Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

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MALI Teaching Artist Leader Story: Kerry Constantino

February 19, 2019

Teaching Artist – Dancer

This is one of six blog posts in 2019 that include stories of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Phase 8 Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artist Leaders. This series includes a set of questions so you can learn a little bit about each leader. CLICK HERE  for more information on MALI. CLICK HERE  for more information on the 96 Teacher Leaders and 11 Teaching Artist Leaders. CLICK HERE  for Arts education resources. CLICK HERE for the MALI Resource Bank. Search in the “search archives” box on the bottom right side of this post for past teacher leader stories. Thank you Kerry for sharing your story!

Kerry Constantino

Kerry Constantino began teaching dance to kids right out of college when she graduated college in 2003. Even though she really enjoyed teaching, Kerry felt like she needed more time and experience just creating art. She stepped away from teaching and turned her focus towards developing her technique, studying movement and choreographic theory, and participating in the practice and creation of dance for herself and others. Nearly a decade later, Kerry found herself wanting to teach again, so she applied and was accepted in the San Diego Young Audiences Teaching Artist Training, where she re-learned a lot of things that would prepare her for her role as  a teaching artist. And, she loved it! Kerry really feel at home working with all members of the community. Whether through a school residency or at a private studio, she finds that working with dancers of all ages is so satisfying.

What do you like best about being a teaching artist?

I love being a teaching artist because people, especially young people, are natural dancers.           Giving people permission to move, when so often in a school and work setting, we are told to stay sedentary, is one of my greatest joys.

What do you believe are three keys to ANY successful visual and performing arts education?

I have no idea what would be the key to having a successful arts education, however, I think the thing that stops people from having a successful arts education is a pressure from society that the arts are not valid, or that they are superfluous. The arts give us tools to be creative problem solvers, to think three-dimensionally, and to have the confidence to improvise if we need to. I think all kinds of industries and workplace environments benefit when there are artists at the table.

Have you found assessment to be helpful in your classes, workshops and residencies, and if so, how?

Assessment is part and parcel to being a teaching artist. Whether I’m teaching 3 year olds or 70 year olds, having tools to assess how my students are understanding me is important. When teaching dance, so much is dependent on being a clear communicator, I want my students to dance articulately, safely, and joyfully. Knowing how much of my information is getting across is accomplished through using assessment throughout class.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative?

I have loved my experiences learning with the other educators in the MALI. It has been inspirational to hear their stories and learn from what they are currently practicing in their classrooms. Learning from other teachers and seeing how they organize and strategize their teaching techniques is invaluable.

What are you most proud of as an artist and/or a teaching artist?

I think what I am most proud of in my art is that I haven’t gotten stuck with just one medium. I began as a dancer, but over the years I have continued to be a voracious learner in many different mediums. I don’t think I will ever be satisfied just practicing and teaching one thing, there is so much more to learn. As I have learned new mediums I’ve incorporated it into my own art and into my teaching as well. Sometimes it feels like I’m a bit of a “Jack of all trades” it’s during those times that I remind myself that if I stop learning new things, then I have stopped growing.

Kerry Constantino

What gets in the way of doing a better job as a teaching artist?

I think that the biggest challenge for me as a teaching artist is navigating the process of finding residencies. I still feel really new to teaching, so I’m hoping this gets easier the more that I do it. I tend to retreat a bit when it comes to pursuing residencies because I feel like there are other people who are doing what I do, but with more experience and better. I talk myself out of things a lot and I think this is all born out of fear.

What have you accomplished through hard work and determination that might otherwise appear at first glance to be due to “luck” or circumstances?

Everything. I have spent years pushing and finding a way to continue as a dancer and movement artist. Sometimes it feels too hard, like if being a dancer and choreographer is this hard, then I just shouldn’t do it, but for some crazy reason I keep going. Every piece of choreography I have shown, every informal performance, every single time I have made dance and shown it there has been a period during my creative process that has felt impossible.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about becoming a teaching artist or is just starting out?

Go for it! Practice saying what you want to say to your students before you are actually in front of a class. Write down everything. Get a calendar and use it. Don’t worry if you get flustered on the first day and forget your whole lesson plan, you will be ok!

MALI Summer Institute, August 2018, USM

If you were given a $500,000.00 to do with whatever you please, what would it be?

There is so much I could do with $500,000. I have always hoped to own a home that would have a dance/art/movement studio in it. Dance requires a lot of open space, so I think that would be a big thing for me, to have a proper studio where I could hold classes and have informal performances in my own home. One of my first dance teachers lived in a huge old victorian house and the “ballroom” was her dance studio. It is definitely a dream of mine to do that. Oh, and more travel, I have terrible wanderlust.

Imagine you are 94 years old. You’re looking back. Do you have any regrets?

If I make it to be 94, I hope that I can see that all of my choices were what made my long beautiful life. I can’t say there would be any regrets at this point.

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MALI Teacher Leader Story: Shalimar Poulin Chassé

February 12, 2019

Art Educator

 

This is one of six blog posts in 2019 that include stories of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Phase 8 Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artist Leaders. This series includes a set of questions so you can learn a little bit about each leader. CLICK HERE  for more information on MALI. CLICK HERE  for more information on the 96 Teacher Leaders and 11 Teaching Artist Leaders. CLICK HERE  for Arts education resources. CLICK HERE for the MALI Resource Bank. Search in the “search archives” box on the bottom right side of this post for past teacher leader stories. Thank you Shalimar for sharing your story!

Shalimar Poulin Chassé teaches students in grades 6 through 12, visual art at Wiscasset Middle High School. This is her 4th year facilitating a full choice high school program. Shalimar also is the studio art director at Buker Community Center in Augusta.

She was honored to sit at the table in the early stages of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI), and now to join the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative. She is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with motivated, educated, and curious colleagues. This blog post is in Shalimar’s own words from here…

Chapter 1 of my story was my first year at Wiscasset High School, soon after leaving Gardiner Area High- many moons ago. While I followed the required format in Chapter 1, I offer here in Chapter 2 a freestyle review of some background and update in the form of briefs (perhaps a suitable fit for we busy arts educators): 

Twenty-five year veteran engaged in modified to full choice-based art programing for students grades 6th-12th grades at Wiscasset Middle High School. Aiming to continue developing resources for students and colleagues wishing to engage in or offer their students a self-directed study that meets program and state standards for current, quality art education. 

When school is not in session, enjoy working with Augusta area community members of all ages, ability and means as director and instructor for Buker Studio Arts- also a choice-based Augusta Recreation program. This program began in the summer of 2014 and continues to be kindly supported by families who value art education extensions beyond that which area public schools offer.

Raised in Maine, one of three siblings- all who went to college for art. From a four generation line of artists- mother a painter and father a craftsman. Interest in learning a diversity of media is reflected in my personal artistic journey- Visit Shalimar Corneille Noire on Facebook. Favorite relaxing work- Maine wild flowers and landscapes- pastel spiritual work with an expressive, narrative, multi-media and sometimes collaborative approach combines wood carving, weaving, mosaic and collected personal artifacts. 

Always had an interest in teaching- it comes naturally. Love to learn. Find learning and teaching to be symbiotic.

Recently married to fifteen year partner, best friend and special education teacher, Scott. Favorite activity: family time- hanging with Scotti and our Standard Parti Poodles Skye and Ruby. Value sharing time with family and friends- especially when school is out of session and we can relax and enjoy.  

Love Maine outdoor activities including: walking, biking, snow shoeing, x-country skiing, swimming/aqua fit, kayaking, sailing. Enjoy Qi Gong, Yoga, and quiet meditations. Love to write, drum, and explore new media types and techniques to share with students and use in my own practice. Special interest in sharing my love of water exercise with others returning to active lives after an injury, illness or a busy lifestyle- I teach Aqua Fit classes a couple of evenings a week. Scott and I have a seasonal campsite at Green Valley Campground, Vassalborough and seasonal passes to Quarry Rd Nordic Ski Center- we are grateful to have beautiful placesto spend time with the outdoors.

 

Teacher of the Year MSAD 11 ’08, Maine Art Educator of The Year ’09, MAAI Keynote Speaker (with Rob Westerberg and Jeff Beaudry) for Arts Assessment For Learning Conference ’11, Former Fifteen Year Triathlete, Kidney Donor (2011 for my Dad who is doing very well enjoying life in his mid 70s), Stage Three Breast Cancer Survivor (diagnosis 2015, difficult treatment, approaching end of three year recovery- clean imaging and hope for a healthy future.)

Recovering Over-Achiever + Often Hard on Myself = Tendency to have High Expectations for my students and lean towards being hard on students and can be demanding if I am not careful. To address this trait, I aim to pay special attention to the balance between achievement and relationship nurturing; and, carefully facilitate appropriate challenges and support for each student’s process, growth and level of study. One day at a time, I aim to be kind to myself and surround myself with those who model a healthy balance in their lives.

Best Classroom Moments- A student “gets it”, turns on to art, believes they can be creative, recognizes talent is not necessary to learn about and enjoy making art; and, without the advantage of talent, the skills of art can be learned with practice. A student, who has been accustomed to “spoon feeding” and who is most comfortable with recipes, embraces the opportunity to sit in the driver’s seat, take charge of their learning, think outside the box, and approach problem solving with curiosity, courage and humility. A student learns for maybe the first time the value of art in their lives and the lives of others. A passerby takes time to “really look” at the student art in the halls, reaches out to student artists, and begins a conversation that might help both participants grow. My students and I learn together new processes, techniques, media types and their success far surpasses my own and our expectations. A student’s passion is infectious- and our class operates like a well oiled engine rich with supportive peers, student leadership, creative conversation, and enjoyment of the creative process.

Special interest in supporting at risk students- those without IEP or 504 supports and often with limited resources and less supportive home situations. Those that might slip under the table, unnoticed and less apt to self advocate. Current facilitator of the Student Success Team for which I have been a member during my tenure at WMHS.

Why Choice? As a student and person, and much like many students I work with daily, I have often felt confined by project criteria and recipes that dictate a particular process and perhaps result. At a critical point in my teaching journey, I recognized I was restricting my students to pre-conceived and teacher-preferred art types. While this approach guaranteed quality, it limited student’s opportunity to solve the blank page. What it came down to for me was this primary thought, “If my students might have only one semester of art in their post grammar school lives, let it be one to remember, the creation of a piece that they identify as theirs– something they want to take home. And with any luck, a creative experience born from courage, sustained with grit, and woven with moments of pleasure such that they might make time to create in their futures. Compromises? Sometimes students spend less time with isolated and comprehensive foundational Art Basics, sometimes there might be a reduction in Quality- as the scholars define it, and sometimes fear and confusion rise in the vastness of choice. A messier classroom climate where independence is a critical skill necessary to navigate- some less ready than others to drive through the creative process need tender nurturing to build skills and confidence necessary to navigate mostly solo. Flexibility and effective strategies to support these developing student artists is helpful.The choice-based classroom is unpredictable, exciting, rewarding, challenging, not always initially 100% successful for all- but memorable for most. 

As our choice-based ride is constantly morphing, I welcome conversations with art educators who offer choice in their classroom studios. I wonder how you manage a messier approach to management and instruction or better yet, facilitation. Several of we MALI folk are interested in forming a Maine chapter of the NAEA Choice Cohort. Want in? Contact me at: Arted4all@gmail.com or schasse@wiscassetschools.org. 

Will be in attendance at this year’s NAEA Choice Interest Group and multiple Choice-based workshops at our Boston Convention beginning March 14th. Hope to return with a tool box of successful approaches tried and true by our colleagues across the Nation. If you wish to engage in an excellent study of historical and current trends in Choice-based Art Education, consider enrolling in an ArtofEd Choice-Based Art Class. Course description.

Distancing in from NAEA Boston, MALI Phase 8 Teacher Leader, Shalimar Chassé and her generous colleague and Choice-based Art Workshop facilitator Molly Carlson (Wiscasset Middle High School former Middle School Art Educator and current Special Education Instructor) will be presenting at the March 15th Oxford Hills High School MALI Mega Conference for those interested in learning more about approaches to Choice-based art education. Go here to register for a professional development opportunity, the MALI Mega, Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, Friday, March 15, that promises to be filled with great ideas, passion for teaching and learning, and inspiring conversations lead by some fabulous art educators I have been so privileged to collaborate with through MALI 8.

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MALI Teaching Artist Leader Story: Shawna Barnes

February 5, 2019

Teaching Artist – Sculptor

This is one of six blog posts in 2019 that include stories of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Phase 8 Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artist Leaders. This series includes a set of questions so you can learn a little bit about each leader. CLICK HERE  for more information on MALI. CLICK HERE  for more information on the 96 Teacher Leaders and 11 Teaching Artist Leaders. CLICK HERE  for Arts education resources. CLICK HERE for the MALI Resource Bank. Search in the “search archives” box on the bottom right side of this post for past teacher leader stories. Thank you Shawna for sharing your story!

Shawna N.M. Barnes is a Ceramic Sculptor who has been focused on teaching for three years. Her favorite group to teach is the one full of people who “don’t think they can” because of a disability. Or never gave art a try because of their disabilities. “Problem solving and finding ways to show them they can create and engage in creativity… is amazing.”

What do you like best about being a teaching artist?

I love all the people I have met as a teaching artist. Doors that have been opened, and opportunities presented. It has provided me the ability to share my passions with others who appreciate it.

What do you believe are three keys to ANY successful visual and performing arts education?

First, allowing for differential interpretations of a topic. Essentially acknowledging that the world is full of gray. And when it comes to art, the spectrum of how art and its concepts are perceived, truly is a spectrum.

Second, the ability to acknowledge that art is a bridge between worlds. Whether that be yours and mine, real and fantasy, or past and future. It allows for difficult conversations to be had, often bridging a divide caused by a lack of understanding. Teaching this concept to our students is vital.

Third, the ability to appreciate content, subject matter and skills needed to complete a work of art without having to like the art itself. The ability to see it with an objective eye.

Have you found assessment to be helpful in your classes, workshops and residencies, and if so, how?

Thus far, assessments have helped guide the evolution of my classes and workshops. By evaluating what is working, what is not; what different ages and abilities respond to; I have been able to fine tune the classes so that the highest number of people fund value and enjoyment from the class.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the Maine Arts Leadership initiative?

The benefits have been innumerable! It has been the push I needed to create the resource center in my website. I have been given the opportunity to grow my speaking career by giving presentations at conferences. It has sparked collaborations between several members for brand music, for upcoming tutorials, and similar applications. It has introduced me to a group of peers that have become my support network. It has given me the confidence in my own set business that my intuition is right and I am on the right path.

What are you most proud of as an artist and/or a teaching artist?

I am most proud of breaking barriers and showing others where barriers exist. As a disabled artist, I often chose to just not participate in events and workshops because it was easier. I’m taking my challenges and helping create solutions that benefit not just me… but hopefully generations of disabled learners and artists so that they can have access to creative outlets.

What gets in the way of doing a better job as a teaching artist?

My health, admittedly. It can cause me to be unreliable and miss deadlines. Another factor is physical accessibility to facilities that may want to host me for workshops or seminars

What have you accomplished through hard work and determination that might otherwise appear at first glance to be due to “luck” or circumstances?

Simply being an artist is hard work and requires determination every day to put the work in. I work through a variety of disabilities just to be able to create; myasthenia gravis,  cervical dystonia,  hypermobility joint syndrome, seizures, chronic pain, peripheral neuropathy and PTSD are the heavy hitters.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about becoming a teaching artist or is just starting out?

You will stumble as you find your footing but don’t let that detour you from continuing to put the work in to build the foundation of your career. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  There’s plenty of room for everyone at the top, do not entertain a scarcity mindset. 

If you were given a $500,000.00 to do with whatever you please, what would it be?

Build my handicap accessible studio. Give a few grants to local artists and arts organizations looking to make their space accessible by adding ramps or stairlifts to their infrastructure. And spend a few weeks in Paris, soaking up all the amazingness that is the Louvre.

Imagine you are 94 years old. You’re looking back. Do you have any regrets?

None.

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Celebrating Teachers

February 3, 2019

Proud of arts educators

Today is the last day nominations are being accepted for the 2019 County Teachers of the Year and the 2020 Maine State Teacher of the Year.

Information is located on the Maine Teacher of the Year Website.

The Maine State Teacher of the Year process of selecting and recognizing educators is very extensive. The process starts in January with nominations and during the following several months essays are written and submitted, interviews take place, presentations occur and video tapes created. Many are nominated of which each county has a teacher named. After 9 months the process takes it down to 3 finalists and in the end one teacher is selected. Each year in November a gala celebration happens where all of the county teachers of the year are recognized along with the next years State Teacher of the Year.

Anthony Lufkin

The 2019 gala took place the week before Thanksgiving. It was to see Kaitlin Young, music educator, Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader and the 2018 Maine Teacher of the Year emcee the evenings program. It was a chance to celebrate Kaitlin’s amazing journey and what she has contributed to education. She has been a wonderful representative of all Maine teachers and especially Visual and Performing Arts Educators. In addition, three more arts educators were celebrated. I’m so proud of their work.

  • Christine Del Rossi, Sagadahoc County, Visual Arts grades 9-12 Mt. Ararat High School
  • Anthony Lufkin, Knox Counnty, Visual Arts grades PreK-8 Union Elementary School, Prescott School (Washington), Friendship Village School, Middle School Alternative Education
  • David Coffey, Waldo County, Music grades 6-12 Belfast Area High School

Christine Del Rossi

 

 

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2019 MALI Mega Conference

January 30, 2019

Friday, March 15

The Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) will provide a Mega-regional conference at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in South Paris, Maine on Friday, March 15, 8:30 a.m. – 3:15 p.m. All educators, PK-higher education are invited to participate in this professional development opportunity in arts education. Workshop facilitators are Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) teacher leaders and teaching artist leaders from all eight phases of MALI. These educators are providing dynamic work that they’ve been engaged with themselves, some for many years.

Below are the descriptions for the workshops being offered. You will have the opportunity to register for three of these workshops.

  Register for the 2018 Mega-Regional Workshop

Date and Location

Friday, March 15, 2019, Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, South Paris

Schedule

  • 8:30 a.m. Registration begins
  • 9:00 a.m. Opening
  • 9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Breakout Session I
  • 10:30 a.m. – 10:40 a.m. Break
  • 10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Breakout Session II
  • 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. Lunch, participants on their own
  • 12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Artist Showcase
  • 1:50 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Breakout Session III
  • 3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Closing

Contact hours

5.5 contact hours will be provided to those participating in the full day of the MALI Mega-regional conference at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School.

REGISTRATION

What does “arts accessibility” mean? Presented by Shawna Barnes

PreK-12 All content

Description

Shawna will share the five key definitions of arts accessibility and what they may look like in the classroom/studio. Participants will learn how to break through these barriers to access, with a few creative solutions.

Sandbox Composing Presented by Joe Cough

Grade 6-Adult Music

Joe will demonstrate how easy it can be to compose music. With participation from the group, we will create a new piece of music with numbers (and talk about other ways to write music too). Risk taking and mistakes will be the driving force of this workshop.

Arts and Community Outreach: “The Stories We’ve Been Told – Preserving the Histories of our Elders” Presented by Kris Bisson

Middle School Chorus, applicable to multi-disciplines and all levels

Reaching beyond the walls of the classroom to explore learning provides many valuable opportunities for both the students and those they collaborate with. Kris will share her students’ current project, monthly visits to a retirement home where the students interview residents to capture their stories, games, pastimes, and events that shaped their lives. Students take these stories and create a multi-movement choral composition to be performed in our Spring 2019 concert.

Students will experience cross-curricular collaboration that moves the arts to the heart of curriculum. Interconnected learning provides students of all learning styles an opportunity to demonstrate and share understanding and knowledge learning using the creative process.

We will compose in the workshop and share ideas that can be used directly in your area of study.

The Possibilities of Full Choice Presented by Shalimar Poulin Chassé

Grade 6-12 Visual Art

A story of a developing full choice approach to art making, hard copy and link-based resources (including student project proposal form, course expectation student guide, self direction management aid, rubrics, do’s and don’t’s, examples of student works, and access to slide presentation) to assist the wild-spirited, brave, and trusting (or crazy) to dive in feet first or the perhaps wiser ginny-pig with an appetite for a savory taste. All wild-spirits and ginny-pigs welcome!

Music & Math Presented by Lindsay Pinchbeck & Tom Luther

Grades 1-12 Music

Lindsay and Tom will share their experiences teaching music and math as a single domain. Using simple, open ended tasks, they will show how to help students make connections between these two normally specialized subjects, and how other “rabbit holes” can be discovered along the way.

Adding Choice to Art History Presented by Cindi Kugell

Middle/High School Visual Art (ele welcome)

Choice-Based Art classrooms are working studios where students learn through authentic art making. Control shifts from teacher to learner as students explore ideas and interests in art media of their choice. This concept supports multiple modes of learning to meet the diverse needs of our students. We’ll chat about how to add choice to a studio art history course (without offering centers) and through the hands-on creation of artist trading cards.

Zines Presented by Samantha Armstrong

Elementary Visual Art

Informational Zines or mini magazines are a great way to bring writing into the art room. In this workshop we will look at combining informational writing with drawing techniques and tools to create unique zines. We will look at student examples, strategies and tools for teaching an arts/literacy integrated unit and have time to create a zine. Once complete zines are easy to photocopy and are always fun to share with classmates and the school community.

Theater as a Life Skill Presented by Nicole Cardano

PreK-12 All content

Play lets us shake off anything unwanted and connect with those that we are with.  Foundational practices of improvisational theater: Listening, Eye Contact, Respect, Support, YesAnd as well as Embracing Mistakes will be discussed and exercised.  Sharing observations and experiences as a student, teacher and general human.

Students Reflective Response & the Digital Process-Folio Presented by Melanie Crowe

Grade 6-High School Visual Art – applicable to all beyond art room

The use of reflective practice allows students the opportunities to gauge their understanding along the process of creating. As students regularly document their experiences throughout process of art making it provides opportunities for discussion and conversation between student & self, student & peers, and student & teacher. These conversations provide checkpoints for reflective practice and growth.

Pre-Assessment: Misconceptions & Building Stronger Student Achievement Presented by Iva Damon

PreK-12 All content

Let’s dive into the misconceptions surrounding pre-assessment and look at easy ways to implement strategies into the classroom that work for both teacher and student.

Practical Self-Care for Teachers – Beyond Bubble Baths and Barre Class Presented by Elise Row

PreK-12 All content

This workshop was born out of necessity. Elise will share her personal experience of confronting the topic of self-care as an elementary visual arts teacher. This ever evolving workshop will provide teachers, artists, and busy people in general tools, resources, insight, and reminders to support their growth and practice of self-care.

Photos from the 2018 MALI Mega at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School.

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Dance Education Funding

January 29, 2019

Schools/districts apply by January 31, 2019

AUGUSTA-January 23, 2019—The power of dance is alive in Maine schools thanks to a Dance Education Grant offered by the Maine Arts Commission that is available to PK-12 schools and teaching artists until January 31, 2019. Applicants can apply for awards up to $2,500 to fund a dance residency in their school district.

Teaching Artist Nancy Salmon with students at Freeport High School

Dance education makes a difference in children’s lives and creativity. Yet only five percent of all schools in Maine offer opportunities in this artistic discipline, according to the Arts Education Census study conducted in 2016 by the Maine Arts Commission.

The Dance Education Grant emphasizes high quality learning experiences for students and educators through a series of residencies that are administrated by teaching artists from the Arts Commission’s Teaching Artist Roster. Each residency is designed to teach the art of movement, performance, creative expression, and teamwork.

Freeport High School students rehearsing their dance

During this past school year, the dance education grant funded residencies at Freeport High School and Maranacook Middle School. Nancy Salmon, a teaching artist listed on the Arts Commission’s teaching artist roster, provided the instruction.

“The students know that dance is more than memorized steps,” Salmon said, reflecting on her residency program at Freeport High School that collaborated with the theater program. “They know how dance movement can enhance meaning of words in a script and how all dance and movement have elements in common. I believe all of us, teacher, students and visiting artist, have honed our adaptation, flexibility, and focus skills.”

Freeport High School students rehearsing their dance

Applying what they learned in the dance residency program, the Freeport theater class wrote a play based on three thematic stories, and then performed the piece as an interactive workshop for all second graders in the Freeport school district.

“The dance education grant is intended as seed money to grow a dance program,” said Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education at the Maine Arts Commission. “This funding provides a unique opportunity, one that I hope all schools without dance ed curriculum in place will take advantage and apply.”

Collaborators – Teaching Artist Nancy Salmon and Freeport High School Theater teacher Natalie Safely

Funding for the grant is made possible through an annual dance performance presented by two schools and ten dance studios in collaboration with Thornton Academy dance educator and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader Emma Arenstam Campbell.

Dance Education Grant guidelines application criterion is listed at www.MaineArts.com. Applications will be accepted until Thursday, January 31, 2019.The Commission encourages PK-12 educators or teaching artists to review the guidelines prior to applying. The funding cycle for the grant must take place September 1, 2019 through March 30, 2020.

For more information visit the grants and the teaching artist roster webpages at www.MaineArts.com.

For questions regarding the grants or current teaching roster, contact Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education at 207-287-2713 or email at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

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Call for Presenters

January 20, 2019

Spring conferences

The annual Maine Art Education Association (MAEA) Spring Conference is just around the corner and they are looking for presenters. Saturday, 6 April, Belfast Area High School is hosting.

Interested in presenting? CLICK HERE and complete the form. Wondering what workshops were included in 2018? CLICK HERE.

The Maine Music Educators Association is hosting their annual conference on May 16 and 17. If you are interested in presenting please submit your proposal by CLICKING HERE
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