Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category

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Richard’s Leaves Commission

November 16, 2020

In the news Portland Press Bob Keyes

Julie Richard, who has directed the Maine Arts Commission since 2012, will leave her post in Augusta next month to return to Arizona, where she will direct the Sedona Art Center.

“This has not been an easy decision for me,” Richard wrote in her letter of resignation. “I care deeply about the arts and culture sector in Maine and I am very proud of what has been accomplished during my tenure.”

David Greenham, the commission’s chairman, thanked Richard for her service and wished her well. “I am very happy for Julie and also very grateful for the work she has done in Maine to bring the arts commission forward in so many areas,” he said in a phone interview. An interim director likely will be named in a few weeks, while the commission begins looking for a replacement, he said.

In a news release announcing Richard’s departure, the commission cited her work to create a statewide cultural plan in 2015, her efforts to reform the agency’s grant programs and the creation of an advocacy and support organization for the state’s cultural sector, ArtsEngageMe. She also oversaw a statewide census of arts education in Maine and instituted the biennial Maine International Conference on the Arts.

Greenham said Richard and her staff have been responsive to the pandemic, taking on at least two extra grant programs since March to help artists and arts organizations. “That’s a lot of work and a big process, and that was on top of all the regular work they do with the grant programs,” he said.

In a typical year, the commission processes about 450 grant applications across multiple programs and artistic disciplines. In 2020, it reviewed and processed 1,421 successful grants to provide emergency relief with additional funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and CARES Act.

Read the entire article from the Portland Press at THIS LINK.

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Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM

October 28, 2020

13 Strategies for Making Thinking Visible in the Classroom

For many educators focusing on the process and not the product has been a gradual change. The pandemic has forced this shift rapidly and educators are gracefully embracing it in many cases. This requires a growth mindset and ideas and suggestions from supportive colleagues. Susan Riley’s Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM has put together a comprehensive list of strategies that you can apply (in person and/or remotely) in your classroom environment that will make your students thinking visible.

Why make learning more visible you may wonder? Critical and creative thinking skills are an integral part of teaching and learning, always have been part of arts education. I’m glad that other educators have gotten on board with this in this 21st century. One key for developing and assessing critical and creating thinking skills is to making thinking more visible. If we can see the process students are using to analyze problems, make predictions and draw conclusions, teaching and guiding students thinking becomes easier.

I encourage you to take a look at the ideas Susan Riley suggestions below to support your teaching and students learning.

  1. Use Artful Thinking Routines
  2. Try Close Reading of an Art Composition
  3. Connect with Cooperative Poetry
  4. Explore Ekphrasis Poetry for Vivid Language
  5. Generate One Word Focal Points
  6. Develop Collaborative Narrative
  7. Sketch to Write
  8. Create an Art Recipe
  9. Design Haibun Poems
  10. Perform a Human Slideshow
  11. Build Summarizing Skills
  12. Composing a Soundtrack
  13. Produce Curriculum-Based Reader’s Theatre
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Passamaquoddy People

October 26, 2020

Geo Neptune is a performance artist, educator, and basket maker who left Indian Township where he grew up to attend Dartmouth College in 2006. Geo returned to the Indian Township community in 2010 and has learned a great since. As a newly elected member of the Indian Township school board Neptune has plans to make a difference for young people.

One of the things that makes the Passamaquoddy unique, Neptune says, is that they don’t have a “migration or removal story.” The tribe, which numbers around 3,500 people, has “lived on the shores of these lakes and our ancestral river for 13,000 years.”

Geo plans to advocate for greater education on Passamaquoddy culture and language, which they feel have been deprioritized by faculty and administrators in recent years.

Read Geo’s strong and clear statements about what it’s been like for the Passamaquoddy people in this interview for them with Nico Lang.

Photo credit: Sipsis Peciptaq Elamoqessik
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Helpless

October 23, 2020

Hamilton

Hamilton is a story about hope, revolution, and love. The original cast of Hamilton singing “Helpless” will have you moving and smiling. How might you incorporate this into your curriculum this year? Let me count the ways!

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Grammy Music Educator Award

October 20, 2020

25 Semifinalists announced – Maine proud!

In the beginning of June 2020 the Music Educator Award presented by Recording Academy and Grammy Museum announced their quarterfinalists for 2021. I was proud to announce on the blog that three Maine music educators were named to the list of nearly 2,000 nominees!

