Archive for the ‘Professional Development’ Category


Transformative Language Arts Network

November 14, 2015

August 12-14

Deb Hensley (early childhood educator, musician & poet ) and Martin Swinger (nationally awarded singer/songwriter and arts educator and on the Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist roster) are chairing an exciting conference in Maine in 2016, August 12-14 and we’d love you to be part of it.

Transformative Language Arts Network (TLAN) is a vibrant community of artists, writers, poets, singers, teachers, facilitators who believe we can change the world for the better with WORDS!

Other TLAN conferences have focused on written word. Deb and Martin are aiming this conference at exploring SUNG WORD If you believe singing words creates intention in the universe, this conference is for YOU!! OF COURSE, you DON’T have to be a singer to participate – by no means will that be the only thread to follow! ALL forms of writing, story-telling and verbal communication are vitally included!



The conference is all about sharing words and music, singing, improv circles, poetry, spoken word, story-telling, professional and inspirational support and will include many diverse, informative and interesting workshops. (Workshop proposals from anyone will be considered!) Internationally celebrated vocalist, Rhiannon will be our Key-Note (Singer!) and has the amazing ability to unite a group in inspiration and intention.

Super Early Bird Rate is only $160 if you sign up before November 15. Such a deal. You won’t find a more inspiring gathering for such an affordable amount. We’d so love it if you could come. Please feel free to pass this invitation along to like-minded friends.

Ferry Beach ( is in southern Maine and it’s absolutely stunningly gorgeous in summer.  Room and board – there are several options available – are separate and will be negotiated directly with Ferry Beach.   You’ve longed for a retreat at the beach, why not do it with other poets, writers and musicians?!

Some scholarships will be made available as needed. If you have questions please contact Martin at




Integration Opportunity

November 10, 2015

Maine Department of Education – Call to participate!

arts integration picThe Maine Department of Education invites you to be part of a brand new professional development opportunity, The Maine Arts Education Resource Project – Integration (MAERP-I). MAERP-I is looking to bring together teams of teachers and artists to explore and create arts integration classroom units to be shared on the Maine Arts Education Resource Bank. Teams will consist of one arts teachers, one non-arts teachers, and one or two other content area teacher(s). One of the additional members could be a teaching artist from the Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist Roster or another type of specialist (librarian, technology, industrial arts) or someone from your regional CTE. If you have questions about the makeup of your team feel free to give me a call to discuss it.

Under the expertise of Lisa Donovan, Ph.D, co-author of the series, Integrating the Arts Across the Content Areas, teacher teams will be guided through the process of working as a team and creating integrated lesson plans and performance task assessments that are rigorous in all content areas involved. Once units are created, they will be peer-reviewed and re-worked. Units will then be posted to the Maine Arts Education Resource Bank. As a culmination of their work, teacher teams will present their work to other teacher-leaders at the MALI (Maine Arts Leadership Initiative) summer institute.

If you are interested in participating fill out an application here. Only one application is necessary per team. If you have any questions contact Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, Beth Lambert at or 207-624-6642.

Selected Teacher Responsibilities for 2015-2016:

  • Attend a day-long face-to-face meeting for professional development with Lisa Donovan, Ph.D, on the process of working as a team and creating integrated lesson plans and performance task assessments that are rigorous in all content areas involved. Jan. 15th, 2016, locations TBD.
  • Attend two online check-in meetings. Feb. 8 & May 12th.
  • Attend a day-long face-to-face critical friends meeting to give and receive feedback on units. April 8th, 2016, location TBD.
  • Submit draft lesson plans on March 4th and April 4th.
  • Submit final lesson plan on June 3rd.
  • Attend Maine Arts Leadership Initiative summer institute to present work, date TBD.

Compensation: $500 per member.


NEW Resource Bank Unveiled

October 18, 2015

Awesome resources for you!

MALI_V1_Color_100ppiNEWS FLASH

Last week at the Statewide Biennial conference at the Point Lookout Conference Center one of the exciting announcements that took place was the unveiling of the MALI (Maine Arts Leadership Initiative) Resource Bank. This is the second year in a row that funds have been provided by the Maine Arts Commission to create resources that are useful to all arts educators.

The resources are located at


  • During the 2013-14 school year the MALI Resource Team created a template that was used for the team to create resources. You can download it from the site and use them yourself.
  • A searchable data base that includes resources for the following categories: Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theater Arts, Visual Art, Creativity, and Student Voices.
  • The Maine Learning Results Standards document
  • Pictures and links to the contributors so you can communicate with them if you’d like to
  • A bit of the history

All of us at MALI are very excited about the Resource Bank and hope that you find it useful. We encourage you to take some time on the webpage to search topics. Certainly they can be used ‘as is’, or you can adapt or adopt them, as is.

