Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category


High School Dance Team

May 20, 2017

What room does fear have?

Great performance by the Mahomet-Seymour High School Dance Team at 


Dance Education Grant Deadline Today

May 16, 2017

Funding available

Just in case you missed the information earlier….. The Thornton Academy dance education program collaborated with seven schools and studios with a culminating performance on November 18, 2016 and raised $3575. On March 4, 2017 Dancers Making a Difference, a non-profit organization held their fifth annual benefit performance with fourteen schools and studios performing to raise $6730. The total, $10,305.00, has been generously provided for the funding of this dance education grant program. This opportunity provides funding to support high-quality dance education for PreK-12 students and/or educators of this population in schools where dance education is not currently in place. This funding is meant to inspire and to exhibit the value of dance education.

Deadline: Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Total funding available to be divided: $10,305.00 (maximum award of $3,500)

The funding cycle for this program: September 1, 2017 through March 30, 2018


Dancing in Kindergarten

May 14, 2017

Salsa, merengue, and more

Edwin Sorto is a kindergarten teacher at Kipp Academy in Washington, DC. He performs with a dance team that dance across the US. And, he’s teaching his students to dance as well. Along with the usual kindergarten curriculum Mr. Sorto is also teaching his young students how to dance – including salsa, merengue, and more. He posts the students moving to the music on Facebook and youtube. Mr. Sorto says: “They’re proud of what they do and love to see people’s reactions, comments, and likes on their videos. Their parents are also incredibly supportive. My kids are great, and this is just one more thing that keeps them engaged in school.”

See for yourself by CLICKING HERE.

Speaking of dance, remember that the Maine Arts Commission presently has a dance education grant available with the deadline of Tuesday, May 16. Information and the application is located by CLICKING HERE.


Common Street Arts

May 13, 2017

Seeking proposals

Call for Class + Workshop Proposals

CSA seeks proposals for classes and workshops for children, teenagers, and adults for 2017-2018. CSA available teaching spaces include: studio space, clay studio, annex, + gallery space. Target class size: 6- 15 people. Qualified individuals are invited to submit proposals that reflect diversity, creativity, and accessibility for all levels and ages.


The mission of Common Street Arts (CSA), the programmatic arm of Waterville Creates!, is to enhance the creative, artistic, and economic vitality of the Waterville community through outstanding arts education and exhibitions. In concert with Waterville’s recently drafted Cultural Plan, CSA seeks to ensure relevant and accessible programming for all community audiences. CSA aspires to diversify its program through a broad array of workshops, events, and classes that provide unique and creative experiences in a supportive environment. Preference will be given to proposals that include cultural relevancy, exhibit a high level of creativity, offer a high level of engagement and participation, and/or directly relate to the CSA exhibition program or create programmatic connections with Waterville Creates! arts and cultural partners (Waterville Public Library, Maine Film Center, Waterville Opera House, Colby College Museum of Art).


  • Professional teaching experience in medium
  • Ability to define and measure learning objectives
  • Ability to work independently
  • Professional + courteous demeanor
  • Criminal history clearance required for working with childrenProposal Requirements
  • Complete CSA Class/Workshop Proposal Form
  • Attach sample curriculum outline with goals + objectives

Email or mail proposal to:

Marie Sugden, Coordinator for Special Projects Waterville Creates!
93 Main Street, Suite 201
Waterville, Maine 04901


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

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.


$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


Teacher Appreciation Week

May 8, 2017

Why I Teach?

Ever sit down and ask yourself “Why do I teach?” During my long career as a teacher in the classroom I asked myself that question sometimes at the end of an especially rough day. It helped me put the work into perspective. The only time I asked the question during the sweet moments was usually when someone else made the observation about how fortunate I was to touch the lives of young adolescents.

I often reflect on my days in my middle school classroom when I feel the pull of wanting to be back there. So, last summer when there was a movement around #why I teach it was fun to begin asking the question of arts educators who crossed my pathway. If you haven’t thought about it recently, please take a moment during Teacher Appreciation Week, ask yourself the question and email me your answer or click on “comment” below and let the Maine Arts Education blog readers know your thoughts.

Below are some that came from arts educators who attended the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Mega conference at Hebron Station School on March 17, 2017.


  • I love seeing the ‘ah ha’ moments.
  • To give back the support and knowledge that I received when I was a young, aspiring artist!
  • Teaching the arts is my passion! My students teacher me something new every day!

Perhaps you’ve written down in a bubble your reason for teaching in the past at a MALI event but thoughts and ideas and reasons for teaching may have changed. If you’ve never done it or if you have in the past, please take a moment during Teacher Appreciation Week and know that what you’re doing is essential and the most important job in the world. That’s my belief and hope that you share it! Thanks for the work you do each and every day.



