelling and how to create storyboards with children, as well as simple and easy ways to make books with children.
  4. Drama Every Day: Presented by, Lindsay Pinchbeck.  Explore elements of drama you can bring directly into your classroom and daily routines.  You will engage in activities inspired by dramatists Peter Slade, Brian Way, Viola Spolin, Dorothy Heathcote and more.  Group dynamics, personality types and various learning styles will also be explored through drama to encourage empathy in the classroom.  Elements of role play, non verbal and verbal drama games, puppetry and more will be experienced and shared.  This workshop is appropriate for all ages.

3:15-4:45 pm- Session IV-Repeat of Session III workshops

To register please go to



Relevant and Authentic

September 24, 2013

Arts Education: Leading the Way Conference – October 24

I can’t think of two words that better describe why you should seriously consider attending the upcoming conference ARTS EDUCATION: LEADING THE WAY on October 24 at UMaine, Collins Center for the Arts. Relevant and Authentic – YOUR colleagues have created workshops that are both relevant and authentic to the work you do each day in arts classrooms.

There are 35 workshops to select from which are being presented by YOUR colleagues from throughout Maine. The Maine Arts Assessment Initiative’s teacher leaders have been working to put together the following 35 different workshops:

  • It’s Hard to Pick Your Nose When You are Clapping Your Hands – The Importance
    of Music in Early Childhood!
  • Standards-based Proficiency Data Made Manageable
  • The Choreography of Turning it On
  • Do We All Speak the Same Language?
  • LD 1422: Implementing Maine’s Proficiency Based Graduation Requirement
  • Empowering Students Through Assessment Techniques and Strategies
  • Digital Portfolios: Organizing curriculum and student work to show growth and proficiency
  • Progressive Assessments and Creativity
  • Assessing Student Performance in Your Classroom
  • “Dancing on With/On the Dark Side”
  • More on the National Core Arts Standards
  • Guerilla Advocacy-Embracing shameless promotion on behalf of students and Arts programs
  • TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER: School Leaders- YOU CAN support Arts Education in the 21st Century!
  • “All The World’s A Stage”
  • Literacy – A Gateway to Creativity
  • Benefits of a Student-Centered Classroom
  • Rappin’ Differentiation Instruction
  • Learning Through Doing – Using Theatre games to enhance lessons across the curriculum
  • Including Reflection in Formative Assessment
  • Controlling the Chaos: The world of student-centered education
  • Working Backwards from a Great Art Lesson to Standards and Assessment
  • From Overwhelmed to in Control: Power Standards Help Connect the Dots
  • Visual Journaling: A Pathway to Reflective Self-Assessment
  • Thirty Eight Years of Teaching and Still a Rubric Virgin?
  • Stick Figures and Finger Painting – Dispelling myths about elementary art programs
  • You life it? I love it! Strategies for successful art critiques with K-5 Elementary Art students
  • Maine Learning Results: Guiding your Ensemble Curriculum
  • Monitoring Arts Students’ Progress in Meeting Graduations Standards
  • Back to Basics: How to create learning targets and I CAN statements
  • Deep Scuba Thinking: Development of Vocabulary Literate Musicians
  • Gifted and Talented in Music Education
  • Big Journeys Begin with Small Steps
  • Going Beyond the Activity: Assessing the MLRs: Three C’s (Creativity, Criticism, & Connections)
  • iPad, uPad, We All Scream for iPads!

Along with the outstanding workshops the morning presentation will be on the National Core Arts Standards with Lynn Tuttle who has been co-leading the development of the work. We are fortunate to have Lynn joining us for the day. Along with her presentation to the group she will be offering a follow-up session. Learn more about the draft standards AND provide your feedback on the draft.

See photos of the teacher leaders with a description of each workshop by clicking here.

See the schedule for the day by clicking here.

Register by clicking here. PLEASE NOTE: School purchase orders are NOT being accepted. The cost of the conference is $80.00 for the day which includes lunch.

Please consider inviting your administrator (principal, superintendent and/or curriculum leader) to attend since there are several workshops that are filled with information for them as well.

The day will be worthwhile and provide you with “food for thought”, opportunities to connect with colleagues from across the state, and ideas for practical application in your classrooms and schools!

If you have questions please don’t hesitate to email me at

The Arts Education conference is in conjunction with the Maine International Conference on the Arts (MICA) being sponsored by the Maine Arts Commission and held on October 25 and 26. For information on the MICA conference please click here.

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To Achieve…

September 23, 2013

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Waterville Opera House

September 22, 2013

Waterville Opera House opportunities

2013 Secondary ReminderFor more information on how to provide educational opportunities for your students at the Waterville Opera House please contact Dick Dyer


MMEA Conference

September 21, 2013




General Music Workshop


Friday, September 27, 2013 – Augusta



1.5 CEUs available through the University of Maine


The Maine Chapter (American Orff- Schulwerk Association) is proud to present 

General Music Workshop:

Karen Medley

Nationally Known Orff-Schulwerk Clinician

The Journey Is the Destination:

Kid-tested Lessons for the Music Classroom

Come spend the day singing, playing, moving, creating and speaking together as we explore some of my students’ favorite kid-tested lessons! Songs, games, stories, poetry, dances, and drumming foster a sense of play and community for younger children, create a sense of adventure for middle grades children and challenge and celebrate older children. Are you looking for ways to involve your children in creative music-making? Come play!!


