Archive for January, 2015


National Arts and Humanities Youth Program

January 22, 2015

 Applications Now Open!

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 4.42.15 PMThe President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, is accepting applications for the 2015 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards.

The twelve award-winning programs this year will each receive $10,000 and an invitation to accept their award from the President’s Committee’s Honorary Chairman, First Lady Michelle Obama, at a ceremony at the White House.

After-school and out-of-school time arts and humanities programs are encouraged to apply. Please click the following link to access the online National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards Application:

Completed applications will only be accepted via the online process.

Monday, February 2, 2015, 5:00 PM PST is the application deadline.


Visual Art Assessment Course

January 21, 2015

Opportunity for learning – from Catherine

Catherine Ring, one of the co-founders of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI), an integral member of the MAAI Leadership Team, former art teacher and principal offers graduate courses through The New England Institute for Teacher Education. Her Visual Art Assessment course is being offered during two weekends in January and May this winter/spring. Details below in a letter from Catherine, along with links to the website with more information. Please contact Catherine directly (contact info below), if you have questions.

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 6.10.31 AM

I’d like to personally let you know of a special opportunity coming up right in Augusta, starting January 30 — a graduate course on Visual Art Assessment.

You might wonder, how can I add this to my already full plate?  Is Assessment really necessary, or even possible, in an art room when I see so many students?  And it really doesn’t matter where you are on the Assessment bandwagon — both experienced and teachers new to assessment in visual art classrooms have taken this course. There’s always more to learn, and this course gives you the time to talk and learn and try things out — imagine that!

Catherine Ring

Catherine Ring

You’ll be surprised at how much art teachers learn from each other – and that’s just what we do! We share resources that arts educators have created or discovered through the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative, ask hard questions, problem-solve, try some things out in our classrooms, and figure out what we CAN do in our very busy schedules to help improve teaching, learning and assessment.  The course meets for two weekends only – Friday night (4-8pm) and Saturday (8-4pm) with weekly contact with me, the instructor, in between.

So come join us and find out what’s happening in Maine with assessment in visual art, and with meeting proficiency in the art room. You will be excited to know that arts educators are leading the way and other educators are following suit.  Here are the details:

EDPO 536: Refining Assessment in the Visual Art Classroom, K-12
Augusta, Maine (Specific location to be determined),
Session 1:  Friday (4-8pm) January 30, Saturday (8-4pm), January 31
Session 2:  Friday (4-8pm) May 8, Saturday (8-4pm) May 9
This course meets for both sessions.

You can choose to take this as a graduate course through our partnership with Endicott College, or for recertification credits for 4.5 CEUs. We can bill your school directly with a purchase order, or are happy to make payment arrangements.

To register, please visit our website at If you have any questions at all, pick up the phone and call me any time, or email me here.

Thank you! Hope to hear from you!

Catherine Ring
Executive Director
New England Institute for Teacher Education
P.O. Box 460
Stonington, Maine 04681



January 20, 2015

Maine Arts Education

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 7.27.24 PMA couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I had started to post to the Maine Arts Education Facebook page on a regular basis. This happened partially because I had so much content that I couldn’t put it out there fast enough on the Maine Arts Education blog. At the end of the day yesterday I realized that I had posted 12 items to Facebook, yesterday alone. The format provides me the opportunity to get information out to you more quickly. In addition, the blog posts from here automatically go to Facebook and to Twitter. On Facebook, look for Maine Arts Education and on Twitter, meartsed.

Some of you may not know that you can subscribe to the blog by going to the bottom right hand corner of this page and click on “Sign me up!” and join the other 1,057 who automatically receive the blog posts as soon as they are posted with a message to your email.

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 6.45.57 PMScreen Shot 2015-01-19 at 7.25.06 PMAlong with Facebook, Twitter, and Maine Arts Ed blog, you can also email me at and request that you receive the Tuesday morning emails. I will add you to the Maine Arts Education list-serv that the Maine Arts Commission provides. There are many opportunities, a plethora of information, and recent research being posted, that I want to make sure you are aware of.  And, if you come across information that you think others would like to learn about, please be sure and forward it to me and I’d be glad to share it with the field.

Many of you have heard me say that “none of us is as smart as all of us”. Sharing information and communication provides us multiple opportunities to collaborate and raise the standards for what we are doing. Thanks so much for sharing and communicating!

If you have any suggestions or questions, please be sure and contact me!

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 7.24.33 PM



Bangor Symphony Orchestra

January 19, 2015

119th Season

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 8.41.57 PM

The Bangor Symphony Orchestra continues its 119th season on Sunday, February 1 at 3 p.m. at the Collins Center for the Arts in Orono with Midori and More! A pre-concert talk begins at 2 p.m.

Please share the Know Your Orchestra! voucher with students, family, friends, colleagues, and others, and invite them to attend this performance and others throughout the season.

The Know Your Orchestra! voucher program encourages students to become acquainted with classical music and their home orchestra. Each voucher admits up to four K-12 students for free when accompanied by at least one adult. Up to two accompanying adults can receive a discounted ticket price of $10.00. Each free ticket and adult ticket is subject to an additional $3.00 box office handling fee. The voucher below may be used for any of the 2014-15 season Masterworks concerts. We encourage voucher holders to reserve their tickets before the concert by calling the CCA Box Office at 581.1755 or 1.800.622.TIXX, Monday thru Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please copy the attached black and white file “KYOboardingpass_2014” and distribute it widely.

Internationally renowned violinist Midori joins the BSO for this special performance and weeklong educational residency as part of the Orchestra Residencies Program. For this Masterworks program, Maestro Richman also explores the orchestral splendor of Jean Sibelius with two of his most spellbinding works. For more information about her whole visit, please visit

For more information about the rest of the season, please visit our website

If you have questions please contact Sarah McCarthy at

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 8.43.43 PM


Me and My Cello

January 18, 2015

Happy Together – The Piano Guys


Sistema Music Education in MA

January 17, 2015

Massachusetts pilots program

The Massachusetts Cultural Council launched a program in December to assist underserved students throughout the state. “It blends a forward-thinking attitude toward music and arts education and a focus on multiculturalism and community empowerment that, taken together, can dramatically change students’ lives.”

The program is providing $55,000 for eight pilot grants and three planning grants. Some of you might be familiar with the music program established in El Sistema in Venezuela. It was created over thirty years ago. Under the direction of conductor Gustavo Dudamel who is the director of Venezuela’s Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Their model is being used for the pilot program in MA. El Sistema was established in 1975 by educator and activist Jose Antonio Abreu in order to serve youth from poor communities.

Read the entire article by clicking here.


Middle Schooler on the Piano

January 16, 2015

Joshua Chung

4BB1F98E-09AA-441C-AD6B-35CD239B59F4On the “WERU Family Radio Hour” on Saturday, January 3 twelve year old pianist Joshua Chen of Belfast was interviewed. He was interviewed by one of the shows host, Scot Cannon, who also performed during the radio show, WERU, 89.9 FM/99.9 FM. The show is aired each Saturday at 10:00 am. You can access the recorded show is located at

Joshua is a 7th grader from the Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast and has been studying piano since he was seven and is currently a student of Belfast piano teacher  Nancy Riesco. Joshua also plays trumpet in the the Troy Howard school band under the direction of David Coffey.

The recording was done at the Belfast United Methodist church where his father Jinwoo is the pastor. Jinwoo and Joshua’s mother Heywan were the audience for the session.

The remainder of the” Radio Hour” is filled with musical examples showing the wide appeal and versatility of 88 black & white keys.


MMEA Jazz Festival

January 15, 2015

Intense, Exciting, Fascinating

IMG_1529I was so impressed when I visited Scarborough High School last Friday. The 2015 All State Jazz Festival was taking place. The students were engaged and enjoying the learning opportunity. The teachers were focused on a variety of topics including Proficiency-Based Education conversations, and the school was a beautiful setting for the event!

IMG_1534We all know that, for the most part, all the students who were there was because they’ve worked hard. For many of them, they have been intensely working for several years. We also know that for some they’ve are fairly new in the jazz arena and this opportunity provided all of them a chance to expand and build on their knowledge and past experiences in the music world.

Maine Music Educators Association president, Pam Kinsey, said: “The festival was an inaugural year of the Treble Choir at Jazz All State. These two groups, along with three instrumental groups, gave FANTASTIC performances and are to be commended, along with their guest conductors and their home music teachers for a truly inspiring weekend of music making. Congratulations to all!!”


Below is a clip of rehearsal with the Treble choir.


In Today’s News

January 15, 2015

Oak Hill High School singer

Kaitlyn Doyle opted to sing an Italian classic as well as Christina Aguilera’s “Bounty” as part of her application to the 2015 High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall, N.Y.

To read the entire article please click here.



Make the Trip!

January 14, 2015

Above and Beyond!

MAAI Logo_Color_TxtCtr

Rob Westerberg and Catherine Ring

Rob Westerberg and Catherine Ring

This past Monday night I was driving home in the snowstorm, after meeting all day with the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) Leadership Team. Catherine Ring, Rob Westerberg, and I started at 8:00 am. We had traveled to Bangor the night before so we could get an early start. At 2:00 pm the rest of the team joined us, including Bill Buzza (on Zoom), Nancy Salmon (who took the bus from Freeport to get there), Jeff Beaudry (who drove up from Portland), Pam Kinsey (who drove down from Easton), and Suzanne Goulet (after meetings at her school in Waterville).

The going was slow since the snow was coming down heavy and the plow trucks hadn’t been out in some time in several towns along the way. I thought about the rest of the team returning to their warm homes in different parts of the state. I was concerned, knowing how treacherous my drive was, that they’d all get home safely. It wasn’t the first time that we had ended an MAAI meeting in a snowstorm.

Nancy Salmon

Nancy Salmon

As I drove, my thoughts turned to the commitment that the MAAI Leadership Team continues to make! They are truly amazing individuals who are knowledgeable, life-long learners, and GREAT collaborators. They are impressive and thoughtful educators from across the state of Maine, willing to “make the trip” on multiple levels. The MAAI journey has been amazing. When Catherine, Rob, and I traveled to Plymouth State University in August 2010, we left very enthusiastic and abuzz about what we had learned and the possibilities for Maine. Our imaginations encouraged us to “dream big” but what has occurred during phases 1, 2, 3, and now 4 is not about our imaginations (only), but the collaboration of so many who are dedicated to excellent arts education for all students!


Pam Kinsey

If you’ve participated in one or more MAAI opportunities you’ve contributed to the direction of MAAI. You are one of over 1000 arts educators who have taken advantage of the over 100 professional development workshops offered by MAAI. The Leadership Team takes the feedback seriously and incorporates your needs and the needs of education into the professional development opportunities provided. Each phase is built on the successes of the previous year and adds components that we know are in the best interest of Maine educators.

The purpose of our meeting on Monday was to reflect on phase 4 and to begin to prepare for phase 5. This winter the MAAI Teacher Leaders will come together to take the preparation to the next step. The work that they do reaching out and connecting with other arts educators is amazing. If you need assistance, no matter where you live in Maine, with the arts education work you are doing in your school/district, many of them are available to assist. The Teacher Leaders in red on!teacher-leaders/c1qxk are available. As you know, they are providing workshops at the regional and mega-regional level. The mega-regional information is located at

It was clear that the Teacher Leaders are such an integral part of the work that we will be doing

Jeff Beaudry

Jeff Beaudry

a call for others to join the 61 who have participated in the summer institute during the first 4 phases. Perhaps you’d like to join the MAAI and take on a leadership role. We know that it goes way beyond and deeper than learning more about assessment or proficiency-based education. I hear from Teacher Leaders that it includes:

  • Finding your voice so when you return to your school district you have a place at the table.
  • Making connections with people that otherwise you wouldn’t meet.
  • Realizing that you’re not alone.
  • That going deeper with assessment is not more work, but in fact, it makes your jobs easier.
  • Provides the opportunity to learn the why we do something, how to do it, and be the one who is making it happen. Instead of someone telling you that you have to do it.
Bill Buzza

Bill Buzza

And so much more! There is nothing more exciting to me than to hear from a Teacher Leader about how their MAAI journey has made a huge difference, not just for them as a teacher, but for their students!

Let me take this opportunity to THANK the Leadership Team for making the journey – through snow storms, and all! I am so fortunate to work closely with an incredible group of dedicated educators! A special thank you to Bill Buzza who is stepping down from the Leadership Team. And, another to past Leadership Team members, Bronwyn Sale and Matt Doiron, and our long distance member, Barb Vinal from North Carolina!

If you have questions about how to get more involved or to become an MAAI Teacher Leader, please don’t hesitate to contact me at

Suzanne Goulet

Suzanne Goulet





%d bloggers like this: