Archive for the ‘Opportunity’ Category


Storytelling and Innovation

May 19, 2019

Southern Maine Partnership

The annual conference sponsored by USM and the the Southern Maine Partnership, Assessment for Learning & Leading was outstanding. These year’s theme was Brain-Based Strategies to Cultivate Positive Learning Environments. Conference planners Jeff Beaudry and Anita Stewart  McCafferty did an amazing job planning two days of

Jen Etter

keynotes and sessions that left participants excited and filled with information to use in their classrooms and school districts.  The featured keynote speaker was Dr. Marcia Tate whose work parallels much of the teaching and learning that takes place every day in visual and performing arts education.

Arts education played an important part of the conference as it has each of the past three years. Presenting at the conference were Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI)

Shawna Barnes

Teacher Leader York Middle School Music Educator Jen Etter and MALI Teaching Artist Leader Shawna Barnes. Their session was titled Brain-Based Strategies – Gateways to Creativity, Growth and Recovery. Jen provided information on strategies used in the music classroom that align with the brain research. Shawna offered information the role of the arts has in responding to disabilities and injuries. Each of them used examples from their work as teachers in the different settings.

I had a chance to with Lindsay Pinchbeck and offer a workshop called Storytelling and Innovation – an exploration in arts integration. If you click on the image on the right it will be larger and you can read our agenda. 

The participants were thoughtful and willing to share – opening their thinking and ideas. During part of the session participants had a chance to try Express-a-Book which is an idea created by Falmouth High School music educator Jake Sturtevant, Lindsay Pinchbeck and myself. It’s our answer to traditional book clubs. An opportunity to dive into a resource like a book, TED Talk or a pod cast and instead of only ‘talking’ about it, participants create a response using an art form and share the art with the group. We created it as part of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) and have tried it with people around the world through our work with HundrEDExpress-a-Book is part of Jeff and Anita’s recently published book Teaching Strategies That Create Assessment-Literate Learners.

Participants used the Hundred site or a segment of The Innovators Mindset by George Couros, Mindset by Carol Dweck or If I Understood You Would I Have This Look on My Face? by Alan Alda. Afterwards they shared their take-aways from these resources so they could help build on everyone’s knowledge. I highly recommend all four resources for independent or collaborative reading with colleagues.

The most fun part of the session was at the beginning when participants used “story starters” and created a dragon together – a technique that we learned from MALI Teaching Artist Leader Nicole Cardano who is the founder of Theater Today.

We provided numerous research reports, articles and links to a variety of resources that participants could follow up with if they wish to learn more on arts integration, innovation, mindset, storytelling and many more topics that are centered on good teaching and learning.

We completed the session by participants providing a “one word poem” – growth, environment, open-minded, transformative, opportunities, engaged, non-linear, and global.

Lindsay and Argy

For those of you who don’t know Lindsay, her bio is below. If you’re interested in purchasing Jeff and Anita’s book please contact them at and

Lindsay’s Bio – Originally from Scotland Lindsay Pinchbeck came to Maine for her undergraduate degree. Lindsay has been teaching with and through the arts in a variety of settings for the past 20 years. Lindsay is the director and founder of Sweet Tree Arts and Sweetland School, a community organization in Hope, ME offering a K-6 arts Integrated, Reggio Emilia inspired school. Pinchbeck received her Masters in Education through Lesley University’s Creative Arts and Learning program. Lindsay believes the creative arts should be accessible to all. She encourages everyone to be active participants and keen observers with the hope of enriching communities through the arts. Learn more at



Nature Art Camp

May 18, 2019

Hurricane Island



The Extension Cords

May 16, 2019

MAMM winners

The Extension Cords who performed at the pre-conference of the Maine International Conference on the Arts in September 2018 were just recognized at the Maine Academy of Modern Music Slam! The members, Camden Hills Regional High School students, Owen Markowitz, drummer, Katherine Bowen, electric bass, and Myles Kelley, keyboard came together in 2016. The Jazz-Inspired Trio performed at the arts education conference through the Midcoast Music Academy and their instructor Stu Gurley.

They are impressive and serious and you can listen to their music on SOUND CLOUDThey are often performing in the mid-coast so hopefully you can catch a live performance of The Extension Cords.

Congratulations Katherine, Owen, and Myles for winning the MAMMSlam and your prize of  $1,000. The Extension Cords will be playing at “Jazz in June” in Camden June 14, 7:30 p.m. at the Camden Opera House.


Arts Accessibility Webinar

May 13, 2019

Shawna Barnes

On Sunday, May 26, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. Shawna Barnes will be hosting a webinar on Arts Accessibility. Shawna is a Teaching Artist Leader with the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative.

Shawna N.M. Barnes is a disabled artist and arts accessibility educator. One of her passions is helping educators, camp counselors, and relatives of those living with a disability, find economic solutions to arts access barriers.

In this short webinar, Shawna will introduce several inexpensive and immediate modifications to tools that can be done to help your student or loved one be able to create as independently as possible. Adaptive tools can be expensive. So a big focus for Shawna is finding those creative adaptive solutions by using products you may already have at home, in your studio, or in the classroom.

Do you have a specific tool, disability, or pain point you’d like covered? Ask your question, or describe your situation in this event, and Shawna will be picking 2-3 to use as examples during this webinar.

This introductory webinar is FREE and scheduled to last 30 minutes. If there is higher interaction and engagement, time may be extended an additional 30 minutes. Material will be presented via a live Facebook video on her sculpting page – Shawna N.M. Barnes – Beyond the Clay Art Studio.

To learn more contact Shawna at


Artist Social

May 12, 2019

Ibiyinka Alao

On Wednesday, May 15, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Steel House in Rockland there will be an Artist Social. The evening features Ibiyinka Alao, the Art Ambassador to the United Nations. Join Ibiyinka to share your creative work and engage in lively conversation!

