Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category

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Happy Summer!

June 21, 2017

First day

Today marks the “official” first day of summer. I realize that most schools are out for the summer break and that some schools are still in session. Whatever is happening in your life right now summer plans can be underway, if they aren’t already. What will you do this summer? How will you spend your time?  Thought about any books to read? Any professional development to attend? Any videos to view or courses to enroll in? Rewrite lessons, units, or course syllabi?

There are a variety of professional activities to engage your mind in many different ways. Once you take a deep breath and catch up on a little sleep, consider setting some goals for yourself. What will you do and where might it take you?

Consider the following online resources that you can take along almost wherever you go and get your summer thinking underway:

More information and suggestions for summer professional development that you can take the lead on will be posted on the blog in the near future.

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Americans for the Arts

June 20, 2017

Annual convention

Frank Stella – Hess Collection

I traveled to California last week for the Americans for the Arts (AFTA) Arts Education Advisory Council meeting and the national conference. It was an exciting first trip for me to San Francisco. I was impressed with the city for many reasons. There is so much to see and do, much of it in walking distance. I arrived a couple days early to visit with a friend, a retired art teacher, who I had met during our trip to Japan in 2000 with the Fulbright program. It was great to catch up with her while visiting shops in China Town (the largest out of Asia), breathing in the smells of Little Italy, eating fish tacos in the waterfront area, sampling chocolate at Ghirardelli’s chocolate shop, and riding on the famous San Francisco trolley. We also visited the amazing Hess Collection of art in Napa Valley.

Downtown San Francisco

During the council meeting we were briefed on the advocacy work of AFTA and provided feedback on the priority education issues for AFTA. At the top of the list is programming on equity, diversity and inclusion. When we consider these topics they are very different for our rural state of Maine as compared to other parts of the country. I’m glad to be at the table sharing Maine’s ideas. AFTA is doing an amazing job of reaching out across the nation and providing face to face information as well as online resources.

The Arts Education Council walked to a school in the original downtown filled with amazing buildings that house the opera, symphony, theater, and city hall. The school was built in the 1800’s and will be the future site of an arts focused school. It is a beautiful old facility owned by the San Francisco Public Schools. We met with an energized veteran educator who is leading the work.

Chinatown

We spent some time with the other AFTA advisory panels and networks including Local Arts, Emerging Leaders, Private Sector, Public Art, and State Arts Action networks to work on AFTAs Strategic Plan. Interesting people from many organizations, large and small – all committed to the arts.

The conference was full of opportunities to learn and network. I was seeking information on Teaching Artist and community arts education programs so anything and anyone that was speaking that language, I reached out to. I attended a session called “The History of Arts-Cased Community Development” which provided a picture through the people – all giants – and their stories. The session was led by Maryo Ewell who has written a book that tells the story as well.

Bryan Stevenson

The highlight of the conference were two plenary sessions. The opening session keynote was provided by Bryan Stevenson, the founder and executive director of Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama. Mr. Stevenson is a lawyer who is committed to fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. He has been presented many awards for his work. He was an incredibly engaging speaker and emotionally moved the over 1000 audience members. Bryan’s TED Talk provides a picture of the clarity this man has on the topic of injustice.

Nancy Pelosi with Bob Lynch

The second session was with House Democratic Leader, US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. She and Bob Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts, had a conversation/question and answer period on the place for the arts in America at this time. She firmly believes that the arts provide the movement for what is right in our country. She is funny, articulate, and a very good story teller.

I returned to Maine from the long and energy filled focused arts days and nights with wonderful memories and a head full of new ideas to follow up with. When I think of San Francisco the image that I will remember clearly is a walk onto the Golden Gate Bridge with the light at the end of the day. I was fortunate to share the walk, filled with laughter and conversation, with colleagues from The Pablove Foundation in California, the Turnaround Arts program from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and from the High Museum, Atlanta, Georgia. I was humbled by these amazing people doing thoughtful arts education work, impacting thousands.

Golden Gate Bridge with colleagues from across the country.

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Phase VII MALI Leaders Announced

June 13, 2017

Congrats!

CONGRATULATIONS to the 12 PK-12 Maine visual and performing arts educators and 6 teaching artists for stepping forward and taking on the role of “leader” in Maine arts education. The Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) is launching Phase VII!

Leaders will attend a 3-day summer institute at Thomas College Center for Innovation in Education and focus on their own learning; “teacher centered”. They will explore their own learning and over the next year share their learning using multiple medium. The Phase VII MALI planners are excited about this direction as they put together an agenda focused on growth mindset and hands-on engaged learning sessions.

CONGRATULATIONS to the following new MALI Teaching Artist Leaders and PK-12 Teacher Leaders:

TEACHING ARTIST LEADERS

  • NICOLE CARDANO – Theater
  • BRIAN EVANS-JONES – Creative Writing
  • RANDY FEIN – Visual Arts
  • DANA LEGAWIEC – Creative Theater
  • TOM LUTHER – Music
  • MARIE PALLUOTTO – Visual Arts

PK-12 TEACHER LEADERS

  • KRISTINE BISSON – Music 6-8 Marshwood Middle School, Eliot
  • DAVID COFFEY – Music 6-12 Belfast High School, Troy Howard Middle School, Belfast
  • AMY DONOVAN-NUCCI – Visual Art K-3 Horace Mitchell School, Kittery
  • ADELE O’BRIEN-DRAKE – Visual Art 6-8 Leonard Middle School, Old Town
  • LAURA GIBBONS – Visual Art K-6 Montello Elementary School, Lewiston
  • JAN GILL – Music PK-2 Spruce Mountain Primary School, Livermore
  • LCINDI KUGELL – Visual Art 9-12 Oxford Hills High School, Oxford
  • LORI SPRUCE – Visual Art 9-12 Brewer High School
  • WILL STECHER – Music PK-4 Newport and Corinna Elementary Schools
  • DANIELLE SULLIVAN – Music PK-8 Etna-Dixmont School
  • DOROTHY TRIPP – Music K-5 Manchester and Readfield Elementary Schools
  • KAITLIN YOUNG – Music PK-8 SeDoMoCha Elementary/Middle Schools, Dover-Foxcroft
If you’d like to learn more about MALI please CLICK HERE. The website created by MALI called Maine Arts Assessment Resources is located at THIS LINK. And, for the Resource Bank please CLICK HERE.

Teacher Leader Jean Phillips, Theatre Wiscasset High School

If you have any questions about the role of teacher leader please contact me at argy.nestor@maine.gov.
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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 monheganartistsresidency.org.

Maia Snow, Aiahha, 2017, oil on canvas

If you have questions please contact Susan Danly at susandanly@gmail.com or by calling her at 233.0896.

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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, argy.nestor@maine.gov or John Morris at JohnMorris08@gmail.com.

 

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Awards Presented

May 25, 2017

Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award

Poet Brian Evans-Jones is a familiar name here at the Maine Arts Commission (MAC). He is member of the Teaching Artist roster and this past year he traveled to Washington county to provide workshops for students and teachers as part of MACs Poetry Out Loud rural school initiative. We learned this week that Brian and Maine fiction writer Joan Dempsey are recipients of the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award. Congratulations to both of them! The prize includes an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City, meetings with publishing professional, and a month-long residency.

