Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Money, Money, Money

February 22, 2018

MAC Funding

The deadline is just around the corner for several of the Maine Arts Commission (MAC) grants. The grants overview is located on the MAC site at THIS LINK.

Below are the grants and the deadlines.

March 1, 2018 DEADLINE:


Applications will be accepted in our online Grants Management System (GMS) up to 5 p.m., Thursday, March 1. If you’ve never submitted an application you will need to create an account first at the link above.

March 8, 2018 DEADLINE:


Questions? Comments? Email or call Senior Grants Director Kathy Shaw at or 207-287- 2750.


Creating the Future

December 19, 2017

End of year reflection – creating communities of hope

With another calendar year coming to a close, I’m taking a few minutes on this blog to reflect about the work (and play) that you do across the state and country – making the world a better place!

You engage in art, music, dance, theater, writing, AND you make environments where others can create in the arts. But, what you do is so much more than creating. You make positive spaces where individuals are comfortable and find a home. Where young people and adults can come together and learn from each other, where they can stretch themselves and in many cases, learn to believe in themselves. These spaces that you provide for all ages leads to creating the future – full of wide eyes and HOPE!

During the December holidays we recognize and celebrate and they are full of hope. The arts help bridge this hope to carry forward throughout the year – in our hearts and in our communities. Through teaching and learning your work inspires learners and equips them to find their own purpose and voice. Each person can take that forward and contribute hope to their communities.

THANK YOU for the time you spend, sometimes awake at night, wondering how to reach every learner. How you will face the challenges. How to guide them in finding their voice and empowering them to be life-long creative learners. Teaching is a super power and your leadership in the classroom, school, and community is appreciated. The courage that it takes to go into your classroom, stand before a school board, attend town meetings, testify before the legislature, write a letter to an influential person at the national level and all of the things you do, does not go unnoticed.

You each have a story to tell and in 2018 I encourage you to tell that story through a contribution to the Maine Arts Education blog. Perhaps it is an idea that you use that works with individuals or large groups of learners. Or maybe its a mountain that you’ve climbed through your own art making process. Or an encounter that you’ve had many years after having taught a student. Perhaps it is a change in your community that is happening because of the work your students are doing. Whatever your story, please have the courage in 2018 to share it with others. Not to boast, but so we can learn from your experiences. Many of you’ve heard me say “none of us is as smart as all of us”. I invite you to share your knowledge so we can all learn. My friend Carol Trimble says “we’re a genius”. I love that!

My wish for you during the break is to celebrate what you give each and every day! As the sun sets on another year, THANK YOU for your passion and the commitment you make to provide and support an excellent arts education for every learner!

Photos provided by Equinox Guiding Service


Poems, Poems, Poems

December 10, 2017

How many to go?

This is one of the many, many, many poems that students can select from to memorize and recite to participate in Poetry Out Loud. Tomorrow’s blog post will provide information on the Maine Poetry Out Loud program and information on attending on one of the Maine Arts Commission upcoming Poetry Out Loud events.

I like the generosity of numbers.
The way, for example,
they are willing to count
anything or anyone:
two pickles, one door to the room,
eight dancers dressed as swans.

I like the domesticity of addition—
add two cups of milk and stir—
the sense of plenty: six plums
on the ground, three more
falling from the tree.

And multiplication’s school
of fish times fish,
whose silver bodies breed
beneath the shadow
of a boat.

Even subtraction is never loss,
just addition somewhere else:
five sparrows take away two,
the two in someone else’s
garden now.

There’s an amplitude to long division,
as it opens Chinese take-out
box by paper box,
inside every folded cookie
a new fortune.

And I never fail to be surprised
by the gift of an odd remainder,
footloose at the end:
forty-seven divided by eleven equals four,
with three remaining.

Three boys beyond their mother’s call,
two Italians off to the sea,
one sock that isn’t anywhere you look.

  • Mary Cornish, “Numbers” from Red Studio. Copyright © 2007 by Mary Cornish. Reprinted by permission of Oberlin College Press.

  • Source: Red Studio (Oberlin College Press, 2007)

Poetry Out Loud is organized nationally by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation and administered at the state level by the Maine Arts Commission. It begins in Maine’s schools where school champions are selected to compete in two regional finals at which ten students are ultimately selected to recite at the state finals. One student, the state champion, moves on from the state finals to represent Maine at the national finals in Washington D.C., where students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico will compete for a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends for the purchase of poetry books.


Live to Learn

December 3, 2017

Tim Minchin

Nine life lessons provided by comedian Tim Minchin that you may want to share with your students. Please be sure and review the video before sharing with others so you can determine if it is appropriate for your audience.


The Addams Family Musical

October 29, 2017

Messalonskee High School Players

‘Buh buh da do *snap* *snap*’… The MHS Players bring that classic tune from The Addams Family to the stage on Nov. 17, 18, and 19. The dark humor of this dysfunctional family reminds us that love conquers all. Wednesday trades her pigtails for an engagement ring and hilarity ensues when her boyfriend’s Ohioan family meet the dark and sinister members of the Addams clan. Storms, ghostly ancestors, rhymes, the color yellow, and love?! It’s all there for the older fans of the 1960s t.v. show to reminisce over while introducing younger members of the audience to the darkly comedic family. The performance by the Messalonskee High School Players is under the guidance of the new director, Shelby Thibodeau, herself an alumnus of Players. In addition, the Players are pleased to welcome as the new musical director, Mike Peterson, a long time music teacher in the district.  The actors are currently honing their singing and dancing while the crew hand craft the ghostly costumes of the living and the dead and build the Addams Family mansion on stage at the Messalonskee High School Performing Arts Center.  All are welcome on Nov. 17 and 18 at 7:00 pm and on Nov. 19 at 2:00 in the afternoon. Tickets are $5 for students and seniors, and $10 for adults.










Vocabulary Walls

October 14, 2017

the  art of education

All kinds of great ideas are shared daily on the art of education blog. This one, posted recently written by Amanda Heyn, has some tips on using a vocabulary wall in the art room to address the needs of the varying grade levels. Even though it is for an art room it certainly would work in a music room. Read on to pick up the tips.


Maine’s High School Diploma

October 8, 2017

Chapter 134

After careful review of all oral and written comments received by the Maine DOE regarding proposed rule Chapter 134, Regulations for Awarding a High School Diploma, the Maine DOE has made the decision to withdraw the current proposed rule and restart the rulemaking process after a brief pause for conceptual conversations. The conceptual conversations will provide an opportunity to explore areas needing greater clarity in the current proposed rule Chapter 134. The Maine DOE remains committed to the proficiency-based diploma law (20-A MRS 4722-A) and remains committed to drafting a proposed rule that supports the implementation of a diploma based on evidence of proficiency.

The Department intends to start a new rulemaking process for proposed rule Chapter 134 once the following steps have been taken:

  1. During the month of October, Maine DOE’s Proficiency-based Education (PBE) Specialist will reach out to professional organizations to invite representatives from each of their stakeholder groups (superintendents, principals, curriculum leaders, teachers, parents, and school board members) to engage in small (approximately 15 participants), role-alike, conceptual discussions regarding equitable access to a high school diploma and student readiness for entering career and college opportunities after high school. A randomly selected high school from each superintendent region will be contacted to engage in small (approximately 15 participants) conceptual conversations with students. These conceptual discussions will be facilitated by the Maine DOE PBE Specialist and guided by the following discussion prompts. (The Commissioner and other Maine DOE members may join the conversations as their schedules allow.):a.) To what degree do you agree or disagree with this statement and why: The knowledge, required skills, and qualifications required for entrance into post-secondary opportunities in industry, trade, business, and higher education vary.What do you see is needed to prepare students for their post-secondary next step?

    b.) To what degree do you agree or disagree with this statement and why: The transcript and diploma are inseparable companion documents that together articulate a student’s readiness for the postsecondary next step she or he has chosen.

    What do you see is needed to clearly articulate a student’s readiness for the postsecondary next step she or he has chosen?

    c.) To what degree do you agree or disagree with this statement and why: The high school transcript must clearly communicate the student’s proficiency across the grade span progressions (preschool-grade 2; grades 3-5; grades 6-8; grades 9-12) thus providing a clear, accurate communication of what the student has achieved and what the diploma based on proficiency represents for each student.

    What do you see is needed to clearly articulate what a student has learned?

    d.) To what degree do you agree or disagree with this statement and why: Every student needs a personal learning plan and a small team whose primary goal is to understand the student’s aspirations, strengths, challenges, contexts of his or her life. The team works collaboratively with the student and others to provide the student access to learning experiences that support her or him so that she or he may learn as close to full potential as humanly possible. The focus on the team is always on the student developing competencies that will support her or his aspirations and development of efficacy towards these aspirations as well as the student’s ability to reach the highest grade span proficiency level possible while eligible to attend our public schools.

    What do you see is needed to increase the probability that a student will graduate ready for his or her postsecondary next step?

    e.) To what degree do you agree or disagree with this statement and why: Statewide agreement regarding what proficiency means or looks like in each grade span progressions (preschool-grade 2; grades 3-5; grades 6-8; grades 9-12) is necessary to support student opportunity to learn and demonstrate proficiency.

    What do you see is needed to support opportunity to learn and demonstrate proficiency across the state?

    f.) Would you be willing to share a final thought as a result today’s conversation

  2. Taking into consideration the insights gained from the upcoming conceptual discussions and the September public comments, the Maine DOE staff will write a new proposed rule Chapter 134 and begin again the Maine Administrative Procedures Act (A.P.A.) routine technical rule process pursuant to 5 MRS §8052 (public notice of filing, public hearing, open public comment period).The Maine DOE is working diligently to honor the integrity and vision for the high school diploma and transcript articulated in Maine education statute 20-A MRS §4722-A as well as the routine technical rulemaking pursuant to section §4722-A subsection 7. Maine DOE believes public input is a critically important.

It is clear from the oral and written comments submitted on proposed rule Chapter 134 that there is commitment in Maine to provide opportunity for all students to learn as much as they can the entire time the students are eligible to attend our public schools. It is also clear that the diploma has great social meaning and currency in our society. Clearly evident in the comments is that equity sits at the heart of the debate regarding what constitutes sufficient evidence for proficiency. We have provided links below to both the oral and written comments received by the September 8thdeadline.

Recorded public hearing and the written comments received by September 8, 2017 for proposed rule Chapter 134 submitted by September 8, 2017.

For more information on proposed rule Chapter 134 and the diploma based on proficiency, contact Maine Department of Education Proficiency-Based Education Specialist, Diana Doiron at

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