Archive for the ‘Professional Development’ Category


Theatre Professional Development

February 18, 2018

UMaine Orono

You’re invited to the second annual Theatre Professional Development Day hosted by the Department of Theatre, University of Maine, Orono, on April 25, 2018.  Visit the WEBSITE for more information about our feature performance, “Ripple of Hope”, a one-woman show performance by Karen Sklaire, a NYC performer and teacher, and our six workshops by professional teaching artists:
  • Nick Turner, Executive Director, The Grand, Ellsworth
  • Hannah Cordes, Education Manager, Portland Stage
  • Amy Roeder, Director of Education, Penobscot Theatre Company
  • Rebecca Wright, Ellsworth High School
  • Hilary Martin, Vassalboro Schools
  • Rick Osann, Bonny Eagle High School
The $25 registration fee includes lunch.  Six Contact hours will be provided. To REGISTER or for more information, visit our WEBSITE, or as always, drop a note with any questions.  We hope to see you there!
If you have any questions please contact Rick Osann at Bonny Eagle High School at

Summer Learning Opportunities

February 12, 2018

Burnt Island Light Station

The Maine Department of Marine Resources is offering three, accredited professional development opportunities for teachers this summer at the Burnt Island Light Station.


  • Mindfulness through Nature Journaling
  • Lobster Maineiah – An Interdisciplinary Approach
  • Watercolors Across the Curriculum

The syllabi is located at

All activities are aligned with the Common Core, Maine Learning Results, and the Next Generation Science Standards. Two of the workshops were designed with the needs of art teachers in mind.


Arts Ed Partnership

February 4, 2018

Spring symposium

The Arts Education Partnership is pleased to announce that registration is open for the2018 AEP State Policy Symposium, taking place on March 10 at the Grand Hyatt Washington in Washington, D.C.

AEP, with generous support from Americans for the Arts and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, hosts this event annually, convening leaders from across the arts and education sectors for a day-long discussion exploring key policy topics impacting the arts in education.
Symposium attendees will leave with tools and strategies for implementing AEP’s 2020 Action Agenda for Advancing the Arts in Education. In addition to informative workshops, two plenary sessions will focus on key state policy issues: the inclusion of the arts in implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act and using data to inform policy decisions at the state and local level. Space is limited, so please register today!

What: 2018 AEP State Policy Symposium
When: March 10, 2018
Where: Grand Hyatt Washington, Washington, D.C.


Plant Kindness and Gather Love

February 3, 2018

Conners Emerson School

What happens when you bring a music and a classroom teacher together around a creative idea? In celebration of Acadia National Park’s 100th birthday Rebecca Edmondson, music educator and with MaryAnne Young, classroom teacher from Conners Emerson School in Bar Harbor created a Maine musical for students in grades K-5. Plant Kindness and Gather Love is an original Maine Musical that integrates literacy, history, science and the arts.

Plant Kindness and Gather Love will be performed on May 8, 6:00 p.m. at the Criterion Theatre in Bar Harbor.

Plant Kindness and Gather Love is a resource for educators that teaches about Maine, island life, nature and Acadia National Park. The content is suitable and adaptable for students is grades K-5 and includes 10 songs, stories, a reader’s theater script, student activities, movements/dance, and more.

Plant Kindness and Gather Love will be offered as an interactive 2 day teacher workshop at the Schoodic Institute, Acadia National Park on July 2-3, 2018. Participants will be granted 15 credit hours for the 2-day workshop, which includes other park outdoor activities. Families are welcome too, and may stay on through the 4th of July. There is much more to discover!

Plant Kindness and Gather Love story songs are a celebration of our natural world through an integration of Literacy and the Visual and Performing Arts. The integrated materials will, according to research, create intrinsic motivation, encourage learning for understanding, motivate students, and spark curiosity. Each story, song, and theater script will present facts in a musical manner and will dovetail with classroom literacy, music, science, social studies, history, and familiar surroundings of our young Maine explorers and stewards of the earth. Plant Kindness and Gather Love is a nature themed Maine Musical about island life, Acadia National Park and Maine.

Check out the video that provides information on the history and process of creating Plant Kindness and Gather Love. 


Creative Aging Program

January 22, 2018
Teaching Artist Opportunity
The Maine Arts Commission is offering a Creative Aging Teaching Artist Training on January 30 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Theater at Monmouth. Come learn the components and intricacies of the Creative Aging philosophy, and apply to be listed on our agency’s Creative Aging Teaching Roster.
The training is free of charge and is open to all teaching artists.
This training is mandatory for applying to the Creative Aging Teaching Artist Roster, a prerequisite for applying to the Creative Aging Grant program.


Any organization who applies for the Commission’s Creative Aging grant must use an artist on our Roster — so this is the ideal time to learn about Creative Aging and be a part of this important program.
The training will be led by the Commission’s Executive Director, Julie Richard, who has a deep knowledge of the breadth of Creative Aging approaches. Julie has attended many Creative Aging training sessions herself led by artists such as Liz Lerman and Susan Perlstein with organizations including TimeSlips and Lifetime Arts.
Artists completing this training must apply to be on the Roster. That deadline is February 16, 2018.
Melledy Hall is wheelchair accessible and is the large white building with a green metal roof. If you need an additional accommodation to fully participate in this event please contact Kathy Ann Shaw at 207-287-2750 or

MALI Mega Conference Oxford Hills

January 5, 2018

Registration is open

Registration is open for the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Mega Conference at Oxford Hills High School on Friday, March 23rd, 8:30 a.m. – 3:15 p.m! Participants will select 3 workshops from an offering of 15. Not only will the workshops offer great learning opportunities but we all know how much we learn when visual and performing arts educators come together to learn. The networking is always a critical part of the MALI Mega Conferences.


  • 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 with Amanda Houteri, Celebration Barn
  • 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.



Bookmaking 101: summative assessment never looked so good!

Develop a creative book making project to assess your students’ authentic learning. Perfect for the end of a grading term, this idea can be tailored to suit the needs of you and your students. Impress your administrators with your ability to keep every student fully engaged in the assessment of their own work. Grades 7-12

Cindi Kugell Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School Visual Arts

Rhythm & Counting

Rhythm!! Is this one of the elements of music that you spend a lot of time on in rehearsal? How are your kids at sight-reading? Have you ever fallen into the trap of singing the part for your students? Are you clapping rhythms in class and finding that it sounds more like applause? Intended for ensemble directors, this workshop will provide a new approach to many based upon a tried and true method of counting and verbalizing rhythmic patterns. Grades 7-12

Kyle Jordan Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School Music

The Arts and Emotional Intelligence

Looking at ideas on emotional intelligence and leadership collected by Daniel Goleman we will identify the core elements of emotional intelligence and compare them with habits and skills practiced in the creative process. Be ready to create, journal and discuss ideas together on creativity, the arts and emotional intelligence. All grade levels and all content

Lindsay Pinchbeck Director of Sweet Tree Arts and founder of Sweetland School

Flexible Grouping Strategies for the General Music Classroom

It is the age of customized education and differentiated instruction. Chances are, your building administrators are looking for observable evidence of this in your teaching practice. Time constraints and scheduling difficulties can make customized learning a challenge to implement in the general music setting. In this workshop, we will discuss the benefits of flexible grouping strategies, and how to use them to your advantage. Grades PK-12 General Music 

Dorie Tripp Manchester and Readfield Elementary Schools, Music K-5

Tableaus of Courage: How to Help Students Engage with Complex Content through Theater

Ovations Offstage Director Catherine Anderson will introduce workshop participants to Ovations Dynamic School-Time Performance Series for 2018-19, and model for teachers how to help students engage with any story, or content (fictional or not) through the use of “tableau”. Tableau is a wordless theater activity for small groups of students that can be adapted for any age group. Participants will leave with a leasson plan with clear learning targets, and assessment criteria. All grade levels

Catherine Anderson Portland Ovations Offstage Director

SESSION II 10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Choose One

Stars and Stairs

Stars and Stairs, Where am I now and Where am I going? How can the use of Stars and Stairs in your classroom help to inform you and your students of their learning progression and actively engage them in the learning process? This will be a round table discussion. Looking at your standards and your curriculum how can you use the Stars and Stairs model in your classroom.  All grade levels and all content

Samantha Armstrong Paris Elementary School and Agnes Gray School, Grade K-6, Visual Arts


Everyone seems to agree that we need more creativity in education, but just what is creativity, and how can we possibly teach it? This workshop will answer both those questions (gasp…) With one foot planted in neuroscience, and the other dangling in the depths of the subconscious, we will conduct transformative activities (visual arts based) designed to enhance the “brainsets” that contribute to creative states of mind. Grades 7-12

Phil Hammett Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School Visual Arts

Improvisation Crusader: Improvisation as an Essential Musical Skill

Improvisation is commonly viewed as a specialty skill, and one that you either have or don’t. This presentation makes the case for improvisation as an essential skill, a naturally growth-minded learning tool, and an additional resource to address any number of Maine Learning Results, and to engage students and give them more ownership over their musical voice. This will be heavily participatory, exploring simple methods to more advanced, and using multiple musical languages/genres. All grade levels

Tom Luther Midcoast Music Academy, Piano, Digital Music, Music Composition Specialist, Teaching Artist, former Art Educator

Creativity and Taking Back the Classroom

Art can propel the next generation of leaders to make a personal connection to real world issues. In this workshop participants will explore strategies for helping young people forge a deep and personal connection between the environment and themselves. If our students are to have the courage to address the environmental challenges we face today, they must believe in the power of their ideas and know that they can create something tangible from them. Participants will make art that crosses subject matter boundaries and explore ways to design original curriculum that leads to action. Elementary and Middle Levels and Visual Arts

Nancy Harris Frohlich, Founder and Director, LEAPS of IMAGINATION

Integrating Curriculum: Making it Happen at the High School Level

Come join a conversation, share thoughts, and cultivate ideas regarding the challenge of integrated curriculum work at the highschool level. How can finding commonalities between subject areas motivate student learning, provide hands on experience with cross curricular connections, as well as benefit the educator as they become more proficient in the language of other disciplines? High School

