Archive for February, 2014


University Singers

February 28, 2014

Unique student opportunity


Invitation to a Free Lunch Time Concert.  The University of Maine Singers under the direction of Dr. Dennis Cox and accompanied by Dr. Laura Artesani will visit the Camden Hills Regional High School for a short concert on Tuesday, March 11th at 12:15 – 1:00 PM.  There is plenty of space in the Strom auditorium, please attend and hear this excellent college ensemble!

There is also a chance that there will be a short male a cappella workshop from 1 – 1:30, if there is enough interest from area middle school/high schools.  If interested, please contact Kim Murphy at ASAP and let her know.

The University Singers will be on tour during this time. The locations where they will be performing are listed below. All concerts are scheduled to begin at 7:00 PM, free and open to the public.

  • March 10, First Baptist Church, Bar Harbor
  • March 11, Owls Head Transportation Museum, Owls Head
  • March 12, First Parish Church of Christ, Saco
  • March 12, Winnisquam Regional High School, Tilton, NH
  • March 14, Lasell College, Newton, MA




February 27, 2014

National Core Arts Standards Review Opened Feb 14th – Closes Feb 28th

Screen shot 2014-02-13 at 7.55.13 PMThe National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) has scheduled a final public review of the draft PreK-12 arts standards in dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts.  The downloadable excel spreadsheets include eleven overarching anchor standards that cross disciplines along with Pre K – 12 discipline specific performance standards aligned to those eleven anchors. For this review, the spreadsheets do not include the standards’ Understanding by Design format elements, such as EU’s and EQ’s;  however they are included in sample Model Cornerstone Assessments also available for review, and will be a part of the materials available to the public when the standards are launched.  The review will close on  February 28, 2014 so this is the last two days that you may provide feedback. February 28. NCAS now available at


Regional MAAI Workshop

February 26, 2014

Tonight at Waterville High School


Lisa Ingraham

The regional Maine Arts Assessment Workshop and Potluck at Waterville HS on Feb 26th (4-7pm…….3-4pm open advocacy lab and 7-8pm open advocacy lab) is open to all educators and administrators.

There is no cost (please bring a dish or snack to share).  Come early….leave early…come late…..stay late!

Please know that all educators and administrators are invited and discussions regarding local resources and galleries for valuable opportunities will also be presented.

Our schedule:
Guerrilla Advocacy Open Lab (S Goulet)          3:00 – 4:00

Lisa Ingraham and Gloria Hewett Presentations – 4:00 – 5:10

  • Lisa – Stick Figures and Finger Painting – Dispelling Myths about Elementary Art programs
  • Gloria – Working Backwards from a Great Art Lesson to Standards and Assessments

Break/Intro/Discussion/Sharing/Potluck          5:10 – 5:50

  • Lisa Wheeler – Common Street Arts Gallery
  • Nancy Baron – Harlow Gallery
  • Student teacher mentor opportunity

Pam Ouellette (to entire group)                 5:50 – 7:00

  • Literacy – Gateway to Creativity
  • Guerrilla Advocacy Open Lab (S Goulet)          7:00 – 8:00

Gloria Hewett

This workshop is your local outreach component of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative.

An exploration of each workshop can be found at (scroll down to Feb 26th date):

Contact hours available.

For more information and to RSVP…please contact any of the presenters or


Maine Arts Assessment Initiative Webinars

February 25, 2014

Webinar series starts Wednesday, March 5

Arts educators Rob Westerberg and Catherine Ring will be hosting the first webinar in a series of four during the next four months. This is the second series offered through the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI).  The webinar:

Outreach and Arts Education Leadership

 Wednesday, March 5, 2014

3:30 – 4:30

Primary discussions will be based around:

  • Why are outreach and leadership essential to the success of visual and performing arts in the 21st century?
  • How has the Maine Arts Assessment initiative worked to developed both?
  • What does “leadership” look like in the Arts?
  • What is outreach as it pertains to Arts Assessment and Leadership?

As the Maine Arts Assessment continues in its third year, both of these topics have been focal points. Engaging participants in dialogue around these, and discovering how they can better engage both elements themselves will be takeaways from this webinar.


Please be sure to join them for what promises to be an engaging, insightful hour on the topic that will continue to impact every one of us as arts educators in the state of Maine!

Watch the blog and the Maine Arts Education list-serv during the next week for the details to learn how to join the webinar.

Future webinars are scheduled for April 8, May 7, and June 4. One contact hour is available to participants. All webinars will be archived if you can not be present for the live webinar.

MAAI is an initiative of the Maine Department of Education with contributing partners: Maine Arts Commission, Maine Art Education Association, Maine Music Educators Association, New England Institute for Teacher Education, University of Southern Maine, Maine Learning Technology Initiative, and the Maine Alliance for Arts and Education.