  • CAROL CLARK – Gray-New Gloucester High School
  • PATRICK VOLKER – Scarborough High School
  • TRACY WILLIAMSON – Gorham Middle School 

As a follow up Tracy shared her Covid story posted on this blog that provided details on her teaching journey through the school year.

Tracy Williamson

Recently Tracy learned that she is one of 25 music teachers from 24 cities across 16 states to be named a semifinalist for the award given by the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum.

CONGRATULATIONS TRACY!

The finalists will be announced in December and Maine Arts Educators will be waiting to hear the outcome!

The Music Educator Award recognizes current educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools. The recipient will be recognized during GRAMMY Week 2021.

The award is open to current U.S. music teachers, and anyone can nominate a teacher — students, parents, friends, colleagues, community members, school deans, and administrators. Teachers are also able to nominate themselves, and nominated teachers are notified and invited to fill out an application.

Each year, one recipient is selected from 10 finalists and recognized for their remarkable impact on students’ lives. They will receive a $10,000 honorarium and matching grant for their school’s music program. The nine additional finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium and matching grants. The remaining fifteen semifinalists will receive a $500 honorarium with matching school grants.

The matching grants provided to the schools are made possible by the generosity and support of the GRAMMY Museum’s Education Champion Ford Motor Company Fund. In addition, the American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Education, NAMM Foundation, and National Education Association support this program through outreach to their constituencies.

The finalists will be announced in December, and nominations for the 2022 Music Educator Award are now open. To nominate a music educator, or to find more information, please visit www.grammymusicteacher.com.

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Learning and Teaching about Indigenous Cultures, Languages, and Territories

October 12, 2020

Global Oneness Project Webinar

If you’re not familiar with the Global Oneness Project now is a good time to learn more. Cleary Vaughan-Lee is an amazing person and serves as the Executive Director of the Global Oneness Project. Recently they provided a webinar entitled Learning and Teaching about Indigenous Cultures, Languages, and Territories. The webinar was hosted by Christine McRae from Native Land Digital. This is a timely resource since today is Indigenous People Day in Maine. The webinar was attended by close to 900 people and fortunately the webinar was archived so you can access it and also use the many resources that have been gathered to help support your work as educators.


The recording is available to view on the Global Oneness Project website and the resources are in this Google Doc. I’m looking forward to viewing the recording and taking a close look at the resources that are filled with  quotes, websites, books, articles, films, curricula, and podcasts, all of which provide ways to learn from Indigenous voices around the world.

Christine shared ways to engage with the mapping tool Native Land and communicated that there are complexities when mapping Indigenous territories. She said, “When we think of maps in the modern context, they often represent colonial boundaries or colonial understandings of the world. It’s a balance to communicate Indigenous relationships to land, which are so much deeper than shapes.”  

In addition, at the last minute, Margaret Noodin, Obijwe poet and linguist, joined the webinar and read one of her poems that was included in the slides. It is called “Babejianjisemigad/Gradual Transformation,” which she read in Anishinaabemowin and in English. She said, “I think one of the things I got from my dad and his mother was the ability to listen to the world singing around me and the desire to sing back to it.”

Thanks to Cleary Vaughan-Lee and the Global Oneness Project for their dedication and thoughtfulness about education. Most of the blog post was from a recent email from Cleary.  

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I LOVE The Muppets!

October 2, 2020

With a Little Help from My Friends

I’ve always loved The Muppets and for many years I’ve been inspired by Jim Henson. Hard to believe that he’s been gone for 30 years. I am so happy that the Muppets have continued in different ways for so long. And, here they are on the Late Show with James Corden.

Although James Corden, Reggie Watts and The Late Show Band The Muppets couldn’t be together in a studio, the group came together on video chat to sing The Beatles classic “With a Little Help from My Friends.” Sing along with Kermit, Fozzie, Miss Piggy, Swedish Chef, Animal, Gonzo and so many more.

Looking for silver linings? I suggest that you watch this (and sing at the top of your voice) today or tomorrow – at the end of another week during a pandemic. I promise you’ll be moving by the end of it! Afterwards call a friend.

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Camden Rockport Middle School

October 1, 2020

Welcome back 8th graders

Camden Rockport Middle School 8th graders were greeted by the 8th grade teachers video called Welcome Back 8th Graders. They’ve started at a new school using cleaning supplies, masks, social distancing, and all that other stuff that is keeping us safe! Just like the rest of us!

