Archive for April, 2018


Call for Teaching Artists

April 30, 2018

Arts Are Elementary

Since 1980 Arts Are Elementary has partnered with local schools to provide every public K-5 classroom in Brunswick with professional artist residencies. Each residency is developed carefully with the teachers to match interests and art form with lesson plans and overarching curricula. They work in many forms of  media – including movement and performance. Whenever possible, they bring the work forward to share with the community at large!


Arts Are Elementary is calling teaching artists to submit ideas that coincide with the curriculum topics/subject matter at each grade level. The call lists each grade, subject matter, media, timeframe, and stipend. You are welcome to submit for as many as you like.

Submissions are due by June 1, 2018, 11:59 p.m. and should be sent to Heather Martin, Executive Director at If you have any questions contact Heather by email or call 460.1587.

Submissions should be no longer than 2 pages in total, additional images may be supplied. Artists are encouraged to visit the Arts Are Elementary website. Check the“For Artists” at the drop down menu for full details and submission suggestions. See the district curriculum links below for more information.



Subject Matter: individually or combined


  • Paint
  • Movement/Dance
  • Illustrator
  • Timeframe: ideally, 1 session 3 x year
    • October
    • January
    • April/May
  • Stipend: up to $3,000

Grade 1

Subject Matter: individually or combined

  • Movement
  • Story


  • Movement/Dance
  • Theatre
  • Storytelling
  • Song
  • Timeframe: open
  • Stipend: up to $3,000

Grade 2

Subject Matter: individually or combined


  • Paint
  • Movement/Dance
  • Timeframe:
    • January
    • March
  • Stipend: up to $3,000

Grade 3

Subject Matter: individually or combined

Media: Artist’s Choice

  • Timeframe:
    • January (space)
    • May (pond life)
    • April (Brunswick history)
  • Stipend: up to $3,000

Grade 4

Subject Matter:

Media: Artist’s Choice

  • Timeframe: Open
  • Stipend: up to $3,000

Grade 5

Subject Matter:


  • Illustrator/Scientific illustrator
  • Paint
  • Song
  • Sculpture
  • Poetry

● Timeframe:

  • January
  • March
  • May

● Stipend: up to $3,000

Wild Card

Surprise us with your great idea. Be sure to include what grade and how it ties into that grade’s curriculum.

● Stipend: up to $3,000

Arts Are Elementary is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, funded through donations.


Excellence Celebration

April 29, 2018

Come celebrate with us on Monday, April 30

First Lady to Host Excellence in Maine’s Visual and Performing Arts Celebration

Portrait by Taylor Small, Bangor High School

AUGUSTA, MAINE- The Maine Arts Commission, along with the Department of Education, and First Lady Ann LePage will host the Excellence in Maine Visual and Performing Arts Education Celebration on Monday, April 30 at 2 p.m. in the Hall of Flags at the Maine State House.Midd

The biannual event honors student art from Bangor School Department and Lewiston Public Schools to be displayed at the State Capitol Complex as part of a state-wide student exhibit running through May. The event features original student artworks on display, as well as live performances from student musicians.

Following the opening address from Maine Arts Commission Executive Director Julie Richard, each student will be presented with a certificate from First Lady Ann LePage and a letter from Governor Paul LePage.

“Colorful Tiles” by Paige Pomerleau, Lewiston Middle School, art teacher: Kay Allison

Middle School music students will be recognized as well from Lewiston Middle School and James F. Doughty School in Bangor. Their choruses will be performing at the celebration.

The event is free and open to the public, and will be attended by state legislators, members of the State Board of Education, the Maine Arts Commission and the Maine Department of Education.

For more information on arts education programs in Maine, visit or contact Maine Arts Education Director Argy Nestor: | 207-287-2713


Dad Daughter Duet

April 28, 2018

You’ll be in my heart


You’ve got a friend in me


The Telling Room

April 27, 2018

Summer Institute for Educators – June 27 – 29

Join The Telling Room staff for three days in Portland this summer to learn The Telling Room’s proven method for improving literacy skills while building confidence and a sense of community. Building off of the recognition that The Telling Room received from the White House in 2015, they offer tools and techniques to teachers, artists, and nonprofit leaders in a professional development setting.

The forum is geared to educators who work with students, ages 6-18, and seek deliverables that can be taken back to any community or student population. In addition to touching on all of the stages of the writing process, they will offer breakout groups in nonprofit leadership, working with immigrant and refugee populations, and publishing on a budget.  

Cost $400 for full registration which includes daily breakfast and lunch. Space is limited to 12 participants.


For more information CLICK HERE, or email
  • Three days (9am – 4pm) of intensive workshops led by Telling Room staff & teaching artists
  • Breakfast and lunch each day
  • Opportunities to network with like-minded educators
  • Classroom-reading writing and publishing curricula

So Proud of Allan!

April 26, 2018

Poetry Out Loud

National POL, 2018

Today started early by boarding a plane in Washington, D.C. to return to Maine after attending the National Poetry Out Loud National Finals held at the Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University. The Poetry Out Loud program is a partnership of the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. It is administered in each state by the state arts agencies. In our case, the Maine Arts Commission. Over 9,500 students participated this year from 39 high schools across the state.


Allan reciting at the state, March 20, Waterville Opera House

Representing Maine this year at the national event was Allan Monga from Deering High School. Students were divided by region during the semi-finals – 3 events – on Tuesday with the northeast region taking place in the morning. Allan did a fabulous job representing Maine – we can all be very proud! The student named national champ for 2018, Janae Claxton, attends the First Baptist Church High School in Charleston, South Carolina.

As I drove home thinking about the last three days, I kept wondering how satisfied each student must feel after several months of preparing for their recitations. Every young person there really leaned in, some surprising themselves, and achieving at a high level. They were an impressive group!

Maine POL coordinator Don Reutershan, Maine POL Champ Allan Monga, and MAC Arts Education Director Argy Nestor

Find Allan’s interview with All Things Considered from Tuesday, April 24 at” 


Maine Educator Magazine

April 25, 2018

Kaitlin Young

The 2018 Maine State Teacher of the Year Kaitlin Young was highlighted in an article for the Maine Educator Magazine. Kaitlin teaches music at SeDoMoCha School in Dover-Foxcroft. In addition to the article, Kaitlin is also on the cover of the February edition. Kaitlin is a Teacher Leader with the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) and her full MALI story will appear later on this blog later on this spring.

Quotes from the article which you can access HERE.

“Arts education is essential for all students. The arts help you to participate in a larger community and we are fortunate to be able to provide these culturally enriching activities within our school.”

“We are in Dover- Foxcroft—Being Teacher of the Year isn’t about me, but perhaps my ability to be an ambassador for others. I feel honored to be part of this community and to tell others about it gives me great pride,” said Young.”

“It’s totally normal for me to one be silly and to crawl on the oor,” said Kaitlin Young with a smile. Young is the 2018 Maine Teacher of the Year and teaches music at SeDeMoCha Elementary and Middle School.”



MALI Teaching Artist Leader Story: Nicole Cardano

April 24, 2018

Teaching Artist – Theatre

This is one of several blog posts in 2018 that include stories of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Phase 7 Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artist Leaders. This series includes a set of questions so you can learn a little bit about each leader. CLICK HERE  for more information on MALI. CLICK HERE  for more information on the 93 Teacher Leaders and 8 Teaching Artist Leaders.  CLICK HERE  for Arts education resources. CLICK HERE  for the MALI Resource Bank. Search in the “search archives” box on the bottom right side of this post for past teacher leader stories.  Thank you Nicole for sharing your story!

Nicole Cardano has been teaching Drama and Improvisational Theater in the schools for eight years.  She teaches students in grades K-12 and adults. The majority of Nicole’s work has been with 5-8th graders. She has seen the most growth with this age group. Through Nicole’s studies and practice of improvisational theater she have connected to the foundational philosophies of Listening, Support, Eye Contact and Respect. The games that she teaches and her directorial mindset work from these foundations. Nicole believes in the process being more valuable than the product. Learning and developing these skills fosters a stronger community, a place of open listening and supportive fun.

What do you like best about being a teaching artist?

The thing I like best about being a teaching artist is expanding the awareness and experiences of connection through the practice of theater. As a teaching artist you are visiting many different environments and working with a large variety of people. My learning experience is constantly expanding. I have the opportunity of teaching theater as a tool for people to enhance social communication as well as deepen content connection.

What do you believe are three keys to ANY successful visual and performing arts education?

Providing a variety of opportunities for the students to connect. Recognizing that our strengths and challenges are different for each person. Being patient with yourself and the process. Every experience is new.

Have you found assessment to be helpful in your classes, workshops and residencies, and if so, how?

At this stage I find assessment to be most helpful in further communicating the validity of the practice. Articulating the progress that you saw within a class or with a particular student heightens the understanding of the importance of your work. I welcome recommendations on learning more formats of assessments that others have had success with.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the Maine Arts Leadership initiative?

Joining this supportive, creative and inspiring community has been an honor. The knowledge that we share with each other is endless due to so many different areas of expertise and experiences. I enjoy each and every conversation, and always wish I had more time with each person. I want to take everyone’s class!

What are you most proud of as an artist and/or a teaching artist?

I enjoy observing unexpected moments of pride. Such as experiencing success and true engagement from students that the teachers may not have thought would gravitate towards this work. Theater is a tool to learn with. That concept has been difficult to translate. I find that there can be a misconception that I am trying to work with the “theater kids”.  The theater kids are wonderful but that is not what fuels me to find opportunities for bringing the practice of theater into the school day. People want to play, students want to play, and at the right time teachers want to play too. We learn a great deal from each other in the act of play. In one of my first years as a Teaching Artist I went out of my way to recruit students that were not identified as being a part of any particular extracurricular interest, students that would easily have been predicted to become ‘At Risk’. Out of this selection there was one student that I quickly recognized needed to play extravagant characters. The feedback I received from a professional who had known that student for nine years was that they did not know that they could do this. Demonstrating longevity with supporting these students is something that I aspire to.

What gets in the way of doing a better job as a teaching artist?

Nicole at the Maine Arts Leadership Summer Institute

Having a set program where I am able to work with the students over their schooling years would be ideal. My work is designed to give the students Freedom through the practice and environment of Respect. This philosophy goes a long way for students that may often struggle in school, or struggle with believing in their own education.

School did not come easy to me. Teachers liked my personality, but many times did not know where to place me as a student. I had test anxiety, was a slow reader and easily lost my interest in a standard classroom setting. I could connect with people. Theater has been a life skill. This has been a way for me to study people and culture. Improvisation has allowed me to directly connect. I often think and process information with the tools of theater and improv. Relaxing a student, and providing play with the foundational rules of improv allows for a safe place to learn and interact.

What have you accomplished through hard work and determination that might otherwise appear at first glance to be due to “luck” or circumstances?

Expanding the work. Reaching new schools, classrooms and age groups. The majority of my work is truly for all ages. I have learned to zone in on the philosophies and foundations of practice that speak to all, while also finding exercises that more directly fit certain ages and environments.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about becoming a teaching artist or is just starting out?

Start with one project and observe/assess that. What did you most enjoy? What was challenging? What would you do differently? Where would you like to see this work continue? Then find a home for a second project based on this information, and repeat.

Be aware of what your needs are. I recognized that as an individual artist that I needed more recognition for my work and a business format. I have since launched a non-profit entitled “Theater Today”. I continue to work at this. The mission for my non-profit is:  “Theater Today facilitates, educates, and leads the mindset of drama, improvisational theater and play as a developmental tool.  We are social education and emotional growth through the medium of play, practiced in any format and with any organization.”

If you were given a $500,000.00 to do with whatever you please, what would it be?

MALI Summer Institute – Teaching Artist actor, theater maker Dana Legawiec, Nicole, Wiscasset High School Theater teacher Jean Phillips

The truth is I would distinctly support my non-profit. Creating programming that was not as limited by funding, time constraints of finding funding, and provided more consistent support. I would be intentional on what would create longevity for Theater Today, and the goals that we aspire to reach. Allowing plans to be big, while continuing to be clearly thought out. Creating the opportunity for the practice of theater to become a normal part of learning. Give talks on the importance of play. How human connection through play can promote a more positive human existence for all.

Imagine you are 94 years old. You’re looking back. Do you have any regrets?

Wow, how fast time has gone by. I am now 94. I am proud of the differences I have been able to make.  That theater is recognized, appreciated and utilized as a tool for learning and improving communication. I am filled with joy that I have been able to travel the world and meet so many amazing people. I laugh at the moments of confusion I had as a younger person. Embrace today and now. Life is outstanding! Enjoy it, and consciously share your love of it!


National Poetry Out Loud Event

April 23, 2018

Live Streaming event

For those of you interested and available to listen and watch the National Poetry Out Loud event being held this week in Washington, D.C. the information is below. Maine’s representative, Allan Monga, a junior at Deering High School in Portland will be performing on the morning of Tuesday, April 24. Allan is in the first semifinals of reciters from the northeast region which is scheduled for 9:00 a.m – 12:00 p.m. Allan is #18 out of 19. I have posted the order of reciters below by state in case you are able to tune in. At the end of the first semifinal round they will announce which students will go on to the final round which will take place on Wednesday, April 25, 7:00 – 9:15 p.m.

Live Webcast @
Poetry fans who can’t attend the live event can cheer on their state champions with a live, one-time only webcast of both the semifinals and the finals. To host a viewing party of the webcast, groups can register their viewing party at, where we also have viewing party tips and the webcast schedule. Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram using #POL18 and #iampoetryoutloud.
  • DC
  • CT
  • MA
  • NY
  • SC
  • OH
  • USVI
  • NJ
  • VA
  • DE
  • NH
  • VW
  • RI
  • NC
  • MD
  • VT
  • ME
  • PA

Side X Side Summer Opportunity

April 22, 2018

Professional development

Side X Side’s Summer Arts Institute Information

Side x Side’s Professional Development programs include an annual Summer Arts Institute in June in collaboration with our partners, the University of Southern Maine and the Portland Museum of Art. This Institute is designed for educators who want to deepen and expand their use of the arts to engage their students. Over the course of two days, attendees participate in hands-on workshops led by professional teaching artists. June 25-26, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Portland Museum of Art.


Side x Side ignites academic excellence in education through comprehensive arts integration, bringing critical thinking, creativity and innovation into the classroom through arts-based programs. Through community partnerships with the University of Southern Maine, the Portland Public School Department and local artists, professionals and colleges, Side x Side integrates science, technology, literacy and the humanities with the arts to enhance school curricula.




In Today’s News

April 21, 2018

Allan Monga going to D.C. for POL

Allan Monga, a Deering High School student from Zambia, will be representing Maine next week at the National Poetry Out Loud competition. READ the entire article from the Portland Press Herald (April 20) written by Ray Routhier.

Bangor Daily News article (April 21) written by Judy Harrison. READ the article.


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