When:  Friday, September 27, 2013

Time:  9 AM – 3 PM

Where:  Le Club Calumet

334 West River Road

Augusta, Maine (directions attached)

Credit: 1.5 CEUs from the University of Maine with a paper and lesson plan ($10. Charge)

(Note: 1.5 CEUs = 1 Recertification Credit)

Cost:  $50. For the workshop (includes lunch) (members, students & retired see below)


Karen Medley Workshop Registration:












phone____________________NAfME or AOSA Membership Number_________________


Enclosed is $50.00 for the workshop__________

                       NAfME/MMEA or AOSA Members $40.00__________

                     Student or Retired MMEA or AOSA Members  $15.00____________

Additional $10.00 for the 1.5 CEUs__________

              Total Enclosed (checks to “The Maine Chapter”)__________


Mail to: Nancy Cash-Cobb, Windham Primary School, 404 Gray Road, Windham, Maine 04062

by September 20th  (in order  to have enough materials for everyone)

More info? or s-892-1840 h-926-3171 c-671-7064

Karen Medley

Karen Medley is an elementary music specialist in the Pentucket Regional School District in northeastern Massachusetts. Formerly a teacher in the Clark County Schools, Las Vegas, Nevada and a teacher in the Memphis City Schools for over twenty years, she received a Bachelor of Music Education from the Eastman School of Music (University of Rochester). She also studied at the University of Memphis where she earned a Master of Music with a Concentration in Orff Studies and completed her Orff Teacher Training Levels I – III and Master Class.

Presenter at more than a dozen AOSA National Conferences, Karen has taught many workshops, in-services and teacher education courses across the United States, including workshops in Oahu and Maui. Currently, Karen also teaches in summer teacher education programs through the University of Alaska (Anchorage) and the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY). Karen has taught many courses and workshops introducing classroom and preschool teachers to Orff Schulwerk.

Karen has directed several children’s choruses whose performances include singing Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, opening the National Blues Awards, a contributing writer for Music and You (Macmillan/McGraw-Hill), Karen’s arrangements have been featured in The World Sings: International Folk Songs (Memphis Musicraft Publications) and Las Vegas Writes III.

Karen served on the AOSA National Board of Trustees for more than 13 years as Regional Representative for two terms and also as National Conference Chairperson for the 1994, 1996, 2000 and 2007 AOSA National Conferences. She currently chairs the Post Level III Committee.

Driving directions:

From I-95

Take the ME-3 exit, Exit 113, toward Augusta/Belfast….0.3 miles

Stay Straight to go onto ME-3….0.7 miles

Take the 1st right onto ME-104/W. River Road -continue to follow ME-104….0.7 miles

334 Northern Ave. (Le Club Calumet) is on the right



September 20, 2013

Maine Art Education Conference

Another successful conference was held at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts last weekend by the Maine Art Education Association. The workshops were intense and included the following choices:

  • Creative and Useful Bookmaking: Sally Allen
  • Alabaster Carving: Anne Alexander
  • Encaustic Painting: Diane Bowie Zaitlin
  • Animal sculptures with clay using enclosed forms and additions / Tim Christensen
  • Plein Air Painting / Cooper Dragonette
  • Responding to ­ Photography in Europe/ Brenton Hamilton
  • Knifemaking / Tim McCreight

After a little bit of rain on Friday, the sky cleared and the moon shined beautifully that evening. As traditional, slides of the artists’ work and stories were shared on both evenings. The annual silent auction brought in over $1000.00 for the student scholarship fund. Teachers took the time to visit other studios which provided viewing the processes, learning from others, and meeting art educators. And, of course, the beautiful Haystack environment provided a unique experience. Just being there seems to bring out the creative juices that art teachers have. The food was excellent (although I miss the spanakopita that used to be served on Saturday night)!

A great big thank you to those who attended and especially to the planners of the annual conference Reagan Russell and Lynn Wildnauer!


I participated in the Bookmaking session and learned how to make several books including a stab book – one that I have been interested in for a long time. I am looking forward to filling the contents. I have to say that the most fascinating session for me of the weekend was the knifemaking workshop. It was amazing to stop by and see the progress and what each teacher was creating.

If you are not a member of the Maine Art Education Association I urge you to submit your membership request asap. Heidi O’Donnell, the new president, and other new slate of officers are committed to providing a top quality professional organization for Maine art educators. To join the organization please contact membership chair Jodi Thomas at Jodi or president Heidi O’Donnell at


Maine Arts Assessment Initiative members Leah Olson, Suzanne Goulet, Argy Nestor, Catherine Ring, Pam Ouellette

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