Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category

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Who Are They?: Schoodic Arts for All, Part 2

May 20, 2015

Museum Trips

This blog post is part of a series called Who Are They? where 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. Please consider ways in which you can collaborate to provide excellent arts education for all learners.

safa_logo_blue_greenThis is the second blog post of the series highlighting the work of Schoodic Arts for All located in Hammond Hall, 427 Main Street in Winter Harbor. This area is called Downeast Maine and Schoodic Arts for All is at the intersection of Hancock and Washington Counties. Schoodic Arts for All is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering interest and involvement in the arts for all who wish to participate.

Colby Museum of Art field trip

Colby Museum of Art field trip

This past winter the staff at Schoodic Arts for All had an idea.  Members of the Painting group brainstormed ideas to get ourselves and our neighbors out of our homes, out of the dreary winter rut, to engage in socially and creatively enriching activities.  The Museum Field Trip was born: the plan was to provide transportation and museum fees for folks to travel to a new museum each month!

The response to the first trip to the Farnsworth Art Museum, was overwhelmingly positive. Schoodic Arts for All is committed to building on the popularity of this new winter program to create a truly unique and engaging experience for our participants.

Participants Feedback

“Winter days are short.  This trip was a brilliant idea.  It recharged creative minds on many levels and was a good day long social event.”  -Ann Dederer

“This kind of trip fulfills part of the mission of SAFA by enabling people who enjoy art an affordable way to engage with it.” -Anonymous

Ken Kelly at Portland Museum of Art

Ken Kelly at Portland Museum of Art

We all know that Maine has a significant number of “aging” residents.  Our field trips are aimed at gathering folks together who would not, on their own, consider taking a 12-hour day trip. After all, many wouldn’t feel comfortable driving 2 or 3 hours to visit a museum ALONE, stopping to have lunch ALONE, and driving all the way home, often in the dark, ALONE.  By providing the transportation, in groups of 6 passengers, participants were engaged in a variety of conversations and community building happened during the ride. Friendships are made, and information about the area is shared between people who otherwise may never have met.

As another participant stated:  “Community lives when people come together to share, laugh and explore.” -Anonymous

The monthly “Field Trips” to area art museums kicked off in January 2015 with an overwhelmingly positive response, drawing three times the anticipated attendance!  The museums were selected based on the current exhibits and interests of our participants. For example, in January, the Farnsworth Art Museum with the Shaker Exhibit was the first museum trip. Participants enjoyed the docent lead tour of the Shakers exhibit which included a documentary film by Ken Burns.

Winter Field trips included:

  1. Farnsworth Art Museum
  2. Portland Museum of Art
  3. Colby College Museum of Art
  4. University of Maine Museum of Art and the IMRC (Innovative Media Research and Commercialization Center)
  5. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (still upcoming as of the publish date of this post)
Karen and Mazouz Hussein at Colby College

Karen and Mazouz Hussein at Colby College

A Survey/Written Evaluation follows each trip which provides insights into how the experience. Strengths and weaknesses are included which provides direction for improvements for future Field Trips. These trips are a valuable resource for many who would not ordinarily experience the arts in this way. The goal is to make these trips enriching, comfortable and affordable for all.

For more information on Schoodic Arts for All Museum Field Trips visit www.schoodicartsforall.org or e-mail anna@choodicartsforall.org

 

 

 

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My Visit to Jonesport

May 18, 2015

Navigating the Storm

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Lisa Marin

Earlier this month I traveled to Washington county to visit art teacher and Maine Arts Assessment Initiative Teacher Leader Lisa Marin. I had the chance to visit one of Lisa’s schools, Jonesport Elementary School and learn about Lisa’s ideas for her involvement in Phase 5 of the MAAI.

In addition, I had a chance to meet Lisa’s principal at Jonesport Elementary School, Dr. Debra Lay and several of the teachers. Island Readers & Writers, under the executive director Jan Coates, have been working with the staffs at Jonesport and Beals Elementary Schools to create an excellent learning opportunity for students.

