Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category

h1

Cultural Alliance of Maine

June 30, 2021

Born during the pandemic

I’ve been reflecting on the many silver linings of the pandemic lately – not to look back and feel sad but to look forward and encouraged. Collectively there are so many and ones that we can learn from to help form our future work and play.

The Cultural Alliance of Maine (CAM) pilot project was established during the pandemic which starkly illuminated that Maine lacks structures to enable the cultural sector to learn, organize, and act as a unified statewide community .

Leaders from across the state, representing diverse nonprofit cultural organizations, came together to establish this alliance to:

  • explore models to address infrastructure gaps long-term
  • advocate for solutions to the unique challenges facing the sector now, and 
  • create pathways for ongoing peer-to-peer learning and information exchange. 

With generous support from The Onion Foundation, Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust, Virginia  Hodgkins Somers Foundation, and Libra Foundation, CAM hired Carla Pugliese as the Pilot Project Director to lead the work of convening stakeholders, assessing needs, researching comparable sector-wide alliances, building bridges with state government and other sectors, and determining next steps following the pilot project period.

CAM represents their members’ interests. Carla said: “We are collectivizing the cultural voice so there is more power at the State House, at the federal level and at the local level for the cultural sector. The pandemic shed light on the need for this type of organization but Carla also said: “the Cultural Alliance of Maine “is not a pandemic response. It is about building something that is useful and valuable and rich for many, many years going forward.”

Arts organizations are represented in CAM but also included are historical societies, libraries, and both for-profit and nonprofit entities such as galleries, theaters and museums, as well as individual artists and makers. “The attempt to bring together such an encompassing umbrella organization is a first”, Carla said.

To learn more CLICK HERE and read Carla’s letter to the cultural sector which provides the plan for the pilot.

To sign up for the monthly newsletter to hear ongoing news CLICK HERE.

Carla Pugliese, Cultural Alliance of Maine Director

Steering Committee

  • Mark Bessire, Portland Museum of Art
  • Steve Bromage, Maine Historical Society
  • Shoni Currier, Bates Dance Festival
  • Ben Fowlie, Points North Institute & Camden International Film Festival
  • Hugh French, Tides Institute
  • David Greenham, Maine Arts Commission
  • Sarah Hansen, Greater Portland Landmarks
  • Stuart Kestenbaum, Maine State Poet Laureate & Monson Arts
  • Monica Kelly,  Bay Chamber Concerts
  • Nat May, Onion Foundation
  • Daniel Minter, Indigo Arts Alliance
  • Linda Nelson, Portland Ovations
  • Chris Newell, Abbe Museum
  • Bari Newport, Penobscot Theatre Company
  • James Ritter, Maine State Library
  • Abbe Levin, Maine Office of Tourism – Contractor
  • Molly O’Connell, Maine Association of Nonprofits – Liaison
h1

Jazz All-State

June 24, 2021

Performance

This is a letter from Sandra Barry, President of the Maine Music Educators Association (MMEA) sharing the recording from the Maine All State Jazz Choir singing Just the Two of Us.

Dear Jazz All-State Musicians, Parents, Educators and Guests;


The Maine Music Educators Association is thrilled to present the 2020-21 Jazz All-State Festival! This performance represents a great opportunity for some of Maine’s finest high school jazz musicians to come together as ensembles and work with highly regarded jazz educators and musicians from across the United States. 

In this year of all years, the vital importance of music in our lives could not be more obvious. Great performances and favorite pieces buoy our spirits, inspire, and soothe us. Before the wonderful performances come the work. The hours of practice, preparation and effort from each individual is an accomplishment unto itself, but goes largely unseen and unheard. To our musicians and the people who support them, we thank you. We know the work is challenging, and the time and self-discipline to prepare is difficult to find. This year, you also faced isolation, technical hurdles and perhaps limited access to your teachers and peers. You did it anyway. You are a unique group of musicians who can be proud of the inclusion you earned in Maine Jazz All-State 2021. 

