Archive for the ‘Research’ Category


New England Institute Courses

March 18, 2018

Encountering the Arts, Music assessment, G/T 

  • Encountering the Arts: Choice, Voice and Creativity, (hybrid) taught by Lindsay Pinchbeck – April 7 to June 9, 4.5 CEUs
  • Assessment in the Music Classroom, (online) taught by music educator, Jake Sturtevant – April 2 to June 11, 4.5 CEUs
  • Educating Gifted & Talented Learners, (online) taught by Grace Jacobs – April 2 to June 18, 4.5 CEUs

Encountering the Arts: Choice, Voice and Creativity – April 7 to June 9

You can join Lindsay Pinchbeck, MALI Design Team member, in her very own school, Sweetland School in Hope, and learn some wonderful strategies to incorporate into your classroom right away. Sweetland School is s a project based elementary program inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach. Drama, Movement, Music, Poetry, Storytelling, and Visual Arts will be integrated across content areas: Math, Science, Social Studies, Reading and Writing.

Work with colleagues, build relationships, and ask questions of the professor, in person, for two Saturdays and have the convenience of doing the rest of the coursework online. Encountering the Arts: Choice, Voice and Creativity is one such hybrid course.

Assessment in the Music Classroom – April 2 to June 11

This online course taught by music educator and MALI Design Team member Jake Sturtevant provides looking closely at assessment practices through a collaborative and fine-tuned lens. It can provide unique opportunities for growth. Connecting new assessment practices to instruction can bring exciting changes to how we approach our students and their learning.

Participants will discuss how best to apply recent music assessment work to their own unique situations in their own school music programs. This will lead them to create a personalized plan for implementing new strategies. Assessment in the Music Classroom will provide a great opportunity to look closely at assessment practices.

Educating Gifted & Talented Learners

This introductory course provides foundational information relating to the field of gifted and talented education (i.e. history, laws, etc.), details characteristics of gifted students from various populations, describes how such students are identified and assessed, and presents up-to-date, research-based pedagogy relating to curriculum design and instruction.

It may be applied toward the 690 (Gifted & Talented) endorsement for the State of Maine teachers. Join Grace Jacobs for this Educating Gifted & Talented Learners online course.

If you have questions contact Catherine Ring, Executive Director, New England Institute for Teacher Education.


The Arts=Economic Prosperity in Maine

February 8, 2018

Luncheon with featured guests.

Photo credit: Chris Pinchbeck

Join the Maine Arts Commission, our new nonprofit support and advocacy group, ArtsEngageME, and two national guest speakers in the beautiful Summit Room at
Point Lookout
12 – 2 p.m. on February 27, 2018.




The data proves what we know in our hearts and communities: Maine’s artists, arts organizations, arts educators and creative workers bring joy and prosperity to all areas of the state.

Tickets are limited: REGISTER TODAY

Featured Speakers: Randy Cohen & Dee Schneidman

Special guest speakers Randy Cohen, Vice President for Research and Policy at Americans for the Arts, and
New England Foundation for the Arts will unveil Maine’s most recent arts
and culture economic impact data
from two 2017 studies: the national Arts and Economic Prosperity 5(AEP5) study by Americans for the Arts, for which the Maine Arts Commission oversaw Maine’s first statewide participation in collaboration with five regional partners, and NEFA’s
And introducing our nonprofit support & advocacy organization: Arts Engage ME
Building an environment that engages all sectors, public and private, across Maine to promote the awareness and value of the creative and cultural sectors, and to invest in their sustainability. We envision a state that values the impact of arts and culture on Maine’s livability, vitality, and prosperity.

Arts Learning Grants

February 6, 2018

Maine Arts Commission grants – March 1 Deadline

The Maine Arts Commission (MAC) awards grants to artists, arts organizations, and arts educators through 12 different programs. The 2018 applications for six of these, with a deadline of March 1, are now open. The Arts Learning grant is especially for schools and educators working with students providing arts education.

Application deadline: March 1, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.

Maximum award: $5,000 (with a required 50% match)

This grant supports schools, arts organizations/institutions and community-based teaching artists as they collaborate on the design and delivery of high-quality arts learning experiences for PK-12 students.

This program supports high-quality visual or performing arts education of PK-12 students and/or educators of this population.

There is a required 50% in-kind or cash match for this grant. (For example, an applicant asking for $5,000 must provide $2,500 of matching support.)

The funding cycle for this program is July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. Funds will not be available until after July 1, and cannot be spent for activities outside the funding cycle dates.



Funds are to be used to enhance PK-12 arts education through teaching artist programs, community arts education programs, curriculum planning, professional learning for arts educators, teaching artists and teachers of all content.

The proposal should include the use of best standards-based practices reflecting 21st-century teaching and learning.

PK-12 schools through their districts, community organizations, and cultural institutions acting as or in partnership with teaching artists are eligible to apply for the Arts Learning grant. Applicants are encouraged to select teaching artists from the Maine Arts Commission’s Teaching Artist Roster.

The Maine Arts Commission learned during extensive data collection over the past two years that students in Maine’s most underserved regions have fewer opportunities for arts education. The agency therefore is earmarking funds for these regions of Maine. During fiscal year 2018-19, a dedicated grant of $5,000 will be offered to a single applicant from Aroostook, Washington or Oxford County. All other application processes will remain the same for this opportunity. For more information please contact Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education, 207-287-2713 or


Your school district or organization is eligible to apply only if it meets all of the following criteria:

  • Is a nonprofit organization, legally established in the state of Maine.
  • Has a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service, is a public school district, or is a unit of municipal, county or tribal government.
  • Is in compliance with final reports required for any previous Maine Arts Commission awards received.

NOTE: An individual school must apply through its school district. As the legal applicant, all paperwork will be conducted through the Superintendent’s offices and communications and funds will go directly to the district to be delivered to the school. The Maine Arts Commission cannot contract directly with individual schools regardless of the project. It will be the responsibility of the project staff to communicate with the district office for the transfer of funds.


Please log into our Grants Management System. Your account is free and you can browse grant guidelines and requirements for all programs without applying. Your account also gives you the ability to add your entry to our Artists and Organizations Directory and to post press releases and events to this site’s news and calendar sections.


Agency staff are always here as a resource for you. We recommend contacting the correct staff person a minimum of two-weeks prior to submitting your application.

For general questions about the application or review process please contact Kathy Ann Shaw, Senior Director for Grants and Arts Accessibility, at Kathy or 207-287-2750.

For specific questions about the Arts Learning application please contact Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education, at or 207-287-2713.

Grant information is available in large print format by request. All Maine Arts Commission programs are accessible to people with disabilities. All programs funded by the Maine Arts Commission must also be accessible.


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


What the Research Says

October 9, 2017

Howard Gardner and Ellen Winner on Arts Education

After 50 years of arts-learning research with Project Zero, Howard Gardner and Ellen Winner have a pile of data that they’ve learned from and the learning continues. In the Education Week article The Arts Have Much More to Teach Us written by Gardner and Winner provide a summary of the work. In the 90s Lois Hetland worked with Winner to look at the data on students with high and low exposure to the arts and their math and reading achievement. Many of you are familiar with and use Lois Hetland’s Habits of Mind framework published in Studio Thinking: The Real Benefits of Visual Arts Education.

Education Week has put together a collection of articles and research on arts education on topics that you’ve been hearing and reading about and in many cases considering including in the development of curriculum.  They claim that arts education is “a discipline in transition”. When I take the long view of my career in arts education I believe that we’ve always been in transition. At some level ‘shifting’ is the nature of our discipline. Depending on the school, district, and the attitude towards the arts (based on the experiences of those in decision making positions), that is what determines the view of and commitment to arts education. Having said that the following are worth the read and can help influence your thinking when it comes to teaching, creating curriculum, advocating, and a list of other arts education related topics and ideas. And, the bottom line is the arts have a rightful place in our schools and it is our responsibility as educators to see to it that they are ESSENTIAL for all learners. A PreK-grade 12 education without excellent arts education instruction is not acceptable!

The Arts Need to Be a Central Part of Schooling

Oct. 2, 2017

The research in favor of arts learning is stacking up, writes Johns Hopkins University’s Mariale Hardiman.

There’s Something Missing From STEM Learning

Oct. 2, 2017

Including arts in science and math instruction promotes student creativity and job preparation, writes STEAM specialist Susan Riley.

Arts Integration Is a Sucker’s Game

Oct. 2, 2017

Turning “STEM” into “STEAM” won’t stop arts from getting squeezed out of the curriculum, cautions researcher Jay P. Greene.

How to Assess Arts Education—And Why You Should

Oct. 2, 2017

Arts instruction and understanding the creative process can help prepare students for 21st-century challenges, write Emily Gasoi and Sonya Robbins Hoffmann.


Dancing Can Reverse Signs of Aging

September 24, 2017

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

The excerpt from a new study, published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, shows that older people who routinely partake in physical exercise can reverse the signs of aging in the brain, and dancing has the most profound effect.

“Exercise has the beneficial effect of slowing down or even counteracting in mental and physical capacity,” says Dr Kathrin Rehfeld, lead author of the study, based at the German center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Magdeburg, Germany. “In this study, we show that two different types of physical (dancing and endurance training) both increase the area of the brain that declines with age. In comparison, it was only dancing that lead to noticeable behavioral changes in terms of improved balance.”

You can read the entire article by CLICKING HERE.


James Catterall

August 28, 2017

Founder of Centers for Research on Creativity

Dr. James Catterall, Professor Emeritus and past Chair of the Faculty at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA), founder of the Centers for Research on Creativity (CRoC), and author of Doing Well and Doing Good by Doing Art: The Effects of Education in the Visual and Performing Arts on the Achievements and Values of Young Adultspassed away on Wednesday, August 23, 2017.

Professor Catterall built his career on the inquiry of creativity and produced pervasive works that fueled the advancement of arts and arts education friendly policies in the United States and around the world. His seminal piece of work, Doing Well and Doing Good by Doing Art was published in 2009 and has been used by advocates in their efforts to ensure equitable access to arts education for every student. The research conducted a longitudinal study of middle schoolers who were exposed to quality arts education in middle school and tracked them into early adulthood, strongly connecting arts learning with both general academic success and prosocial outcomes.

Professor Catterall regularly engaged with members of the field of arts education to pursue important research questions about the impact of arts education, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the Arts Education Partnership, members of Americans for the Arts such as Inner City Arts, Get Lit, and the Educational Theatre Association, and authored a piece with Americans for the Arts in 1999: “Involvement in the Arts and Success in Secondary School.” He has also been a speaker at many of Americans for the Arts’ events.

“The passing of James Catterall is a tremendous loss for the field of arts education. His dedicated work on behalf of the creativity in our children, society, and nation has built his legacy to be carried forward by arts education professionals and advocates around the world,” said Robert L. Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “James was an influential researcher, prolific writer, painter, and tireless advocate for the role of the arts and creativity to transform our world for the better.”

The field will celebrate the transformative power of the arts in education during National Arts in Education Week September 10-16, 2017, and Americans for the Arts wishes to dedicate this celebration in honor of the life of Dr. James Catterall. The field of arts education, its members, and supporters can continue his legacy by celebrating his work and sharing it with others to realize the vision of more creative children, more creative communities, and a more creative world.

This post is republished from The Americans for the Arts

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