The prestigious award, which aims to provide promising writers a network for professional advancement, has helped to launch the careers of Sue Monk Kidd (The Invention of Wings,The Secret Life of Bees), Elaine Beale (Another Life Altogether), Sandra Beasley (Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl), David Mura (Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei), Fae Myenne Ng(Bone), Mona Simpson (My Hollywood), and others.
Each year, Poets & Writers selects one state (or Washington, D.C.), and invites writers from that jurisdiction to apply for the Writers Exchange Award (WEX). For 2017, the state of Maine was chosen. This year’s judges were Tania James for fiction and Cynthia Cruz for poetry. Excerpts from the winning manuscripts can be found at at.pw.org/wexaward.
The Writers Exchange Award offers winners an unusual opportunity. Poets & Writers will ask Ms. Dempsey and Mr. Evans-Jones to identify agents, editors, authors, and others in the literary field that they would like to meet. Then, over the next several months, staff will work to arrange appointments with as many of these individuals as possible. In October, the two winners will travel to New York City, all expenses paid, and and representatives of Poets & Writers will accompany them on a round of visits to gain insight and advice and to establish professional contacts.

As a direct result of these meetings, past WEX winners have had their books published, received fellowships, secured teaching positions, and laid the groundwork for their professional lives as writers. To date, ninety-nine writers from thirty-nine states have participated.

Joan Dempsey – Photo credit: Greta Rybus

New England native Joan Dempsey received an MFA and teaching certificate in creative writing from Antioch University in Los Angeles. Her writing has been published in the Adirondack ReviewAlligator JuniperObsidian: Literature of the African Diaspora, and Plenitude Magazine, and aired on National Public Radio. Dempsey was the recipient of a significant research grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation for work on her novel, This Is How It Begins. She lives in Maine with her partner and their family of animals. Find her online at www.joandempsey.com.

Brian Evans-Jones – Photo credit: Michael Powers

Brian Evans-Jones immigrated to southern Maine from Hampshire, England, in 2014. He received his BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Warwick, U.K., and was poet laureate of Hampshire, U.K., in 2013-2014. He received his MFA from the University of New Hampshire in 2016. He is a juried teaching artist in both Maine and New Hampshire, and teaches poetry and creative writing in schools, colleges, and community venues in both states. Learn more about Brian at his website http://www.brianevansjones.com.

The judges also cited first runners-up Flavian Mark Lupinettifrom Orono (in fiction) and Julie Poitras Santos from Portland (in poetry), and second runners-up Kathleen Donkin from Gardiner (in fiction) and Judith Grey from Nobleboro (in poetry).

Poets & Writers will sponsor a reading and reception for Ms. Dempsey and Mr. Evans-Jones during their visit to New York. In addition, the winners will be offered a one-month residency at the Jentel Artist Residency Program in Wyoming. A complete list of past winners can be found at at.pw.org/wexaward. The Writers Exchange Award is generously supported by Maureen Mahon Egen, a member of the Poets & Writers Board of Directors.  
If interested to learn more about Poets & Writers go to pw.org.
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Rethink High School

May 12, 2017

Brave New Voices

Youth Speaks is joining with XQ: The Super School Project to host an open online competition from May 8 through June 18 asking poets, rappers, and storytellers ages 13 -24 tocreate a three-minute video sharing their vision for a Brave New School.  If you have questions please email bravenewschools@youthspeaks.org.

Imagine what a high school could be.

Imagine a school where each student is a leader, where learning is joyful. What if poetry was as valued as football? What if school inspired you to be your best self?

Brave New Schools Contest

Submit original videos with poems/raps/stories (up to 3 minutes) that ReThink the Brave New Schools of our future (Must be 13-24 years old to enter). Enter by June 18.

BUILD YOUR BRAVE NEW SCHOOL

$50,000 in Scholarships and Prizes

  • 5 Grand Prize Winners will receive $4,000 educational scholarships
  • 5 Winners will receive $3,000 educational scholarships
  • 15 Finalists will receive $1,000 educational scholarships

Finalists may also receive a special opportunity to travel to Los Angeles, California to attend a live event designed to inspire the country to rethink high school.

Nonprofit organizations, classes, and schools that submit 15+ videos will also have a chance to win $500-$2,500 to support their programming!

Brave New Schools is a collaboration between Youth Speaks and XQ: The Super School that powers a national, open, online competition and a series of 20 town halls where young people share their poems, stories, and dreams to reimagine public high school. #BraveNewSchools

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