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Student Arts Collaborative

February 5, 2015

MAAE Facebook – open letter from Susan Potters, Executive Director

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 9.28.49 AMWe are happy to announce that MAAE’s group Facebook page is now the MAAE Student Arts Collaborative, a place where Maine high school students involved in the arts (any of the arts) can share their work, their thoughts and their questions – with each other, with college arts students and with Maine post-grads already pursuing careers in the arts.

We see this as a place where young artists will find support, encouragement, information and frank advice from their fellow students and from those who have walked the same path before them.

The page will not only be for young artists, but also managed by them. The logo was designed by high school artist Piper Smith, a junior at Traip Academy in Kittery. The other two managers of the page are Zachary Fisher, a UMaine Orono freshman, studying choral music and Meredith Crawford, 28, who grew up in Veazie, Maine, and who is now a professional violist in Los Angeles.

Please help us to spread the word!
Encourage the young artists you teach or know to join the group by directing them to either the Facebook group (MAAE Student Arts Collaborative) or to the Facebook link on our website, http://www.maineartsed.org. We’ll help you by sending you a hand-out of that info for your students. That hand-out, written by Zachary, will come in a group email to you tomorrow.

And here below is a message to you from our post-grad manager, Meredith, about what the Student Arts Collaborative would have meant to her growing up as an “artsy kid” in Maine.

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 7.29.43 PMMessage from Meredith
“As a professional musician who studied the violin since the age of five, I know very well that the arts can been a lonely – albeit immensely gratifying – road. For  a lot of Maine students, small communities can be a blessing and a curse. While I appreciated growing up in a small town, it was also difficult for me to feel like I was the only kid who was “into” music. In the already difficult period of middle/high school, having one more thing that makes you different from your peers can be a burden. Although I was lucky enough to have friends and family who supported me, it was still difficult not to feel isolated; at times it was tempting to put music aside, much as I loved it, simply to feel more part of the community.

I am so glad I made the decision to keep at it. It has not only become my livelihood, but a source of immeasurable joy and fulfillment in my life. I can guarantee, however, that something like the MAAE Student Arts Collaborative would have made that decision a thousand times easier had it existed when I was in high school.

There are few things more gratifying – or important – to a young artist than to have a place to share their work with others and to be able to view and appreciate others’ work as well – in essence, to feel like you’re part of a group of like-minded individuals – especially a group of your peers. The MAAE Student Arts Collaborative seeks to create a space for just that – a Facebook group where current high school and college students can post their art, a snippet of a creative writing project, videos of dance or music performances or compositions, or even works-in-progress, as well as a place to ask each other questions, give feedback, or just say, ‘Wow, I really like what you’ve made – tell me more about it.’

Students joining the collaborative will also have a place to learn from recent college grads who grew up in Maine and now work in the arts – people like me, who want to encourage young Maine artists and let them know their art is important, that it should be shared, and that it can take you to amazing places. I look forward to what’s in store for the MAAE Student Arts Collaborative, and hope that you will help us spread the work about this wonderful new resource – the more students who join and share their work, the stronger the support system will be.”

Thanks again for your help!… and stay tuned for tomorrow’s hand-out for your students.

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