All the students, PK-8 spent time this school year engaged in the reading of  The Wanderer by Sharon Creech. In addition to reading the book, all classes took the story to a different level with some type of interdisciplinary learning unit. The theme was “navigating the storm”. For those of you familiar with the book you know that the characters experience many storms; personal storms in addition to the weather traveling by sail boat. I had never read the book but as soon as I got home I downloaded it to read on my ipad.

When I arrived at the school Mrs. Creech was meeting with the students in an assembly showing slides and photo 22telling stories. Afterwards she went to each classroom to learn about what work they did in connection with the book and to answer questions. Sharon has written several novels and picture books, mostly about and for very young people but also for adults. Walk Two Moons received the Newberry Medal. Mrs. Creech was an excellent presenter and interacted with the students in the students on multiple levels. Sharon lives in Camden.

I was so impressed with the lessons that teachers and students selected to connect with the theme. The older students really “owned” their learning, truly student-centered learning. The very young children planted beans, made plant food from seaweed and tracked the amount that was given to each plant to determine what happened to the plant in relationship to the amount of food it was given. Grade 3 discussed how to work through issues, wrote scripts on one of the topics, and video taped them to share numerous times. The older students researched obesity, bullying, and a winter storm that did some major damage.

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Sharon Creech meeting with the 8th graders

I was very impressed  with the staff and especially the students. The entire was a success due to the following:

  1. Each student could relate/connect to the story. It was “real life”.
  2. There were connections for every content.
  3. Common Core and State Maine Learning Results standards were included.
  4. The lessons were sustained over a long period of time.
  5. The learning unit could take place for PK-8, spiraling learning.
  6. It was a school-wide collaborative idea.
Venn diagram that the 8th graders created on their selected topic Obesity

Venn diagram that the 8th graders created on their selected topic Obesity

Thank you Lisa Marin and your students and colleagues.

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Paintings Names of “70 Million”

May 16, 2015

Music video by Hold Your Horses

 

 

second version

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Who Are They?: Schoodic Arts for All, Part 1

May 13, 2015

Introducing: Schoodic Arts for All

This blog post is part of a series called Who Are They? where 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. Please consider ways in which you can collaborate to provide excellent arts education for all learners.

safa_logo_blue_greenThis is the first blog post of the series highlighting the work of Schoodic Arts for All located in Hammond Hall, 427 Main Street in Winter Harbor. This area is called Downeast Maine and Schoodic Arts for All is at the intersection of Hancock and Washington Counties. Schoodic Arts for All is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering interest and involvement in the arts for all who wish to participate.

Mission

The mission of Schoodic Arts for All is to bring together and provide opportunities for people of all ages to experience and appreciate the arts. Since our beginning in 1999, Schoodic Arts for All has been an integral part of our community as an arts presenting organization. In addition, we also area centerpiece for the downtown renovation, a positive influence on the economic situation, a resource for the schools in our district and a venue for the community events in our town.

History

Schoodic Arts for All was born in 1999 as a grassroots citizen’s group (Schoodic Futures) to address the dire economic impact on the town due to the closure of the Winter Harbor Navy base.  The loss of $11.5 million dollars in payroll and another $9 million in losses to vendors of equipment, supplies, and services to the navy cut the population by half, leaving only 23 students in the school and 100 empty buildings in town. Our task was to bring back life and vitality through increased visitation and economic opportunity.

One early answer to the question of how to save the community was to hold a two-week arts festival. In a region with little industry, most of the people who live here are engaged in creative occupations. These include the visual arts, music, craft, writing, design, architecture, and organic agriculture. After that first two-week festival, and following a two-year planning and data gathering process, one wish of the community that consistently surfaced was to provide increased “live arts” opportunities for participation and performance.

The Schoodic Arts Festival is the best known program that we do – it’s our signature program and begins in a few weeks. This year we have 85 workshops and 26 performances in 14 days! It’s our flagship program.

Schoodic Arts for All Programs

Art Club

Our Afterschool Art Club activities connect children with local professional artists who’s experience and passion for their craft inspire our club members to aspire to a life in the arts.

Schoodic Summer Chorus 

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 9.33.45 PMA multi-generational a capella community chorus devoted to nurturing musicianship and community, in residence at Hammond Hall. Directed by singer and composer Anna Dembska, the chorus is open to anyone who loves to sing.

 

Museum Field Trips  

One of our first participants had this to say about our January trip to The Farnsworth Art Museum: “Winter days are short.  This trip was a brilliant idea.  It recharged creative minds on many levels and was a good day long social event.”

Union of Maine Visual Artists (UMVA) 

If you are interested in the arts, if you are an artist, if you have a friend who is an artist, or if you want to know about what’s going on in the arts community, come and join us. All are welcome!

Pandemonium Steel Pan Band 

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 9.33.21 PMOur youth steel drum band, Pandemonium (intermediate), rehearses throughout the year and have performance opportunities annually at the Schoodic Arts Festival as well as at local school assemblies.

 

Schoodic Arts for All Meetinghouse Theatre Lab

The Meetinghouse Theatre Lab is dedicated to creating a yearly ensemble of performance artists who come together to excite the senses, push the limits, and explode the definition of “create” with the aim of growing as performers and enriching the humanity of all involved. The Theatre Lab has presented readings, staged readings, and full productions, both classic and contemporary.

If you have questions about Schoodic Arts for All please contact the Executive Director, Mary Laury, at marylaury@schoodicartsforall.org.

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Congrats Student Artists!

May 2, 2015

Congressional Art Awards

The Congressional Art Competition began in 1982 to provide an opportunity for Members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents. Since then, over 700,000 high school students have competed for the honor of having their work shown in the U.S. Capitol.

The competition is open to all high school students. The overall winner of each participating district will have the opportunity to have their work displayed in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol for the entire year, beginning in June. In addition, winners will be flown to Washington, D.C. for the official opening of the show in June.

Congratulations to the following students who are being honored this year, 2015

  DISTRICT ONE

   DISTRICT TWO

   WINNER
    WINNER
 
   Self Portrait  acrylic     The Widow  white charcoal
   Djordje Jevtic
   Grade 12, Scarborough High School
   Art Teacher: Erin Landry-Fowler 
    Liam Reading

    Grade 12, Bangor High School
    Art Teacher: Kal Elmore
   FIRST RUNNER UP     FIRST RUNNER UP
 
   Self Portrait  graphite     Airport  ink pen
   Anna Kinee
   Grade 12, Brunswick High School

   Art Teacher: Allison Price

    Youjin Choi
    Grade 11, Foxcroft Academy

    Art Teacher: Jane Blay

    SECOND RUNNER UP     SECOND RUNNER UP
   
    After the Music is Over  charcoal     Mirror’s Reflection  charcoal
    Olivia Potter

    Grade 10, Morse High School

    Art Teacher: Heather Monsen

    Maxwell Clarrage
    Grade 11, Lewiston High School

    Art Teacher: Nathaniel Meyer

    HONORABLE MENTION     HONORABLE MENTION
   
    Living in a Bottle  photography     Inside the Yellow Room  gouache
    Kailey Coleman

    Grade 12, Noble High School

    Art Teacher: Ginny Vakalis

    Jingfei Zhou

    Grade 12, Gould Academy

    Art Teacher: Lauren Head

    HONORABLE MENTION     HONORABLE MENTION
   
    Lips  acrylic     Pores  photography
    Haleigh McKechnie

    Grade 12, Thornton Academy

    Art Teacher: Jennifer Merry

    Riley Hemmings

    Grade 11, Hebron Academy

    Art Teacher: Jeanine Eschenbach

    HONORABLE MENTION     HONORABLE MENTION
   
    The Bermuda Triangle  digital      Menenius  digital 
    Lily Munro

    Grade 10, Brunswick High School

    Art Teacher: Colleen Kearney-Graffam

    Meghan McDunnah

    Grade 12, Mount Desert Island High School

    Art Teacher: Charlie Johnson

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree and Congressman Bruce Poliquin  are delighted to announce the winners of the 2015 Congressional Arts Awards in Maine’s Congressional districts.

