Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category

h1

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

h1

In Today’s News

May 3, 2017

Maine POL champ in the news

As you may know Gabrielle Cooper, a senior at Gardiner Area High School, represented Maine last week in Washington, D.C. at the national finals. The Kennebec Journal interviewed Gabrielle for an article.

In her own words: “The best part of the entire journey was the people, from the English teachers to the Maine Arts Commission and to all the other competitors,” she said. “It was the people that made it a great experience and what I’ll remember the most.”

The article provides many details about Gabrielle’s experiences during Poetry Out Loud. Read the article by CLICKING HERE.

h1

Calling Teaching Artist Leaders

May 1, 2017

Application available – Deadline Friday, May 26

Maine Arts Leadership Initiative, Phase VII

Visual and Performing Arts Teaching Artist Leader Application

OVERALL INFORMATION

Teaching Artist Leader Brigid Rankowski

Join us for a GREAT opportunity! The Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) invites YOU to be part of Phase VII. For the past six years, MALI has worked with visual and performing arts educators from Maine schools to become leaders in developing arts education in their districts. As the initiative enters Phase VII, MALI has grown to include 73 teacher leaders. For the last three years, teaching artists have been included in our summer institute.

Last year, we initiated a new component of MALI for teaching artists interested in stepping up to explore leadership in arts education. The initiative was a success! So this year, we are again looking for teaching artists who are interested in being leaders and helping to develop teaching and learning in the arts. This is an opportunity for you to participate in professional development and networking, as well as to have a voice in the direction of arts education in the state of Maine.

The application is available at THIS LINK.  Deadline: Friday, May 26, 2017.

Teaching Artist Leader Tim Christensen

If you are selected, you will be required to attend our summer institute, August 1, 2, and 3, 2017. We will provide professional development workshops and support for you to develop your own workshop, project or other plan, related to your area of arts expertise. We will then ask that you take what you’ve learned and share it with other teaching artists, educators and community members in your region and beyond.

If interested, please complete an  application located at THIS LINK by the Friday, May 26, 2017 deadline to Argy Nestor at argy.nestor@maine.gov ASAP. Details are below.

Selected Teacher Artist Leader responsibilities for the 2017-18 school year include:

  • Attend the three-day Professional Development Summer Institute, August 1-3, 2017, at Thomas College in Waterville. To prepare: Pre-reading assignments and responses are expected in our Google site. Each Teaching Artist Leader determines an individual plan for what form the outcome of their learning will take, and how to share with others. This enables teaching artist leaders to really take on the leadership role! (List of options available by contacting Argy Nestor atnestor@maine.gov)
  • Teaching Artists John Morris and Karen Brooks

    Communicate using our Google website.

  • Possible Critical Friends Day as a follow-up to the Institute, to present your draft workshop, project, or plan and receive feedback.
  • Share the outcome of your learning in your area of Maine and beyond!
  • Be featured in Another Teacher’s Stories on the Maine Arts Ed blog
  • Attend a retreat to reflect on the work of Phase VII with teacher leaders, teaching artist leaders, and the leadership team to be held on Saturday, March 10, 2018, location TBD.

Application requirements

  • current resume
  • letter of support
  • paragraph of interest
h1

Calling All Teacher Leaders

April 26, 2017

Regional VPA Teacher Leader Search

Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) – Phase VII

Join us for GREAT learning and networking opportunities! The Maine Arts Leadership Initiative invites YOU to be part of Phase VII. We are looking for teachers interested in leading and in taking a close look at effective teaching and learning in the arts.

Application at THIS LINK. Deadline: Friday, May 19, 2017.

Phase 1 Teacher Leaders, August 2011, Maine College of Art

If you are selected, you will be required to attend the summer institute, August 1, 2, and 3, 2017 at Thomas College. We will provide professional development and ask that you take what you’ve learned and share it with other educators in your region of Maine and beyond.

If interested, please submit a completed application by the Friday, May 19 deadline. Access the application by CLICKING HERE. Details are below.

Selected teacher leader responsibilities for the 2017-18 school year include:

  • Attend the 3-day Professional Development Summer Institute, August 1-3, 2017, Thomas College, Waterville. To prepare: Pre-reading assignments and responses are expected in google site. Each Teacher Leader determines individual plan for the school year/what the outcome of their learning will be and how to share with others. This enables teacher leaders to really take on the leadership role! (List of options available by contacting Argy Nestor at argy.nestor@maine.gov)
  • Communicate using a google site
  • Possible Critical Friends Day as a follow-up to the summer institute
  • Continuation of Another Teacher’s Stories on the Maine Arts Ed blog
  • Attend retreat to reflect on the work of phase VII with MALI participants – Saturday, March 10, 2018

Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Background Information

Overall Description 

Phase 2 Teacher Leaders, August 2012, Maine College of Art

Mission: Committed to the development of Teacher Leaders to ensure deep understanding and meaningful implementation of high quality teaching, learning and assessment in the Arts for all students.

Since 2011 the initiative has been building capacity by training arts educators on the “what” and “how” of arts assessment so they can provide the leadership in Maine through professional development opportunities. The details of the initiative are at https://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Programs/MAAI.

MALI’s OVERALL OBJECTIVES

  • Create and implement a statewide plan for teacher leadership in arts education. This includes professional development opportunities, locally, regionally and statewide, which will expand on the knowledge and skills of teachers to better prepare them to teach in a student-centered and proficiency-based learning environment.
  • Develop and implement standards-based high quality teaching and learning statewide for Visual and Performing Arts
  • Continue to build on expanding the team of arts educators and teaching artists representing all regions of Maine
  • Provide workshops and other professional development opportunities for educators

Phase 3, Critical Friends Day, 2013, Point Lookout, Northport

HISTORY – Phase I, II, III, IV, V, VI Summer 2011 to present

  • Eighty-one teacher leaders and four teaching artists leaders attended summer institutes on assessment, leadership, technology, creativity, proficiency-based standards-based and student-centered teaching and learning
  • Teacher leaders presented workshops at three statewide arts education conferences, USM, Portland, UMaine, Orono, and Point Lookout Conference Center with over 600 educators attending
  • Teacher leaders facilitated almost 100 regional workshops and 15 mega-regional sites across Maine
  • Another Arts Teacher’s Story series (78) on the Maine Arts Ed blog
  • Arts assessment graduate courses offered by New England Institute for
    Teacher Education
  • Nine arts education assessment webinars for Maine educators facilitated by Rob Westerberg and Catherine Ring – archived at https://mainearts.maine.gov/pages/education/maai-webinararchives#
  • Video stories of seven teacher leaders that demonstrate a standards-based arts education classroom located on Maine ARTSEducation YouTube channel or at http://newenglandinstitute.org/.
  • Teacher Leader Resource Team development of items for resource bank
  • Maine Arts Assessment Resources website that contains a plethora of information

Phase 4, Summer Institute, 2014, USM Portland

Phase VII components

  • August 1, 2, 3, 2017: Professional Development Summer Institute for PK-12 teacher leaders (new and returning), teaching artists, and teaching artists leaders at Thomas College.
  • Each Teacher Leader determines individual plan to share their learning at the local, regional or statewide level.
  • Continuation of Another Teacher’s Story on the Maine Arts Ed blog
  • Winter Retreat: Saturday, March 10, 2018

For More Information

Phase 5, Critical Friends Day, 2015, USM Portland

Questions?

If you have questions or would like more information please contact Argy Nestor at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

h1

MALI Teaching Artist Story – Tim Christensen

April 25, 2017

MALI Teaching Artists series

This is the eighth blog post of the Phase 6 Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) stories. And, this is the first one provided by a Teaching Artist Leader. This series includes a set of questions so you can learn a little bit about the Teaching Artists work.  CLICK HERE  for more information on MALI. CLICK HERE  for more information on the 81 Teacher Leaders plus 4 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. There have been 78 posted to date. Thank you Tim for sharing your story!

You can view his beautiful artwork at http://www.timchristensenporcelain.com/.

Tim Christensen works primarily in porcelain, with sgraffito. He has been teaching art and pottery since 2002. His favorite age group really depends on the project at hand, but generally, his favorite group is middle school. Tim loves collaborating with art teachers of any type, and enjoy the challenges and rewards of working in our public schools.

What do you like best about being a teaching artist?

I like that every day is a new day, with new kids and new challenges. I find that I can come into a classroom and work with the young artists unencumbered by any expectations on either of our parts. It allows the experience to be both fruitful and fun for everyone, and often can provide a new view on learning for both the teacher and student. I love helping students to discover their visual voice, and love inspiring them to say the things that they most need to say.

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

Any endeavor must be challenging, engaging, and have clearly defined, achievable, parameters for success.

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

I very much like teaching in environments where assessments are used. I find that the students rely on rubrics, when available, as a basis I for formative self-assessment. I like that a rubric, used correctly, opens up a project for multiple pathways of showing success, and engages the students in customizing a project to best fit their interests.

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

MALI has allowed me to learn about and discuss the latest ideas and science in education with the leaders in our field, and has given me a voice within my community. Before MALI, I didn’t know there even WAS a community.

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

As a TA, I am most proud of those moments where I see a student or teaching professional leap forward in their understanding of a student’s abilities and thoughts. As an artist, I am most proud of the hard work it has taken to develop my voice, AND develop an audience to hear it.

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

There are only 24 hours in a day…..

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

My entire life as an artist is due to hard work and determination. I know that sounds glib, but it is true. In 2007, I moved to the woods in Maine with a tent, some skills, and a stack of lumber, and literally built my life from clay, dirt, wood, and sweat. Everything I have accomplished since then has come from that basis, and still is derived from those 4 assets.

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

Get out there and do it. Don’t wait for perfect conditions. Create acceptable conditions, and improve them as you can. Also, always assume that you are on the right path, and that there is a solution to every problem you encounter. Work every single day. Trust your thoughts and instincts, and work on ways of expressing those things that make it easier for others to understand you. Tell everyone who will listen about your ideas, and your passion. Lastly, if you don’t see a way forward, make one: not just for yourself, but to make the way easier for all those people who are not as confident of their feet as you are.

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

I would be doing exactly what I am doing right now.

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

I do, but not around the way I have spent my time, only in paths not taken, or too soon abandoned.

h1

Who Are They? Waterfall Arts – Part 5

April 24, 2017

The Waterfall Family

This is the fifth of five blog posts in a series about Waterfall Arts, located in Belfast, and are posted April 20-24. Information is provided for the Maine Arts Ed blog readers to learn about community organizations and institutions that provide educational opportunities in the arts. You will learn that they are partnering with other organizations and schools to extend learning opportunities, not supplant.

Waterfall Arts (WA) was founded in 2000 on a rustic site in Montville by a group of local artists. Seventeen years later now located in a repurposed old schoolhouse in Belfast, WA is a vibrant midcoast arts hub with over 6000 visitors per year, still committed to its mission “to create community in harmony with nature through the transformative power of the arts.” WA offers resources to artists and arts enthusiasts of all ages, including classes, exhibitions, events, open media-specific studios (clay, print, and photography), free/sliding scale arts after-school programs for 4th-12th graders, public art projects, long-term studio space, and short-term rental facilities. As the co-founders and those involved are dedicated to an accessible, environmentally-sustainable center, they have embarked on a campaign to transform their old building into a model of creative energy efficiency and ADA-compliance.  Waterfall Arts is located at 265 High Street in Belfast. Website: http://waterfallarts.org, contact: info@waterfallarts.org or call 207.338.2222.

Waterfall Arts, Belfast

It was our Facility Manager’s birthday recently. Which is an awesome thing since we love to celebrate birthdays here at Waterfall Arts. Not just any ol’ office b-day party with a store-bought cake and candles, but a party with singing, stories, baskets of trinkets and special treats. One of us bakes, another brings a card and we each share a little of our own world. Lou and her husband process huge batches of the most delicious maple syrup – we each get a jar in our birthday basket. We give souvenirs from our journeys or samples of our artistic endeavors. We all eat way too much chocolate… We’re not just a team, we’re a family.

What does it take to create this dream team? Some say diversity. Some say clear goals and strategy. A fearless leader/visionary. Individual commitment. The perfect product or idea. Certainly public interest, funding, and creative thinking. Sure, all of these contribute to creating the perfect team — and the Waterfall team can check all these boxes. In addition we have an amazing group of volunteers. An active Board of Directors, successful granting records, dedicated donors, fantastic artist educators and a talented staff. And the community that convinced Waterfall Arts to move to Belfast 10 years ago continues to jump into our innovative programs and services.

This is all great, right? But there is more.  As a non-profit organization, Waterfall’s team raises its entire budget every year. This funding — grants, business sponsors and private donations — determines our capabilities. It also means that staff positions are part-time and salaries are lower than other comparable jobs in the area. Volunteers are crucial to successful project management. Reliance on city, state and federal spending priorities affect our abilities to run certain programs. It can be quite a challenge to juggle bills, coordinate programs, and care for the building. And in the face of all of this, we keep going and growing because this team is also a family.

Staff and board getting creative during the annual retreat.

A total cliché but so very true here at Waterfall Arts. We surprise ourselves every time we open the doors to a new exhibition, workshop, artist talk, performance…WOW – we did it! And the best part, when we’re done with the to-do lists, the meetings, the calendar updates, the long nights painting walls and cleaning floors, writing grants and soliciting sponsorships, we get to start all over again to bring another amazing creative experience to our community.

The Waterfall family may not be united by genetics but we are related through our passions. We share a passion for the Arts, a passion to engage others in creative experiences, and a passion to make a difference in our community. And passion is what it takes to power a non-profit. To power any team to go beyond. It’s the gas in the engine.

I moved here about 5 years ago. Seeking out a community in the arts I found Waterfall Arts. I signed up to volunteer in the gallery and am still here, now President of the Board. Waterfall Arts is family to me. What we do is significant and makes a difference to the world around us and we enjoy being together doing it.

