Archive for the ‘Opportunity’ Category

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Girls Rock

December 17, 2017

Tickets on sale

The Maine Academy of Modern Music’s annual Girls Rock! show returns to Port City Music Hall on Saturday, March 3.

Each March as part of Women’s History Month, MAMM hosts its annual Girls Rock! concert. The event is a celebration of girls’ involvement in music and will showcase the talents of MAMM’s students who will be performing a combination of solo and full band sets.

In addition to the concert, MAMM also hosts a Girls Rock! camp each summer.  Young female rockers get to spend a week building their skills, networking with other like-minded girls, and learning tricks of the trade from various women from Maine’s thriving local music scene.

Tickets to Girls Rock! cost $12 in advance and $15 at the door and limited preferred seating tickets are available for $20.  The doors open at 4pm and the music begins at 4:30pm.

NEW THIS YEAR: MAMM will be hosting a FREE afternoon matinee event prior to the Girls Rock! show which will feature the school’s new MAMMOTH programs, including the MAMMOTH Brass Band, MAMMOTH Rock Chorus, and MAMMOTH Strings.

The matinee, which begins at 1pm, will include performances by the MAMM’s after school MAMMOTH programs as well as the MAMMOTH programs held in collaboration with a number of the school’s partner organizations such as Portland Public Schools and Scarborough Strings.  Each group will be performing their own pieces and will all join each other onstage for one epic performance!

MAMM’s Girls Rock! is made possible with the generous support of 98.9 WCLZ, Maine Magazine, and Port City Music Hall.

PURCHASE TICKETS!

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LEAPS of IMAGINATION

December 15, 2017

Kids Put the Pieces Together

LEAPS of IMAGINATION received funding from the Maine Arts Commission Arts Learning grant to provide amazing opportunities this year for some midcoast schools. If you’re not familiar with the LEAPS program, this is what they ‘walk’ day to day: LEAPS of IMAGINATION brings local Maine mentor artists together with elementary school students and teachers in a collaborative school-day classroom program. Mentor artists interweave in-depth art making experiences with carefully chosen social justice and literature themes linked to the class curriculum. Our project empowers children to believe in their own capacity to create and to make change in both their local community and the larger world.

Thanks to Nancy Frohlich, founder and director of LEAPS of IMAGINATION, for sharing her latest blog post with the Maine Arts Education blog. Students from grade 4, St. George School, spent a day at the newly opened Bernard Langlais Preserve. 

Working in Langlais’ medium, on his home turf, next to his own studio brought the artist to life for St. George School’s fourth graders today. LEAPS’ mentor artists had been planning this visit for months. Although adults had anticipated children’s reactions, they hadn’t quite envisioned how children would put the pieces together.

Once kids had toured his workshop, they skipped around the property, astounded at the scale and detail of his sculptures. Sitting by the fireplace on a chilly morning, they listened to the story, “Why am I me?” Then, imagining what it must have been like to have been “Blackie” Langlais, they shared their insights with their classmates.

“He was creative – how he made the cow with the utter.” “He used a lot of random stuff.” “He doesn’t just use wood. He adds texture.” “With his bears, he adds creases.” 

He made his own tools.”  “In his photos he looked so serious. But if he really was serious, he’d make things serious. Instead he made them imaginatively!”  “He just went on and took a risk. If he made a mistake he just kept going and went with the surprises.”  “He made animals you can walk into.”  “He used ladders.” “He was smart.”  ” I can’t believe he made 3,000 sculptures!”  “He used a lot of measurements.” “He was inspirational!”

A few minutes later they began investigating animals and wood for themselves. Each child had a 12X12 piece of plywood on which to create a creature they identified with. They had plenty of time to “play” with the wood pieces, choosing them, adjusting them, and exchanging them. When they felt ready – they adhered them to their square.

We thought, what would happen if we put all the pieces together like a quilt? So that’s what we did! If you look closely you can see an eagle, a butterfly, a monkey, a chameleon, a cheetah, a wolf, a shark, a tiger, a horse, a hummingbird, a fish, a caribou, a pig, a bunny, a worm, and a whale. In the new year, we’ll install the art in the school. We bet our fourth grade Langlais experts will be excited to talk about the artist and how they approached this collective work of art.

We thank Cynthia Trone at the Langlais Sculpture Preserve for making us feel at home. We loved that roaring fire and the opportunity to become explorers on the artists’ own turf.

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Excellence Celebration

December 12, 2017

Quite the celebration!

First Lady Ann LePage and the artists from Camden Rockport Schools

Twice a year the Maine Arts Commission and the Department of Education recognize student artists with the Excellence in Maine Visual & Performing Education. To celebrate the occasion, 89 student exhibitors have their work displayed at the Maine State Capitol Complex.

Westbrook High School Chamber Singers under the direction of Suzanne Proulx

On December 6, 2017 three school districts from Westbrook, Camden-Rockport and the Blue Hill region were recognized with live performances and a certificate ceremony. The event featured performances from the Westbrook High School Chamber Singers, directed by Suzanne Proulx, and the Blue Hill Middle School Band, directed by Bill Schubeck. Visual Art teachers whose students participated are: Blue Hill Region: Judy Park, Nick Patterson, Penny Ricker, and Rebecca Poole-Heyne. Camden-Rockport: Kristen Andersen, Susan Dowley, and Carolyn Brown. Westbrook Schools: Mia Bogyo, Abby Jacobs, Debra Bickford, Nancy Goan, Cheri Juniewiczc, and Melissa Perkins.

Blue Hill Middle School Band under the direction of Bill Schubeck

First Lady Ann LePage presented certificates to the student artists along with Martha Harris, Chair of the Board of Education and Julie Richard, Executive Director of the Arts Commission.

First Lady Ann LePage with students from Blue Hill Region (School Union 93)

Afterwards students, their families and their teachers scattered throughout the State House complex to view the art. The student artwork will remain on display until February 2018. View each student’s work and location that it’s displayed here.  More information about the Excellence in Maine Visual & Performing Arts Education can be found on the Maine Arts Commission Education webpage.

 

School Union 93 students visiting the Maine Arts Commission to view the student artwork

 

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Maine Poetry Out Loud

December 11, 2017

Poets go to school

The Poetry Out Loud (POL) program is underway across Maine and the country. Over 10,000 Maine high students are selecting their poems, furiously memorizing and practicing them for themselves, their classmates, and their teachers.

Maine has 48 high schools participating this year, 10 new to POL. At some schools every student, grade 9-12 participates. Maine is repeatedly one of the states with the highest participation and this year will be no exception.  The 2017 Maine State Champ, Gabrielle Cooper, attended Gardiner Area High School; one of the schools where all students participate every year. Three of the new schools this year were fortunate to have

Winthrop High School students with Gibson Fay-LeBlanc

poets visit them to work with students and teachers. Portland’s fifth Poet Laureate, Gibson Fay-LeBlanc provided a workshop at Winthrop High School and Hampshire County Council’s Hampshire Poet Brian Evans-Jones provided workshops at Herman High School and Van Buren District Secondary School.

Students had a chance to experiment with their voices and ‘try out’ their poems for feedback. Both Gibson and Brian are on the MAC Teaching Artist roster and available to provide workshops for schools and community organizations.

Brian at Hermon High School

Thanks to all of the teachers who are working with students across Maine. I was thrilled to be at Hermon High School for the workshops. Brian led the students through exercises to help prepare their voices and their confidence. He said: “It’s important to understand your poem. The better you understand your poem the better you communicate the meaning and with that comes confidence.” Even listening to students recite their poems 2 and 3 times, I could hear their confidence rise.

Poetry Out Loud (POL) is organized nationally by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation and administered at the state level by the Maine Arts Commission.  This exciting program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage. Maine’s POL represent public and private high schools as well as high school homeschooling populations.

You have a chance to learn more about POL in Maine. The Maine Arts Commission invites you to attend the regional and state finals.

  • The Northern Maine Regional Finals will be held on Monday, February 12, 2018, 3:00 p.m. at the Hampden Academy Performing Arts Center, Hampden. The snow date is Tuesday, February 13, 2018, 3:00 PM. Hampden Academy, Regional School Unit #22, is an in-kind sponsor of this event.
  •  The Southern Maine Regional Finals will be held on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, 3:00 p.m. at the Westbrook Middle School Performing Arts Center, Westbrook. The snow date is Thursday, March 1, 2018, 3:00 p.m.
  • The Maine State Finals will be held on Monday, March 12, 2018 at the Waterville Opera House, 93 Main Street, Waterville. The snow date is Tuesday, March 13, 2018. Doors open to the public at 2:30 p.m. and the event begins at 3:00 p.m. No tickets are required. The event is free and all are welcome to attend. We anticipate that the event will conclude by approximately 5:00 p.m.

Working with teachers at Hermon High School

Learn more about the POL program at the national site or at the Maine Arts Commission POL webpages. If you teach or live near a high school that does not participate please plan on joining the program in the 2018-19 school year. Email Argy Nestor if you have any questions about how to get involved!

 

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Midcoast Actors’ Unlocks the Magic of ‘Narnia’

December 9, 2017

Belfast – MAS

Christi Goosman and Angela Domenichelli as the White Witch and Maugrim (courtesy of Leah Bannister)

‘Tis the season for snow in Maine, but if you’re *Christi Goosman, you want it winter all year long. That’s because she is playing the White Witch in Midcoast Actors’ Studio’s new production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, running December 8-17 at The Crosby Center in Belfast.

Based on the classic children’s books by C.S. Lewis, Wardrobe tells the story of the four Pevensie siblings who travel through a wardrobe to the magical world of Narnia, where the evil White Witch and her army battle against Aslan the lion and his animal followers. Aslan the lion comes to life in the form of a giant puppet, designed and built by Director Leah Bannister.

“I wanted to go more abstract and creative, incorporate something unique to the stage,” Bannister says, refering to the puppet. “I didn’t want to do the whole mask thing.”

Aslan is controlled by three puppeteers. Nathan Roach plays the voice of Aslan, as well as one of the puppeteers. Eugene Newton and Chip Curry are the other two. Playing the four children are Gracie, Erin and Chris Hayes and Maci Burgess. The adult versions of the children are played by Roach, Curry, Deb Fournier, and Jen Hart. Portland actor John Dalton Logan is Tumnus. Bryan and Bobbi-Jo Hayes are Mr. and Mrs. Beaver. Angela Domenichelli is Maugrim. Olivia Andrews is the centaur. Danielle and Marina Bannister play the dwarf and elf. Jay Holland is the professor and Father Christmas. Various animals are played by Isabelle Holt, Esme Deschamps, Sarah Joy, Teagan Fournier, Patricia Saucier, Jadon and Edna Dodge. Reilly Newton and Daniella Domenichelli fight on the witch’s army.

MAS Artistic Director Jason Bannister, who serves as stage manager, producer and lighting designer, is excited about the size of the production.

“With a cast and crew over 40, this is the biggest production for MAS yet,” Bannister says. “After the enormous success of Frankenstein, I am excited to see the audiences flock to the Crosby and see our holiday show. It’s a great way to get out and do something with your whole family this holiday season, right in downtown Belfast.”

Both Bannisters worked together with Greg Marsanskis and Brian Ross on the set design. Linda Marie designs the costumes. Jay Rosenberg is the sound designer. Angela Bonacasa is the fight choreographer, with Roach assisting as fight captain. Ivy Lobato and Marie are in charge of props. Jen Howard, Edna Dodge and Sarah Joy head up the extensive hair and make-up design crew.

An exciting aspect of the production is a special weekday student matinee for 400 RSU 71 students grades 3-5. Artistic Director Bannister hopes MAS can continue to offer weekday matinees for large school groups for the 2018 season, which includes Peter and the Starcatcher in May and The Snow Queen in December. The Crucible in October would be offered for middle and high schoolers.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe runs December 8, 9, 15, and 16 at 7:30 p.m. and December 10 and 17 at 2:00 p.m. Performances are at The Crosby Center, 96 Church Street Belfast. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students.

*Christi teaches theater at Searsport District Middle School & High School and is the 2017 Waldo County Teacher of the Year. 

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Thomas College

December 8, 2017

Center for Innovation in Education

Thomas College is in the midst of gearing up for the 2018 CIE Summer Institute scheduled for June 26 – 28, 2018. The theme  is “Innovating In Education for Maine’s Diverse Population of Students,” with a focus on Digital Learning, STEAM, and PBE.

You can learn more at the CIE Summer Institute website and on the Thomas College CIE homepage. More information will be added as it becomes available.

Early bird registration costs $175.00, and ends February 1st, 2018. The regular event ticket price will be $195.00, and this cost takes effect starting on Feb 1st, and will run through June 1st, 2018. Registration is available at Eventbrite.

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Happenings at the Farnsworth

December 7, 2017

Art Museum in December

The Farnsworth Art Museum has several opportunities during December.

  • On a Mountain in Maine opens on December 17th in the galleries.
  • Art Talk: Unexpected Journeys: Louise Nevelson and Pedro Guerrero, Thursday, December 7, 2pm
  • Membership: 20% discount through December 15 – use code GIFT365 at checkout
  • Art Talk and Film: Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes: When Art Danced with Music, Thursday, December 28, 2pm
  • Dramatic Reading: All She Must Possess, Saturday, December 30, 2pm. New play about the famed art-collecting Cone Sisters of Baltimore.
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