Archive for April, 2015


AEP Publications

April 30, 2015

Two publications and one report

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The Arts Leading the Way to Student Success: A 2020 Action Agenda for Advancing the Arts in Education

“[AEP] has created The Arts Leading the Way to Student Success: A 2020 Action Agenda for Advancing the Arts in Education as a blueprint for systemic change and collective action.  This Agenda outlines a set of goals and strategies by which the arts and education community can collectively respond to and inform high priority areas of action needed to effectively address educational inequalities, and level the playing field for academic achievement and student success.”

2015 State of the States: Arts Education State Policy Summary

“The State of the States 2015 summarizes state policies for arts education identified in statute or administrative code for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  Information is based on a comprehensive search of state education statute and codes on each state’s relevant websites.  Complete results from this review are available in an online searchable database at”

States Announce Actions to Close the Skills Gap for all Students

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) released a series of actions states are taking to close the skills gap and make sure more students graduate from high school prepared for successful careers.



April 29, 2015

Bach’s Prelude No. 1

DSCN1328I will never forget the first time I saw boomwhackers (after I had left the classroom) in action. It was during my first year working at the Maine Department of Education. I visited the York schools and was in a lower elementary classroom of Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) Teacher Leader Cynthia Keating’s. The kids were very excited and engaged in their learning. This video took me right back to that moment. Thanks to MAAI Teacher Leader Andria Bacon for sharing this video.



Back from Spring Break

April 28, 2015

The Home Stretch

Even though I didn’t have Spring break last week, more than once I remembered the feeling that April vacation provides. The last of the Christmas wreaths on Maine homes come down, the snow piles are almost all melted, the crocus are showing their purple color, and the rake has come out of the garage.

I always returned to school excited and ready to focus on the accomplishments of each student. I know many of you are preparing for art exhibits and performances and for many of you these events will be a focus for the next few weeks. Before you know it there will be field trips, spring sports, black flies, awards evenings, graduations and other end of year activities.

As you dive into the last part of the school year remember that the deadline for the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative’s Call for Phase 5 Teacher Leaders deadline is May 6! The application and information are available at I hope that you will consider taking on a leadership role and join the 61 Teacher Leaders from the last four years. Information on MAAI Teacher Leaders is at!maai/cy91. Please contact me if you have any questions at

In the very near future information will be announced for the biennial statewide arts education conference including location and price. In addition we are waiting to hear about funding for the next iteration of the statewide arts education census. Stay tuned!

Enjoy the remainder of the school year and remember: Fun is Always Fun! Thanks to Jay Ketner, World Language Specialist from the Maine Department of Education for loaning me his Fun Meter button for this photo! I suggest going for the Max when it comes to Fun!




April 27, 2015

Happy kids – Africa (Uganda) – this is extremely warm and wonderful!

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STEM Majors with Liberal Arts Training

April 26, 2015

Washington Post article

Dr. Loretta Jackson-Hayes is an associate professor of chemistry at Rhodes College in Memphis. On February 18 Dr. Jackson-Hayes had an article published in the Washington Post. Her article called We don’t need more STEM majors. We need STEM majors with liberal arts training. Much of what she wrote rang true with me!

With President Obama advocating for more young people to make their future direction in a STEM field I hope that we are not missing the boat. Don’t we want young people to learn to think in a more integrated fashion instead of singularly?

Ms. Jackson-Hayes said: Our culture has drawn an artificial line between art and science, one that did not exist for innovators like Leonardo da Vinci and Steve Jobs. Read the entire article by clicking this link:


Art Portfolios as A.P. Test

April 25, 2015

Studio art growing

Studio art is one of the fastest growing of the Advanced Placement disciplines. But how do you score a piece of art? The reviews are in.

Below is the beginning section of an article written by Daniel Grant for the New York Times, October 2014.

Here is an unhappy thought: “Monet wouldn’t have done well in A.P. studio art. I’m sure of that.” The reason, continued Lauren Sleat, who teaches the course at Westminster Schools in Atlanta, is that there isn’t much breadth to his work. That is, he did the same thing again and again.

But he would have done well in terms of concentration, what the College Board describes as “the thoughtful investigation of a specific visual idea … through a number of conceptually related works.”

If you want to learn more you can read the entire article by clicking here.


Maine Youth Excellence in Art

April 24, 2015

Congratulations students and teachers

IMG_2286Students whose art work is part of the Maine Youth Excellence in Art exhibit, sponsored by the Maine Art Commission, were recognized today at a ceremony with First Lady Ann LePage. Julie Horn from the Maine Arts Commission opened the program by gathering students for a photograph on the steps in the Hall of Flags of the State House. Julie Richard, Maine Arts Commission Executive Director and Charles Stanhope, Chair of the Commission joined the First Lady in congratulating the students, parents, and art teachers.

IMG_2300Students and their teachers are listed below. The exhibit is throughout the State House complex and will remain until May 15. Please stop by and enjoy the outstanding exhibit.

