Archive for May, 2017


Malawi Stories and Photos

May 31, 2017

Tidemark Gallery, Waldoboro

Interested in learning about arts integration work that took place in Malawi last summer? If so, Lindsay Pinchbeck and I will share stories and photos at the Tidemark Gallery in Waldoboro, Saturday, June 3, 7:00PM. We traveled to Malawi with the Go! Malawi whose mission is to collaborate with rural Malawian communities to develop sustainable programs in education, healthcare, commerce, and education.  are to In addition to Lindsay’s photographs on display will be some of my mosaics that I’ve been creating since our return in July 2016. We’ll start with a Pecha Kucha format and move from there to more in-depth stories and share a video of a Malawian classroom in action. Please email me if you have questions at And, if you are interested in traveling to Malawi this summer to continue the work please email me ASAP. 


University of Wisconsin Marching Band

May 30, 2017

Such fun!

Less than two weeks ago I was sitting out back of the Maine Arts Commission (MAC) building eating lunch with two colleagues and I heard the sound of instruments coming from the direction of the State House. I was curious so I headed over and out of the front of the building ran the MAC director, Julie Richard. She recognized the music of the University of Wisconsin, Oh! Wisconsin, since she went to school there and had played in the marching band and was very familiar with the arrangement.

Turns out that there were seven members of the marching band on a two-week road trip and they were playing at stops along the way. It was especially sweet for Julie since she was the first flugelhorn player at the University of Wisconsin. They asked dozens of questions about her experiences and we asked dozens of questions about their pathways.

They were headed to Bar Harbor to spend a few days in Acadia National Park to hike and explore. We made a few suggestions of places to go (and play). I suggested that if they needed a place to camp on their way south to send a text or call.

Sure enough, four days later I got a text and they were looking for suggestions on what to do in the mid-coast. I sent them a couple of lists and invited them for supper and to camp on the lawn. In the meantime, I emailed some friends and invited them for a pot luck and performance on the lawn. It turned out to be a beautiful evening and with friends and neighbors we enjoyed each others company enormously. It was wonderful to see the students with the neighbor children sharing their instruments and even including some instruction.

Five of the seven are engineer majors and auditioned for the band of 300+ because of the opportunity to be part of the community. We discussed everything from living on campus to courses, to why they chose their major, to opportunities to families, to what connection music had to the broader question about learning, and on and on. Who knows, maybe one (or more) will change their minds and go into teaching – they are naturals!

It was clear that they hadn’t eaten real well on the trip so we were glad to fill them with bar-be-cue chicken, hamburgers, salads and ice cream with Maine strawberries for dessert. The next morning we had a full breakfast including waffles with Maine syrup and blueberry sauce, yogurt and milk from our friends’ cows. We sent them on the road with lunch and waved so long as they headed down the road.

Needless to say we had great fun! I was reminded of the importance of kindness and reaching out beyond myself. They were the NICEST group of college students I’ve met in some time. I learned so much and was grateful for the opportunity to connect with seven wonderful young people! And, couldn’t help but know that the future is in good hands!

For me the moral of the story: don’t let a moment go by that I don’t go running when I hear music playing in the distance! Or to echo a Malawian saying: Likaomba Othelatu. Whenever you have the chance – use it – don’t let it go.

See a video of them playing on the lawn by CLICKING HERE.


In Today’s News

May 30, 2017

Telling Room

The Telling Room is expanding their work to the mid-coast. They will be occupying part of the recently refurbished Millay House in Rockland and be offering programs to learners in the mid-coast. Read about it in the Bangor Daily News today by CLICKING HERE.


Monhegan Awards

May 29, 2017

2017 Monhegan Artists’ Residency Awards Announced

Meg Hahn, On a String, 2016, oil on panel, 12”x12”

MONHEGAN—The Monhegan Artists’ Residency Corporation has announced their choice of three Maine artists for the 2017 summer residency program on Monhegan Island:  Meg Hahn and Mia Snow, who are both painters and recent graduates of the Maine College of Art, and Cory Bucknam, a Gifted and Talented Art Teacher at Brunswick Junior High School who creates abstract ceramic pieces.  Hahn and Snow will spend five weeks in June and September, respectively, and Bucknam was awarded the two-week residency in July, recently established for artist-teachers who serve the K-12 grade levels in Maine.

Cory Bucknam, untitled, 2017, white earthenware, 12″x18″

The three were selected by a jury that included Chris Stiegler, curator, art historian, and chair of the MFA in Studio Art at the Maine College of Art, Portland; Hilary Irons, artist, and co-founder/curator of Able Baker Contemporary, Portland; and Kelly Finlay, a Monhegan Artists’ Residency board member and public programs manager at the Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland.

Established in 1989, the Monhegan Artists’ Residency program supports the creative growth of dedicated Maine artists by providing them time and space in which to work free of interruption and constraint in the inspiring environment of Monhegan Island.  Long a haven for innovative artistic practice, the island offers a dramatic setting and a compelling community of visual artists, fishermen, and gardeners who provide an unusual and distinct perspective on the modern world. For more information about the residency, see

Maia Snow, Aiahha, 2017, oil on canvas

If you have questions please contact Susan Danly at or by calling her at 233.0896.



May 28, 2017

Moving Story

This was aired on the Ellen Show earlier this year. Ekhlas Ahmed came to Maine in 2005 and graduated from Falmouth High School. Originally a refugee from Darfur, Sudan, Ekhlas learned English by watching Ellen’s show, and is now a teacher, grad school student and activist. After hearing her moving story, Ellen couldn’t wait to help her continue on her amazing path! Falmouth High School Art Teacher Nancy Durst has been a part of this story. See the clip from the Ellen show when Ekhlas was a guest by CLICKING HERE.



Music Educators Opportunity

May 27, 2017

New England Institute

Proficiency-based teaching and learning is here to stay. Learn how you can effectively implement it in your MUSIC classroom, with Jake Sturtevant!  Improve your classroom results, make your Principal happy, and take care of your recertification credits this summer! For K-12 Music Educators.

Jake has been a teacher leader with the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative since it started in 2011.

For More Information, or to Register, click here.


In Today’s News

May 26, 2017

Next director Bates Dance Festival

Shoshona Currier, director of performing arts for the city of Chicago, has been appointed as the next director of the Bates Dance Festival, an internationally renowned teaching and performance series held every summer at Bates College. Shoshona was born in Fort Kent and graduated from Windham High School.

You can read the entire article in the Bates news by CLICKING HERE.


Teaching Artist Opportunity

May 26, 2017

Calling Teaching Artists – You’re Invited!

Summer Professional Development

Tuesday, August 1, 8:00 to 4:00

Thomas College, Waterville

The Maine Arts Commission invites teaching artists to attend an all day professional development opportunity on Tuesday, August 1. This will take place on the first day of the MAC Maine Arts Leadership Initiative summer institute on the beautiful campus of Thomas College in Waterville.

Teaching Artist Tim Christensen working with a Camden Rockport Middle School student during a residency

This year’s Teaching Artist professional development day is designed to focus on the role of the teaching artist and the relationship between the teaching artist and the K-12 arts educator.

The day includes workshops designed specifically for Teaching Artists focusing on a variety of topics: practices for Teaching Artists including standards, assessment, advocacy, marketing yourself, and more.

What will you get when you attend the Maine Arts Commission professional development day?

  • Information on applying your expertise as an artist to the structuring of your lessons and residencies.
  • Hands-on experience in relating the learning standards and assessments to your work.
  • Opportunities to network with PK-12 visual and performing arts teachers from Maine schools.
  • Participation in sessions that are planned to fit your needs as a teaching artist.
  • A light breakfast, a yummy lunch, and afternoon snacks

Teaching Artists interested in attending must register by CLICKING HERE.

Teaching Artist John Morris working with students in MSAD#33

To apply for the Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist roster artists are required to attend the summer professional development opportunity. The Commission will be accepting applications in the fall of 2017. CLICK HERE for the MAC Teaching Artist roster.

Presented by Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) of the Maine Arts Commission. To learn more about the MALI please CLICK HERE. Facilitated by Teaching Artist John Morris and Music Educator Kate Smith.

If you have any questions please contact Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education, Maine Arts Commission, or John Morris at



In Today’s News

May 25, 2017


A dozen properties in the town of Monson, ME were purchased by the Libra Foundation for $750,000. They plan to put about $10 million into revitalizing the community. Their plans include converting houses into artist residences and the community center into studio space.

Read about it in today’s Bangor Daily News by CLICKING HERE.



May 25, 2017

Don’t miss it – Medomak Valley High School, Waldoboro

Tonight, tomorrow, and Saturday nights!

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