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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) http://vimeo.com/85826400.

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