That is the perfect team.

Costumes happen more than once a year around here!

“How wonderful it is that nobody needs to wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ~Anne Frank

This post was written by Karin Otto, Waterfall Arts Board Chair and volunteer Coordinator of Programs.

h1

Who Are They? Waterfall Arts – Part 4

April 23, 2017

Facilities

This is the fourth of five blog posts in a series about Waterfall Arts, located in Belfast, and are posted April 20-24. Information is provided for the Maine Arts Ed blog readers to learn about community organizations and institutions that provide educational opportunities in the arts. You will learn that they are partnering with other organizations and schools to extend learning opportunities, not supplant.

Waterfall Arts (WA) was founded in 2000 on a rustic site in Montville by a group of local artists. Seventeen years later now located in a repurposed old schoolhouse in Belfast, WA is a vibrant midcoast arts hub with over 6000 visitors per year, still committed to its mission “to create community in harmony with nature through the transformative power of the arts.” WA offers resources to artists and arts enthusiasts of all ages, including classes, exhibitions, events, open media-specific studios (clay, print, and photography), free/sliding scale arts after-school programs for 4th-12th graders, public art projects, long-term studio space, and short-term rental facilities. As the co-founders and those involved are dedicated to an accessible, environmentally-sustainable center, they have embarked on a campaign to transform their old building into a model of creative energy efficiency and ADA-compliance.  Waterfall Arts is located at 265 High Street in Belfast. Website: http://waterfallarts.org, contact: info@waterfallarts.org or call 207.338.2222.

Waterfall Arts, Belfast

Five years ago when I joined the Waterfall arts crew as facilities manager I was pretty confident that I had landed a comfy position at a quiet little community art center. For the first couple of months that seemed to be the case. Set up some tables here, fold up some chairs there, maybe set up the projector and tape down the wires. Mow the lawn now and then. Make sure the trash was taken out and the floors were swept…

The building itself is a grand old elementary school covering over 16,000 sq. ft. with classrooms (complete with chalkboards and coat “cubbies”) converted into over a dozen private studios and offices. Several common areas include what was once the cafeteria (and the fallout shelter!), now a 1200 sq ft performance space. Many locals come to Waterfall for an event and end up going room to room, nostalgically pointing out where they had class when it was the Anderson School.

Although almost a hundred years old, the building seemed solid and steady, just needing a bit of paint here or there, maybe a call to the oil burner tech if the heat went out – easy! The best part was that I got to spend my work day in the company of fellow artists (which by the way is still the best part for sure). But my sleepy little gig ended abruptly on a Sunday morning in February when I got a call that a pipe had burst in the third floor ladies room sometime during the night and the basement was flooded; the ceiling in the 2nd floor ladies room collapsed. The water had been shut off but the damage was extensive. And so began a repair and renovation project that lasted over a year and required all the skills I had managed to acquire – including calling in outside help. Things are not always as they seem and this old elementary school is no exception! The pipe that burst appeared solid and in good order, the galvanized surface looked much as it did the day it was installed, but inside the cast iron pipe had rusted until it was paper thin and finally burst. And the building has many such pipes.

My second year here the heating system failed. In the middle of winter – again, old metal had failed. One minute you got heat the next minute you got a problem! We managed to make it until spring when we began the involved process of installing a pump system to heat and cool the building and to trash the existing oil fired steam heat system. The new system was not operational until late in December though, and we had to heat the entire building for several weeks using a flotilla of electric space heaters. Several extra-cold nights I slept on the couch in the basement to keep an eye on things. Now in our third season with the heat pump system, I can say it is a great improvement over the old system. AC in the heat of summer sure is sweet!

Soon we will begin a major renovation project to -among other things- super insulate the building, install new windows and a solar array on the roof – all with the goal of attaining net zero energy usage. This building has had quite a life cycle!

The last couple of years have provided me with plenty of opportunity to use a lifetime of construction skills, not only in dealing with crisis situations but also in the construction of new studio spaces including a fully equipped printmaking studio and a photo darkroom.

You could say my cozy little job at Waterfall Arts ended with the flood of 2012 – with the realization that this dear old building that provides this community with a home for the arts was a needy old building that required much attention… but in turn gives back so much. And yes, I still set up tables, fold up chairs…

This post was written by Mike Fletcher, Waterfall Arts Facilities Manager and the coordinator of the life drawing program. Mike is a 1991 graduate of Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts, and later went on to study at the Art Students League where he monitored for the Russian realist painter Leonid Gervits. An active member of the Mid-Coast Maine arts community for over two decades Mike has performed with the Belfast Maskers, exhibited with Art Fellows and taught at Waterfall Arts. Mike’s most recent solo exhibition was at Aaurhus gallery, in 2012.

%d bloggers like this: