Archive for August, 2017


Farnsworth to Unveil Mural

August 31, 2017

During September First Friday


Farnsworth to Unveil Mural – During September First Friday

On Friday, September 1, during the First Friday art walk, there will be a special mural unveiling of a new mural arts project on School Street, on the wall of the Grasshopper Shop in downtown Rockland, which is a partnership between the Farnsworth’s Education Department and mural director Alexis Iammarino. The gathering will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m., on School Street, between Main and Union Streets, with a public remarks scheduled for 6 p.m. This is the eighth consecutive year that the Farnsworth has participated in First Fridays, thanks to a sponsorship from the First National Bank. During First Fridays, the museum is open free of charge to the public from 5 to 8 p.m.

The mural arts project has been made possible thanks in part to a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The purpose of this community project is to engage local youth in creating public art in downtown Rockland. The project has been guided by local community mural artist Alexis Iammarino. She was joined by Canadian-born mural artist Melissa Luk, who has created mural projects on multiple continents, most recently in the west-African nation of Gabon. The mural was also completed with help of local artists and volunteers of all ages, the youngest of which was 7 and the oldest 80 years old. The mural unveiling will celebrate the efforts of all those involved, give the public the opportunity to meet the artists, and toast this new addition to the cultural vibrancy of Rockland’s downtown. Free ice cream will be provided by the Grasshopper Shop.

For more information on this project, please visit the museum website at or call the museum’s Education Department at 207-596-0949.

Contact: David Troup, ext 128,


Performing Arts Forum

August 30, 2017

Calling All Maine Performing Arts Producers & Presenters

Arts Commission hosts first statewide forum in Brunswick September 18

Do you make or present performances in theater, music, and/or dance? Come join your colleagues and the Maine Arts Commission at a Performing Arts Forum for producers and presenters on Monday, September 18, at the newly renovated Frontier Café in Brunswick. The full day of events includes a morning session for performing arts producers and an afternoon session for those who present the work of touring artists.

Register today at THIS LINK.


Piano Scholarship

August 29, 2017

Brian McGorrill Memorial Scholarship 

The Marston-Kotzschmar Music Club, formed in 1965 by the merger of the Marston Club for women and the Kotzschmar Club for men, established the scholarship in 2010 to commemorate Brian McGorrill, a beloved piano teacher and performer. The Club consists of approximately 50 members who meet monthly in members’ homes in the Greater Portland area for concerts. Members perform a wide range of music including light opera, jazz, and classical pieces. Occasionally guests are invited to perform as well.


One $500 scholarship is awarded annually. The recipient is expected to perform a ten to fifteen minute piece at a Club concert on one of the following dates:

February 4, March 6, April 10 or May 8, 2018


  1. Piano students who attend or plan to attend college (ages 17 – 23).Graduate students are not eligible.
  2. Students must live or study in Maine within 75 miles of Portland (Rockland to Waterville to Farmington, and Rumford to the New Hampshire border).
  3. Students may be studying privately or at a school; they do not need to be music majors.
  4. Teachers may nominate more than one student per year; teachers may re-nominate students in subsequent years if the eligibility requirements are still met.


A brief letter describing the student’s strengths and how he/she would benefit from the scholarship should be emailed to either of the MK Scholarship

Committee Co-Chairs:

Shirley Helfrich or Barbara Smith


Deadline for receipt of the nomination letter is September 16, 2017. The teacher of the scholarship recipient will be notified by October 1, 2017.


James Catterall

August 28, 2017

Founder of Centers for Research on Creativity

Dr. James Catterall, Professor Emeritus and past Chair of the Faculty at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA), founder of the Centers for Research on Creativity (CRoC), and author of Doing Well and Doing Good by Doing Art: The Effects of Education in the Visual and Performing Arts on the Achievements and Values of Young Adultspassed away on Wednesday, August 23, 2017.

Professor Catterall built his career on the inquiry of creativity and produced pervasive works that fueled the advancement of arts and arts education friendly policies in the United States and around the world. His seminal piece of work, Doing Well and Doing Good by Doing Art was published in 2009 and has been used by advocates in their efforts to ensure equitable access to arts education for every student. The research conducted a longitudinal study of middle schoolers who were exposed to quality arts education in middle school and tracked them into early adulthood, strongly connecting arts learning with both general academic success and prosocial outcomes.

Professor Catterall regularly engaged with members of the field of arts education to pursue important research questions about the impact of arts education, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the Arts Education Partnership, members of Americans for the Arts such as Inner City Arts, Get Lit, and the Educational Theatre Association, and authored a piece with Americans for the Arts in 1999: “Involvement in the Arts and Success in Secondary School.” He has also been a speaker at many of Americans for the Arts’ events.

“The passing of James Catterall is a tremendous loss for the field of arts education. His dedicated work on behalf of the creativity in our children, society, and nation has built his legacy to be carried forward by arts education professionals and advocates around the world,” said Robert L. Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “James was an influential researcher, prolific writer, painter, and tireless advocate for the role of the arts and creativity to transform our world for the better.”

The field will celebrate the transformative power of the arts in education during National Arts in Education Week September 10-16, 2017, and Americans for the Arts wishes to dedicate this celebration in honor of the life of Dr. James Catterall. The field of arts education, its members, and supporters can continue his legacy by celebrating his work and sharing it with others to realize the vision of more creative children, more creative communities, and a more creative world.

This post is republished from The Americans for the Arts


DonorsChoose Projects, Grades 6-12

August 25, 2017

The word from Tracy

Thank you to Gorham Middle School general music teacher and choral and steel drum director Tracy Williamson for sharing this information for music educators. This could be a big help for Maine music programs. is providing a funding opportunity. Yamaha is matching donations to music supplies requested through DonorsChoose Projects for grades 6-12.  Tracy just received $1000 of supplies and instruments funded for her new classroom composition project through this opportunity.
For starters you need a DonorsChoose account to view the offer – this is a screenshot of the information.

Congrats Kaitlin!

August 24, 2017

Finalist for Maine Teacher of the Year

We learned yesterday that SeDoMoCha Elementary School Music Educator and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader Kaitlin Young is one of three finalists for the 2018 Maine State Teacher of the Year (TOY). Kaitlin teaches PK-8 music in the Dover-Foxcroft school. At a ceremony at the State House in Augusta in May, Kaitlin was honored as the 2017 Piscataquis County Teacher of the Year. The last two months have been busy for Kaitlin as the TOY process continued. It is so great to have Kaitlin representing her school and visual and performing arts educators from across Maine.

Kaitlin recently completed a Master of Music Education, concentration in Kodaly Pedagogy, from the Hartt School, Hartford, CT. She received her Bachelor of Music in Music Education, from the University of Maine at Orono in 2010.

Kaitlin and MALI colleague Kris Bisson, Marshwood Middle School music educator, at the summer institute. Both Kaitlin and Kris recently completed their master’s degrees. Congrats!

Kaitlin’s principal, Julie Kimball said:

Kaitlin has an incredible passion for teaching music. Our elementary and middle school concerts have grown in such size that we have outgrown our building and need to hold them at our local high school. Her ability to connect with our community members during these events is fun to watch. At the end of each concert, she has an activity that involves audience members of all ages.

Kaitlin is a true leader when it comes to advocating for her fellow peers. She leads our unified arts team and is a member of our teacher evaluation team.

Even more spectacular than our incredible concerts is Kaitlin’s passion for educating students and their families. Her energy is infectious! Thanks to Kaitlin’s desire to educate her fellow colleagues as well as our families about our music program, we are shifting to informances in addition to our traditional concerts. Her informances will offer families the ability to see what their child is learning during music classes by having opportunities for families to come to school and take part in a music class with their child.” 

Joining Kaitlin as finalists are Kasie Giallombardo from Nokomis Regional High School, Penobscot County  and Jen England from Noble High School, York County. Congratulations to all three finalists.

YAHOOOOOOOO Kaitlin! I am sure that visual and performing arts educators join me from across the state wishing you the best of luck as you continue on your Teacher of the Year pathway!

Kaitlin learning the technique of sgraffito on clay at the MALI summer institute


Music Assessment and Technology Courses

August 23, 2017

Jake Sturtevant and Barb Vinal, instructors for NEI

The New England Institute for Teacher Education is offering two courses that arts educators may be interested in taking. Refining Assessment in the Music Classroom taught by music educator Jake Sturtevant and Technology for Educators taught be former Maine music educator Barb Vinal. Learn about the courses, registration for them, and about Jake and Barb.

EDPO 540: Refining Assessment in the Music Classroom (Online)


Looking closely at our assessment practices through a collaborative and fine-tuned lens can provide unique opportunities for growth. Connecting new assessment practices to our instruction can bring exciting changes to how we approach our students and their learning. Participants will discuss how best to apply recent Music assessment work to their own unique situations in their own school music programs. This will lead them to create a personalized plan for implementing new strategies.


Upon successful completion of this course, educators will be able to:

  • Articulate recent trends in assessment and clear connections to their own classrooms.
  • Develop and implement a personalized plan of instruction and assessment in their own classrooms.
  • Network ideas, resources and strategies with other music and arts colleagues in the field.
  • Develop a meaningful approach to ongoing analysis and modification of their own instructional practices.
  • Demonstrate a clear connection between music assessment and music advocacy in their own schools and communities.

This is an online course and the instructor will set up video conference meetings with students. To register CLICK HERE. This course satisfies a requirement for re-certification by the Maine Department of Education.

Instructor, Jake SturtevantThis course is taught Jake Sturtevant who was born and raised in Maine by a musical family. He is a prolific composer, performer, and music educator. His compositions encompass a variety genres and media including jazz, funk/fusion, vocal, chamber music, orchestral, electronic, and multi-media works.  Jake currently is a music educator at Falmouth High School. He is the former music director at Bonny Eagle High School, in Standish Maine and was music educator at Washington Academy in East Machias, Maine, Teaching Assistant of the Composition department at the University of Minnesota, and he has worked as an intern and as an independent contractor for the Maine Arts Commission.  Jake has been interested in acquiring and changing his teaching and assessment practices to focus on standard based grading. He has had the opportunity to be part of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative  formally know as the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative, and has taught a variety of workshops at since the initiative started in 2011. He is continually inspired by other teachers around the state and the country who have found a variety of assessment practices that help students achieve practical goals that will help them progress, while not stifling their creativity. Jake holds degrees from the University of Maine at Augusta’s Jazz and Contemporary music program (B.A., Music, 2003), and the University of Minnesota (M.A., Composition 2005), where he studied with Dr. Judith Lang Zaimont. Beyond his profession Jake enjoys his time with his family, and all outdoor activities especially hiking and skiing.

EDE 325: Technology for Educators

This online course is currently offered for 4.5 Continuing Education Units 

Course Description

In the 21st century, it is imperative that teachers keep up to date with technology tools for teaching and learning. This course will help educators best serve their students by learning how to use popular tech tools to help facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity. Exploration of technology applications (including Google apps) as well as the development of an online Personal Learning Network to include social media and bookmarking make the course relevant to individual educator needs and is designed to encourage continued learning beyond the course. Participants will develop a digital toolbox to help manage classroom lesson plans, schedules, and assessments and will enhance effective communication with students, administration and parents. This course helps educators to meet some of the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) Competencies for Educators.

Materials Required:

  • Ability to connect to the Internet – high speed connection preferred.
  • Current browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.


Course Objectives

  • Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity
  • Design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments
  • Model digital age work and learning
  • Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility
  • Engage in professional growth and leadership

To register CLICK HERE.

Barbara Vinal holds a Masters in Technology Educationfrom Lesley University, a Bachelors in Music Education from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and holds a certificate in online instruction through the Carolina Online Teacher program (COLT) through LearnNC, a program of the UNC School of Education. She is currently an Instructional Technology Facilitator and Magnet School Coordinator for the Wake County Public School System in Raleigh, NC. She has been an educator in Maine, New Hampshire, NC and Texas for over 30 years. Mrs. Vinal was a member of the Maine Department of Education Learning Results Review Committee in 2007, which developed the Maine state standards in Visual and Performing Arts. She has presented sessions at multiple conferences on technology integration in the classroom, assessment techniques and in developing standards-based curricula and served on the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Leadership Team.


MAC Awards Grants

August 22, 2017

Over $37,000 awarded!

The Arts Learning grants, along with several other grant programs, totaling $375,134.00 were approved yesterday by the commission members of the Maine Arts Commission.

One of this years grant recipients: Teaching artist Susan Camp will be providing an artist residency at Leonard Middle School in Old Town during this school year. She will work with visual art educator Adele O’Brien-Drake to create portraits on gourds.

The Arts Learning grants are providing $37,200.00 to a mixture of 18 schools and organizations all committed to providing quality arts education programming for young people. The selection process involves four amazing panelists who dedicated hours and hours to reviewing each application, gathering to discuss them and scoring each one, using a rubric based on the criteria. The panelists scores are added together to determine a total score.

We are considering changing the arts education grant for next year to build on the successes. I encourage you to consider applying by brainstorming ideas and having conversations with school personnel, community arts organizations, and teaching artists. If you have questions or wish to discuss an idea please don’t hesitate to contact me at  I’d be glad to assist you in the applications process. The deadline is the end of March BUT it is never to early to begin the planning process. Each awardee’s work will have a blog post that will include the project so you can learn about them. This years recipients are listed below with the titles of their applications. CONGRATULATIONS to all of you!

  • 317 Main Community Center, Yarmouth – Building Learning and Life Skills through Music Education
  • Bangor High School, Bangor – Ceramic/Sgraffito Artist workshop
  • Breakwater Learning, Portland – Play Start Studio: Artist in Residence
  • Figures of Speech Theatre, Freeport – The Art of Memory
  • Jazz Residency Initiative, Denmark – Jazz Residency Initiative Programming
  • Learning Works, Portland – Learning Works Afterschool, Youth Dance Program
  • Leonard Middle School, Old Town, Harvesting Identify
  • Longfellow Elementary School, Portland – Filling a Void: Building a Performing Arts Program at Longfellow Elementary
  • Maine Academy of Modern Music, Portland – Mammoth Rock Chorus in Local Elementary Schools,
  • Oceanside High School, Rockland – OHS Art Lab in the Halls – A School & Community Collaboration
  • Opera House Arts, Stonington – Creative  Stages Theatre Education Initiative
  • Partners in Island Education, Vinalhaven – Galvanizing Student Connections between the Island Landscape and Art
  • Portland Ballet, Portland – CORPS support
  • Portland Ovations, Portland – Story to Stage
  • Portland Stage, Portland – Support for Portland Stage’s K-12 Education Programming
  • The Telling Room, Portland – Field Trips
  • Union Elementary School, Union – Come Spring
  • Waterfall Arts, Belfast – Youth & Family Outreach After School Art Programs

In Today’s News

August 21, 2017

Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist

Tom Luther, one of our new Teaching Artist Leaders with the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) made the news today. Tom is a musician and teaches piano and digital/computer music. He works at the Midcoast Music Academy in Rockland.

He has created a plan for his MALI work called Standards without Standards. How Teaching Artists Can Create a Flexible Learning Template. Tom spent three days with other teaching artists and PK12 arts educators at the MALI Summer Institute at Thomas College earlier this month. His application for Teaching Artist Leader included: “I’ve found teaching to be an intensely creative act, as well as a tremendous tool for personal growth, both for myself and my students. Teaching has helped me become a better listener and observer.”

You can read the entire article from the Village Soup by CLICKING HERE.

Tom’s bio

Tom Luther is an improvising composer, pianist, and media artist working in acoustic and electronic environments. He has performed throughout the state of Maine with his modern jazz group TLQ (Tom Luther Quintet), an ambient music trio called Algorithm, and as a soloist. Luther is also a media artist, working with video, live installations, and interactive objects. In his work, Luther applies traditional composition, improvisation, generative, and interactive techniques, drawing freely from his experiences in numerous musical forms. The messages and stories are universal, and genre is simply a cultural idiom appropriate to a certain group at a certain time. Luther explores these notions through adapting techniques from different genres to create hybrid works that straddle the worlds of jazz, classical, electronic, and ambient music, bending genre and blurring the boundaries that define them. He has released two albums of his music with the TLQ, “Everything Is Blue” (2012) and “Necessity(2015). His interactive installation “Spine” premiered at Waterfall Arts in 2015, and he has shown two multi-media works as the Kelpie Gallery’s annual “Wet Paint on the Weskeag” fundraiser. Luther was a featured solo performer at “Jazz on a Summer’s Eve” at the Camden Opera House, and performs regularly with TLQ and as a sideman with the Mike Whitehead Group. He is currently working on a new ambient/downtempo trio, and an interactive floor puzzle that creates music. Luther is a graduate of the Hartt School of Music, and studied privately with pianist and composer Anthony Davis.



I Love This

August 18, 2017

Making a difference

I just love it when a teacher (especially a young one) shares an arts education story. Here’s one from Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader Elise Bothel. Be sure and click on the image so you can get a close look at the response. Hopefully this will provide an opportunity for you to pause!

“Came across this response from a second grader at the end of this past school year. I love this. This student was not interested in art at all at the beginning of the year and I was in constant contact with family due to behavior issues. At the end of the year he enthusiastically circled all materials as his favorite and ended with this perfect response to my question about being an artist.”

Please share your stories so others can learn from your experiences.

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