Planning for this yearly event begins as the final notes sound at the concert, led by Jazz Vice President Matt Waite of Millinocket. Matt’s vision, attention to detail and thorough planning has set the stage for an outstanding student (and teacher!) experience. We are so appreciative, Matt!  Special recognition goes to Instrumental Jazz Chair Becky Mallory and Managers Kyle Smith, Honors Jazz Band, Michelle Snow, SATB Jazz Choir, Pat Michaud, Jazz Combo and Mike Sakash, Jazz Band.

Before the actual festival, students prepare audition materials. An audition is like no other experience, and this year students and teachers alike had to shift to an online format. Brian Hutchinson, Auditions Chair and retired music educator from Winslow, worked all summer on behalf of MMEA to learn and modify an entirely new platform. Brian’s persistence, technical ability and background as a music educator resulted in an opportunity for over 1,000 students to  audition for state and district events this year. Brian also assembled and supported the adjudicators who heard each audition. This would not have been possible without you, Brian!  

Normally, the festival host would have put in countless hours of effort. This year our host was the internet, corralled and controlled by Webmaster Adam Metzler of Mars Hill. Adam ensured that we had Zoom Rooms galore, and provided great technical advice and expertise. Thank you, Adam!    
At every step of the way, assisting us all is MMEA Executive Director Beth LaBrie. Whether it be ordering music, delivering T-shirts or answering the endless questions, Beth guides MMEA  in all manner of details, big and small. Kudos Beth!

This festival exists because of the need to create, perform and experience music. Join me in thanking Maine’s music educators for their efforts to inspire, instruct and guide our students, culminating in this event we witness today.  Their work in these unprecedented times is nothing short of heroic. 

Finally, we thank you–parents, guardians, family, friends and community members. Your support of these musicians is a crucial factor in their success. Continue to support music education for all in any way you can. Our children need and deserve robust and exemplary music programs and opportunities throughout the state of Maine.   

Sincerely, 
Sandy

h1

How We See Now

June 23, 2021

Brunswick High School Exhibit

How We See Now, New Dimensions of Photography is an exhibit of works by Brunswick High School photography students hosted by Brunswick Public Art and Merrymeeting Plaza. The work seeks to question how photography can be used to visualize new realities. Students worked with the Portland artist Justin Levesque, One Dynamic System, in a virtual visiting artist residency sponsored by a grant from the Maine Department of Education with support from the Maine Arts Commission. Deconstructed and reconstructed photographic images allowed students to question our perception of reality. Photographs become manipulated into new imagery utilizing digital tools such as Googles Poly and Photopea. Come drive by this window exhibit in Brunswick at 147 Bath Road next to Peppers Landing. The work will be on exhibit from June through August.

 

h1

APPLY now!

June 21, 2021

Deadline tomorrow for MAEPL

Curious about the Maine Arts Commission (MAC) program, Maine Arts Education Partners in Leadership (MAEPL)? Wonder why you should consider applying? Listen to arts educator and veteran MAEPL Teacher Leader Charlie Johnson at THIS LINK explain his reasons and the benefits that he’s experienced during his ten years of participation!

DEADLINE TO APPLY IS TOMORROW, JUNE 22, 2021! DON’T DELAY!

DETAILS – THIS LINK

APPLICATION – THIS LINK

DOWNLOAD THE BROCHURE that contains all the information you need!

h1

Great Opportunity

June 18, 2021

What are you doing July 27-28?

Interested in getting together with other Maine Arts Educators and Teaching Artists? Learn more about Maine Arts Education Partners in Leadership (MAEPL) and consider applying to attend the summer institute and become a Teacher Leader or Teaching Artist Leader for the 2021-22 school year.

At the Summer Institute new Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artist Leaders will learn foundational practices in instructional design and leadership skills. Participants will take part in a variety of workshops focused on emerging needs in Arts Education professional development.  