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 12.07.50 AM

A great big thank you to Catherine Ring and Barbara Vinal for working closely with the Teacher Leaders who were part of the Resource Bank team and to create the searchable website!

Thank you to the Maine Department of Education for the funding to create the website!

Please note: On August 3, 2015, MAAI, the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative, announced its new name, MALI, the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative. MALI is a program of the Maine Arts Commission. You can read about it at Please email Argy Nestor if you have any questions at


Those Amazing Presenters!

October 15, 2015

Different format provides info for all

The Biennial Statewide conference provided a unique format with 5X5 presentations – our version of Pecha Kucha. Each of the workshop session leaders presented for 5 minutes using 5-8 slides. These took place during the morning of the Measure of Success conference which gave participants a chance to hear and see and appetizer of 9 different topics.

On top of providing the workshops each of the presenters put together a plethora of resources and they are available to all of you! When you go there you will be totally blown away at the amazing resources they collected which are now living at!measure-of-success-conference/chki. DON’T miss them.

During the afternoon of the conference presenters jumped into the 9 topics by providing hour and 15 minute sessions on the following:

  • Studio Habits of Mind: Using the “Hidden Curriculum” to Encourage Student Autonomy with Visual Arts Teachers Theresa Cerceo from Dr. Levesque Elementary, Wisdom Middle/High School and Janie Snider from Hancock Grammar School


  • Making Maine and ME with Visual Arts Teacher Jennie Driscoll from Brunswick High School


  • Evaluating Individual Proficiency within the Large Ensemble with Music Teacher Jen Etter from York Middle School
  • Dancing with the Creative Process: How to incorporate standards-based dance and movement activities in classroom learning and assessment with Dancer, Educator, and Teaching Artist John Morris


  • In the Midst of Madness with Music Teacher Jen Nash from Sabasticook Valley Middle School, Dance Teacher MaryEllen Schaper from Bonny Eagle Middle School, and Associate Professor, Educational Leadership from USM Jeff Beaudry, Ph.D.


  • Empathy, Kindness and Wonder, Arts Integration at Work with the Director and Founder of Sweet Tree Arts Lindsay Pinchbeck
  • Brains on Fire: How Research on the Brain Can Inform Arts Education with the Executive Director of the New England Institute for Teacher Education Catherine Ring
  • From Cool to Tool: Technology Integration with Student Learning in Mind with Music Teacher  Kate Smith from Central School in South Berwick, and Mt. Blue High School in Farmington Teacher Dan Ryder


  • Proficiency Based Learning: An Advocacy Story Music Teacher Rob Westerberg from York High School 

A GREAT big thank you to each of the presenters for the 9 sessions. YOU were truly amazing!

Please note: On August 3, 2015, MAAI, the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative, announced its new name, MALI, the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative. MALI is a program of the Maine Arts Commission. You can read about it at Please email Argy Nestor if you have any questions at


Successful Biennial

October 13, 2015

Great day for Arts Education!


Biennial Statewide Arts Education Conference participants

Point Lookout Conference Center in Northport on Friday, October 9 was abuzz with Arts Educators for the Biennial Statewide Arts Education conference, The Measure of Success. The day was filled with student performances, celebrations, presentations, networking and intense workshops, conversations, questions, and wonderings. From the opening music performance by Camden Hills Regional High School Jazz Band under the direction of Nancy Rowe to the closing session with a theatre performance of the Adamms Family under the direction of Kim Murphy the day was educational, energizing, and filled with surprises!


Camden Hills Regional High School Jazz Band under the direction of Nancy Rowe

Over the next few days on the blog there will be highlights from the conference in words and images to give you a bit of what went on during the all-day event.

If you were able to join us – thanks so much – I hope that you found it worthwhile and that you met other folks to share ideas, your work, and that you learned something from them as well. If you couldn’t make it, please know that the blog posts will provide tidbits but in other similar events its just not the same as being there. I will do my best to describe what went on. If questions arise for you from what you read and see, please don’t hesitate to contact me at

IMG_0347We initially started plans for this conference back in January and as you can imagine it takes many people to put all the details in place including those listed below. My apology if I leave someone or place out. I am sure that you will let me know.

  • The Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Leadership Team for the hours they spent emailing, zooming to plan and implement the conference
  • The amazing presenters including Theresa Cerceo and Janie Snider, Jennie Driscoll, Jen Etter, John Morris, Jen Nash, MaryEllen Schaper, Jeff Beaudry, Lindsay Pinchbeck, Catherine Ring, Dan Ryder and Kate Smith, and Rob Westerberg.
  • The Maine Arts Commission staff especially Director Julie Richard, Priscilla Kelley and Chris Norris in the front office, and Linda Nelson
  • Maine Department of Education especially Beth Lambert, the new Visual and Performing Arts Specialist and the financial support from the MDOE
  • MALI partners: New England Institute for Teacher Education, Maine Art Education Association, Maine Music Educators Association, USM, UMaine Performing Arts, Maine Department of Education
  • Camden Hills Regional High School Jazz Band, Nancy Rowe and Camden Hills Regional High School theatre students, Kim Murphy
  • Kate Smith, Jen Etter, and Cynthia Keating for Celebrating Excellence!
  • Lindsay Pinchbeck, Amy Gertner, and Jessica Day for Bumpity Bump Bump
  • Theresa Cerceo sharing SLAM
  • Farnsworth Art Museum, Kate Smith, Allie Rimkunas, Pamela Kinsey, Camden Hills Regional High School, Hampden Academy and others for providing door prizes
  • Barb Vinal and Catherine Ring, completing the new website
  • Peripole, supplying every participant with their own set of egg shakers in great colors!
  • Celebration Team!
  • Point Lookout Conference Center staff, especially Gerry Hill
  • Susan MacPherson at Great Gatherings for the registration
  • Maine College of Art for providing the bags, Liam Sullivan

A taste of the Adamms Family – getting ready for opening night, under the direction of Kim Murphy

Please note: On August 3, 2015, MAAI, the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative, announced its new name, MALI, the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative. MALI is a program of the Maine Arts Commission. You can read about it at Please email Argy Nestor if you have any questions at


Educator’s Forum

October 10, 2015

Waterville CREATES!

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 4.46.59 PMWaterville CREATES! will host an educator’s forum to present educational opportunities that exist within Waterville Arts Organizations (such as after school activities at the library, art workshops and classes at Common Street Arts, mentoring programs through the studio theater or Waterville Opera House or venue based arts programming)  at a forum in the Waterville Opera House, October 28, from 4:30 – 5:45PM. Light refreshments will be provided.

At this forum, educators will hear from the Maine Arts Commission, Waterville CREATES!, Waterville Opera House, Colby Museum of Art and Arts & Humanities Program, Maine Film Center, Waterville Public Library, Waterville Main Street, Common Street Arts and Out and Allied Youth Theatre.  In return arts organizations are asking that educators share what would help them to better access the arts here in Waterville.


Car is Packed

October 8, 2015

Headed for the biennial conference

carAfter months of preparation that involved dozens of people we are really READY for the Biennial Statewide Arts Education Conference The Measure of Success. Today, with a car chock full of all that is needed, I head to Point Lookout Conference Center in Northport to set up for the conference being held tomorrow, Friday, October 9.

The 9 workshop leaders have prepared their 5X5s (5 minutes, 5 images), a long list of resources that will go live tomorrow morning, and their hour and 15 minute workshops. No small feat, of which I know will be incredible offerings for those in attendance! Arts integration, standards-based, creativity, student-centered, assessment, brain research, advocacy, teacher effectiveness, technology, and so much more will be covered, discussed, and unpacked. By the end of the day participants will have at least a handful of ideas that they will walk away with that can be put into practice come next Tuesday morning in their individual classrooms, schools, and districts.

The day will be filled with celebrations, recognitions, and multiple learning and networking opportunities! YOU’ve spoken to the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) and we’ve done our best to listen and create another professional learning opportunity that I hope will be challenging and enjoyable!

Without the many people who have contributed to the planning, tomorrow would not be possible. A GREAT BIG THANK YOU to all of you who have stepped up!

What??? You haven’t pre-registered? Well, you are in luck – arrive at Point Lookout tomorrow morning, Friday, October 9, by 8:30 and you can register at the door. Please be sure and bring a check, PO, or credit card! And, if you are available today you are welcome to come early and help unpack the car! YAHOOOOOO for Arts Education!

If you have questions please email me at

Please note: On August 3, 2015, MAAI, the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative, announced its new name, MALI, the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative. MALI is a program of the Maine Arts Commission. You can read about it at Please email Argy Nestor if you have any questions at


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