The Artists Social is FREE to attend
Open to all creative minds
RSVP required to

  • After a brief intro by Ibiyinka Alao stay for our Artist Social creative community pot luck
  • Please bring an appetizer, dessert or beverage to share if you will be joining the gathering

Click on the image to read the details. 


Make History

May 12, 2019

Sarah Orne Jewett House Museum

You are invited to Make History at the Sarah Orne Jewett House Museum

5 Portland Street South Berwick, Maine

Historic New England celebrates the third annual Make History, an exhibition featuring the work of Berwick Academy and Marshwood High School art and music students with a reception on Thursday, May 2, from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Sarah Orne Jewett House Museum and Visitor Center and Education Space.

Both the exhibition and the reception are free and open to the public. Make History is the culmination of an educational collaboration with educators Seth Hurd, Raegan Russell, Jeff Vinciguerra, and Julia Einstein, in which students were inspired to create personal meanings from the Sarah Orne Jewett House story through visual and performance-based interpretations. On visits to the Sarah Orne Jewett House Museum, students explored rooms and collections, including objects by Marcia Oakes Woodbury and Charles Woodbury, Sarah Wyman Whitman, and Celia Thaxter, investigating the influence of Jewett’s surroundings on her work. One visit took the form of “classroom in the museum,” as students selected a space in the house to study, sketch, or write. Students and teachers came just as in 1891, when Jewett invited artist friends Marcia Oakes and Charles Woodbury to work in her home to immerse themselves in her surroundings and her writing to develop the drawings that would become the illustrations for her book, Deephaven.”

The project was the conceived by Historic New England Maine Education Program Coordinator Julia Einstein. Said Einstein, “I enjoy creating learning spaces to cultivate the creative process. New thinking, and fresh ways of looking excite young people to come up with original ideas.” Visitors to the exhibition will look for ways the students have connected art and history. Two students from Berwick Academy’s Senior Studio Seminar share their thoughts. Eila Shea said, “What resonated with me the most about the Sarah Orne Jewett House were the details, and objects that made up each room. I focused on the small, but beautiful, and often peculiar things that told stories about the history of the house.” Eliana Fleischer spoke of how she found “a way to understand who a person is, is by the books they read. For an author, the books they write serve the same purpose.” Eliana goes on to describe how “Inside Sarah Orne Jewett’s house there is a beautiful library stacked high with books, and filled with furniture of various shapes and textures. I made a print which combines fragments of texture with words that were influenced by that creative place.”

Marshwood High School’s Jeff Vinciguerra, describes how “Everything about this project fits perfectly with my own philosophies as an educator. When students are tasked with designing and making a piece of art which will be displayed in the community, that increased sense of responsibility kicks the students creativity and work ethic into high gear. As an educator I really enjoy this project because it takes students out of the classroom and into the real world and allows us all to see what they are really capable of. The results are consistently impressive. I’m always proud of their hard work and diligent efforts. And to see them connecting in some way to the past history from our hometown is an experience I wish everyone was able to partake in.” Principal, Paul Mehlhorn has expressed an interest in the project becoming a purposeful part of the curriculum going forward where it happens each year.” Raegan Russell, of Berwick Academy adds “the Make History Project has been a thoughtful collaboration between my art students and the Sarah Orne Jewett House. Our students visited the historic home of Jewett, read excerpts of her writing and were invited to experience the space personally and authentically. They were given sketchbook prompts that encouraged them to find what resonated with them, and to discover what questions they had about Jewett, and her time. Our art students further explored these ideas in their sketchbooks, and ultimately through an expressive art work.” Seth Hurd’s Berwick Academy Chorus recorded a period piece of music in the historic house museum to create an audio installation to the exhibition. He is pleased to work on “projects like this one, which align perfectly with our student centered and project -based curriculum at Berwick Academy.”

Make History is on exhibit at the Sarah Orne Jewett Visitor Center until May 18, 2019, and at the Sarah Orne Jewett Museum Education Space until June 30, 2019. Hours are first and third Saturdays, through May, and Friday – Sunday, from June 1 – October 15, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. For more information, please call Sarah Orne Jewett House Museum and Visitor Center, 207-384-2454, or visit the website The project and exhibition wad funded in part by the Sam L. Cohen Foundation.

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.


Homer High School Fellows

May 9, 2019

Portland Museum of Art

Do you have a student who is a creative thinker with a strong point of view, who loves the idea of spending part of their summer in an art museum and on the coast? The Portland Museum of Art’s (PMA) Homer High School Fellows program is a paid, part-time Fellowship program at the PMA open to rising Sophomore, Junior, or Seniors in High School who are able to secure a work permit if under age 16. The 2019 Fellowship will run tentatively from June 24 to August 2, with two full week intensives.

Reflecting on the rocky shore of Prouts Neck

Each summer, the Homer High School Fellows work together to strengthen their community and develop their creative voices at the PMA and the Winslow Homer Studio, using the museum’s collection and special exhibitions as wellsprings of inspiration. They also learn what makes museums tick, visit artist studios, create original work, and share their experiences with others. Past Homer High School Fellows have produced and presented popular teen-oriented programming, found out Homer wasn’t who they thought he was, made lasting friendships, and much more.

2018 summer fellows at the Winslow Homer house

The application period for Homer High School Fellows is currently open until Sunday, May 5th 2019 at 11:59pm.

To learn more about the program check out the information and view photos on SUMMER 2018. For program description and the application please CLICK HERE

If you have questions about the fellowship please contact Martha Schnee, Youth and Teen Programs Coordinator at 775-6148, ext. 3284 or email Martha at

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