Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

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State of the State Address

January 22, 2020

Celebrating at the Blaine House

Look who was at the Blaine House last night celebrating with the Governor! Heather Whitaker, Maine’s 2020 Teacher of the Year from Gorham Middle School and her colleague and ours and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader and Art Teacher of the Year Amy Cousins! Wonderful to know that educators are celebrating with Governor Janet T. Mills.

Amy, Governor, Heather

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Turning 100 Years Old

January 21, 2020

Wanna help Hank celebrate?

My father passed away in 2006 at the age of 90. He had a dear friend, Hank, who he met in World War II while they were serving in First Division of the Army. On February 4th Hank will be 100 years. My sister, brothers and I met Hank and his wife Nance when I was about 8 years old at a First Division Army reunion. Hank is healthy, happy, lives alone, and still driving. Oh, to be in that place at 99 years old is amazing and wonderful! When I spoke to Hank last week by phone he sounded the same as he always has. I call Hank periodically and visit when I can but since he lives in PA it’s a bit difficult to get to his home. He is always grateful for my phone calls and always includes how much he loved my dad and how much fun he had with my parents over the years and he always includes what a great life he’s had. I am fortunate to know him. Soooooo…. I’ve been wracking my brain to think about what to do for a man turning 100 and I’m hoping you will join me in trying to get 100 cards sent to Hank! You can include that you know George Nestor’s daughter.  I’m sure he’d appreciate it! Please email me at meartsed@gmail.com if you are interested in helping Hank celebrate his 100th birthday. I’ll send you Hank’s address by email. And, THANKS in advance SO MUCH!

This is a link to an article that was written by Hank’s local newspaper in May 2019.

Hank is in the foreground, next to Nance and my father and mother are in the background.

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Maine Teacher of the Year

January 18, 2020

Nominate someone

As a longtime supporter of the Maine Teacher of the Year program through our partnership with Educate Maine, Bangor Savings Bank is pleased to announce that nominations are now being accepted for the 2020 County Teachers of the Year, one of whom will be selected as the 2021 Maine Teacher of the Year.

Do you know an exceptional teacher? A teacher who inspires students? A teacher who is a leader in the profession and deserves recognition for their great work with students? Here is your chance to nominate him/her for County Teacher of the Year!

Nominate a Teacher!

Teachers may be nominated by students, parents, teaching colleagues, principals, superintendents or anyone from the community who wants to honor an outstanding educator. 

Publicly recognizing outstanding teachers encourages students to think about teaching as a career, and provides the community a sense of pride and investment in their teachers who are making a positive impact on student’s lives every day

To nominate an outstanding teacher as a 2020 County Teacher of the Year click here. Thank you.

Deadline for nominations is 5:00 p.m. on Monday, February 3, 2020.

About the Teacher of the Year Program

The Maine Teacher of the Year program starts with your nomination!
To be considered, the teacher must:

  • Hold the appropriate professional certification for their teaching position;
  • Be employed by a Maine public school, including a Career and Technical Education center, public charter school; or be employed by a publicly supported secondary school (a private school that enrolls 60 percent or more publicly funded students, sometimes referred to as “town academies” and
  • Have been teaching for a minimum of 5 years – 3 of which are in Maine.
  • Be actively teaching students at least fifty percent of full-time employment at the time of nomination and during the year of recognition.
  • Not have been a County Teacher of the Year within the past 5 years.  

From those nominees, one exemplary teacher from each of the 16 Maine counties will be selected as a 2020 Maine County Teacher of the Year. From the 16 County Teachers of the Year, 8 semi-finalists are selected. The field is narrowed to 3 state finalists, one of whom will be announced as the 2021 Maine State Teacher of the Year at a surprise school assembly in the fall of 2020.

The Maine Teacher of the Year program is administered by Educate Maine in partnership with the Maine Department of Education.

The Maine State Teacher of the Year represents Maine at the national level and becomes eligible for the National Teacher of the Year award.

Please contact Dolly Sullivan at Educate Maine if you have questions or want more information on the process.

NOMINATE

Please don’t miss this opportunity to honor and recognize a great Maine Teacher!

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Director of Arts Education

January 14, 2020

Maine Arts Commission

The Maine Arts Commission is delighted to welcome Martha Piscuskas as our new Director of Arts Education. Martha brings 30 years of nonprofit organizational leadership alongside a deep understanding of the state’s issues. Most recently she was Executive Director at Waterfall Arts, the community arts center in Belfast that she co-founded in 2000. She has extensive experience in community arts education, developing programming for all ages and in collaboration with local schools. One of five siblings, all artists, with parents in secondary education, Martha grew up immersed in active creative inquiry. In addition to serving on her local school board, she has led and founded numerous Maine organizations including MaineShare, Maine Center on Economic Policy, and Maine Initiatives. Martha has presented nationally and served on multiple boards, including as the Chair of the Waldo County Fund of the Maine Community Foundation, and the Chair of the New England Board of Haymarket People’s Fund. A member of the Zeta class of Leadership Maine, she holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Wesleyan University, and a BFA from the Maine College of Art. A longtime resident of Waldo County, Martha lives on a homesteading solar-run farm with her family.

Martha’s contact information: 287.2750  martha.piscuskas@maine.gov.

 

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Americans Who Tell the Truth

January 11, 2020

New project

Americans Who Tell the Truth will select twenty (20) indigenous, immigrant, and rural middle level and high school youth (two from each of ten schools) to create their self-portraits and write companion narratives about an event, person, and/or belief that helped them become who they are today.  AWTT and Maine artist Robert Shetterly and Maine educator Connie Carter will work with them in a day-long workshop at the Center for Innovation in Education at Thomas College to help them begin their self-portraits and narratives. The workshop date will be between March 10-20, 2020 (exact date to be determined).

