Archive for the ‘Professional Development’ Category

h1

MAEA Spring Conference

April 6, 2021

A HUGE SUCCESS

Congratulations to the Maine Art Education Association for a successful virtual conference held this past Saturday. Iva Damon was the chair who waited an entire year to complete her task. Last year the conference was canceled thanks to the pandemic. Every aspect of the conference entitled Perceptions 2021 went really well. If you’re working on the planning of a virtual conference or workshop I suggest you reach out to Iva who is an art teacher at Leavitt Area High School. Conference planner Extraordinaire!

The conference opened with a keynote provided by Natasha Mayers and Rob Shetterly. She often explores themes of peace and social justice. Recently the film on Natasha’s life as an artist was released called Natasha Mayers: an Un-Still Life. Natasha founded ARRT! (the Artists’ Rapid Response Team) in 2012, an artists’ collective that meets monthly, creating over 400 banners, props and yard signs for most of the progressive organizations in Maine. She co-founded and is editor-in-chief of The Maine Arts Journal: Union of Maine Visual Artists Quarterly. Learn more about how Natasha has contributed to so many meaningful projects and made a difference in Maine practicing her art in a collaborative way. You can read about her contributions since 1976 at THIS LINK. Conference participants had a chance to view the film before the conference.

“…an engaging and lively portrait of an engaged and lively artist who uses her talents in the service of truth and justice, rather than fortune”
— Edgar Allen Beem
Natasha Mayers

Artist Rob Shetterly founded Americans Who Tell the Truth (AWTT) and has painted over 250 portraits of ‘truth tellers’. The Samantha Smith Project is part of the AWTT work where middle and high school students use art to build a bridge between the classroom and the world to create curious, courageous, and engaged citizens. SSC projects teach students that, no matter what age, they can be part of solving the challenges and problems they see around them.

One of the portraits that Rob has created is of Natasha so it was a delight to have them both share their stories and inspire art educators to make a difference in their classrooms.

Participants had a chance to attend three workshops throughout the day and meet with colleagues informally. The workshops were:

  • Evaluating Creativity with music educator Joe Cough
  • Update your Advocacy: New Ways of Promoting and Expanding Your Impact Beyond the Art Room with Brunswick Middle School teacher Cory Bucknam
  • Neurographic Art with Maranacook Community School art teacher Hope Lord
  • Teaching and Learning with Natasha Mayers: An Un-Still Life with Argy Nestor, Sweetland Middle School
  • AP Art and Design Network Discussion with high school art teachers Lori Spruce and Holly Houston
  • Hand-Build a Tour Up & Stamped Mug with Bioddeford Middle School art teacher Samara Yandell

The day ended with a gathering and door prizes presented. It was very clear that teachers missed seeing colleagues from other parts of the state and making art together. Comments around the challenges of the year and that the value of the art classroom became more clear to educators. Participants said what a great conference it was. More people attended the spring conference than has been the case in the last several years. The comment that placed clarity on our important roles as art educators this year was stated by Rangeley Lakes Regional School Art Teacher Sonja Johnson:

“The Art classroom is a place of awakening this year”.

h1

MECA Courses

March 25, 2021

May Online Term

Maine College of Art’s (MECA) Office of Continuing and Professional Studies in collaboration with the college’s Master of Arts in Teaching program are pleased to offer two fully online courses for this May term. These Graduate-level courses offer 3 credits each at a discounted, non-matriculated rate. The two art education classes are certification requirements for folks seeking a Visual Art teaching endorsement. If you know any community artists or educational technicians that may be interested in becoming an art teacher, this would be a perfect opportunity for them to move closer to that endorsement. 

To learn more go to MECAs Continuing Studies webpage with the class listings.

May Term at MECA is five weeks, from May 15 to June 20. May Term 2021 offers: MAT 806: Teaching Exceptionality in the Art Classroom with Heather Nunez-Olmstead. MAT 815: Methods of Teaching Art in the K-12 Classroom with MAT Program Chair, Dr. Rachel Somerville, Ed.D.

Below is a video that provides information on the two courses being offered.

If you have questions please contact Rachel E. Somerville, Ed.D. Interim Chair & Director of Art Education Outreach at rsomerville@meca.edu. For more information about May Term classes, visit: https://cs.meca.edu/​ or call us at 207.699.5061.   

h1

Un-Still Life Resources

March 23, 2021

Coming soon!

In one day in the middle of February I received two emails about a project to create lesson plans that would accompany the film Natasha Mayers: an Un-Still Life. After a phone call with filmmakers Anita Clearfield and Geoffrey Leighton the project sounded so fun I couldn’t say no. The film is fabulous and has messages for every grade level.

During the last month I’ve been working with retired art teacher Kal Elmore and educator Nancy Frohlich-Harris on 3 lessons – one each for elementary, middle and high school. They are aligned with the Maine Learning Results and the National Arts Standards. Also included in the resources are a glossary, lists of artists, websites and books.

The goal is to have all of the work completed and online by April 3 so those attending the virtual Maine Art Education Association conference can get the first look at them. During two workshops on that day participants will view all of the materials that we’re creating and have grade level conversations about the possibilities for teaching and learning.

Conference Registration Link Found Here!!!!

In addition to the two workshops, during the morning artists Natasha Mayers and Rob Shetterly will be providing the keynote. Natasha Mayers has been called “the heart and soul of activist art in Maine.” She is widely known for her work supervising more than 600 school and community murals from Maine to Nicaragua. Natasha has been a Touring Artist with the Maine Arts Commission Artist-in-Residency Program since 1975. She has taught students from nursery school to college and in diverse populations: immigrants, refugees, prisoners, the homeless, and the “psychiatrically labeled,” with whom she has worked since 1974, and has organized many exhibits of their artwork.

Natasha’s portrait was painted by Robert Shetterly as part of his Americans Who Tell the Truth series, featuring her words: “We need artists to help explain what is happening in this country, to tell the truth and reveal the lies, to be willing to say the emperor has no clothes, to create moral indignation, to envision alternatives, to reinvent language. We need artists to help us come together and share our voices and build community around powerful issues concerning our roles in the world and our planet’s survival. Compassion must be translated into action.”

Rob has been painted over 250 people who stand for the truth. Robert Shetterly’s American’s Who Tell The Truth series should be included in every art teacher’s curriculum. The voices of young people are strongly represented in the paintings and in this day and age we know how important it is to elevate our student voices and provide role models for inspiration. Rob is a Maine treasure.

Rob and Natasha have been friends for many years and in the film you hear and see Rob sharing his feedback to Natasha about recent art she has created. The film will be available for conference goers and is recommended you view it before April 3. It will be available until 48 hours after the conference.

They have made it available to conference goers and recommend that you view it before the conference on April 3. It will be available u

CONFERENCE DETAILS

The conference will be held virtually using zoom on Saturday, April 3, 9:00 am – 2:30 pm.

The cost is only $20.00

Conference Registration will Close April 1! 

Questions – contact Iva Damon at iva.damon@msad52.org.

Conference Registration Link Found Here!!!!

CONFERENCE PRESENTERS
Joseph Cough – Midcoast Music Academy
Cory Bucknam – Brunswick Junior High
Lori Spruce & Holly Houston – Brewer High School & Yarmouth High School
Samara Yandell – Biddeford Middle School
Hope Lord – Maranacook Middle School
Argy Nestor – Sweetland Middle School

h1

Educate Maine Symposium

March 21, 2021

Opportunity to present

Each December Educate Maine convenes hundreds of educators, business leaders, policymakers, and diverse citizens from across our state’s communities at the annual Education Symposium. This year they celebrate an exciting milestone: 10 years of increasing the educational attainment and career readiness of Maine people.

Educate Maine is looking for presenters and invite you to share your best strategies, innovative ideas, and in-depth knowledge with Maine’s education and business leaders. Raise your voice and contribute to our state’s shared knowledge by becoming a presenter.

Seeking proposals that speak to: 

·    Business and education partnerships that strengthen pathways into Maine’s workforce

·    Diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives that have a positive impact on education and workforce outcomes (emphasis on racial and gender equity)

·    Highlighting student leaders and/or student groups who are making a difference in their school communities 

·    Policies in Maine or elsewhere that could help achieve Maine’s statewide education attainment goal

Where will the 2021 Education Symposium be held?
The 10th annual Education Symposium and Leadership Awards Luncheon will be held IN-PERSON at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland, Maine on Friday, December 10, 2021.
What are the proposal evaluation criteria?
The Educate Maine team selects breakout sessions based on a number of factors. Their priority is to offer symposium attendees a diverse selection of engaging and informative sessions from which to choose. They value breadth, depth, expertise from within and beyond Maine, new ideas, compelling data, high-quality professional development, and topics related to our mission of helping Maine people reach their highest educational potential. Proposals will be evaluated more specifically based on the following criteria: 1. Alignment to one or more of the MaineSpark tracks (see below) 2. Clear and compelling learning objectives for session participants 3. Strategies for participant engagement
What are the key dates for submission?
Call for Proposals Submission Deadline: Friday, May 28, 2021
To learn more about MaineSpark
Educate Maine is a proud member of the MaineSpark coalition. Working together, the coalition’s goal is for 60% of Mainers to hold a credential of value by 2025. The work is organized into five strategic tracks: Strong Foundations – working with children from birth to 6th grade· Future Success – college and career readiness for middle school through college-aged students· Adult Promise – working with adults aged 25 and older· New Opportunities – attraction and retention of new talent for the Maine workforce· Policy – policies that support attainment of the 60% by 2025 goal Visit http://mainespark.me/ to learn more.
Questions?
Contact Educate Maine at info@educatemaine.org or visit our 2021 Symposium webpage for more detailed information.
h1

Maine Art Education Conference

March 16, 2021

April 3 Zoooooom!

JOIN COLLEAGUES FROM ACROSS THE STATE

VIRTUAL SPRING ART EDUCATION CONFERENCE

SATURDAY – APRIL 3rd – 9:00-2:30

This past year has held many challenges, but there are so many things to celebrate, and you are invited to join colleagues from across Maine for the annual art education conference. This year things will look a bit different as we will be apart. The conference will be coming to you safely via Zoom and we have an outstanding lineup of speakers for you and it is only $20.00 this year!

Conference Registration Link Found Here!!!!

Keynote Address Presenters: Natasha Mayers & Robert Shetterly

About our Featured Keynote Speakers: Natasha Mayers has been called “the heart and soul of activist art in Maine.” She is widely known for her work supervising more than 600 school and community murals from Maine to Nicaragua.

Natasha Mayers

She has been a Touring Artist with the Maine Arts Commission Artist-in-Residency Program since 1975. She has taught students from nursery school to college and in diverse populations: immigrants, refugees, prisoners, the homeless, and the “psychiatrically labeled,” with whom she has worked since 1974, and has organized many exhibits of their artwork.

Her portrait was painted by Robert Shetterly as part of his Americans Who Tell the Truth series, featuring her words: “We need artists to help explain what is happening in this country, to tell the truth and reveal the lies, to be willing to say the emperor has no clothes, to create moral indignation, to envision alternatives, to reinvent language. We need artists to help us come together and share our voices and build community around powerful issues concerning our roles in the world and our planet’s survival. Compassion must be translated into action.”

Rob Shetterly

To learn more, visit Natasha Mayers’s Website and Robert Shetterly’s American’s Who Tell The Truth website

Presenters

Joseph Cough – Midcoast Music Academy
Cory Bucknam – Brunswick Junior Hig)
Lori Spruce & Holly Houston – Brewer High School & Yarmouth High School
Samara Yandell – Biddeford Middle School
Hope Lord – Maranacook Middle School
Argy Nestor – Sweetland Middle School

Those that attend earn contact hours and get swag!! Conference Registration will Close April 1! Sign up today to save your spot! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. 

h1

Union of Maine Visual Artists

February 2, 2021

Journal Winter 2021

The Union of Maine Visual Artists (UMVA) represents visual artists statewide in all fields of endeavor and welcomes those who support contemporary artists in Maine. The UMVA is dedicated to upholding the dignity of artists, while creating positive social change through the arts. By collaborating with other cultural and progressive organizations, we raise awareness for significant issues while promoting an inclusive arts community in Maine.

The winter edition of the Union of Maine Visual Artists journal includes a piece on the Open Art Teachers Studio. The article was written by Bronwyn Sale, Martha Piscuskas, Iva Damon, and Melanie Crowe and describes the opportunity for art teachers to come together for five sessions and create art together for an hour each time. One participant said: “It was good to see people’s faces and to feel connected.” We know how difficult it can be to feel connected to others and during the pandemic that has been highlighted even more. It was wonderful that Open Art Teachers Studio provided a chance to come together, make and share art, and know that the community is there. READ the entire article.

Melanie Crowe, Fish Back in Water, 2020
h1

Rural Arts Education Strategies

January 31, 2021

Finding Your Own Yellow Brick Road in Challenging Times

Mark your calendars for February 5, 2021
12:30-2:30 p.m. EST

FREE REGISTRATION

Join a national conversation and gain greater understanding of the rural context by engaging with national experts, Dr. Lisa DonovanMassachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Clayton W. Lord, Americans for the Arts. Also presenting is Peggy BurtMindful StrategiesErica BarretoMassachusetts College of Liberal Arts; and Hector MarquezPulse Arts, Inc

Participants will

  • Gain greater understanding of the rural context by engaging in a national conversation;
  • Learn a strategic mapping process created by Americans for the Arts;
  • Engage in interactive processes and network with other leaders from across the country;
  • Consider perspectives from next generation leaders; and
  • Walk away with a map for shaping strategies.

This event is co-sponsored by the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association and the California Alliance for Arts Education.

h1

Music Education News

December 13, 2020

NAFME Eastern Division

2020 Virtual Conference April 22-24

We All Belong!

CALL FOR SESSION PROPOSALS – DEADLINE: JANUARY 15

LINK TO APPLY: https://bit.ly/ED21SessionProposals

This conference will focus on proven practices during the current climate to be shared by educators with educators.

We are encouraging 30 min. sessions and collaborative “team-presenting” with your colleagues. Sessions will be delivered via the Zoom platform. Sessions will be considered through the lens of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in music education for all students.

Culturally responsive teaching, social and emotional awareness, creative and innovative teaching concepts and engaging delivery of instruction are among the themes we would like to see infused across all conference strands.

Conference Strands: Band elementary & secondary, Modern Band, Choral elementary & secondary, Research Higher Ed, Orchestra elementary & secondary, Urban Music, Classroom elementary, Collegiate pre-service, Classroom secondary, Music Admin

Conference Co-Chairs: Michael Brownell (NY),Tina Bennett (PA) Keith Hodgson, President (NJ/PA) Marc Greene, Past President (NY) Sue Barre, President-Elect (ME)  

MJA Extravaganza Information

The Massachusetts Judges Association is putting on the MJA Extravaganza during the month of January!
This is basically a chance for students of ALL AGES – and even adults- to submit any performance video for high quality feedback from professional judges. They can go for a rating only, or they can go in the competitive lane and be eligible for State Champion awards in all of the categories! They have so much – it is a great option for solo students – small ensembles-large ensembles…..anything really!

Register in January, submit in early February. 

LINK TO REGISTER: https://www.massjudge.org/extravaganza-2021/

If you have questions please contact Kyle Smith, director of bands, Westbrook High School at smithk@westbrookschools.org.

h1

MALI Becomes MAEPL

December 8, 2020

Teacher Network Rebrands its Commitment to Arts Education

The Teacher Leader network known as MALI, or Maine Arts Leadership Initiative, has taken on the new mantle of MAEPL, Maine Arts Education Partners in Leadership, with the revised mission to develop and promote high quality arts education for all.” Leaders of MAEPL say the new name and mission statement better encapsulates what this community of arts educators has been and will continue to be. The process evolved as a result of bringing in new staff and expanding the organization’s leadership structure. Jake Sturtevant, music educator at Falmouth High School, longtime MALI member and Chair of the MAEPL Vision Team, said, “We are still committed to partnering with each other to be resilient, compassionate, and curious Teacher Leaders for our students and in our communities.”

2014 Summer MALI Institute

MALI, now MAEPL, a program of the Maine Arts Commission, is a unique teacher leader development program specifically for preK-12 visual and performing arts (VPA) educators from across the state, one of the very few in the country.  Led by active educators, they focus on the emerging needs of the field.  Components of the year-long program for both classroom teachers and teaching artists in all arts disciplines include community-building, an annual Individualized Professional Development Plan, structured mutual accountability, and leadership development. Over 120 Maine VPA teachers, as well as teaching artists, have participated in the last ten years.  

Even before the pandemic, teachers of the arts often felt isolated.  School district-level trainings are often geared towards general or “core” subject teachers.  “I’m only one of two in my district teaching elementary music.  We are in our little islands, far from anyone else doing what we do,” said Kate Smith, 2014 York County Teacher of the Year and MAEPL Program Team Leader.  “MALI changed all that.” 

Pamela Kinsey, Lori Spruce, Kate Smith, Pam Chernesky, Julie Richard, Winter Retreat 2020

This past year the group took a deep dive into their own organizational structure, assessing and clarifying their policies and processes. Even through the pandemic, the Leadership Teams met and solicited input from the entire membership, and determined a new name, a refined mission, and a new logo. “We chose the whirling maple seed pod as our new symbol because we felt it reflected the best of what we do – taking new ideas, learning and sharing together, then planting them throughout our school communities,” said Jennie Driscoll, visual art educator at Brunswick High School and Vision Team member. “It’s got our energy.”  

In 2020 they also delivered a virtual Summer Institute to 50 VPA educators, addressing the social and emotional resiliency needed this year. In addition, many members led efforts to support and connect with other teachers quickly adjusting to online instruction, leading virtual seminars through the Maine Department of Education and the Maine Arts Commission.

Group exercise at Winter Retreat, 2020

 “MALI grew a wealth of resources and committed members over the years,” said the current Director of Arts Education for the Maine Arts Commission, Martha Piscuskas, referring to the online Resource Bank and Arts Assessment Resources website, available free to all teachers. “We wanted to build on those strengths.” In addition to the professional development programs, next steps include creating an advisory council, streamlining their web presence, and continued advocacy for the sector. 

The group formed in 2010 to focus on student assessments, an emerging need for visual and performing arts teachers at that time. After learning from other states, a small group of educators led by Argy Nestor, the former Director of Arts Education at the Commission, Rob Westerberg, Choral Director at York High School, and Catherine Ring, former school administrator and art teacher, created the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative. They established the multi-day Summer Institute, sharing a framework and best practices for successful arts assessment in the classroom. “We quickly became the assessment experts in our schools,” said Sturtevant. 

Hope Lord and Adele Drake, MALI Summer Institute 2017

In 2015 the group added “teacher voice” and advocacy to their mission, becoming the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI), again addressing emerging needs of the sector. “I never would have thought to seek out leadership positions, continue my graduate studies, or have presented at conferences without the support and influence of MALI,” said Iva Damon, visual art teacher and Humanities Department Head at Leavitt Area High School.    

For more information about MAEPL, and to learn about how to get involved, contact Director of Arts Education for the Maine Arts Commission, Martha Piscuskas at martha.piscuskas@maine.gov. Arts education resources developed over the years are accessible through the Maine Arts Commission’s website, https://mainearts.maine.gov/pages/programs/maai.

The Maine Arts Commission is a state agency supporting artists, arts organizations, educators, policy makers, and community developers to advance the arts in Maine since 1966.  www.Mainearts.com


h1

The Poetry Place

December 7, 2020

Teaching Artist Brian Evans-Jones

Maine is fortunate to have Brian Evans-Jones as a poet and writer. He has established a unique website called The Poetry Place. What’s so interesting about it is that he offers The Poetry Parlor to offer support and an online learning environment for participants to write poetry. If you’re interested in writing poetry or perhaps you write poetry but want to learn more about writing poetry, I recommend Brian and The Poetry Place. Here are some questions (from Brian’s site) that can help you get a better idea:

  • Do you want to write better poems?
  • Do you wish you knew more about the techniques of poetry?
  • Do you need help with ideas and getting poems written?
  • Would you love to connect with like-minded poets?

There are many free resources on the site including a 30 page .pdf that you can download. It is called 8 Steps to Better Poems and is filled with a plethora of ideas and information to guide you to writing better poems. The document is broken into 3 segments: Poetry Techniques, Mastering Drafting and Your Next Steps. You can’t go wrong since the document is free! I suggest that you check it out and recommend that your colleagues and students do the same. You can also sign up for his newsletter which is filled with inspiring ideas.

LOOKING FOR INSPIRATION?

Poetry Parlor took me on a positive journey from using an existing poem as an idea to developing the first draft of my poem. The chosen poem and the discussions were inspirational in my own poetry writing.

Then, there were excellent tips on editing that helped to produce a published poem.”

— Sue B.

Brian is a teacher who is providing the motivation and guidance on an individual basis as well as providing time with others who write poetry. You can become a member of the parlor and benefit from following:

  • Getting authentic feedback and support from Brian and others
  • Learning techniques
  • Reading great poetry
  • Writing every month
  • Meeting other poets

Poetry Parlor can work for you if…

  • You have written poetry before, maybe for years, and you would like to broaden your knowledge and skills
  • You would like to learn more about the techniques and forms of poetry
  • You are looking for regular inspiration to help you create poems
  • You want to get feedback on your poems to help you improve
  • You want to know more about poetry being published now
  • You’re just starting poetry and would like some structure and guidance to help you
  • You’d like to get to know other poets in similar positions to yourself, for support, friendship, and encouragement.

ABOUT BRIAN

I was Poet Laureate of Hampshire in the UK (where I used to live) in 2012‑13, and in America I won the Maureen Egen Award from Poets & Writers in 2017. I’ve had poems published in magazines, competitions, and art events on both sides of the Atlantic. And I’ve taught at three colleges/universities, visited dozens of schools as a visiting Teaching Artist, and worked with hundreds of adult students through my own workshops and courses.

Brian coached the Maine State Poetry Out Loud (POL) champion Joao Victor before he traveled to the national competition where he finished in the top 10. Brian served as a judge for POL during 206-2018. POL is open to all Maine high school students and administered by the Maine Arts Commission (MAC). Brian is a member of the MAC Teaching Artist roster and a Teaching Artist Leader with the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) established in 2011.

If you want to learn more check out the site and contact Brian at brian@brianevansjones.com and please let him know I sent you.

%d bloggers like this: