Archive for the ‘Opportunity’ Category


Scholastic Awards

April 8, 2017

Awards announced

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are the longest-running scholarship and recognition program for creative teens, and are presented annually by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers with generous support from Scholastic Inc.

There were 331,000 submissions and more than 2,700 works of art and writing earned a National Medal. On June 8 at Carnegie Hall in New York City students receiving top awards and their educators will be honored at a ceremony.

Congratulations to all the Maine students who submitted a work of art and to their teachers who worked with them.

The following Maine students are recognized for their submissions.

  • Taylor Worthington, grade 12, Brunswick High School, painting entitled “Touch of Pink”, Award: Gold Medal
  • Grace Roberts, grade 11, Cape Elizabeth High School, personal essay/memoir entitled “The Protagonist, Award: American Voices Medal
  • Bennett Hight, grade 12, Freeport High School, Art Portfolio entitled, “study in Fish”, Award: Silver Medal
  • Corey Boynton, grade 12, Gardiner Area High School, Film & Animation entitled “No Problems”, Award: Silver Medal
  • Alaina Bonis, grade 8, Hebron Academy, painting entitled “LoveMeRight”, Award: Silver Medal
  • Eli Clein, grade 12, Hebron Academy, Photography entitled “Luci”, Award: Silver Medal
  • Haohan Tang, grade 12, Hebron Academy, Architecture & Industrial Design entitled “Clouds”, Award: Silver Medal
  • Lizzie Dunn, grade 10, Houlton Jr. Senior High school, drawing and Illustration entitled “Jill”, Award: Silver Medal
  • Elana Fortin, grade 12, Wells High School, Photography entitled “The Light at the End, Award: Silver Medal
  • Ben Knight, grade 12, York High School, Photography entitled “Small Town Woes, Award: American Visions Medal
  • Liam Swift, grade 10, Portland, Novel Writing entitled “The Sky At 5AM, Award: Silver Medal


April 7, 2017

Maine Academy of Modern Music

Why wait until summer to rock out at camp?  The Maine Academy of Modern Music is proud to announce it will be hosting a Rock Camp in Portland over the April school vacation week.

The camp will run Monday to Friday from 9 am – 3:30 pm and will be held at MAMM’s building located at 125 Presumpscot Street in Portland.  The camp is open to students ages 11 and up and space is limited. Register by CLICKING HERE.

In addition, MAMM is offering a camp in Waterville. CLICK HERE for registration information.



CIE Summer Institute

April 6, 2017

Thomas College professional development

Bring a team from your school to the Center for Innovation in Education Summer Institute at Thomas College, June 27-29. Great opportunity to collaborate on planning for your students!

Docudrama, song writing, invasive European green crabs, and an all hands-on deck problem solving challenge—what a combination! Only at the Center for Innovation in Education’s Summer Institute: Weaving a Tapestry of Learning this June will you get to explore the connections among these activities and create powerful metaphors for learning related to the role the Arts play in STEAM curriculum and instruction.

For more information CLICK HERE.

  • PreK-12 participants are encouraged to come in teams to work on projects specific to your school.
  • Grants are available to defray registration costs for up to 5 people on a team.
  • Format: Nationally known speakers, concurrent sessions by outstanding Maine educators, and team time with a coach to work on individual projects.
  • Interactive, reflective, & practical
  • CEUs available
  • Graduate credit available (must pay the Thomas graduate course fee)

Of special interest to Arts educators:

  • Brooke Haycock from the Education Trust uses a docudrama format to stimulate participants’ thinking: “…transform research into performance, exposing the stories behind the data and driving straight to the heart of debate around equity in schools.”
  • Members of the EXPLO organization will lead us through a hands-on, interactive challenge that integrates the arts into the problem solving necessary to meet the challenge.

Coaches include:


Dance Education Grant

April 5, 2017

Funding available

For the second year the dance world in Maine has provided funding for a dance education grant program that the Maine Arts Commission is administering. I am so impressed with the commitment to dance education and the grassroots efforts of individuals and collaborative groups. I encourage you to apply for these dance education funds. Application deadline: Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Please note: Funding is only available to school districts presently with no dance education. Extra points will be given to those applications from schools with less opportunities in arts education. This information was learned in the statewide arts education data collection conducted during the last school year.

The Maine Arts Commission is offering dance education grants to schools/districts interested in providing dance education by teaching artists who are part of the Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist Roster located at

The Thornton Academy dance education program collaborated with seven schools and studios with a culminating performance on November 18, 2016 and raised $3575. On March 4, 2017 Dancers Making a Difference, a non-profit organization held their fifth annual benefit performance with fourteen schools and studios performing to raise $6730. The total, $10,305.00, has been generously provided for the funding of this dance education grant program. This opportunity provides funding to support high-quality dance education for PreK-12 students and/or educators of this population in schools where dance education is not currently in place. This funding is meant to inspire and to exhibit the value of dance education.

Deadline: Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Total funding available to be divided: $10,305.00 (maximum award of $3,500)

The funding cycle for this program: September 1, 2017 through March 30, 2018


  • Demonstration of high quality teaching and learning for all learners.
  • Clear description of the idea and its impact.
  • Description of the learning opportunity including objectives, outcomes (including performance information), and assessment methodology.
  • Alignment with dance standards.
  • Evidence of collaborative planning among the school educator(s) and the Teaching Artist(s) and evidence on how you will sustain this program.


  1. Provide a brief overview of your dance education project.
  2. Describe in detail your project. Include the following:
    1. Who will be served? Describe the school community.
    2. Who is involved? Teaching artist(s) from the Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist roster, and professional teacher(s) from the school. Describe their collaborative/involvement in the planning and implementation?
    3. Time line. When will each component of this project take place? Who are the Teaching Artists and teachers involved. Who are the professional teacher(s) from the school, and teaching artist(s) from the Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist roster and describe their collaborative/involvement in the planning and implementation of this project.
  3. Clearly state the objectives and outcomes for the idea, plan for the culminating performance and for evaluating the success.
  4. How does your proposal align with the State of Maine Learning Results for Visual and Performing Arts? If relevant, speak to the National Core Arts and/or the Common Core Standards.
  5. What are your plans to sustain this work?


A completed application in the Grants Management System (GMS) for the Arts Learning Grant contains:

  • Completed answers to all narrative prompts
  • Project budget
  • Two letters of support. One from a teacher from the school and one from teaching artist on the MAC roster who will provide the residency.

Applicants will be notified of the review outcome by June 19, 2017.


Evidence of long-term impact.

The school/district awarded funds for dance education will be expected to document the teaching artist residency so others can learn about the work.


To start a dance education grant application please go to and establish an account if you do not already have one. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me at


Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Rick Osann

April 4, 2017

MALI Teacher Leaders Series

This is the sixth blog post of the Phase 6 Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leader stories. This series includes a set of questions so you can learn a little bit about the work each Maine visual or performing arts teacher or artist is doing.  CLICK HERE  for more information on MALI. CLICK HERE  for more information on the 81 Teacher Leaders plus 4 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. There have been 76 posted to date. Thank you Rick for sharing your story!

Rick Osann teaches grades 9-12, Theatre, Film & Video at Bonny Eagle High School in Standish. He has been teaching for 13 years, 11 at Bonny Eagle. His courses include Theatre 1 and 2, Stagecraft, Film History, and Video Production. The theatre classes are all experiential learning classes. In Theatre 1 students produce a children’s play that tours the elementary schools. In Theatre 2 students write their own play and perform at an evening at the high school. In Stagecraft students design and build the scenery for the main stage productions. The Stagecraft class has won a “Set Design Commendation” at the One Act Festival for the last several years! Rick has about 80 students per term between four classes.

In addition to classes, Rick serves as Drama Club and Thespian Society Advisor. Thespian Society is a dramatics honor society sponsored by Maine Educational Theatre Association. He directs two main stage productions per year, a full length play in the fall and a one act play in the winter, taking part in the Maine Drama Festival, and Rick serves as Producer for their spring musical. In addition, he  volunteers as State Chapter Director of the Maine Educational Theatre Association.

What do you like best about being a theater educator?

I often tell my friends I get to go to work and play every day. Now, this is not saying I don’t work hard. I spend more hours working and work harder each of those hours than I did before I was teaching. The difference is that I totally believe that what I am doing is important and meaningful. When I was in high school I was totally passionate about theatre and I love having the opportunity to share this passion with students. Theatre is a place to create magic- we bring into existence whole worlds out of our imagination, and then we invite the public to live in our world for a couple of hours. It is a life-changing experience to create a moment of extraordinary beauty on the stage!

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

  • Be passionate- We need to be passionate about our art and believe it is the most important study that our students will experience in school. I often tell my students that our theatre class is the best place to learn the skills they will need to succeed in the modern world. We study and practice collaboration, creativity, communication- all the 21st century skills- and we do them with a strict deadline. Business leaders are recognizing this!
  • Love- We need to love our students and support their own passions. Sometimes this isn’t easy!
  • Learn- Keep learning something new every day.

How have you found assessment to be helpful to you in your classroom?

It is so important for students to understand what they are doing well and where they can improve. Traditional grading methods average out student strengths and weaknesses. Proficiently Based Education (PBE) identifies for the student each individual strength and weakness and how to improve.

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

Getting a handle on PBE is challenging! Working with MALI has forced me and helped me to make my own assessment practices more genuine so they’re meaningful for my students.

What are you most proud of in your career?

We just won the Maine Drama Festival Class A State Championship!! This was pretty darn exciting. I am incredibly proud of how well my students worked together and supported each other to reach this goal. It was an honor to help these students grow and mature through their years in high school. A long time ago it was pretty spectacular working on the film, “The Muppets Take Manhattan”!

What gets in the way of being a better teacher or doing a better job as a teacher?

There is never enough time to do all the things we know we should do to help our students. I struggle to get my priorities straight to balance home, family, classes, theatre, and volunteer work. There are so many important things we can do to help our students and sometimes I worry I’m not doing any of them well enough.

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

I still consider my first teaching job to be my greatest moment of “luck”. Sylvia Pease, Superintendent of SAD #55, will always be my angel for hiring an inexperienced teacher and giving me this chance. I would like to think she recognized in all of my “non-teaching experiences” something that might be of value to students.

Look into your crystal ball: what advice would you give to teachers?

Believe in what you do and the importance of every moment you share with your students. You are making a difference in many lives. Be confident that what you do and say MATTERS, even when it looks otherwise.

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

Create more opportunities that would encourage students to get involved in theatre. Open a theatre somewhere? We went to London over February break and saw that the upcoming London production of “Hamilton” is enabling them to renovate and open a theatre that has been closed for over 50 years. Awesome!

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

When I was fresh out of graduate school, my wife encouraged me to try teaching public school. I thought it was crazy, when my degree qualified me to teach at the college level, that I would need to go back to school to teach at the high school level. What a fool I was! When I finally took the education classes after about 30 years in various careers, I realized how helpful and important they were. I don’t regret my other careers and learned a tremendous amount from the experiences, but I wish I had listened to my wife and started teaching sooner. The past 13 years have been my very best!


Sanford – 35 Years!

April 3, 2017


Joyce St. Pierre will be retiring at the end of this school year from Sanford Schools after 35 years of teaching. During her first year she established a tradition that has continued for all of the years she’s been there. The teachers work together to make this annual 3-day art exhibit a huge success. You can join Joyce and visit Sanford for her last show, April 10 through 13, Veteran’s Memorial Gym (an interesting space) located beside the Sanford Jr. High School. The district’s jazz bands will be performing on April 10 and 11.



Poetry Festival

April 2, 2017

Naomi Shihab Nye

On April 21, at the University of Maine at Augusta’s celebrated Terry Plunkett Poetry Festival, internationally acclaimed poet and children’s literature writer, Naomi Shihab Nye, will appear as the keynote speaker. The event begins at 7:30pm, at UMA’s Jewett Hall Auditorium, on 46 University Drive, Augusta. The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are recommended. maine-poetry-festival/.

The festival also includes an afternoon workshop on teaching and writing poetry by Maine’s poet Laurate, Stuart Kestenbaum, a panel discussion on poetry and climate change, and a community dinner. For more information about the events, please contact Ellen Taylor at Those interested in attending can use the following link to reserve seats:

Maine Humanities Council is providing funding for this event.

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