Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category


In Today’s News

February 5, 2016

Doodle winner sister of Doodle winner

Albert Hall 5th grader continues school, family Doodle 4 Google streak. Karin Zimba is the Maine winner of the Internet search engine’s annual doodle contest; her sister, at the same school, won in 2014.

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Read the entire article by clicking here


Arts Learning Grant in Action

February 3, 2016

Leaps of Imagination

The Maine Arts Commission Arts Learning Grants application period is underway with a deadline of March 24. Information about the grants is located at

Last years funding is providing quality arts education opportunities for learners across the state. Recently Nancy Harris Frohlich, founder of the Leaps of Imagination program which received Arts Learning funding last year shared a bi-weekly publication called The St. George DRAGON. It includes a piece written by a 6th grader at the St. George School. Jackson Fitch has a brother in grade 3 who participated in the Leaps of Imagination program. In Jackson’s own words…

IMG_4735     Mrs. Miller’s 3rd grade class has been working on a learning expedition with Leaps of Imagination and they wanted to tell you about it. Leaps of Imagination is a group of local artists who make and teach art to kids in area schools. The artists involved were: Nancy Harris Frohlich, the founder of Leaps of Imagination, Sarah Rogers, Alexis Iammarino, Sandy Weisman and Susan Beebe.

The mission statement was: “To ignite the imaginative spirit and insprie new ways of thinking so that young people can relize that their ideas have purpose and   that they have the courage to act on them.”

The artists came to the Jackson Memorial Library twice a week for several weeks to work with our 3rd grade. They helped the students make two different types of prings with ink. Students learned how to make collagraphs (a very creative and experimental form of printmaking which includes cardboard, yarn, fabric, leaves, tape, etc.) and to do ghost printing (where an image appears repeatedly on the page).

IMG_5604     They also learned how to make a story without words, only art. The students were encouraged to draw in sketchbooks they were given. They worked in small groups on a “big idea” to make an art scene, which was very exciting. I asked 3rd-grader Josh if the project inspired him and he replied, “It inspired me to do better art.” From this experience my brother, Finlay, got into drawing creative “species” of fish. I think, as every 3rd grader said, “This was a great experience and was immensely fun.” I believe I’m speaking for the whole 3rd grade as they say, “Thank you, Leaps of Imagination!”


MALI Update

February 1, 2016

Leadership initiative moving forward

Several Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leaders are presenting workshops throughout the state. Many will be on the schedules for the Maine Art Education Association (MAEA) conference and the Maine Music Educators Association (MMEA) All-State conference.

The MAEA conference will be on Saturday, April 9, Lewiston Middle School, 8:30 – 3:00. Registration will be available in the near future at All-State will be held at UMaine, Orono, May 19 and 20. Registration is available now at

IMG_3762 2MALI Leadership Team met this past Friday and Saturday at Husson University for their annual retreat to reflect on the feedback from phase 5. Even though phase 5 is still underway the team had plenty of feedback from the Teacher Leaders. It was a great meeting and rough ideas for phase 6 are being considered. In March MALI Teacher Leaders will come together to take the preliminary work to the next level of planning. In early spring a call for Phase 6 Teacher Leaders will be announced. Please watch this blog and the Maine Arts Education List-serv for information.

Karen_Montanaro_135x135During the retreat the team also had the privilege of having dancer Karen Montanaro present her drafted TED talk. Many of you know Karen and are aware of her commitment to performance. To hear her speak on arts education and see the passion in her whole self was a special treat. Her performance is thought provoking. Karen is interested in providing the talk for others. Please contact her at if you are interested in bringing a group together to hear it.

JohnMorris_135x135In addition, John Morris, Dancer educator and MALI Teacher Leader facilitated work on creativity. John created comprehensive resources on creativity that are available on the MALI Resource Bank at If you are looking for a way to communicate with your school staff (arts or other content) John’s resource provides guidelines that can help provide the opportunity. Please check out the creativity resource that he created called Creativity in Education: Discussion Group Format at If you have any questions please contact John at

Screen Shot 2016-01-30 at 7.39.26 PMMALIs future looks bright due to the commitment of many extraordinary Maine visual and performing arts educators. It continues to be a thrill to work with the MALI folks including the thoughtfulness of the Leadership Team members:

  • MALI co-founder Rob Westerberg, music educator, York High School
  • MALI co-founder Catherine Ring, Executive Director New England Institute for Teacher Education
  • MAEA representative Suzanne Goulet, Waterville High School Art Educator
  • MMEA representative Pam Kinsey, K-12 Music Educator, Easton Schools
  • Kate Smith PreK-3, Central Ele School, South Berwick Music Educator
  • Theresa Cerceo K-12, MSAD 33 in Frenchville / St Agatha school district, Visual Art Educator
  • Beth Lambert, Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, Maine Department of Education
  • Barbara Vinal, IMG_3749 2IMG_3745

Student Art Exhibit

January 29, 2016

Tidemark Gallery – Waldoboro

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Expanding Perceptions

January 28, 2016

If you can’t measure it, it does not exist

Brene Brown Courageworks speaks of connection, leaning into the work, courage, practice joy, compassion, and a host of other topics that just might connect to the work you do as an educator. Her TED Talk is worth a few minutes of your time. Take a look.


Madawaska Middle/High School

January 27, 2016

Music students create blog

The following blog post was written by Elizabeth Theriault who is a GT Music student at Madawaska Middle/High School and is one of the Gifted and Talented students at the high school. Elizabeth plans to study journalism.

Elizabeth Theriault

Elizabeth Theriault

We are the advocates, we are the voices, we are the supporters. We are the Gifted and Talented Music students of Madawaska Middle/High School.

Our blog represents all of which we want to accomplish, being students of the arts. It is focused, but not limited to promoting music and music education in our school and community. Madawaska Middle/High School has seen a serious decline in their arts programs, leaving those who are interested and/ or talented in those areas with no outlet to explore and learn. Therefore, it is our goal to try to promote the arts, including music, to build back the support it once had. It is a big job, but taking small steps, like making a blog to promote the arts of students, can add up over time.

The students behind this blog are the students that will be the voice for all painters, musicians, photographers, artists and more that want to be heard. We plan on using those voices to stir up as much support as we can. To show that the arts are important, the arts do matter, and the arts will play an important role in students lives.

Currently, our blog has numerous articles written by students themselves all about their own personal experiences with music. These articles illustrate how much music means to all of us, and we hope it inspires others so it means something to them as well.

So, our blog may be small, but we have dreams for it to grow into something that will make a difference in our lives as students today, and for many more students to come.

If you want to help us make that difference, come check out our blog at and spread the word on the importance of music and the arts in education.

This group of students work with Madawaska Middle/High School music educator and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader Josh Bosse.


Arts Learning Grants

January 26, 2016

Maine Arts Commission grants

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 10.18.08 PMThe Maine Arts Commission awards grants to artists, arts organizations, and arts educators through 12 different programs. The 2016 applications for six of these, with a deadline of March 24, are now open. The Arts Learning grant is especially for schools and educators working with students providing arts education.


The maximum award is $5,000. Last year the average grant award was $2,300.


Funds are to be used to enhance PK-12 arts education through teaching artist programs, connections with community arts education, curriculum planning, professional learning for arts educators, teaching artists and teachers of all content.

The proposal should include the use of best educational standards-based practices reflecting 21-century teaching and learning.

PK-12 schools, community organizations, and cultural institutions acting as or in partnership with teaching artists are eligible to apply for the Arts Learning grant.


Your school or organization is eligible to apply if it meets all of the following criteria:

  • Is a nonprofit organization, legally established in the state of Maine.
  • Has a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service, is a public school, or is a unit of municipal, county or tribal government.
  • Is in compliance with final reports required for any previous Maine Arts Commission awards received.


Arts Learning Grant applications are reviewed on a competitive basis using the following criteria:

  • Demonstration of high-quality arts education teaching and learning opportunities. (25%)
  • Clear description of the project and its impact. (20%)
  • Evidence of significant collaborative planning among teachers and other partners and capacity to carry it out. (20%)
  • Description of evaluation methodology with clear objectives and outcomes. (15%)
  • Alignment with State of Maine Learning Results for Visual and Performing Arts and the Common Core standards. (10%)
  • Assurance that the project will include certified, trained teaching artists and will provide professional development opportunities where appropriate. (10%)


(All character counts include spaces. 4,400 characters/page)

  1. In two to four sentences, please describe your idea. (4,400 characters)
  2. Clearly state the objectives for the idea, and plans for evaluating your success.(2,300 characters)
  3. Describe your partnership, collaborative planning and the learners that you serve, including underserved students. (2,300 characters)
  4. How does your proposal align with the State of Maine Learning Results for Visual and Performing Arts? If relevant, speak to the Common Core standards. (2,300 characters)
  5. Who are the professional teachers and teaching artists involved in this project? Summarize their professional experience. (2,300 characters)


  • Complete answers to all narrative prompts
  • Completed project budget
  • Most currently completed 990 (for organizations only)
  • Resumes, bios, or curriculum vitae for all key personnel. Include resumes for all teaching artists
  • One to three letters of support from individuals or representatives of organizations or schools who can speak to their anticipated benefit from the project
  • Lesson Plan/Unit showing learning outcomes and assessment tools

To read all of the details please go to


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