Archive for September, 2015


Happy Anniversary!

September 30, 2015

Join us to help celebrate the anniversaries of the Maine Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts – November 5, 5 P.M, Point Lookout!

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 10.55.14 AMPLEASE CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

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Stop and Celebrate!

September 29, 2015

Savor the moments

leafIn the fast paced world that we live in I periodically take a step back and consider the moment. I find that I don’t take the time to celebrate the accomplishments and successes – an important component of what we do as educators! Sometimes it takes an “interruption” to make that happen. This  morning it was a colleague stopping in my office to ask a question. While he stood there he noticed one orange leaf on a tree covered with green leaves out my window. At the end of the conversation we each went out with camera in hand to capture the moment!

It made me pause and consider the past week – what I’ve done, accomplished and where I’ve traveled to. Some was professional and some personal. Long days filled with learning, questioning, and fun!

teleLast week I traveled to Jackson, Mississippi to attend the Professional Development Institute for the arts education directors from each states Commissions and the Department of Educations. The two groups meet every two years with the purpose of learning and sharing information. Both of the education groups are wonderful people who share willingly. I was thrilled that the Maine Department of Education was represented by Beth Lambert, our new Visual and Performing Arts Specialist. With only three weeks on the job Beth jumped right in with both feet.

It was an outstanding opportunity to learn about what is happening in Mississippi in arts education. I will blog in the future about the Delta State University DMI Mobile Lab and their new program called Healing with a Groove; a 3-week program designed to promote racial healing among young men of color (ages 12-17). Also, I will share what I learned while at the Mississippi Museum of Art from the Director of Engagement and Learning, Daniel Johnson. He reminded me of the importance of approaching learning differently to meet the needs of young people!

busIn addition, I shared the work of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) and presented the story of how MALI has arrived at where it is today. The presentation was called Flashes of Inspiration – 5 minutes, 15 slides (20 seconds each) to tell a story of collaboration, challenges and successes. It was one of the most challenging presentations I’ve ever done. (Yes, even after 39 years in education I am challenged to the point of being inside out!)  Imagine telling a 5 year+ story in 5 minutes? I volunteered after we started planning for the Biennial Arts Ed conference: The Measure of Success, scheduled for October 9 at Point Lookout Conference Center, in Northport. The morning conference schedule will include nine presentations, 5 minutes with 5-8 images. I had no idea how difficult it would be to plan for until I started the work for Mississippi. In addition to being totally relieved when it was over, I also felt that I was able to share Maine’s story and give the participants a pretty good picture of MALIs success!

IMG_0409And, personally, my older son returned to Maine after being away for several months. We went to the Common Ground Fair where I soaked up good music, gathered ideas for art, and continued thinking about my footprint on the earth. (And, of course, ate some delicious food)!

We all spent time transitioning the yard and home to fall; picking the last of the vegetables, bringing plants inside before frost, and putting the garden tools away. It was a beautiful weekend to be outside. The chilly Sunday night found us on the deck with a fire watching the amazing eclipse and counting our blessings!

I am fortunate to love my work and love my play! I hope that you’ll have a few minutes TODAY to take time to reflect on whatever brings you joy in life!




O You Terror

September 27, 2015

An Ode to Sleep Deprived Parents

Sydney Symphony and Sydney Choirs Orchestra presented a rendition of ‘O Fortuna’, with new lyrics by Matthew Hodge. O You Terror.


Theatre Conference

September 26, 2015

UMaine, Orono

The Maine Educational Theatre Conference is on the move!  The annual fall conference for high school students will be held this year at the beautiful facilities of the University of Maine at Orono on Friday, October 16.  Visit for more information or contact Rick Osann, State Director at



Be Creative!

September 25, 2015

Campaign for Chicago Arts Education

Be Creative: A Campaign for Chicago Arts Education is a $38 million private fundraising initiative, built on the fundamental principle that the arts are essential to education. The fundraising campaign supports the Chicago Public Schools Arts Education Plan – a master plan to bring arts education to every CPS student. This YouTube video says it best!


R.S.V.P. Meeting

September 24, 2015

Summary of MAEA online gathering

Thanks to Lisa Ingraham for provided the following about the recent first meeting of the school year.

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 7.51.10 AMTHANK YOU to all the teachers who contributed their voices to the September 15, 2015 R.S.V.P. ME online meeting!

There were 13 art teachers from the southern and northern-most corners in attendance to recap the summer and discuss issues related to art education. Some of the topics included this summer’s Maine Arts Assessment Initiative Institute (now Maine Arts Leadership Initiative) and the upcoming Biennial Conference “Arts Education: The Measure of Success” on October 9th at Point Lookout

Art teachers from York to Fort Fairfield, and areas in-between also shared beginning of the year successes and strategies for teaching and learning. I always leave these online meetings with new ideas to use in my classroom and ways to adapt the things I already do to benefit student learning. If you would like to participate in an upcoming R.S.V.P. ME meeting, please read on…

R.S.V.P. ME – Regional and Statewide Virtual Partners, Maine – is an online visual arts educator group sponsored by the Maine Art Education Association, which meets regularly via Zoom video conferencing to explore topics related to art education. Since Maine is such a large state, the goal of this virtual group is to bring our arts education community closer together using technology to engage in ongoing discussions about our teaching practices.

There will be one R.S.V.P. ME meeting per month during the school year, on the second Tuesday from 3:30 to 5:00 pm. All Maine art teachers are invited to attend. If you would also like to earn contact hours through the Maine Art Education Association, visit their membership webpage

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 4.10.42 PMThe next meeting will be held on October 13, 2015. Beth Lambert, the new Visual and Performing Arts Specialist at the Maine Department of Education, will join us to say “Hello.” Email R.S.V.P. ME facilitator Lisa Ingraham at to sign up!


The Best Teams Act Like Musicians

September 23, 2015

Kronos Quartet on Cancao Verdes Anos (Song for the Green Years)

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 8.45.59 PMThis past weekend while I was at Haystack for the Maine Art Education Association conference a high school teacher, who in addition, plays a guitar said to me that he had the opportunity to play with a group of his students and had a moment that he understood what it felt like to be part of a music group, a band. He said he looked up and realized the connection that musicians have with their eye contact, body motion, and the connections from one note and part of a song to the next. He was so excited that he had the chance to understand what that feels like.

A year ago the New York Times published an article written by Graham Roberts and Daniel J. Wakin about the successful Kronos Quartet. Not to mention that the article includes a video that a 3D point capture that rendered pieces of the quartet as “dot clouds”. It is amazing to watch! The first paragraph of the article…

Founded 40 years ago, the Kronos Quartet has broken the boundaries of what string quartets do, commissioning hundreds of new works that have brought jazz, tango, experimental and world music into the genre. The string quartet, based in San Francisco, has released 57 albums, sold more than 2.5 million of those recordings and has become a mentor to several generations of quartets that have followed in its innovative wake.

One day earlier this year at a studio in downtown Manhattan, the members — David Harrington and John Sherba, violinists; Hank Dutt, violist; and Sunny Yang, cellist — were game for an experiment: to create a video that would serve as a new way to explain the special mystery of how a quartet communicates. ​ They found themselves surrounded by a battery of laptops, video cameras and microphones as well as sensors that turned their movements into data that eventually rendered the players kind of as “dot clouds” who would appear and disappear according to their individual participation in the music.

Reading this article and listening to the music puts the sentiment of the art teacher I spoke to, at a layer that exemplifies this at the highest level. I hope you will take the time (about 4 minutes) to see and hear what this is all about from the Kronos Quartet’s view. To me this is the highest form of collaboration, connection, and community!

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