Youth Art Month: Portland Museum of Art

February 24, 2014

20th anniversary celebration

Screen shot 2014-02-14 at 8.27.39 PM

Jasmine Berube, Grade 8, Preface, watercolor, crayon, and Sharpie, Bonny Eagle Middle School

Portland, Maine: In celebration of National Youth Art Month during the month of March, the Portland Museum of Art (PMA), in collaboration with the Maine Art Education Association, has organized an exhibition of artwork created by Maine art students. This year celebrates the 34th anniversary of Youth Art Month exhibitions in Maine and the 20th annual exhibition at the museum. The PMA’s exhibition, on view from March 8 through April 6, will showcase more than 100 works of art by students throughout the state, from elementary school through high school. All participating students will receive certificates of recognition. An exhibition celebration will be held at the PMA on Saturday, March 8 from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

National Youth Art Month is an annual observance each March to emphasize the value of art education and to encourage public support for quality school art programs. Art education provides students with important critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, in addition to fostering self-esteem, self-discipline, and an appreciation for the work of others. The Youth Art Month exhibition celebrates and validates student achievement in the visual arts, and the Portland Museum of Art is proud to honor the talent and dedication of these young artists and their teachers. Youth Art Month has been observed nationally since 1961, and on the state level, sponsored by the Maine Art Education Association since 1980.


Arts Ed in Other States

February 23, 2014

Learning opportunities in other states

  • N.C. school infuses all subjects with the arts
    The School for Creative Studies, a Durham, N.C., magnet school for students in sixth to ninth grades, infuses the arts and design program into its core subjects. Students may spend their elective classes creating dance steps and writing songs for music videos, and may write a novel in social-studies class or compose an essay explaining a solution in math class. Principal Renee Price praised the creativity of the school’s teachers, each of whom are certified in their subject areas. The Durham News (N.C.) (12/11)
  • Students create illustrated children’s books about geometry
    Some students at a high school in New Jersey are creating illustrated children’s books about geometry concepts. The school has been using the project to teach geometry for the past decade, and in recent years began sharing the stories with younger students. This year, one group of students created a book titled “Goldi-blocks and the Three Little Pigs.” Tri-Town News (Freehold, N.J.) (1/23)
  • Middle-schoolers make music videos about algebra
    Eighth-graders studying algebra at a middle school in Texas learned about algebra concepts, such as the coordinate plane, by producing music videos. Students worked collaboratively for a semester to create the lyrics and make the videos. “We basically wrote down the real lyrics to the song and then looked in our math books and substituted what we found there for the words,” student Isabel Arevalo said. Austin American-Statesman (Texas) (free content) (12/25)
  • How some Mich. schools approach arts education
    Students in Michigan are required to learn about dance, visual art, music and theater, but how schools meet this requirement varies widely. While budget trouble has put pressure on arts education in some districts, Ann Arbor Public Schools offers students a variety of arts courses and has the equivalent of more than 100 full-time arts teachers. (Michigan) (free registration) (12/22)
  • How the arts can engage students to meet common core goals
    The arts can help teachers engage students and spark the passion necessary for them to succeed under the Common Core State Standards, according to Courtney J. Boddie, director of education/school engagement at The New Victory Theater. In this blog post, Boddie uses the example of “Sleeping Beauty” to show how theater techniques and skills can be used in an elementary-school literature lesson that aligns with the common core. J. Boddie’s blog
  • New Jersey Adds Arts to School-Performance ReportsNew Jersey now includes metrics about arts education in its annual school reports—and education officials there say that makes it the first state to do so.

Winter Break

February 22, 2014

Visiting folks in NH

Waterville Senior High School music teacher, Sue Barre visited her folks in NH during the winter break and she took this photo on the lake where there was 15 inches of snow. She and her kids cleared a spot to make an ice rink. What fun and a great photo – thanks for sharing Sue! Anyone else have winter vacation fun photos to share. I know some of you spent the day in states with warmer temperatures. How about sharing some beach photos???





Potter Visits Camden Schools

February 21, 2014

The following article is reproduced from the Courier Publications’ Village Soup on February 10,   Editor Dagney C. Ernest.

DSCN0420ROCKPORT — Potter/artist Tim Christensen is working with Carolyn Brown’s Advanced Drawing and Painting class and the after school Art Club of Camden Hills Regional High School.

Christensen is a professional potter who currently works with the sgraffito technique on porcelain. He creates thrown and handbuilt forms and uses the ancient technique of sgraffito for surface design. This technique entails coating the clay with black clay slip or underglaze, and scratching through to reveal white clay underneath.

Christensen has demonstrated his working technique and discussed his sources of inspiration. He uses the medium of clay to tell stories about the natural world and our relationship with nature. He explained that he typically starts a piece with the beginning of an idea in mind, and draws intuitively with a freehand technique directly on the clay. During the process of drawing on the clay, the full “story” of a particular piece develops. The idea from one piece may lead into another, until the entire story emerges in a series of clay forms.

Students began their projects working with sgraffito on flat, leather-hard tiles, drawing into the underglaze with a variety of tools. Christensen is meeting with students several times and will develop the project further with handbuilt and manipulated slab forms with sgraffito.

This artist residency is sponsored by Youth Arts and the CHRHS Art Club with advisor Brown. For more information about the artists, visit

student tile


Sweet Tree Arts

February 20, 2014

Arts Connect meeting

On a chilly night not to long ago the conversation was lively in Hope at Sweet Tree Arts when 18 people came together for the purpose of sharing their work and ideas, and to learn from others about their work and ideas. The meeting was called Arts Connect because at the heart of the sharing was the arts.

The participants represented the surrounding schools and community arts ed opportunities ranging in age from PreK through adult – so all learners! Arts educator and Sweet Tree Arts founder Lindsay Pinchbeck and I decided to hold the gathering for one main reason. We are both aware of how many wonderful learning opportunities are provided for students in the arts yet often those offering them are not aware of others. And, we also know how important it is to provide opportunities for people to connect and discuss their ideas. We often walk away with new seeds of ideas and excited about new possibilities.

After a brief introduction where participants introduced themselves Lindsey shared an audio clip of a student from a recent visiting artist experience. It was an eye opener for the participants.

brainsParticipants worked in three groups to identify and share ideas and resources – with the goal of identifying available resources and possible collaborations or big ideas. The list was quite long. The groups moved onto suggesting goals with shared ideas and possible projects/ideas and discussed how to implement them.

The evening ended with each group sharing with the larger group. The visuals created exemplified many quality opportunities. Lindsay documented the final thoughts:

Final thoughts included ideas of empowering students to be advocates for their own learning through the arts. It was discussed that families and parents also play an important role and that it should not be left just to the schools and community organizations – we need to empower the students to show their families the importance of the arts in their every day learning. It was also suggested we gather again to share ideas and schedules to maximize our effectiveness and to make sure we are not offering similar opportunities for students. Through planning and communication it was suggested we could be more productive and provide our community with richer programming and opportunities.

The participants agreed that they’d like to meet again to have further conversation. It was clear to me that similar meetings could happen all over Maine to make richer arts education opportunities for all learners.

Speaking of Lindsay she recently presented at the Midcoast Pecha Kucha and she is in this vimeo (about 48 minutes in)


Looking Back

February 19, 2014


Scan 15I’ve taken on what feels like an impossible task this winter of going through 25 boxes of photos and memorabilia belonging to my mother and father. My task is to scan the items and share them with my sister and two brothers. In between work and going outside as much as I can I grab minutes and continue the task. As some of you know my Dad passed away in 2006 and my Mom is 95 years old and living close to my sister in Ohio.

I went through my parents 50th wedding anniversary book that is filled with cards, letters and messages filled with memories. Many I was aware of but many were from BA (before Argy). I was happy to get the anniversary book in the mail in time for my Mother to receive it in time for Valentine’s Day. I hope that she remembers the friends, family members and laughter, and that they bring smiles to her face.

In the anniversary book I discovered a card that my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Richardson, had written to my Mom. When I was in 4th grade President Kennedy was shot, my father served on the school board, and my mother was the President of the school’s PTA. My sister was in 5th grade and my two brothers in high school. We went to 3 high school football games a week to watch my brothers and support the teams. I was a “rah rah” from an early age. When Mrs. Richardson had written the card to my mother it was 2002, she had been retired for 17 years. That wasn’t so long ago but her words took me right back to 1963 and I can see tall Mrs. Richardson with her warm smile standing in the doorway of the 4th grade classroom.

She said in her card: “Some of most productive years of my life were spent in the classroom, praying that I was impacting the lives of children in a positive way. Teaching can be very productive.” I sat back and reminisced about what I learned and who I was in grade 4 and can picture myself in the middle row of the classroom, third seat back with those giant windows that looked out onto the playground. Mrs. Richardson so very kind and caring to each of us. If anyone asked me, I’ll be the first one to provide testimony on the positive influence Mrs. Richardson had on me. My thoughts turn to teaching today, and even though we are in a very different place – wanting to impact kids in a positive way – remains the same!

The card Mrs. Richardson sent has a watercolor painting on the front that shows purple flowers shooting up from the deep dark green hosta leaves. The message on the front says: The hostas bend & sway with the breeze… their beauty remains intact… As individuals we learn to bend and sway with life’s Blessings and Challenges! Ain’t it the truth??!! I hope you will have a few minutes during winter break this week to reflect on the past and what you are doing presently in your classrooms.

(I wrote Mrs. Richardson a card thanking her for impacting my life. I just hope the card reaches her).


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