Archive for November, 2014


Playing the Ukulele

November 30, 2014

That’s it, I am taking lessons!


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Midcoast Actors’ Studio

November 29, 2014

Maine Playwrights’ Showcase

showcase poster #2


Opportunities to Give

November 28, 2014

Worthwhile causes

These both look like worthwhile causes if you’re looking for an opportunity for you and/or your students to give.

The Portland Lullaby Project. This winter, 10 young mothers will collaborate with orchestral musicians and local songwriters to create lullabies for their babies. From Robert Moody…Over the past week, we’ve made a lot of progress towards bringing the Portland Lullaby Project to local mothers-in-need. Here’s a brief summary:

Give the Gift of Music on Giving Tuesday, December 2, 2014!

Help all children have access to the life-changing benefits of music study.

  • What is #Giving Tuesday? On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give!
  • Your gift to Give a Note Foundation supports our ongoing work as we work to increase access to music education programs for all children. Give a Note Foundation programs raise awareness about the lifelong benefits of music education, provide critical information about access (or lack of access) to music education, and engage business leaders and decision makers as advocates. In addition, Give a Note grants provide schools with important resources to expand music learning opportunities for students.

To learn more about the Give a Note Foundation please click here.

Please note

The Maine Arts Education blog does not endorse or benefit from either of the organizations mentioned above. The information is included on the blog to provide you with what is going on in Arts Education.


Happy Thanksgiving

November 27, 2014

Much to be grateful for!

I am thankful for Arts educators in Maine and across the country who strive everyday to provide an excellent Arts education for all students. I am grateful to work at the Maine Arts Commission and to the commitment that the Agency makes to Arts education. I am appreciative for the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative; the teacher leaders who are willing to collaborate to share their knowledge throughout the state, and to the leadership team for endless hours of time, commitment, and guidance. I am so fortunate to do the work I do. Some days I forget that it is my job!

I know as educators today that some days are challenging but it is clear the joyful days outweigh the difficult ones. I am fortunate to have met many of the Maine Arts Education blog readers so I know that in most cases you spend days joyfully impacting the future.

This saying recently came across my desk in the Arts Ed Partnership newsletter and I just had to share it with all of you. Warmest wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and break from school and THANK YOU!!

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.  ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy



Car Talk

November 26, 2014

Three-Speed Potter’s Wheel

Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 12.10.50 PMHow many of you listen to NPRs Car Talk? I can see many hands in the air across the state of Maine right now. If you are a regular listener you probably heard this weeks recorded show #1447 entitled “Three-Speed Potter’s Wheel”. A caller needed some assistance in following directions that he had read in a magazine about making a potter’s wheel out of car parts. Specifically an old car transmission. One of the funny lines is: “Reverse could come in handy next time he mis-throws a pot!”

It is not only funny, as all of Tom and Ray’s recorded shows are, but also a fascinating idea to hear about. We talk about STEAM, this would be a great collaborative integrated lesson/unit that would dig deep in both the engineering and art world. And, talk about 21st century skills! Problem-solving, communication, collaboration, and much more would be needed and developed. And on top of that it would be practical and real-life hands on learning.

Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 12.10.02 PMEven if you don’t decide to do this with students I highly recommend that you listen to the recording, if you missed the show on Saturday morning. It is great, classic Tappet brothers. You can access the recording here




TODAY on Mount Desert Island

November 25, 2014


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Perhaps you are at Mount Desert Island High School right now enjoying and soaking up ideas, food for thought, and exchanging your best practices. Today is the first Maine Arts Assessment Initiative’s (MAAI) Mega-regional workshop being held during phase 4, 2014-15 school year. There are 55 arts educators participating. A great big THANK YOU to Charlie Johnson and the MDIHS arts staff and administration for opening up their beautiful school for this professional development opportunity.

The MAAI Teacher Leaders are offering these workshops today Studio Habits, Making Evidence of Learning from a Sequence of Artworks, Efficient and Effective Assessment in the Elementary Music Classroom, Standards-Based Grading and Assessing for Proficiency, Stir-Crazy: A Movement Tool Kit for the Sedentary Classroom, It’s Elementary, My Dear, and Resources, Resources, and MORE Resources for Music Educators are all offered today.

The PM session is devoted to sharing and learning about where other schools and districts are on the pathway of Proficiency-Based Education and Teacher Effectiveness. The individual workshops will not be repeated at other Megas however, the PM session will be repeated at each one.

The MAAI Teacher Leaders have made a commitment not only to increase their knowledge but to share their learnings and current practices with others. Many of you have heard me say that “none of us is as smart as all of us” and the Megas are designed to share all that SMART!

If you aren’t at MDIHS today you will have multiple other chances for Megas. Please go to and check out the workshops being offered at the following locations.

Dates and Locations

5.5 contact hours are available for participating in the all-day workshop.

Please note
When registering there are two options for payment.
  1. PayPal
  2. By check issued to Maine Art Education Association, and mailed to Maine Arts Commission c/o Argy Nestor, 193 State Street SHS 25, Augusta, ME 04333. PLEASE DO NOT issue the check to the Maine Arts Commission.
Please email if you have any questions. 

Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

November 24, 2014

MECA Hosting Awards

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 8.23.32 PMMany of you already know about the Scholastics Art and Writing Award Competition and would like Maine to have a Regional Affiliate Host back in the state. Maine College of Art has listened to the requests of hundreds of art educators and also believes that this is an excellent educational experience for our students. Therefore, Maine College of Art will be hosting the the Scholastics Art Awards for the 2015 Competition.

MECA has generously donated the in-kind use of its facilities, gallery space and event resources to host the Art portion of the Competition. The “people time” is generously volunteered by passionate and creative individuals. Those include, art educators, staff and faculty of MECA, Maine Art Education Association, and other non-profit organizations within the state. We are also looking for additional volunteers. If this is something that you are happy to volunteer time to, please contact us your convenience at We would be happy to speak with you.

The Scholastic Art Awards registration and artwork submission is now completely digital through an online process. Students and Art Educators must register through the Scholastics Art and Writing Awards website: Students who participate in this competition are required to pay an entry fee for each submission. The fees are $5 per individual entry and $20 per portfolio entry. Fee waivers are available those who meet the need-based criteria. Portfolio entries are only available to high school seniors. Individual entries are available for students in grades 7 to 12. We are asking that students who submit individual entries after November 15th, to keep the maximum number of entries to 2 individual entries per student. The competition allows seniors to submit up to 2 portfolio submissions.

Tentative Timeline: Schedule for the Maine Affiliate Scholastics Art Awards

Wednesday, December 17, 2014                                     Digital Entries Due
Week of January 5th, 2015                                              Judging
Saturday, January 10, 2015                                             Notification of Results
Saturday and Sunday January 17 & 18, 2015               Delivery of winning entries    elected for the exhibition
Monday, January 19 to Saturday, February 7, 2015   Exhibition Dates
Saturday February 7, 2015                                               Closing Ceremony and day    to pick up exhibition artwork

Please contact Liam Sullivan at if you have any questions about the competition.


Middle School Music Teachers Invited

November 23, 2014

Bay Chamber Concerts and Music School invitation – Free Student Matinee

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Bay Chamber Concerts and Music School invites Maine middle school music teachers and their students to Camden for a free matinee performance.

Friday, March 27 at 9:30am
Camden Opera House

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This renowned 5-member a cappella group from Boston will perform a free student matinee for area middle schoolers as part of the ensemble’s three day residency in Maine.

Please contact Monica Kelly at for more information or to reserve your spot.

Limited seating available – 50 seats per school maximum.

Visit to learn more about Overboard.

Presenting Residency Sponsor: Slim Goodbody Corporation/John & Christine Burstein.


Farnsworth Art Museum

November 22, 2014

Holiday gathering

Share the Wonder Celebration
A Family Tradition
Saturday, November 29, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Farnsworth Art Museum

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 6.39.12 PMThe museum’s traditional holiday family festival attracts upwards of 1,200 children and adults to a myriad of activities and events taking place throughout the museum campus. The three-hour events will feature the following stations at which participating children may have their Share the Wonder passports stamped:

  • Ziggurat Theatre Ensemble performing “Solstice Surprise” in the auditorium
  • Press Gang performing holiday music in the library
  • Cookie decorating
  • Carriage rides around the campus
  • The Share the Wonder train display at the Wyeth Center.
  • Craft activity at the Gamble Center
    These programs are free to the public and museum admission will be waived to all throughout the three-hour festival.

For more information please click here.


Stress Reliever

November 21, 2014

These 12 Childhood Art Techniques Can Help Adults Relive Stress

This article is written by Priscilla Frank for The Huffington Post. The beginning of the article is below with a link to the entire piece.

Making art doesn’t necessarily sound like a stress reliever. Finding inspiration, keeping concentration, finding your artistic voice — these things demand extreme attention, time and effort. Yet there is something about expressing your creative side that can help put your mind at ease.

Most forms of art making involve both logic and creativity — for example, coloring inside the lines and mixing and matching colors to your preference. The combination of vision and precise motor skills also leads to an all-encompassing experience that captivates the brain, pushing other stressors out of the picture, at least temporarily. “The idea that creative expression can make a powerful contribution to the healing process has been embraced in many different cultures,” Heather L. Stuckey and Jeremy Nobel wrote in the American Journal of Public Health. Caregivers involved with creative arts intervention methods at cancer treatment centers in particular “reported significantly reduced stress, decreased anxiety, and increased positive emotions after taking part in the intervention.”

To read more please click here.

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