Pingree congratulates Djordje Jevtic, an exchange student from Belgrade, Serbia, who is attending Scarborough High School, for his winning artwork, “Self Portrait,” a distinctive work in acrylic.

“I’m always amazed by the quality of work that Maine students submit to this competition,” said Pingree. “I’m excited that Djordje’s work will represent our state at the Capitol—it shows a lot of talent. Winning the competition should be a great memory of Maine for him to bring back home,” “My thanks and congratulations go to all the students who participated this year, the art teachers who inspire them, and the Maine Arts Commission for coordinating this wonderful event. ”

Poliquin acknowledged Liam Reading, a senior at Bangor High School, as this year’s winner for Maine’s Second District for his white charcoal piece, “The Widow.”

“I continue to be amazed by the extraordinary talent and work of our Maine high school students,” said Poliquin. “Congratulations to Liam, and everyone who entered the competition, for sharing their artistic gifts.”

For information about the Congressional Art Competition please contact Julie Horn at the Maine Arts Commission, at 207-287-2790 or julie.horn@maine.gov

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TimeSlips

May 1, 2015

Creative Aging

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Ian Bannon, Teaching Artist, from Figures of Speech and Celebration Barn, trying out the TimeSlips techniques

One week ago the Maine Arts Commission (MAC) provided a fabulous professional development opportunity through TimeSlips. You might be wondering, what the heck is TimeSlips?!

Taken from their website: TimeSlips is an open, poetic language of improvisational storytelling which invites people with memory loss to express themselves and connect with others.  TimeSlips brings meaning to long term care.

Before the workshop the 20 participants, which was a combination of  artists, professionals from the health care field, MAC staff, and caregivers prepared themselves by accessing online training modules. I was fortunate to participate and found myself very ready and excited to attend the all day workshop after doing my online homework. And, I am very impressed with the program. Joan Williamson from TimeSlips traveled from Milwaukee, WI the home of TimeSlips, to provide the training at UNE in Portland.

After we participated in some exercises we traveled to The Park Danforth, a nearby elder living facility, to try out the TimeSlips process. It was wonderful to see TimeSlips in action and Ian Bannon from Figures of Speech Theatre and Celebration Barn volunteered to try it out. He was awesome! Often the participants break into song when something in the story leads to that and we saw two examples of that during the process.

This opportunity is part of the MAC Creative Aging program which is administered by Kathleen Mundell. You can learn more at https://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Traditional/CreativeAging#. Included in the program is a Teaching Artist Roster for those interested in working with older adults. Don’t hesitate to contact Kathleen at kathleen.mundell@maine.gov about the Creative Aging program or TimeSlips, if you have questions.

Ian in action

More Info on TimeSlips

TimeSlips is a non-profit that aims to:

  • Improve the lives of people with memory loss through creative engagement
  • Reach a day when creative engagement is standard practice for all levels of care

TimeSlips offers:

  • Certification to Individuals and Organizations in creative engagement with people with memory loss
  • Consulting on creating sustainable partnerships and structures to support creative engagement
  • Resources for those dedicated to transforming dementia care through creative engagement

If you’d like to learn more about TimeSlips please click HERE.

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Boomwhackers

April 29, 2015

Bach’s Prelude No. 1

DSCN1328I will never forget the first time I saw boomwhackers (after I had left the classroom) in action. It was during my first year working at the Maine Department of Education. I visited the York schools and was in a lower elementary classroom of Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) Teacher Leader Cynthia Keating’s. The kids were very excited and engaged in their learning. This video took me right back to that moment. Thanks to MAAI Teacher Leader Andria Bacon for sharing this video.

 

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