The workshop will include the students and accompanying teacher/s (art and other disciplines) from participating schools as well as pre-service teachers from Thomas College.  Students will begin their self-portraits and narratives and teacher participants will learn to coach these students in their creations of art and writing in order to support them when they return to their respective schools.  Hopefully, teachers will coach additional students in their respective schools in order to broaden the dialogues among indigenous, immigrant, and rural youth in Maine.  
Finished portraits will be displayed at the Samantha Smith Challenge Celebration at Thomas College on June 1 and also at the Maine State House in Augusta.  Portrait artists and their teachers will hopefully accompany their portraits to both of these events. Plans for additional exhibits are still to be determined.  
The primary goal of this project is to give a voice to a representative group of indigenous, immigrant, rural and marginalized youth in Maine with the intent of using their work as a way to initiate a dialogue about diverse Maine identities and the power of the arts to help inspire that conversation.  Additionally, we hope to give teachers the tools to use the arts as a valuable interdisciplinary tool to bring explorations of Maine’s history, economics, cultural identity, and landscape to the school curriculum.  
Please direct any questions and concerns you have about this project to Connie Carter at connie@americanswhotellthetruth.org.  Because initial participation in this project is limited, please let us know by January 24 if you are interested in being a part of this empowering opportunity by e-mailing connie@americanswhotellthetruth.org  
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Student Artwork Opportunity

January 10, 2020

2020 Inclusion Awards

The Maine Developmental Disabilities Council (MDDC) recently put out a call for submissions for its 2020 Inclusion Awards, which celebrate extraordinary high school students who think deeply about issues of inclusion for people living with developmental disabilities. Open to all Maine high school juniors and seniors, the awards have two components: an Essay Contest and a Visual Arts Contest, which allow students to express these ideas as artwork.

Changing the Way We See by Sophia DeSchiffart, Creative Expression 1st Place Winner 2018

This year, students are asked to write essays or create two-dimensional artworks responding to the following prompt: “What does the full inclusion of individuals with developmental disabilities mean to you?”

The experience of participating in these contests has been a rewarding one for both teachers and students. “The contest allowed me to have the ability to express myself while standing up for others and hopefully having an impact within the community on how people interact with someone with developmental disabilities,” writes Madison Landry, a participant in 2019. Linda Garcia, an educator at Hodgdon High School says, “By participating in the Maine Developmental Disabilities Council’s Inclusion Awards, my students become advocates for a special segment of communities across Maine and beyond. Through their participation, my students share stories about inspiring individuals who make our world a more beautiful place.?

The deadline for entries is Monday, February 3, 2020, and educational awards range from $250 to $1,000 for individual entries. Teachers and schools will also have an opportunity to win educational grants to support their commitment to educating their students on the value of inclusion.

The MDDC is a partnership of people with disabilities, their families, and agencies that identifies barriers to community inclusion, self-determination, and independence. MDDC is committed to creating a Maine in which all people are valued and respected because the council believes communities are stronger when everyone is included.

For more information, contest rules and entry guidelines, visit maineddc.org/inclusion, email maineddcom@gmail.com. or call Jessica Gorton at 287.4215.

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Bicentennial Grants

January 8, 2020

Maine 200

The purpose of the Maine Bicentennial Grants program is to support the interests, needs, and local creativity of communities as they plan local commemorations of the Bicentennial and to ensure that citizens throughout Maine have the opportunity to participate in Maine’s Bicentennial commemoration. Projects can be on any scale. All funds must be expended no later than March 30, 2021. Complete information is at: https://www.maine200.org/

Grant applications should be submitted to the Maine Bicentennial Commission c/o the Maine Arts Commission, which will administer the program applications. Program applications will be reviewed by a panel consisting of representatives from the Maine Cultural Affairs Council (7) and from practicing educators representing the field (2).

There will be two application cycles with deadlines of:

  • February 1, 2020
  • June 1, 2020

The grant application screening committee will make awards based on the priorities listed above, and based upon ensuring a representative distribution of funds across the state. Support for communities that lack existing capacity to raise funds for these purposes will be prioritized.

Notification of awards will be made within 4 weeks of the deadline for each application cycle. Applications not approved for funding in one cycle may be resubmitted for a future cycle.

All funds must be expended by March 30, 2021.

Project Grants (Small) 

Maximum Award: $500. Required Match: None. Award Cycle: September 1, 2019 – March 30, 2021   

Proposed projects should offer context to the Bicentennial Commemoration and could include:

  • Public Programs: Lectures, exhibitions, library series, workshops, discussion groups, etc.
  • Community Events: Parades, fairs, festivals, concerts, performances, reenactments, etc.
  • Preservation Projects: Digitization/processing of collections, publications, oral history initiatives, location-based restoration /interpretation, etc.
  • Curriculum Development: Classroom offerings, student projects, fieldtrips, adult learning, etc.

Learn more–>

Project Grants (Large) 

Maximum Award: $10,000.Required Match: 1 to 1 cash or in-kind match is highly encouraged. Award Cycle: September 1, 2019 – March 30, 2021

Maine’s Bicentennial commemoration offers a unique occasion to draw residents, visitors, public servants, and private businesses together to commemorate 200 years of statehood, celebrate Maine’s present, and inspire a healthy and prosperous future. The Maine Bicentennial Commission exists to plan, administer, and coordinate programs and projects that commemorate Maine’s 200th anniversary of statehood, with three major goals:

  • To explore Maine’s history from the many perspectives of its multiple past and current populations.
  • To celebrate Maine’s present people, places, institutions, and economy.
  • To envision the public and private actions that will enhance Maine’s future prosperity.

Learn more–>

For more information on the grants being administered by the Maine Arts Commission.

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