Archive for March, 2014


National Portrait Gallery

March 31, 2014

Summer Teacher Institute – July 7-9 or July 28-30

Integrating portraiture into the classroom provides exciting opportunities to connect students with history, biography, visual art, and many other subjects. The National Portrait Gallery’s collection presents the wonderful diversity of individuals who have left—and are leaving—their mark on our country and our culture. The museum portrays poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists whose lives tell the American story. The Summer Teacher Institute will take a broad look at the Portrait Gallery’s collection.

During the institute, the museum’s curators and historians will provide in-gallery content lectures, introducing the collection. Utilizing an interactive approach, NPG educators will model a variety of “learning to look” strategies—unique ways to hook and engage students when they look closely at portraits. Participants will learn how to “read” portraiture and use the art as a springboard into a more in-depth discussion about biography and history. Teachers from kindergarten through twelfth grade may apply as individuals or as part of a team. Priority will be given to social studies, English/language arts, and visual arts teachers.

Institute participants will:

  • Gain expertise from museum educators, curators, and historians through gallery talks, discussions, and hands-on activities
  • Learn to use portraiture in the classroom, identifying and analyzing key components of a portrait and relating visual elements to relevant historical context and significance
  • Make interdisciplinary connections among portraiture, social studies, and English/ language arts
  • Develop and share lesson ideas with colleagues

A nonrefundable program fee of $100 per person is due upon acceptance into the teacher institute. Participants are responsible for travel and lodging costs. Each participant will receive a stipend of $200 at the conclusion of the workshop.

Visit to apply. Please direct queries to npgeducation@ or 202.633.8503. Application deadline is April 15, 2014.


Arts Day at Gorham Middle School

March 30, 2014

646 middle school students

On Wednesday, April 2nd, instead of going to regular classes, all of our 646 middle school students will be rotating through various sessions in Art, Music, Dance and Theater for Arts Day. Last year we had a Music and Dance Day and it was so successful with the students, staff, and community that we decided to do it again and incorporate all the Arts!

Many local artists are generously volunteering their time or greatly reducing their normal fees to join us for this great event. Also many of our talented staff members who also have hobbies or second careers in the arts will be running workshops.  Students will sign up for their choice of workshops and the whole school will have the opportunity to hear our Gorham High School Concert Band perform in our auditorium.

Last year, we hosted the Maine Marimba Ensemble, the Jerks of Grass played in our auditorium, we had a local musician from York come in to talk about his brief experience on the X-Factor and what it’s like to try to make it big in the music industry, some DJs from Q97.9 came in and gave a presentation, we had a Zumba workshop and a Hip Hop dance workshop, a music therapist, a steel drum workshop and Annagret Baier’s African drumming session which was by far the most popular!

Here is the line up for the student offerings for April 2:

PETER RIMKUNAS Illustrator, Video Game Designer, Animator are just some of the art forms that Peter uses. This presentation includes the artist’s background and examples of his creations.

TESSA O’BRIEN Tessa is a painter and artist who designs on a large scale. She has painted many signs and murals for restaurants in Portland and she has also designed, constructed and painted huge art installations for big music events like Bonnaroo and Phish festivals. In this workshop, Tessa will share some of her artwork and help students create a lettering project.

DARALYN MCCOLL Learn what it takes to be a designer! You will hear a brief description of the background of an artist and see many examples of her art made with different materials. Find out how you can be paid to create art for a company or own your own design company. Daralyn uses digital programs to create a variety of work and will have you help with making your own creation.

“STICKS AND STOP MOTION ANIMATION” – MRS. DAWSON Bring your laptop for this fun and interactive animation session in the DEC

“COTTAGE INDUSTRIES” – MR. CARPENTER! Selling your arts and crafts. Mr. Carpenter will talk about and demonstrate his own Cottage Industries including jewelry making, crochet, card making and painting.

“MAKING SOMETHING FROM NOTHING” – MRS. HANLEY / SPINDLEWORKS SCREEN PRINTING! Screen print preemie baby onesies with Ms. Holden to donate to the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. This is a great chance to learn how the screen printing process is done. Class limited to 6 students.

LIGHTS UP IMPROV WORKSHOP! Maine’s David LaGraffe from Lights Up Improv and Portland Players is coming all the way to GMS to offer us this Theater Improv Workshop! You will spend time working with partners and in groups being silly and creating fun scenes. This is a great opportunity to work with a really fun and talented actor! Definitely not to be missed

CONTRADANCE – KIM ROBERTS WITH CARTER & SARAH LOGAN OF THE JERKS OF GRASS Contradance is a folk dance that has become tradition in New England. Similar to square dancing, dancers are partnered up and listen to directions that are called out during the music. During the dance you have to mix up and switch partners when the caller calls it so you have to really listen and stay on your toes. Think Cha Cha Slide meets folk country.

HIP HOP DANCE – DANCE STUDIO OF MAINE Join some of the fabulous instructor’s from Gorham’s own Dance Studio of Maine and learn some hip hop dance moves you can show off at the next GMS Dance!

AFRICAN DRUMMING – ANNEGRET BAIER Work with renowned drummer Annegret Baier playing various drums and rhythm instruments to learn African songs and rhythms. This session was our most popular session last year!

MARIMBA PLAYING WORKSHOP Learn how to play marimba just like the Maine Marimba Ensemble with Matt Wasowski from the Gorham School of Music. Class size limited to 10.

BLUES SONGWRITING WORKSHOP Learn how to write your own Blues song with Jim Svendsen from the Gorham School of Music. Choose a topic, write the lyrics and perform your song for the class.

GORHAM HIGH SCHOOL ACOUSTIC COFFEEHOUSE & POETRY SLAM Matt Murray is bringing Gorham High School singers, songwriters, guitarists and poets to GMS to perform their own original works. You will definitely recognize some of these artists!! ! POP KARAOKE! Just how it sounds! Join Mr. P. in the 8th grade wing for a karaoke singing extravaganza. Limited to 30 students.

GUITAR & SONGWRITER’S WORKSHOP! Learn and review some basic guitar chords and chord progressions and learn how to go about writing your own songs with GMS’s own singer/songwriter, Mr. Lambert.

A CAPELLA WORKSHOP Join Señora Krohn to learn how to sing in an a capella group. Sra. Krohn has lots of experience singing in a capella groups as you all saw in the Talent Show this year. She may even break out a little beat boxing if you’re lucky!!

Thank you to Gorham Middle School General Music Teacher and Choral & Steel Band Director Tracy Williamson for sharing this information for the Maine Arts Education blog and thanks Gorham Middle School staff for providing this opportunity for your students!



March 29, 2014

Sarah Robinson’s capstone project at UMaine – Sarah’s Another Student’s Story is at

GMAFlier copy


Arts Ed Fuels the Economy

March 28, 2014

Who Knew? Arts Education Fuels the Economy
Michael Morgenstern for The Chronicle
By Sunil Iyengar and Ayanna Hudson

In public-policy battles over arts education, you might hear that it is closely linked to greater academic achievement, social and civic engagement, and even job success later in life. But what about the economic value of an arts education? Here even the field’s most eloquent champions have been at a loss for words, or rather numbers.

Until now.

In December, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released preliminary estimates from the nation’s first Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account. The account is meant to trace the relationship of arts and cultural industries, goods, and services to the nation’s ultimate measure of economic growth, its gross domestic product.

The numbers are still a work in progress. In this context, “arts education” refers only to postsecondary fine-arts schools, departments of fine arts and performing arts, and academic performing-arts centers. Yet even for this limited cohort, the findings are impressive:

The total economic output (gross revenue and expenses) for arts education in 2011, the most recent year for which data are available, was $104-billion. Arts education thus claims the second largest share of output for all U.S. arts and cultural commodities, after the creative services within advertising.

In 2011, arts education added $7.6-billion to the nation’s GDP. In that year alone, arts education as an industry employed 17,900 workers whose salaries and wages totaled $5.9-billion. For every dollar consumers spend on arts education, an additional 56 cents is generated elsewhere in the U.S. economy. Again, these figures do not include design schools, media-arts departments within schools of communications, or creative-writing programs—to name just a few notable omissions from the world of higher education. And yet the results are in line with a series of claims that have fueled arts advocates in recent years. While not grounded in economic theory, those arguments have portrayed arts education as a conduit to greater creativity and innovation in the work force.

It’s not just arts enthusiasts who feel this way. The Partnership for 21st-Century Skills, a coalition of business and education leaders and policy makers, found, for example, that education in dance, theater, music, and the visual arts helps instill the curiosity, creativity, imagination, and capacity for evaluation that are perceived as vital to a productive U.S. work force. And the Conference Board, an international business-research organization, polled employers and school superintendents, finding that creative problem-solving and communications are deemed important by both groups for an innovative work force. Additionally, IBM, in a 2010 report based on face-to-face interviews with more than 1,500 CEOs worldwide, concluded that “creativity trumps other leadership characteristics” in an era of relentless complexity and disruptive change.

While businesses and educators seem to agree on the significance of creativity and innovation to the U.S. economy, the higher-education community is wisely investing more strategically in understanding those ties. The Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities seeks to transform the character of academic research institutions by harnessing “new energy within the arts as well as the infusion of arts and design practices in other disciplines and methods.” Another coalition, the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project, is starting to compile extensive survey data on the financial and career outcomes of people who have received formal arts education, regardless of whether they have pursued arts careers.

Why, then, the paucity of solid economic analyses to inform funding and policy decisions about arts education? First, as we’ve suggested, the data simply were not there. But there could also be another reason.

In 2004, an influential RAND report, “Gifts of the Muse,” distinguished between two classes of benefits that derive from arts participation in general. There are intrinsic benefits, which pertain to “a distinctive type of pleasure and emotional stimulation” for the participant, and there are instrumental benefits, which are “output-oriented” and “quantitative.” Intrinsic benefits are “satisfying in themselves,” while instrumental benefits contribute measurably to the broader public. (Think of the local economic impact from an arts festival, for example, or the social cohesion it engenders.)

According to the authors, one of whom is the economist Arthur C. Brooks, now head of the American Enterprise Institute, art’s instrumental effects were being touted at the expense of its more subtle and inherent traits, whose benefits are harder to quantify and therefore have proved less useful in public-policy arguments. The RAND report urged the arts community to develop more resonant language to capture the value of intrinsic benefits, even though they are essentially personal and subjective.

The time has come to ask: Is this a false duality? In the years since the report’s publication, we have seen arts managers make great strides in deploying audience surveys with sophisticated metrics around how “absorbed” or “captivated” people feel after watching a live performance. But we’ve also seen cognitive neuroscience begin to map the way art works on the brain: the physiological and psychological series of events that occur when someone draws or plays or listens to music. Are these not instrumental techniques for measuring what we previously thought to be ineffable?

If so, then economics is another domain where the barrier between intrinsic and instrumental is fast eroding. It is economists, after all, who preside over some of the world’s leading scientific theories about happiness and the measurement of subjective well-being. What could be more intrinsic than that? In the same way, economic data about arts and arts education can afford us more empirical insights in studying the societal benefits of creativity and innovation.

There may be a turnaround yet. In January, advising an international arts summit in Santiago, Chile, the Georgia State University economist Bruce Seaman began a speech by declaring the old intrinsic-versus-instrumental label useless, since “the only valuation issue worth addressing is which instrumental values to emphasize.”

We anticipate a time when arts education is universally valued, on its own terms, as integral to higher education. Until then, the Bureau of Economic Analysis account can help. The arrival of federally certified statistics on the value of arts education to U.S. economic growth gives arts educators, businesses, policy makers, and the general public a national, reliable measure to underscore at least one kind of instrumental value. For those who question that value in dollars and cents: Bring it on.

Sunil Iyengar is director of research and analysis, and Ayanna Hudson is director of arts education, both at the National Endowment for the Arts.


March Webinar Overview

March 28, 2014

Facilitated by Catherine and Rob

This was written by York High School music educator and Maine Arts Assessment Initiative leadership team member Rob Westerberg as a follow-up to the webinar held on March 5.

RobCatherineStatewide confOct11On Wednesday March 5th, Catherine Ring and I facilitated the first of four MAAI sponsored Webinars for 2014. This one was on “Outreach and Arts Education Leadership”. We were joined by guests Shannon Campell, visual arts educator from Ellsworth High School, Pam Kinsey, music educator for the Easton schools, and by Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education from the Maine Arts Commission. After tying up a few technology blips, we ended up having a great fifty minute dialogue around the primary topics of the day:

  • What is “outreach” as it pertains to the arts?
  • What does “leadership” in the arts look like?
  • How has the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative worked to develop both outreach and leadership?
  • Why are outreach and leadership essential?
  • Implications and next steps for Maine’s Arts educators

Takeaways were many, but the essence of the broad message is that we have to be proactive, not reactive as we move forward in Arts Education in Maine, and many ideas, strategies and approaches are at our fingertips for doing so. Along those lines, we have put together a pair of meeting plans that you can implement with your colleagues during professional development days in your own schools and districts. Be sure to utilize these if you are looking for professional development ideas or an alternate agenda item for your own district’s Inservice Day; bring your colleagues together and use the webinar archive and the meeting plan to help lead the discussion.

To access the webinar archive:
To access the meeting plan for this session:

The next Webinar will take place on Tuesday, April 8th from 3:30 to 4:30 as Catherine and I dig deeper into “Visual and Performing Arts and the Common Core”. More details and instructions on how to log in will be made available shortly. Please be sure to join us if you can for a topic that certainly impacts us all.


MLTI Student Photos

March 27, 2014

Congratulations Maine Students

AUGUSTA – Twenty-two young Maine artists will soon have an audience of tens of thousands of their fellow students and teachers for their artwork.

A painting, drawing or photograph from each of the 22 artists representing a dozen schools has been selected to be displayed during the 2014-15 academic year on devices provided to schools by the Maine Department of Education through the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI).

Through MLTI, the State provides either an Apple iPad, MacBook Air or an HP ProBook laptop to all seventh and eighth graders and teachers in grades 7-12. High schools also have the option to participate by leasing competitively priced devices through the program for their students.

The more than 70,000 devices in schools through the initiative will feature the student artwork on their screensavers starting next fall. For MLTI devices without a screensaver setting, the images will be made available as a download, allowing students and teachers to set the image as their background.

More than 250 Maine students submitted images to be considered in this year’s contest, and an independent panel of three judges selected the winners.

The artwork challenge is an annual opportunity that has attracted entries from more than 1,200 students, grades K-12, during its six-year history. The students whose artwork was selected are also invited to attend the 2014 MLTI Student Conference free of charge.

Additionally, the winning artwork will be displayed at the Maine DOE’s offices in Augusta and on the Department’s MLTI website. Students will receive a letter of congratulations and certificate of accomplishment from Education Commissioner Jim Rier.

“I am incredibly impressed with the talent and creativity reflected in all of the entries received, especially those submitted by our 22 winners,” said Commissioner Rier. “Maine has long been celebrated for the art created by its citizens or inspired by its beauty, and these winning works show us that the next generation of Maine artists being developed in our schools today are continuing that rich tradition.”

The selected students are listed below. Their artwork is additionally available for viewing at

Taylor Barnes, Houlton Jr Sr High School, Grade 10, Sunset
Audrey Beal, Mount Desert Island High School, Grade 12, Bridge
Luke Krebs, Mount Desert Island High School, Grade 12, Tundra
Matthew Lambert, Mount Desert Island High School, Grade 10, Striations
Jane Parlee, Mount Desert Island High School, Grade 11, Owls
Dominick Bernard, Deering High School, Grade 10, Eye in Triangle
Julie McGarvey, Deering High School, Grade 10, Henna on the Hand
Elana Bolles, Yarmouth High School, Grade 11, Holograms
Fiona Clarke, Yarmouth High School, Grade 11, Street in Rome
Alex Trippe, Yarmouth High School, Grade 12, Quilted Beetle
Gaelon Kolczynski, Yarmouth High School, Grade 11, Tree
Claire Donaghue, Mt Blue High School, Grade 12, Exploration
Kyaira Grondin, Frank Harrison Middle School, Grade 7, Silent Moment
Molly Harris, Bangor High School, Grade 11, Blue Sky
Abbey Kidder, Bangor High School, Grade 12, Stairs
Liam Reading, Bangor High School, Grade 11, Landscape
Maya Silver, Bangor High School, Grade 12, Wolf
Kegan MacLean, Ella Lewis School, Grade 6, Moose
Kyle Manzo, Stearns Jr Sr High School, Grade 11, Call of the Wild
Julia Sagaser, Waterville Senior High School, Grade 11, Vulture of Destruction
Gabriel Tilton, Freeport High School, Grade 12, Eye on Katahdin
Kate Trebilcock, Mt Ararat Middle School, Grade 8, Bird

For more information about the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, visit


Musician from Around the World

March 26, 2014

Playing at UMaine

Orono, Maine — University of Maine music professor Anatole Wieck and Bangor Symphony Orchestra violinist Sascha Zaburdaeva will perform with guests Pierre Henri Xuereb and Jean Louis Haguenauer at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 29, at Minsky Recital Hall.

Born in Latvia, Wieck also conducts the University Orchestra. The violinist and viola player earned his degrees, including his doctorate, at The Juilliard School.

Zaburdaeva is a music teacher and plays violin with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra. As a youth, the Moscow native performed with the Russian Youth Symphony and Youth Talents of Moscow. Zaburdaeva studied with Masao Kawasaki and Itzhak Perlman at Brooklyn Conservatory of Music in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Xuereb is professor of viola at Paris Conservatoire and at Ecole Nationale de Musique de Gennevilliers. He has collaborated with numerous ensembles and orchestras, recorded several CDs and teaches master classes at music festivals around the world.

Haguenauer is a member of the piano faculty at Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University. He recorded pieces by French composer Claude Debussy for four CDs in celebration of Debussy’s 150th birthday in 2012.

The program will include: Leopold Wallner’s “Danse melancolique”; Schubert-Liszt-Drillon’s “Two Lieder for Viola and Piano”; Debussy’s ”Cloches à travers les feuilles” and “L’isle joyeuse”; Dmitri Shostakovich’s “The Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op. 147”; and Antonin Dvorák’s “Terzetto” for two violins and viola.

Tickets are $9/free with student MaineCard. For more information, or to request disability accommodations, call 207.581.1755.



Essence of the North

March 25, 2014

Northern pARTners-Aroostook County Regional Art Educators

The pARTners are hosting the Essence of the North Student Art Exhibition at the Aroostook Centre Mall in Presque Isle, Maine in recognition of Youth Art Month. The exhibition will be one of the stops on the First Friday of the Month Art Walk on March 7th sponsored by the Presque Isle Chamber of Commerce. The exhibition will be on display from March 1 through April 5. There will be an Artists’ Reception on Friday, March 14, at the site of the exhibition from 7-7:30 PM. There will be collaborative weaving for attendees to add to and a scavenger hunt which will involve identifying various objects from within the art work. Districts participating are from Houlton, Hodgdon, Mars Hill, Easton, Fort Fairfield, Presque Isle, Washburn, Caribou, Limestone, Connor Township, and Frenchville/St. Agatha.

Presque Isle elementary school art teacher Ruth McAtee says of the exhibit:

“We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to show work from around the county at one location while the Jr. Biathlon and other events at the mall makes this year unique…..Our students get a varied range of audience and the mall gets an attraction for its guests, employees and shoppers.  It is interesting how many mall walkers and employees frequently visit the gallery. This year we have a collaborative weaving and scavenger hunt on the reception night.”


Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Beth Lambert

March 24, 2014

Carrabec High School Performing Arts Teacher

This is the third post for 2014 and phase three of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative of this series sharing arts teacher’s stories. These blog posts contain a set of questions to provide the opportunity for you to learn from others.

imageBeth Lambert teaches about 100 students in grades 7 and 8 Unified Arts and grades 9-12 Performing Arts in MSAD #74, Carrabec. This is her second year teaching at this school district.

What do you like best about being a performing arts teacher?

The best part about being a theater educator is challenging my students’ perceptions about their world and about themselves. I get to provide them with an outlet for emotions, thoughts, and dreams that they might not otherwise have means to express. In my class, a student can become another, explore a new role, try out and experiment with various personal choices and solutions to very real problems- problems from their own life, or problems faced by characters in literature or historical figures, in a safe environment.

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

  1. Support from administration and community.
  2. A teacher who understands the importance of making and maintaining authentic connections with his/her students.
  3. A teacher who can make the art real for the students- someone who understands what her community needs and offers art as a means to make life richer.

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

Clear rubrics take the guess-work, and often, much of the fear, out of performing for a grade. Students know exactly what they are expected to be able to do and when they are ready to show me that they can do it, they are assessed. Students are in more control of their own learning and success.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative?

Without a doubt, the greatest benefit has been getting to know, work with, and learn from such an able group of arts educators.

Additionally, it is has allowed me the opportunity to do targeted work on my classroom from an arts educator’s perspective.

What are you most proud of in your career?

My students.

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

All the non-teaching stuff that teachers must do takes them away from teaching and becoming better teachers. Also, ourselves- sometimes we get in our own way.

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


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

Always remember that we are here for the students- make your choices based on what is best for them and do right by them. The rest with fall into place.

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

I would build my students the performing space they deserve and would set up scholarship programs so that I never again have to see a child’s dream fade because they couldn’t pay.

Imagine you are 94 years old. You’re looking back. Do you have any regrets?

No. Every road, no matter how broken, crooked, or difficult, has brought me to where I am today and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!




Workshop at MECA

March 23, 2014

Maine College of Art, Portland


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