Collaboration, networking, and the sharing of resources are an expectation as a member of the MAEPL community.  During the Institute participants will develop an individualized growth plan that will be shared with others for feedback and suggestions.  

Throughout the school year, participants will continue to share how their individualized growth plan is developed and implemented, and they will have the opportunity to share at a Critical Friends Day, and with a thought partner.        

There is a Winter Retreat with participants to review and reflect on the work done, and allow for time to get feedback to plan for the next Summer Institute.  

Listen to Teacher Leader Kris Bisson talk about her experiences being involved with MAEPL

Teacher Leader/Teaching Artist Leader Annual Expectations: 

  • Attend Summer Institute 
  • Work with a thought partner 
  • Develop a individualized growth plan 
  • Share the outcomes of your individual growth plan within the MAEPL community and beyond (i.e. workshop, resource, video, article, etc.) 
  • Share feedback and information about MAEPL through teacher leader stories and as part of your outcomes of your personal growth plan 
  • Collaborate, network, and share resources 
  • Participate in Critical Friend Day 
  • Attend Winter Retreat

Teacher Leader/Teaching Artist Leader Opportunities: 

  • Membership in the vibrant MAEPL community
  • Access to online resources 
  • Learn/Experience creative activities together 
  • Collaboratively develop educational resources 
  • Establish and work toward an individualized growth plan
  • Take on leadership and facilitator roles in MAEPL, Arts Organizations, and school communities 
  • Connect and make long-lasting relationships with other arts educators  
  • Network across diverse arts disciplines 
  • Access cutting edge professional development for emerging needs of our students and leaders within the arts educational community and beyond
  • Learn from experienced leaders 
  • Gain recertification hours 
  • Partner with the Maine Arts Commission Arts Education Program 

JOIN US!  Become a Teacher Leader and Change Lives.  

APPLY TODAY — CLICK HERE  June 22, 2021 deadline for new and returning applicants

IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW: 

SUMMER INSTITUTE

Pilgrim Lodge is a camp run by the United Church of Christ of Maine on Lake Cobbosseecontee in West Gardiner, with cabins with electricity and plumbing, large indoor and outdoor meeting spaces, modern dining facilities, wifi in main buildings and good general cell reception, and recreation options, including swimming, human-powered boating, and trails.  

APPLICATION

Administrator Name/contact information

Paragraph of Interest — Selected individuals will be expected to be active leaders in helping to develop and support excellence in teaching and learning in Maine. A full commitment to the Institute timeline is expected as seen in the online information sheet.  Please attach a brief overview of your interest and current/past experience (if any) in Leadership. Include your experience collaborating with other arts educators and experiences relevant to the initiative.  (Please no more than ~ 500 words, about 1 page.) 

Resume/CV —  If you are a Teaching Artist, please also include websites or documentation of your teaching work.  

Letter of Reference – TEACHERS: This should be from your administrator.  TEACHING ARTISTS: This should be from a school or community  organization with whom you have worked.   Please attach a Letter of Recommendation in which the person includes comments and/or examples reflecting your leadership potential and your ability to work collaboratively.  Selected individuals will be responsible for sharing their newly developed expertise and related classroom experiences with other arts educators.

Questions? Contact Maine Arts Commission Director of Education, Martha Piscuskas at Martha.Piscuskas@maine.gov.

h1

Maine Art Ed Summer Retreat

June 14, 2021

Registration opens TODAY

MAEA Summer Retreat/Conference at Pilgrim Lodge

Creating on Cobbossee

August 2 – August 5

Cost: $220 (Includes room and board)
* NOTE – Your membership must be updated for the 2021-2022 membership year in order for your registration to be considered  complete. Click HERE to register as an MAEA member for 2021-2022. Membership runs from June 1st to May 31st annually.

​Registration opens TODAYJune 14th at 7 a.m. (Registration is limited to 100 people!​)

Registration link HERE will be active JUNE 14, TODAY, at 7 a.m.

Greetings fellow Art teachers! Do you feel like this year has dragged all the life out of you and you need to give yourself a break from the grind? Do we have an opportunity for you! Starting on Monday, August 2 – Thursday, August 5, you can join about 100 of your closest Art teaching friends on the shores of beautiful Lake Cobbosseecontee for glorious uninterrupted Art making!

 The site is Pilgrim Lodge, which has a boardwalk connecting 18 cabins, a dining hall, a main lodge, and several woodland trails. The cabins can house 6 people and also have screened porches. Each cabin has bunks, a bathroom and shower. 

The waterfront includes a large swimming area with kayaks, canoes, prams, and access to an island. You may also bring your own gear. 

There are many indoor spaces for setting up your art practice and lots of trails to get away from it all.
There’s even a large woodland labyrinth to walk when you need to do some deep thinking.

Pilgrim Lodge is 20 minutes from Augusta and one hour north of  Portland. We will not be offering workshops but hope that everyone will be comfortable making art on their own. Our desire is to make this a yearly event in addition to the Fall conference at Haystack. The cost is $220 which includes meals, lodging, gorgeous sunsets over the lake, and just a few mosquitoes. Check out www.pilgrimlodge.org for more information about the site. Pilgrim Lodge has a no alcohol, recreational drugs, or smoking policy and we intend to honor this during our stay there. Please plan accordingly. We hope that you will consider joining us in this exciting endeavor to create some great new memories, friendships, and ART. 

Sincerely, 
your friends and colleagues at the MAEA

h1

Decolonizing the Arts Classroom

June 8, 2021

Panel discussion

Tuesday, June 8, 2021 | 4:00-5:30pm ET

Join us next Tuesday, June 8th for a dynamic panel discussion that will interrogate the systems of Eurocentric educational spaces and their impact on the liberation of BIPOC students, from both a historical and multicultural frame of reference. The panel will be moderated by Dr. Durell Cooper, Co-Founder and CEO, Cultural Innovation Group and the panelists include:

Phil Chan, Co-Founder, Final Bow for Yellow Face
Quanice Floyd, Executive Director, Arts Education in Maryland Schools Alliance
Ashley Lipscomb, CEO, The Institute for Anti-Racist Education, Inc.

Registration is required and this event is free to attend.

REGISTRATION

h1

Rob Westerberg

June 3, 2021

Off the grid

Thoughtful, meaningful, figuring it out, asking questions, listening to students, high standards. When it comes to teaching all of these represent Rob Westerberg. He acts in a very serious way and approaches most actions with a humorous twist. Recently he posted a piece called “Off the Grid” on his blog “Goober Music Teachers”. He describes what he’s learned during the pandemic, how he’s embraced the situation and a caution on the importance of not comparing what you do as a teacher with what the next teacher is doing. I’m certain that this year has revealed much to us individually. My greatest hope is that the shifts we’ve been forced to make and have chosen to make have been an opportunity to learn about ourselves, like no other time in our teaching careers. No matter if your career is at the beginning, middle or end there is something for everyone to ponder in Rob’s pandemic story. I’m always grateful when Rob takes on a subject and blogs about it. His posts give me a chance to pause and reflect. The next two paragraphs are the first two paragraphs of his post. You’ll find the link to Rob’s blog post at the end so you can continue reading.

IN ROB’S OWN WORDS…

Would you believe me if I told you this has been one of the most satisfying, rewarding and happy years of my career? The phrase, “going off the grid” is a spot on reflection of what every music teacher in the country has gone through the past 14 months. Nothing has been “normal”, and a lot has been taken from us and our students since March of last year. How that has individually impacted us is dependent on many factors including whether we’ve been allowed to be in person or not, what grade level we teach, general choral or instrumental, single teacher in a school district or one of many. In any given year prior to this one, each music teacher’s journey is incredibly unique. That’s never been more true than this one.

But a funny thing happened to me right around the middle of November, and it carried through to this very week: my kids and I were learning and growing, and realizing that we were learning and growing. We started enjoying this journey together.

Rob is the 2020 Maine York County Teacher of the Year. He is co-creator of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) turned Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) and presently MAEPL, Maine Arts Education Partners in Leadership, with the revised mission to develop and promote high quality arts education for all.” 

I invite you to read Rob’s FULL POST – Off the Grid, May 15, 2021. Rob can be reached at THIS LINK.

h1

MAEPL

June 2, 2021

Invitation to Arts Teachers and Teaching Artists

Join us for a great opportunity! The Maine Arts Commission invites arts educators and teaching artists to be a part of the Maine Arts Education Partners (MAEPL) in Leadership Summer Institute on July 27 and 28, held this year at beautiful Pilgrim Lodge on Cobbosseecontee Lake in West Gardiner. Arts Educators and Teaching Artists from across the state will come together to reflect, collaborate, address emerging needs in Arts Education and leave with an individualized plan tailored to the needs in their programs, schools, communities or regions. MAEPL teaching artists and educators:

  • Share ideas
  • Collaborate
  • Advocate
  • Amplify student and teacher voice
  • Commit to life-long learning
  • Inspire and become inspired
  • Educate through high quality effective teaching and learning
  • Make connections
  • Enrich lives through the Arts

Feel isolated or overwhelmed? Long for like-minded people with whom you can share your passion for the Arts and Arts Education? Wish you could have more impact within your school, community or state? We can help. Become a part of the MAEPL family today, now over 120 people strong. 

For more information ….

Flyer: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JhlIzjXCdlvPXd8ldpkFoBf5Xe8DNvzc/view

More details:https://docs.google.com/document/d/10kpE9SMgUuATjHPQ0GIBoRRLn5sN4Rv1Azvyi8mya2c/edit?usp=sharing

Application form: https://forms.gle/WDX8yerfjeBUe6a46

h1

Using Pronouns

May 27, 2021

Take a close look

In the fall of 2017 I included a series of six blog posts called Who Are They? Portland Stage that described the education program at that time of Portland Stage. I worked with two of the education staff from Portland Stage, Hannah Cordes and Julianne Shea. Both are positive, upbeat and happy people who have a natural sense of theater education along with their formal education in the area. It was a delight to learn about their programs and work with them. You can search for those posts in the side bar.

Not long afterwards I noticed that people were beginning to use ‘pronouns’ and it dawned on me that I needed to become educated in this area. I couldn’t find anything online or recommended readings so I reached out to Hannah since they were one of the people in my communications that I noticed using pronouns in their ‘signature’. She willingly met for a cup of coffee to discuss the topic. My main goal was to be sensitive and respectful in my blog writing. Hannah’s teaching and advice helped me enormously and I went from asking “what is this all about, will it go away, and how do I get started?” to “OK, this is fairly straightforward to understand and it really is about being respectful.” The other thing I learned and most importantly was it was OK to make mistakes in this area.

Now that I’m back in the classroom and interacting with young people on a regular basis my focus on pronouns is not just important in my writing but also face to face. I was happy to find this quick guide to pronouns recently published online by Upworthy called Why pronouns are important, how to get them right, and what to do if you slip up. Most of what Hannah shared with me five years ago is explained in this piece and spelled out more comprehensively. I notice the use of pronouns today in almost every corner of my world; email signatures, on zoom, in articles, research and books. I remember asking Hannah if she thought this was a fad and would it go away. The answer was no and now I agree. If you’re not comfortable with pronouns and are wondering where to start this guide may be useful. Most importantly, at the heart of using pronouns is being respectful and kind to students, colleagues, families in your professional and personal lives. I’m sure you’ll agree – that’s a good thing!

Respectfully, Argy Nestor, she/her

%d bloggers like this: