Archive for August, 2016


Facts on Arts Participation

August 31, 2016

New Research

New Research Reveals National, State, and Regional Facts about Arts Participation
Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 5.46.09 PMWashington, DC—The National Endowment for the Arts is releasing new research that for the first time offers a complete state-by-state perspective on how Americans participate in the arts. In addition, the data reveal that despite decades of declining arts attendance by U.S. adults in the performing and visual arts, more recent rates are holding steady. The new research comes in the form of two “arts data profiles,” NEA collections of statistics, graphics, and summary results from data-mining about the arts. The latest additions are Results from the Annual Arts Basic Survey (2013-2015) and State‐Level Estimates of Arts Participation Patterns.

“The information in these two research profiles adds significantly to our understanding of how adults in this country engage with the arts,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “It is encouraging that participation rates for the performing and visual arts are holding steady while a deeper dive into state participation highlights interesting regional variations that speak to the diversity of our nation.”

Since 1982, the NEA has periodically issued results from the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA), a comprehensive survey that has shown significant declines in attendance at performing arts events and at art museums/galleries over long timeframes, particularly between 2002 and 2012.
In addition to referencing the SPPA, the two new profiles include data from the newer Annual Arts Basic Survey (AABS), only in its third year. Although the AABS affords a less detailed perspective than the SPPA, its results are issued more frequently, allowing for more accurate trend-tracking. Trend analysis is useful not only for researchers and the general public to enhance their understanding of how Americans engage with the arts, but also for arts workers who can use the findings to inform their presentation of art to the public.

Arts Data Profile 10: Results from the Annual Arts Basic Survey (2013-2015) includes five research briefs or summary findings from the dataset:
·         Visual and Performing Arts Attendance; Movie-Going; Literary Reading; and Learning through Arts Classes or Lessons
·         Personal Performance or Creation of Artworks
·         Urban/Rural Patterns of Arts Participation
·         Gender, Race and Ethnicity, and Age of Arts Participants
·         Job Analysis of Arts Participants

Among the key findings from these research briefs are:

Overall Numbers
·         In 2015, nearly 32 percent of U.S. adults totaling 76 million people attended a live music, theater, or dance performance over a 12-month period, while 19 percent of adults or 45 million attended an art exhibit. Both of these rates are similar to the share of adults who attended in 2013.
·         Despite the rates given above, the AABS shows a drop in the share of adults reading literature. From 47 percent in 2012, literary-reading rates fell to 45 percent in 2013, and to 43.1 percent in 2015.
·         Movie-going is the most popular arts activity, with 141 million adults or 58 percent of adults going out to see at least one movie in a year.
·         Young adults, ages 18 to 24, tend to participate in the arts at higher rates than adults in general, with 37 percent of young adults attending live performing arts events versus 32 percent of all adults. Relative to their share of the US population, young adults were overrepresented among performing arts attendees by 17 percent.

Personal Creation
·         The share of adults who personally perform or create artworks (e.g., play a musical instrument, create visual art, or do creative writing) has remained stable—45 percent in recent years.
·         In 2015, just under 3 percent of adults took visual arts classes (e.g., classes in drawing, painting, pottery, or design) while 2.4 percent took classes in music or music appreciation.
·         Differences in arts participation rates between adults in urban and in rural communities vary considerably given the concentration of arts venues in cities. However, differences between urban and rural participation rates were negligible when it came to art-making.

Metro Area Analysis
·         In an analysis of 11 large metros, Greater Detroit residents were found to attend art exhibitions at a rate of 27 percent, far exceeding the national rate of 19 percent.
·         Above-average movie-going is reported in both Chicago and Dallas, while adults performing or practicing dance is popular in the San Francisco and New York metro areas.
·         Creative writing is a popular arts pastime in the Greater Boston area. The share of adults writing was 10 percent—about 4 percentage points greater than the national rate.

·         Visual and performing arts attendees are highly represented by workers in management and professional occupations.
·         Among adults who personally perform or create artworks, job categories are distributed in the same pattern as they appear in the U.S. workforce in general.

Arts Data Profile 11: State‐Level Estimates of Arts Participation Patterns features two issue briefs: “Highlights of Arts Participation by State (2012‐2015)” and “Why Some States Exhibit Higher (or Lower) Rates of Arts Participation.”
Among the key findings from the research briefs are:
·         Although adults’ state-level rates of arts participation are close to the national average, there are some broad differences.
o   Western states tend to have participation rates above average
o   Eastern states such as Maryland and Vermont also have above-average rates
o   Rates are below average in southern states such as Mississippi, West Virginia and Florida.
o   Kansas is one of the few states in the country with an above-average share of adults who use TV, radio, and/or the Internet to consume art or arts programming. In 2012, 71.5 percent of the state’s adults engaged in the arts through media.
·         This data profile examines the strength of the relationships among arts participation, education, poverty, and access to arts orgs.
o   For the performing arts, the greatest correlations are with education (positive) and poverty (negative). Access to the arts is less of a factor when examining state-level participation.
o   The correlation of participation with individuals’ education levels is stronger for visiting art exhibits than for attending the performing arts.


Arts Education Conference

August 30, 2016



Pre-MICA (Maine International Conference on the Arts) – 6 October 2016

MICA – 6 and 7 October

THURSDAY DESCRIPTION – This ones just for you PK-12 arts educators, teaching artists, others interested in arts education!

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 9.03.10 AMThe Maine Arts Leadership Initiative celebrates teaching and learning through “Teaching Artful Practice/Practice Artful Teaching” featuring Cheryl Hulteen, author of YES YES GOOD: The heART of teaching. Arts teaching professionals have much to share in their partnership to create personal artful pathways for students to express and explore creative voice through the arts. Using the Multiple Intelligences Theory, join us in a collaboration – defining, exploring, celebrating and understanding different practices of artful teaching. We will build a learning community that reflects the role the arts play in everything we do, teach and learn by strengthening the creative exchanges of artful process and practice. Come and celebrate the heART of teaching.


Thursday, 6 October 2016, 11:30am – 4:00pm

Franco American Heritage Center

46 Cedar St, Lewiston, ME

4 contact hours provided

$40 includes lunch (no cost for full time students)

Registration located at (Scroll down on the page)


Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 9.03.58 AMAuthor of “YES YES GOOD, The HeART of Teaching”, Master Teaching Artist Cheryl Hulteen has spent over 20 years providing consulting services for school districts, teachers, administrators, parents and students to foster greater learning and insight through building Creative Classroom Cultures. “YES YES GOOD” works with stakeholders across the educational landscape to build exciting, innovative and positive environments for teaching, learning, and arts integrated curriculum development through motivational workshops, professional development and one-on-one coaching. In addition to founding YES YES GOOD, Cheryl also serves as teaching faculty for Connecticut Higher Order Thinking Schools, an initiative of the Connecticut Office of the Arts, managed in partnership with Wesleyan University’s Green Street Arts Center.  “However we may speak, it is through the voices of our children we will most clearly be heard.”

image003MICA – Thursday night and all day Friday

ARTS EDUCATION TRACK for FRIDAY MICA plus other great sessions being offered Lewiston Bates Mill

Registration located at

Stories and Images of Malawi No one can show you the sunDzuwa Salodzelano with Lindsay Pinchbeck and Argy Nestor

An 18-day journey to Malawi in July led to the most amazing teachers doing incredible work with very little resources (financial or tangible). The arts were the powerful tool that guided the daily workshops with 12 teachers and opened the hearts and minds of all involved. Join Lindsay and Argy on a visual journey and hear stories of songs and traditions gathered along the paths in Malawi.

STEAMing up in Maine with Kate Cook Whitt, Jonathan Graffius, Malley Weber, and Chuck Carter

What is all the buzz about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) going on across the country? What are the benefits of STEAM in Maine education and beyond? This presentation, in panel format, will bring together four people who are focusing on the topic in their work and play. From PK to higher ed, from teaching artist to game creator. Your questions and ideas are welcome!

Creativity: A Group Inquiry with John Morris

What is creativity? How can it potentially impact our lives? And how do we talk about it with each other? This structured group dialogue will help artists, advocates and educators make connections between creativity research and creativity in practice, while promoting inquiry into the nature of creativity, as well as its role in art, education and community.

Creative Aging

Details being constructed.

If you have any questions please contact me at


Why Do You Teach?

August 29, 2016


We asked teacher leaders and teaching artist leaders at the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Summer Institute: Why do you teach? The outcome is below. As you are starting the school year off, ask yourself, write it down, take your photo (and send it to me or tweet it out at #WHYITEACH) so I can add it to the collection of Maine Teaching Artists and PK-12 Arts Educators. Thanks for teaching!

If you click on the images you can make them large and read the text better.

























Teacher Leader Technology Opp

August 28, 2016

MLTI Teacher Leader program

The Learning Through Technology Team at the Maine Department of Education has recently established the MLTI Apple Refresh Teacher Leader Program. A participating teacher leader will be referred to as an MLTI Apple Refresh Teacher Leader or MARTL.

Each school that is part of the 2016 MLTI Apple Refresh has been asked to identify one teacher or curricular-focused, certified professional to serve as the MARTL. Schools are encouraged to select someone other than a technology integrator or technology coach as their MARTL in order to grow their local capacity.

This is an opportunity for an active professional learner who is interested in spreading teacher-to-teacher innovations to join a facilitated cadre of like-minded peers. Through this Professional Learning Network they will be made aware of resources and opportunities across the state of Maine and beyond.

The MARTL’s formal responsibility will be to serve as a communication portal between the Apple MLTI Team, the Maine DoE Learning Through Technology Team, and their school community. They will be asked to share regular updates highlighting Apple MLTI Professional Learning opportunities and to be an active participant in regional and statewide conversations and meetings.

If you are in a school/district that is part of the MLTI Apple Refresh and interested in this role ask your principal about this opportunity. More details about the role are below. The school needs to identify the MARTL by September 15.
Questions? Contact Jim Moulton at

What is the MLTI Apple Refresh Teacher Leader (MARTL) Program?

The MLTI Apple Refresh Teacher Leader (MARTL) Program is designed to directly support improvements in student learning experiences through more thoughtful and rich leveraging of Apple technology across all schools participating in the 2016 Apple MLTI Refresh. Indirectly, the work of this group will benefit all Apple MLTI schools.

Who is an MLTI Apple Refresh Teacher Leader (MARTL)?

MARTLs will be selected by their schools. Schools will select a teacher (or other curricular-focused, certified professional such as a librarian) who is an effectively innovative educator and who is an effective communicator within the school community. MARTLs are educators who are curious and are open to growing their knowledge and skills around the use of technology to learn, teach, innovate, and communicate in order to improve learning experiences for students. They are also active sharers of information, resources, and opportunities across their school community.

Why does an educator want to become an MLTI Apple Refresh Teacher Leader (MARTL)?

MARTLs are educators who are interested in connecting with other MARTLs from across the state as well as regional and national resources. They will do this in an effort to discover how to best leverage their school’s participation in the Apple MLTI Refresh to make learning experiences more engaging, purposeful, and effective for all students in their school.

What benefits does a MARTL receive from participation?

Specifically, MARTLs will be provided:

– connection to a facilitated PLN
– invitations to 2 one-day regional MARTL meetings annually (mileage and substitute costs covered)
– invitation to 1 two-day statewide MARTL meeting annually (summer – mileage and all other costs covered) – direct connections to the MARTL facilitation team (Apple and DoE Learning Through Technology Team)
– regular updates around resources and opportunities across the state of Maine and beyond

What are the responsibilities of an “MLTI Apple Refresh Teacher Leader (MARTL)”

MARTLs will be asked to:

  • –  participate in a facilitated PLN
  • –  attend 2 one-day regional MARTL meetings annually
  • –  attend 1 two-day statewide MARTL meeting annually
  • –  leverage direct connections to the MARTL facilitation team (Apple and Maine DoE)
  • –  share resources and opportunities from across the state of Maine and beyond with teachers and students intheir school communityWhen? What is the timeline for the “MLTI Apple Refresh Teacher Leader (MARTL) Program”

    Milestones and dates for the MARTL Program through the 2016 – 2017 school year are:

    – Spring 2016 – MARTL concept and opportunity is socialized across participating schools – August 1, 2016 – MARTL selection process distributed to schools
    – By September 15, 2016 – MARTL selections are submitted
    – October 2016 – Round One of one-day regional MARTL meetings

    – October, November, January, February, March, May, 2016 – MARTL Webinars TBD – March & April 2017 – Round Two of one-day regional MARTL meetings
    – Summer 2017 – First two-day statewide MARTL meeting
    – Ongoing throughout 2016-17 School Year – Information and opportunity sharing

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Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award

August 27, 2016

Opportunity for Maine


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Maine Motif

August 26, 2016

Congratulations to Heidi!

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 9.10.42 AMMusic teacher and editor Heidi Anderson has created “Maine Motif”,  a wonderful magazine for the Maine Music Educators Association. You can access it by CLICKING HERE. After checking it out, let Heidi or president and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader Sue Barre know what you think. The organization is celebrating their centennial – if not already a member, consider joining. Below is Sue’s back to school message re-printed by permission from Maine Motif.

Greetings Fellow Music Educators:

Sue Barre

Sue Barre

Welcome to a new school year! It is that exciting time, a time of firsts. The first class, the first rehearsal, the first football game. In my household it is the first time I will send one of my children to college. Amidst the firsts there is the familiar: breaking out the pep band folders, singing through a familiar warm up, recognizing a familiar tune. At my house the familiar routine, particularly for my daughter, is the annual school supply and school clothes shopping spree.

I challenge you to work to enjoy the firsts. Note how excited those students are in class. Relish the conversation with a senior who is asking for a recommendation or the kindergartener who is so excited to be in your class. For many of us our jobs are getting bigger, the days are seeming longer, and/or some of us (myself included) the hair is becoming more gray.

The work you are doing is very important. You are changing lives. You are creating lifelong advocates and consumers of music. You may even be creating lifelong performers. Through this beautiful craft of teaching music we are also teaching the lifelong skills of communication, collegiality, and goal setting to name a few.

In each of our schools we can feel like islands, often being the only music teacher. MMEA can be the mainland for you. Take advantage of this publication; take a look at our website. We are working hard to keep the calendars up to date and useful to all.

Lastly, help us celebrate our centennial! The events will happen all year long. Beginning with the membership campaign, the first one hundred new or lapsed members (3 years or more lapsed) will only pay $100 for membership fee – saving you $30 (that’s a lot of cups of coffee). To take advantage PRINT the application from the NAfME website and send it and your payment to our executive director Sam Moore-Young.

I am grateful to be part of this board and value the opportunity to represent you as music educators of the State of Maine. Please do not hesitate to contact me or any board member, with your questions or concerns. In an effort to make it easier to reach board members we have updated email addresses to align with the position.

For example, my new email is Please see the website for an up to date list of emails. Together we are stronger than one, do not hesitate to ask the questions that are on your mind. We are here to serve you, the members of the Maine Music Educators Association.

Sue Barre, President of MMEA


In Today’s News

August 25, 2016

Thanks to Herb Albert

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 2.35.29 PMTrumpeter Herb Alpert, known for his unique brand of Latin-tinged jazz pop, and for being a co-founder of A&M Records, a label that released key albums by artists from Cat Stevens to Janet Jackson, is now making his mark on education. To access the entire article please CLICK HERE.


Bay Chambers

August 25, 2016

On the water concert

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 6.53.54 PMEveryone’s buzzing about the concert ON Megunticook Lake that happened last Friday evening, August 19 brought to the community by Bay Chamber Concerts. The concert on the water featuring Slavic Soul Party! was filled with energy. It was a perfect evening to be on the water – the light over was amazing. There were kayaks, canoes, motor boats and paddle boats. I am guessing about 100 boats, about 300 people and 27 dogs. (Look closely in the photo and you can see the activity). Adults and young people and dogs swimming, dancing and listening to great music – it was a real fun time!

Most interesting – as we paddled back to the landing as the sun was setting there was a peaceful rare stillness. Two couples paddled by singing in their old green canoe with straw hats, bunches of plastic flowers and a dog. In the dark the dozens of cars pulled up to the beach to load their boats and the quietness continued. I couldn’t help but think how fortunate I am to live in a state that provides unique musical opportunities in such stunning places. I’m hoping that Bay Chambers or another organization will consider providing more concerts on the water!

Megunticook ConcertThank you Bay Chamber who said: You are at the heart of everything we present here at Bay Chamber– our aim is to enrich your days and weeks through thrilling musical moments. And what a difference music can make in one week… a performance that inspires you … transports your imagination to heights unknown… or triggers a memory of meaningful moments gone by.

For those of you not familiar with Bay Chamber Concert programs I included their story in the Who Are They?: Bay Chamber blog series just over a year ago. Check them out and if you like what you see they are having a fund drive this week at THIS SITE.


Everyone Has a Story

August 24, 2016


As the nights begin to get cooler and we start another school year I am reminded of how important it is to connect and reach out to others. So much of teaching has to do with the relationships we form with students and our colleagues.

Everyone has a story to share about summer vacation. How will you listen to your colleagues or students’ summer stories? How will you encourage those who are on the quiet shy side to tell their stories? Will it be through song, painting, words?

On my way into work this morning I caught the tale end of the “chicken farmer” story. This is not a new story, perhaps you’ve read it or heard it sometime in your life. I googled when I arrived and found the story below online. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It brought a smile to my face.

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 7.36.57 AMTwelve feet or so off the east edge of State Road 103, which runs north-south through the town of Newbury, New Hampshire (population 1,500 or so), there sits a squarish brown-gray slab of rock roughly the height of a man. Its southern face is flat, nearly smooth, at a billboard angle toward the traffic, coming north.

About 25 years ago, across from the rock on the west side of the road, there sat a tidy white cedar-shingled house in whose backyard, as it is remembered, a dozen chickens pecked about. Their eggs made breakfasts (and a tiny sideline business) for a family named the Rules – whose daughter Gretchen was pretty, smart, wistful, and 16.

There was a boy – a shy boy, also wistful, also a farmer, whose name is forgotten today – who pined for Gretchen Rule. He cast about for ways to tell her or show her – without telling or showing himself – then he hit upon the rock.

“CHICKEN FARMER, I LOVE YOU” he wrote on it, in eight-inch high, spray-painted letters, one moonlit, high-starred night – or so the story goes.

And the girl saw and guessed the author (though it was only, really, a guess) – and the town and the passing motorists smiled, made their own guesses, and went on about their ways.

The message endured for years, though brambles grew up to obscure it, and the letters, once so bold and white, began to fade. Gretchen Rule went away to Harvard, then on to life. The boy, whoever he was – or is – became a man. The rock grew into a relic, a love note out of time.

One night – 10, perhaps 12 years ago (no one saw it happen, and no one today can say for sure) – the brambles were cut away. And the message was repainted and renewed: “CHICKEN FARMER, I STILL LOVE YOU.”

The rock became a landmark. “It’s your first left past Chicken Rock” the locals were wont to say. “Chicken,” “love” and “farmer” were the first words one Newbury kindergartner – today a teenager – learned to read. And every two years or so, barely noticed, the letters would be freshened and the brambles cut away.

Then, late last April, an unknown caller complained of “graffiti” to the New Hampshire Dept. of Transportation (or DOT). By nightfall the same day, a three-foot square of rust-colored primer was all that was left of a shy boy’s long-ago love. The Concord Monitor offered its requiem: “Love Message to Chicken Farmer No More.”

A week passed. Then with the coming of dawn on April 30, the new sun rose on New Hampshire’s stubbornest love: “CHICKEN FARMER, I STILL LOVE YOU.”

The same message, the same eight-inch letters. But bolder this time: thicker-lettered, almost crude, and painted rather than sprayed. As though written by an angry and defiant hand.

In Newbury, the townspeople, inspired now as never before, took steps to assure that their landmark would live on. “A Petition for the Status Quo” they called it and filled it with 192 signatures in the space of a day. The DOT responded with a letter. The Chicken Rock’s message would be forever safe.

And somewhere, surely, a shy, 40-ish man must have smiled.

Originally appeared in the February 1998 issue of Yankee Magazine as “The Best Love Story of 1997.” Also ran in “Chicken Soup for the Lover’s Soul” and in the Concord Monitor.


Happening Today

August 23, 2016


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