Lori Spruce Brewer High School Visual Arts

SESSION III 1:50 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Choose One

Looking in the Mirror:  The Importance of Student Self-Reflection

Self-reflection is a crucial part in the cycle of learning for both student and teacher.  With regular self-reflection integrated in your classroom, students will become more aware, dig deeper, and take ownership of their learning.  This applies to us as teachers.  We will also discuss the importance of documentation and strategies of reflection upon our own teaching.  Information gathered about student growth, understanding, and feedback on units/lessons will not only be beneficial for the development of a curriculum, but also in providing evidence for teacher evaluations.  All grade levels and all content

Mandi Mitchell Hermon High School Visual Arts

Bridging Adolescence: A River Runs Through Us – Composing our Story

This workshop documents the progression of a year-long chorus project in which 7th and 8th grade students composed lyrics and music for an original performance piece. The project developed a model of integrated arts programming, including extensive literacy integration through working with a guest poet-in-residence for several weeks. The project also tied in hands-on classwork, a field experience, a connection with a wider community project, video diaries, peer critique, and of course music composition and performance skills. The workshop will give participants a hand-on experience of our project, as well as tools to create their own. All grade levels

Brian Evans-Jones Poet and Teaching Artist and Kris Bisson Marshwood Middle School Music and Chorus

All Aboard for Arts Travel, Full STEAM Ahead!

Interested in transforming your school into a STEAM based model? This workshop will include the benefits of STEAM for students, some sample STEAM lessons, and a suggested action plan for incorporating a STEAM approach into your school. Upper Elementary

Jenni Null Songo Locks Elementary Music K-6 and District Fine Arts Coodinator and Linda McVety Songo Locks Elementary Music K-5


Teaching Aesthetics and Criticism: Approaches to Standard D

How do we teach aesthetics and criticism in our Visual and Performing Arts classes? How do teachers design learning  experiences for Maine Learning Results standard D? In this interactive workshop teachers will experience methods for teaching aesthetics and criticism in the 7-12 arts classroom.  Sample lessons that teach forms of artistic interpretation to students will be shared as well as methods for critique.  The workshop is geared toward supporting the teaching and assessment of Maine Learning Results standard D. During the second part of the workshop participants will be encouraged to share their own approaches.  Participants will leave with tools that they can immediately use in their classes. Grades 7-12, adaptable for all grade levels

Bronwyn Sale Bates College, former 7-12 Visual Arts teacher

Inspiring Environmental Stewardship Through the Visual Arts

This will be a fun and informative program with practical involvement by all. All participants will have ideas to take back to the classroom and hopefully a reinvigorated perspective on their teaching with a theater focus. All grade levels

Andrew Harris Lecturer and Chair of Theatre, USM Department of Theatre

MORE INFORMATION is located on the Maine Arts Commission website.

REGISTRATION has been set up through Eventbrite.

If you have any questions please email Argy Nestor at


18 Dresses for 2018

January 2, 2018

Happy New Year

I hope that your holiday was wonderful and that your 2018 is off to a great start. Some people reflect at this time of year – looking back and considering the past year and some people look ahead and consider what changes or resolutions might be put into action. Starting a new year can be exciting!

Me? I do a little of both – professionally and personally. On the personal level, the last three days of 2017, I sewed 18 dresses to send to Malawi. Many of the Maine Arts Education blog readers know that I traveled to Malawi with Lindsay Pinchbeck, founder and director of Sweet Trees Arts and Sweetland School in Hope. In July of 2016 we provided professional development for teachers in arts integration Mpamila Village as part of the Go! Malawi program.

Last summer I met a woman while walking to the Ogunquit Museum of Art who told me about her volunteer work with Dress a Girl Around the World. Not to long after that she sent us dresses to send to Malawi in 2017. Since September we have been meeting monthly at Sweet Tree Arts and are making more dresses for the girls in the school. In addition we will be making shorts for the boys.

When I considered how to start the new year off I decided to create something and I thought why not spend the end of the year sewing dresses – 18 to mark the new year?! In addition to creating I had plenty of time to think about the last year – where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing.

We have almost 75 dresses completed, including the 13 that students at Sweetland School are making. We’ll start the shorts later this month. If you are interested in helping, here are some suggestions:

  • If you live close by Hope, join us for sewing monthly
  • If you have small stuffed animals, like Beanie Babies that you no longer want (and they are in great condition), let me know since each dress and shorts will have one in a pocket
  • If you’d like to make a donation of undershirts or underpants, each one will have those as well included for the children.

Today, we just received donations of Beanie Babies – 74 in total. (see photos). Please let me know if you have any questions or if you’d like to help!

In addition, we are looking for teachers who’d like to travel to Malawi in July to continue the teacher workshops. More information is on the Go! Malawi site about the program. Please contact me at and I’d be glad to email you an application.

Do you have any plans to create in 2018?


74 Beanie Babies – 76 more needed

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