Archive for the ‘Resources’ 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.


MALI Winter Retreat

March 14, 2018

Amazing opportunity to learn and exchange

Winter Retreat participants. photo credit: Chris Pinchbeck

Thirty Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artist Leaders met last Saturday for the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) winter retreat. It was a great opportunity to gather with friends and colleagues from across Maine.


    • To provide an opportunity for the MALI community to come together to listen to and learn from each other
    • To review the work that has taken place during the phase underway
    • To address ideas and the latest topics in education/research and respond to timely issues relevant to Maine teachers
    • To provide information and/or context for participants 
    • To consider topics for the next phase of MALI

We accomplished the above and a whole lot more. There is nothing that compares to coming together with visual and performing arts teachers who have so much in common. So many topics to discuss and listen to what each person has to offer. “Getting off our islands” and coming together with “our community” on a winter day in March is refreshing!

The agenda was filled with art making from the Growth Mindset opening session to the finishing session that concluded with a meditative heart exercise.


  • Growth Mindset review and revisit with Lindsay Pinchbeck
  • MALI This We Believe statements review
  • MALI collaboration with art teacher Hope Lord and music teacher Dorie Tripp
  • Ukulele’s with music teacher Kate Smith
  • Update on Proficiency Based from Department of Education Diana Doiron
  • Looking ahead and considering ideas for Phase 8

If you are considering applying to be a Teacher Leader or a Teaching Artist Leader for MALI in Phase 8, please send an email to me – stating your interest. Applications will be available in May 2018.


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


Americans Who Tell the Truth

November 10, 2017

Samantha Smith Challenge – Register by January 15, 2018

“If we could be friends by just getting to know each other better than what are our countries actually arguing about? Nothing could be more important than not having a war if a war could kill everything”. ~Samantha Smith

Samantha Smith

Americans Who Tell the Truth (AWTT), partnering with Maine Association for Middle Level Education (MAMLE), and the Center for Innovation in Education (CIE) at Thomas College, is excited to launch the Fourth Annual Samantha Smith Challenge. The Samantha Smith Challenge (SSC), a dynamic educational program for Maine middle school students, promotes social justice through the arts. It is designed to build a bridge between the classroom and the world and 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.

At the depths of the Cold War, when hot war between the Soviet Union and the United States seemed likely, a frightened young girl from Maine did something about that grim situation. Samantha Smith began by asking “Why?”. She went on to advocate for open communication and peace. A compelling storyteller, Samantha left us a legacy and an inspiring challenge: What can each of us do to make the world safer, healthier, and more fair?

Samantha was a narrative activist. By telling HER story she changed THE story-definitely a creative art! The power of the arts to deliver a message or to invoke action is indisputable. Americans Who Tell the Truth (AWTT) combines art and other media to inspire a new generation of engaged Americans who will act for the common good, our communities, and the Earth. Over thirty of the AWTT portrait subjects have used the creative arts to inspire action and are located on the AWTT website.

The SSC is about identifying important community and world issues, understanding them, and making a compelling argument in an effective medium. After doing extensive research and engaging community members and experts, student participants in the SSC will make their case for positive change. They may paint a portrait of a truthteller in their community, create a dramatic production or tell a compelling story about their issue, or write music that makes us feel braver and less alone. They may write an essay that makes a powerful argument for why we should all join in their effort to make the world a better place. Some students may choose their medium while others may be working in a specific class that teaches drawing or painting, theater or filmmaking where the teacher will define the medium.

The SSC asks, “How/why can creative arts and writing inspire action on serious issues?” All participants in this year’s SSC will gather at Thomas College on June 4, 2018 to showcase and celebrate their work.

Use the arts to showcase and bring attention to your issue, your findings, and your actions.  FOR MORE INFORMATION about the program or contact REGISTER by January 15, 2018.


Growth Mindset

November 7, 2017

Growth Mindset

A great big thanks to Melanie Crowe, Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader for collaborating to make the Twitter Chat on October 30 on Mindset possible. It is clear that the topic is not just being looked at closely in Maine schools but across the country.

Interestingly enough a day before the Twitter Chat Education Week provided several articles on the topic. They did a thorough job of providing information and resources on the topic. I have included the information from Education Week on the topic. The articles and research provide food for thought in support and opposed to Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset work. I encourage you to continue learning on the topic.

Growth Mindset articles from Education Week:

  • Carol Dweck provides a Commentary called Carol Dweck Revisits the ‘Growth Mindset’. It includes her thoughts on the research that she did for her book Growth Mindset that set this topic in motion. READ MORE.
  • Why a ‘Growth Mindset Won’t Work – John Hattie’s research shows that growth mindset vs. a fixed mindset has an effect size of .19 which is below the Hinge Point, and the biggest reason why the growth mindset may not work is in the classroom. Written by Peter DeWitt.  READ MORE.
  • Mindset in the Classroom: A National Study of K-12 Teachers. This one is based on results from a national survey conducted by the Education Week Research Center. The report examines the concept of growth mindset as well as key misconceptions that could undermine its effectiveness. READ MORE.
  • A Growth Mindset May Counteract Effects of Poverty on Achievement, Study Says written by Evie Blad. A growth mindset may buffer students from the effects of poverty on academic achievement, Stanford researchers concluded after studying test scores and survey results for 168,000 Chilean students. READ MORE.
  • Teachers Seize On ‘Growth Mindset’, But Crave More Training written by Evie Blad. As enthusiasm about “growth mindset” spreads across schools, researchers who popularized the idea are concerned that teachers might not have the resources or understanding to use it effectively in their classrooms. READ MORE
  • Mindfulness in the Classroom: A How-To Guide written by Teacher Linda Yaron shares what elements she incorporates into her curriculum to help strengthen student opportunities for success. READ MORE.
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