  • Samantha Arenault, Chewonki Semester School, Art teacher Sue West
  • Ruth Brosey, Wayne Elementary School, Art teacher Betsy Allen-McPhedran
  • Emerson Brown, David J. Lyons Washburn District Elementary, Art teacher Beth Ann Walker
  • Emily Butler, David J. Lyons Washburn District Elementary, Art teacher Beth Ann Walker
  • Hayden Camfferman, Mt. Blue Middle School, Art teacher Danielle Guerrette
  • Adam Christianson, Swans Island School, Art teacher Chandra Cousins-Raymond
  • Eli Clein, Bangor High School, Art teacher Kal Elmore
  • Caitlyn Duffy, Gorham High School, Art teacher Sarah Dolley
  • Sophia Esch, Kennebunkport Consolidated School, Art teacher Audrey Grumbling
  • Kate Friberg, Cape Elizabeth Middle School, Art teacher Marguerite Lawler-Rohner
  • Whitney Frost, Poland Regional High School, Art teacher Tom Chaisson
  • Emily Johnson, Madison Junior High School, Art teacher Lee Harper
  • Olivia Joyce, Swans Island School, Art Teacher Chandra Cousins-Raymond
  • Ashely Kilgore, Lake Region High School, Art teacher Carmel Collins
  • D’Andre Marable, Windsor Elementary School, Art teacher Genevieve Keller
  • Deanna Marston, Mountain Valley High School, Art teacher Steven McGinty
  • Samantha McGreevy, Granite Street Elementary School, Art teacher Deborah Grabber
  • Gavyn Moreshead, SeDoMoCha Middle School, Art teacher Bobbi Tardif
  • Christian Munn, Bucksport High School, Art teacher Holly Bertrand
  • Rowan Osmer, Fruit Street Elementary School, Art teacher Wendy Libby
  • Tiana Poirier, Waterville Senior High School, Art teacher Suzanne Goulet
  • Isaiah Sawyer, Trenton Elementary School, Art teacher Connie Barnes
  • Samantha White, David J. Lyons Washburn District Elementary, Art teacher Beth Ann Walker
  • Ellea Wilson, Monmouth Middle School, Art teacher Mary Pennington
  • Claire Wyman, Appleton Village School, Art teacher Anthony Lufkin


IMG_2304There were several legislators in attendance including Senator Brian Langley (in the bottom photo) who represents Senate District 7 and serves as Chair of the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee.

A GREAT BIG THANK YOU to Julie Horn who is responsible for the MYEA program and the other MAC staff who take care of the many details!


Music and Dyslexia

April 23, 2015

Website devoted to music and dyslexia

This is a website of the British Dyslexia Association that has some useful information that may come in handy when working with dyslexic students. Whether your students are identified as dyslexic or not you may notice that they have some characteristics and are struggling in your visual or performing arts class.

You may be wondering what you can do to help with their learning. Understanding some of the characteristics might just help you.

Take a look at the site at


Technology Resources

April 22, 2015

NAEA webinar

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 4.47.20 PMI attended an online professional development recently that was presented by the National Art Education Association. It really exemplifies the power of learning in the online environment. The webinar was titled Where the Wild Things Are and facilitated by two art educators who are well versed in multiple tools to assist in teaching. Chris Guenter who you can follow on Twitter @cguenter and Theresa McGeen who you can follow on Twitter @theresamcgee.

The most amazing part was the website that they put together to house all of the tools they shared plus a ton of other resources located at And, all of the tools are FREE. Don’t miss checking it out!

The Powerpoint presentation and recorded webinar will be posted to the National Art Education Association website at:


Calling All Teaching Artists

April 21, 2015

Interested in being on the Teaching Artists roster?

Teaching Artist, Karen Montanaro performing at the 2007 Statewide Arts Ed conference, Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland. Nicholas Kleiner joined Karen

Teaching Artist, Karen Montanaro performing at the 2007 Statewide Arts Ed conference, Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland. Nicholas Kleiner joined Karen

Interested in Being Part of the PK-12 Teaching Artists Roster? The Maine Arts Commission is now accepting applications for the PK-12 Teaching Artists Roster. The roster includes artists whose applications reflect their expertise and commitment to providing learning opportunities for students and/or teachers in the PK-12 education setting. Teaching Artists are professional artists who are dedicated to lifelong learning and arts education, have made it an integral part of their professional practice, and who have cultivated skills as educators in concert with their skills as artists.

For more information about the program and how to apply click here. The deadline is Thursday, May 21, 2015.

Application Calendar 

April 16, 2015   PK-12 Teaching Artist Application available

May 21, 2015   Application deadline for PK-12 Teaching Artist

July 1, 2015   Teaching Artist roster available

Fall 2015  PK-12 Teaching Artist Application available for next round

This opportunity is provided to teaching artists who are not employed by one particular school in an ongoing teaching situation.

If you have any questions please contact Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education, at

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