Make History: Community as Classroom

May 5, 2017

Sarah Orne Jewett

Recently I had the chance to visit the Sarah Orne Jewett House in South Berwick. I learned so much during my visit that was guided by Julia Einstein, Education Program Coordinator for Maine at Historic New England. Julia has kindly provided this blog post so you can learn about the collaborative work that happened between Berwick Academy art and music students under her guidance and those of the schools art and music teachers. At the bottom of the post you will find information on Historic New England.

The Making of “Make History: Community as Classroom.”

The creative collaboration between nineteenth century visual artists and author Sarah Orne Jewett was the inspiration for Make History: Community as Classroom. This interdisciplinary project was a mixing of media—arts + literature + history—and a way to delve into innovation, and how ideas are made. The concept “classroom in the museum” translated in the way high school students were able to self-select spaces in the Sarah Orne Jewett House Museum to study, sketch, write, read passages from a Sarah Orne Jewett story or novel, and to practice a piece of period music.

An exhibition came as a result of this collaborative learning experience between myself, at Historic New England, and Berwick Academy Arts Faculty Raegan Russell and Seth Hurd.

Marilyn Keith Daley, Site Manager at the Sarah Orne Jewett House, used the work synergy in describing the project and it fits. She and I saw this as a way to bring a contemporary energy to a visitor’s tour of Sarah Orne Jewett’s House. Jewett invited artists Marcia Oakes Woodbury and Charles Woodbury into her home to work out the sketches for what became the illustrations for her novel, Deephaven. This allowed for the Woodburys to become immersed in –to fall in love with—the subject in the pages of her novel. They sketched onsite—as did the students of Berwick Academy –and they came to know this house—this main character of her novel.

Students in Studio Art Honors, Advanced Placement Art, and Chamber Chorus were inspired to create personal meanings in the story of the Sarah Orne Jewett House in both visual and performance-based interpretations. In the exhibition, visitors see the time it took for an idea to evolve. They are able to search through the very same sketchbooks used by the students on their visits to the Jewett House to look for connections with their final work. Student statements, written in long hand as Jewett wrote the manuscripts of her novels, bring the artist’s voice into the gallery.

I like unveiling the creative process from that of the 19th century and today. I wanted these high school students to become interpreters of history. In multiple visits to the house, their learning was made visible as they were prompted to stop, look, and to put down on paper what they saw in a quick jotting of initial “noticings.” When guided to look longer, and given passages from Jewett to read, words jumped out and transformed from a historical source into something that feels real in the context of this space. Students sketched, and noted their responses in the spot where Willa Cather visited Jewett. The students read out loud part of a letter Jewett sent to her friend, “The thing that teases the mind over and over for years, and at last gets itself put down rightly on paper — whether little or great, it belongs to Literature.”

In the art classroom, the question “How can artists interpret time through visual means?” led sketchbook exploration, and the creation of a small body of work in a selected media. In the music classroom, the Chamber Chorus explored a piece written in the same decade as Jewett’s novel, Deephaven. They recorded the period piece in the Jewett house for visitors to listen, to imagine the year 1893, and to be transported to a parlor performance.

In the exhibition, a paper sculpture—made from pages copied from a Jewett book—is a dreamy walk in paper shoes on a tufted surface because the artist saw the knobbed bedspread knots in Jewett’s bedroom. Another student saw the same bedroom, yet is interested in what you do not see—intimate, casual images, unlike posed photographs of Jewett, The artist paints you into one—of waking in her bed and looking out the window. In another work, it is about how your eyes adjust to light and movement of 19th century invention, an optical amusement, in 3 beautifully constructed zoetropes. There is an exploration into what is modern. What was modern then—the newness and excitement of cobalt blue in wallpaper—what is modern now?

Several artists invite you to notice details—of objects, wallpaper, fixtures, and translates them into watercolor patchwork, stenciled fashion design, a magical still-life, and a cubist musical instrument. And, the book itself as subject. An artist’s book greets you upon entrance to the exhibition—and you can pick it up, read & turn the pages. It introduces this exhibition as a visual reading into works of art, and prepares you to see a wonderful scrolled portrait of Sarah Orne Jewett with her chapters made larger than life. Enjoy Make History: Community as Classroom, and then see the Sarah Orne Jewett House Museum with “new eyes.”

The exhibition Make History: Community as Classroom was funded in part with a grant from the Sam L. Cohen Foundation. It is currently on view for one more weekend at the Sarah Orne Jewett House Museum and Visitor Center in South Berwick, Maine, through Saturday, May 6. Hours are from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information, call 207-384-2454, or CLICK HERE.

Sarah Orne Jewett House Museum and Visitor Center is one of 36 house museums owned and operated by Historic New England, the oldest, largest, and most comprehensive regional heritage organization in the country.  Historic New England is devoted to education, making connections in the communities, and offering unique opportunities to experience the lives and stories of New Englanders through their homes and possessions.

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