Enjoy and be inspired by music educator Allysa Anderson and the CRMS staff and friends.

 

 

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Open Art Teachers Studio: Quarantine Edition

September 30, 2020

MALI art making sessions

The Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) is offering a second round of Open Art Teachers Studio: Quarantine Edition, starting October 7.  Yay!  The same MALI teacher leaders are running it, so it’ll be fun and efficient: Melanie Crowe, Iva Damon, and Bronwyn Sale. As a reminder, this is a virtual half hour of jumping right into creating together per provided prompts, followed by a half hour of discussion.

TO REGISTER CLICK HERE 

Attached is a poster with the details. Open to all at no cost. Join in on the fun – another way of knowing you’re not alone! To register/attend click above.

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Kate’s Picks

September 29, 2020

Teaching in a Pandemic

Below is a blog post contributed by Kate Smith, Central School, South Berwick Music Teacher. Kate is the 2014 York County Teacher of the Year and is a leader in the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative. Kate has made an amazing list of some of her favorite children’s books with information and suggestions on how to use them in your classroom. THANK YOU Kate for providing not only books but your passion for teaching! The post starts out with this message from Kate…

Kate Smith with What If…

Hello colleagues! If I have learned anything these past six months, it is this: keep your friends close and your ARTS colleagues closer! I have learned so much from interacting with all of you through MALI events, Tuneful Talk webinars, DOE-hosted events, virtual book clubs, Facebook groups and, on the rare occasion, socially distanced gatherings. You inspire me, encourage me, support me, make me laugh, understand the frustration, and your authenticity and vulnerability in these unsettling times remind me I am not alone. THANK YOU. To attempt to pay it forward, I have offered to write a blog post for Argy (I owe her big time), and hopefully there will be something here that will benefit you in some way. Better, I hope you will comment with your own resources and we can make this an even more valuable blog post.

Favorite books Kate is using in her teaching…

WHAT IF by Samantha Berger and Illustrated by Mike Curato. This book came recommended to me by Kaitlin Young, a music teacher at SeDoMoCha and the 2018 Maine Teacher of the Year. It’s called “What If” and it is written by Samantha Berger and illustrated by Mike Curato. This would be a great book for art, music, dance or theater teachers and their students.  I used this book to explain what we can and can’t do in the music room this year.  Little, Brown and Company do allow us to videotape ourselves reading the book but with restrictions which you can find on their website.

I’m Going on A Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. This is an oldie (1997) but goodie. It works just fine as a chant. Adding hand motions and body percussion can make this a crowd pleaser, add instruments and they’ll be begging for more. First we acted out the book as a chant and added motions for each obstacle. Then we talked about how to make appropriate sound for each challenge using a drum. Each child had their own drum. We rubbed, scraped, tapped and banged our way to the bear cave and back!

Ada’s Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay by Susan Hood and Sally Wern Comport. Are you having your students make their own instruments? This book can be inspiring and eye opening. A true story, a quick google search and you’ll find some videos of the actual orchestra to share as well.

 

Mole Music by David McPhail. Another oldie but goodie. This one is great for discussing hopes and dreams with your students, music’s impact on our feelings and emotions (sometimes when we don’t even know it!), and that learning a new instrument takes time and a lot of practice. I once invited a violin player to play while I read. It was awesome. Especially the screechy part at the beginning. 😉

 

We Will Rock Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins, a Maine author with a fantastic sense of humor (if you haven’t read Mother Bruce, you must drive to the nearest bookstore right now.) This book addresses nerves when it comes to performing, in this case, the school talent show.

Because by Mo Willems and Amber Ren, published in 2019. This beautiful book speaks of persistence, hard work, inspiration, legacy, community and discovery. How did this book come to be? I will let Mo and Amber tell you at THIS LINK.  And here is THE LINK to Hilary Purrington’s symphony, The Cold, featured in this book!

Your Name is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow is a wonderful book that celebrates the beauty, history and magic of names. Saying them correctly is important and it matters. CLICK HERE for a video of a read aloud and THIS LINK will help to pronounce the names in the book from the author!

I will be reading this book to the students soon, have you used it in your classroom? Some teachers have their students draw their name in an artistic way to show what their name means to them. How powerful!

Please consider sharing one of your ideas or work that you have underway with the Maine Arts Education Blog readers! Email me your ideas at meartsed@gmail.com

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