Archive for June 30th, 2017


In Today’s News

June 30, 2017

Botanical Gardens connection

Every so often I am fortunate to learn about programs and educators that seem to be a well kept secret. This week I met Chip Schwehm while attending the Thomas College Center for Innovation in Education. I was glad to reach out to him after learning that he works at Boothbay Region High School with a colleague of mine, Barb Greenstone. I attended a session he was facilitating called STEAM Power – Why it works, How it looks and it was fabulous. We made instruments using bottles and water and iPads and learned about the fabulous courses he has created over the years. He is never bored nor, most importantly, are his students. They are engaged in authentic learning and many times it is connected with the community. In today’s Boothbay Register the article found at THIS LINK provides details about the work that students completed for the Botanical Gardens in Boothbay.


Teach to Lead

June 30, 2017

Austin Teach to Lead Summit

In July of 2015 a team from the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (at the time, know as the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative) participated in the Teach to Lead Summit in Washington, D.C. We learned a great deal and it changed the course of the initiative as part of the continuous growth to address the needs of teaching and learning in Maine arts education. We met Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education at the time, and had the opportunity to communicate about the important work going on in Maine arts education. Since that time the Teach to Lead organization has grown and MALI has continued to build on the original idea. This post includes an invitation for you to consider submitting an idea, as part of a team, to attend the next summit being held on September 22-24 in Austin, Texas. Being a leader sometimes takes being bold! It all starts with an IDEA (possibly a dream that you have) and you never know where it might lead you!! Deadline for applications is August 9. If you have any questions please contact me at

MALI team with Arne Duncan, Teach to Lead Summit, July 2105, Washington, D.C.

Calling all educators!  Submit an idea for our next Teacher Leadership Summit!

We are pleased to announce that Teach to Lead will host our 14th Teacher Leadership Summit in Austin, TX on September 22-24, 2017. The Austin Teach to Lead Summit is open for applications, deadline August 9, 2017.

Teach to Lead works to support teachers as valued experts in instruction and their students’ needs. This summit provides teachers and their supporters with time to collaborate, as well as skills and professional consultation, to incubate innovative ideas that can make a positive impact for students in their schools, communities, districts and states.

How do participants benefit from the Summit?

  • Develop a local idea into a complete plan for moving forward
  • Obtain the support of a dedicated “critical friend” from a supporting organization to advance your work
  • Build relationships with ASCD, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, United States Department of Education and many other supporting organizations
  • Be provided with:

○        Free registration

○        Hotel accommodations for two nights or parking*

○        Some meals during the Summit

*Hotel will be provided free of charge for teams traveling more than 50 miles; parking will be provided for teams traveling 50 miles or fewer to the summit.

Who may submit an idea application?

  • Any educator with an actionable idea is encouraged to submit an application here.
  • Teams must have 2-5 members and must include at least one active teacher. Other key stakeholders (e.g. parent, student, community members, school and government officials) are encouraged.

What kind of idea submissions will be successful?

All submitted ideas must:

  • Allow teachers to lead from the classroom.
  • Identify an area of need for school improvement or target a specific problem.
  • Develop and implement approaches that address the need or solve the problem.
  • Utilize teachers’ professional experiences and expertise.
  • Seek to create or strengthen systemic supports for teacher leadership.
  • Promote collaborative work among multiple stakeholders.
  • Be viable in the local context and sustainable over time.
  • Be able to show measurable progress over time.

Submitted ideas may:

  • Focus on any level of change – the school, district, or state.
  • Be functioning at any stage of development – an emerging idea requiring input and buy-in from stakeholders; something currently being developed in collaboration with recruited stakeholders; or something that has been implemented which is ripe for improvement or expansion.

Click here (or cut and paste into your browser) to submit your teacher leadership idea by 11:59pm ET on August 9, 2017!

The Teach to Lead team will notify you if your idea is accepted for attendance by August 28, 2017.

Please contact any of our Austin Teach to Lead Summit planning team with additional questions:


New Moon Ensemble

June 30, 2017

Upcoming performance

Three Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artists are performing as part of the New Moon Ensemble!

Catch their next show in Portland, on Thursday, July 13th at Mayo St. Arts!

Marita Kennedy-Castro and Namory Keita

In 2015 master village drummer and performer Namory Keita, from Sangbarela, Guinea joined forces with dancer/choreographer Marita Kennedy-Castro in Portland, ME. Together the two developed the drum and dance troupe formerly performing since 2005 as Blue Moon Tribe, into New Moon Ensemble. The Ensemble includes multi-talented musician Annegret Baier, from Germany, as well as a handful of other musicians and dancers.

Coming together from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, New Moon Ensemble members share a love for West African dance and drumming, the accompanying traditions, and the gift of cross-cultural exchange. Together they build community and inspire international study through the healing power of music and dance.

Honoring the tradition of performance as ritual, New Moon Ensemble’s performances offer the intoxicating rhythms and energetic dances into the world as prayers for peace and well-being for all.

For show information and links to purchasing tickets please go to



Harlow Gallery

June 30, 2017

Pop-up show

HALLOWELL, MAINE — The Harlow Gallery is hosting a pop-up show and sale of art and craft by the artists of SpinOff Studios. The SpinOff pop-up shop is open at 160 Water Street in Hallowell from Wednesday to Saturday, July 12-15. Gallery hours the week of Old Hallowell Day are 12-6pm Wednesday – Friday, with expanded hours on Old Hallowell Day, 10am -6pm.

SpinOff Studio, a “spin off” of Spindleworks of Brunswick, started out in Hallowell in 2012 before relocating to Gardiner. Both SpinOff and Spindleworks are nonprofit art centers for adults with disabilities. Their mission is to help people with disabilities achieve full and inclusive lives in their chosen community. Stop in and welcome them back to Hallowell.

The SpinOff pop-up shop offers a vibrant selection of original art and craft, all handmade locally. Buy local and support both the artists of SpinOff Studios as well as the Harlow Gallery.

The Harlow Gallery located in downtown historic Hallowell is home to the Kennebec Valley Art Association, a membership based 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to connecting and celebrating art, artists and community in central Maine since 1963. Exhibitions are always free and open to the public.

Gallery Hours: Wednesday-Friday 12-6pm, Saturday 10am-6pm

Contact: Allison McKeen, Marketing Manager, 207-622-2813,,


CIE Summer Institute

June 30, 2017

Superb learning opportunity

I just returned from Thomas College where Catherine Ring and I worked as a team to create a resource for STEAM at the Center for Innovation in Education Summer Institute. The conversation on STEAM appears to be happening across the state in a small way but after three days of talking STEAM, proficiency-based education and digital learning I am sensing that we are at the edge of a giant leap forward. The most interesting part is that the conversations were not just with visual and performing arts teachers but with teachers of all grade levels and content representing all regions of the state.

From a participant: STEAM is important because it engages the whole brain in learning.

Tim McNamara

The summer institute opening keynote was provided by Tim McNamara, director of High Tech High School in Chula Vista, California. He works in a true student-centered environment where students are not only surviving but flourishing, as they find and explore and learn through their passions. His stories were so inspiring!

The inspiration continued throughout the three days with a very moving performance by Brook Haycock. Her docudramas encourage questioning and thinking.

The final engaging activity was facilitated by Explo. Yes, they brought 35 moose into the room. Teams collaborated to create anything you can imagine for the moose to transport all kinds of goods.

In between participants chose from a variety of workshops. Some of them: Innovative Learning Experiences, Interdisciplinary Unit and Course Design, STEAM Power – Why it Works, How it Looks, Flipping’ Fake News, and A=Arts. All teAms cAn steAm with Music.

Hope Lord “playing” a note on a bottle.

In between attending workshops each team continued work on their project. Catherine and I will continue our STEAM resource work and provide it for you in the future when it is ready to be launched. It will be a living document so if you have any STEAM resources that you’d be kind enough to share please email the link or the resource at

Providing feedback to each other on plans.

From a participant: The arts breathe life into everything that they touch – STEM is no different. The A in STEAM makes practical solutions beautiful – a chair becomes a sculpture, sound becomes music. When the arts are in the mix, it elevates the process and the product. A deeper, almost emotional connection seems to be made – kids get excited, I get excited. ~Chip Schwehm, Boothbay Region High School

%d bloggers like this: