Archive for the ‘VPA’ Category

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Dance Education

September 16, 2020

Andrew auditions – don’t miss this

Watching this video reminds me of why we should focus on the whole child and why dance is so important. It’s often the art form forgotten in schools. And, during the pandemic dance education is more critical. The dance education programs in place across the state are excellent, sadly there are not many, especially at the high school level. The good news is that almost all music and physical education teachers at the elementary level include dance and movement in their curriculum in some way.

The benefits that dance offer to developing and supporting the body and mind are enormous. There is plenty of research that emphasizes the benefits of dance.

Interestingly enough the Maine Arts Commission (MAC) Teaching Artist Roster has 14 dance teaching artists. Consider bringing a dance educator to your school this year. There is funding available through MACs Arts Learning grants which will become available in January 2021 with a deadline of April 2, 2021. Plan ahead for the next school year.

Let’s think about the possibilities for dance and why the time, right now, is PERFECT!

  • We’re wearing masks, dance doesn’t require speaking or singing, just movement
  • Some dancing requires close contact but it certainly doesn’t have to as you’ll see in Andrew’s video below
  • Dancing doesn’t require dirty hands so there is little reason to be concerned about hygiene
  • Bodily-Kinesthetic is one of the 8 Multiple Intelligences and it is ‘dancing’ – coordinating your mind and your body.

If you’re wondering about the benefits of dancing for all learners watch Andrew in this video.

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Incredible Resources in Maine

September 15, 2020

Ashley Bryan

As educators around the world seek ways to incorporate racial justice into their curriculum right here in Maine we have a treasure that leads us to multiple resources. Ashley Bryan, now 97, has been sharing stories, songs, history, and the culture of black people for years through his work as an artist.

Ashley first came to Maine in 1946 to study at the Skowhegan School of Paining and Sculpture Ashley. In 1988 he retired from Dartmouth College and moved to Little Cranberry Island where he has continued to create. In 2013 the Ashley Bryan Center was established to preserve the over nine decades of Ashley’s work. His art has a strong message but is stated in a joyful way, as only Ashley Bryan can do. He has received many awards including the Coretta Scott King Award for illustrators multiple times and the John Newberry Medal.

Ashley’s work is on display in the Maine State House until December 30 as part of Art in the Capital provided by the Maine Arts Commission (MAC) with a virtual show on the MAC site.

Recently Maine Public Broadcast featured I Know a Man … Ashley Bryan, a film created by Kane Associates and available streaming.

The Ashley Bryan Resource & Activity Guide is available for free. In addition is the companion short film. Thanks to Richard Kane, Melody Lewis-Kane, and Kane Productions for their outstanding work.
In 2018 Kate Smith and I traveled to Ashley’s home on Little Cranberry. It was a special day and I shared the adventure in a blog post.
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Safe at School

September 14, 2020

Keeping arts ed there!

 

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Don’t Forget the Arts

September 10, 2020

Experts weighing in

In an August 28, 2020 article in the online Medical Press, the experts concur and state: Don’t forget the Arts during this pandemic.

“Sometimes they say that the arts are like exercise,” said Susan Magsamen, executive director of the International Arts & Mind Lab within the Brain Science Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. “Exercise is something that helps you with your whole body, right? It helps your stamina. It helps you maintain your balance. It helps you sleep better. It helps your brain work better. The arts are like that, too,” for brain development.

READ the entire article.

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Two Mindsets

September 3, 2020

A Poetic Tale

Many of you have read Carol Dweck’s Mindset and have incorporated some of this line of thinking into your work as an educator and perhaps applied it personally. If you’re not familiar with the book Dr. Dweck provides insight on the power of mindset, how we think about talents and abilities and how mindset influences success in school and every part of life.

People with a fixed mindset—those who believe that abilities are fixed—are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset—those who believe that abilities can be developed.

In this video called A Tale of Two Mindsets, the young British poet and filmmaker Tom Roberts provides examples of what each mindset might sound like in dealing with today’s reality.

Roberts also created the poem The Great Realisation, a bedtime story video about the world in March and leading up to it. In 48 hours it went viral and had over 20 million views. Find it at THIS LINK. Roberts uses the name Tom Foolery in his posts.

A Tale Of Two Mindsets

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Teaching Empathy

September 1, 2020

TEDEd

TEDEd provides multiple opportunities for teachers and students. Teachers can create video based lessons, students can create student talks and educators can give TEDEd talks. What a wonderful avenue TEDEd is for teachers to tell their stories, share their ideas and use their voices. Art educator and 2018 Ohio State Teacher of the Year Jonathan Juravich provided a presentation on the TEDEd stage on Empathy. He is a K-5 art teacher at the Liberty Tree Elementary School in Powell, Ohio.

Jonathan is “interested in finding ways to teach empathy, go beyond catchphrases, and instill an awareness of others that can be expressed through action”. Growing up with his blind grandmother had a huge influence on Jonathan’s development of empathy. I love hearing Jonathan’s story and hope you will as well. At the end of the story you can engage in the questions, thinking and discussing that TEDEd provides. You can sign up for a daily email from TEDEd with a lesson plan.

https://ed.ted.com/lessons/hYl7p8BU

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Transmission Times

August 26, 2020

Arts Special for the Transmission Times

Since mid-March Katie Semro has been making the podcast Transmission Times using audio diaries from people around the world about life during the pandemic. She’s planning a special episode with the voices of Performing Artists & Artists, and asking artists of all kinds to do one recording answering 4 questions. It’s a fairly easy process and wonderful feeling to participate! Are you interested in answering the questions?
All you need to do is record your answers to the questions below on a smartphone and email them to Katie at ksemro@gmail.com, or call 847-354-4163 and leave your answers as a voicemail.
  • What impact has this pandemic had on your life?
  • What role is your art playing for you during this time?
  • What influence is the pandemic having on your art?
  • What are you missing the most?
Please send your recordings in by September 15th. Thank you!
Details
When you record please include the date, where you live, and what kind of artist you are, including your name is optionalThe stories will be anonymous on the podcast. 
 
If you are using a smart phone Apps like Voice Memos for iPhone and ARS for android work well. Then email the recording to Katie at ksemro@gmail.com — this can usually be done right from the app. 
Typically people record for 3 – 6 minutes, but the recordings can be as long or short as you want. Don’t worry about mistakes Katie will edit these out, just speak from the heart. 
Katie hopes to collect a lot of responses and will fit as many as she can into the podcast, and the podcast episode may be broadcast on the radio. All of the replies will be saved in the Transmission Times Archive to document this time for future generations. 
Katie is an Independent Audio Producer and appreciates your help with this project! If you have any questions, technical or otherwise, please contact Katie at ksemro@gmail.com.
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Young Artist’s in Quarantine

June 30, 2020

Student’s share their stories

This is part of a series highlighting the stories of young artists in quarantine. The period of free time that many people are experiencing has led to a sense of freedom in creating– when not held back by the standards expected by society and in much of art education (or needing to prove talent/fill resumes) it’s incredible what can be done. Alone in your room with just a paintbrush or guitar has led many students to find a new independence in art when they have the ability to create just for themselves. We’re hoping that by telling these stories, a change will occur in the way we approach arts education, to focus on the growth of the individual, even after quarantine comes to an end. Thank you Robyn Walker-Spencer, 2020 graduate, Camden Hills Regional High School, for launching this series of young artists in quarantine.

Kate Kemper just graduated from Camden Hills Regional High School. Below is her pandemic story.

I have always been an artist, I think. I have a grandparent on each side of my family who were extremely gifted in the arts, and my parents always say the “artist gene” skipped a generation. Over my life, I’ve expanded my mediums. I work in many forms of fine art; I am a painter, singer, poet, ceramist, and beginning mural artist.

What really sparked my love of art and helped me develop good foundations was my education at Ashwood Waldorf School. As a part of the core curriculum, I painted wet-on-wet in painting class and made a crayon drawing for every academic lesson over eight years.

In my senior year of high school, I took an advanced art portfolio class which pushed my artistic abilities even further. I learned about putting meaning into art and the different ways to make a statement about the world through the lens of creation. I now feel empowered to express my voice through a piece and do art much more frequently.

Separate, 2020, 14” x 17,” Mixed Media

There are a few common ways to make a statement about the world. Protesting, voting, speaking out, and art. You cannot have a successful social movement without art to move people. It can unite by interpreting a message into a visual format that makes it easier to understand. The repetition of an idea through many artworks grows a movement and can make real change in the mind of the audience.

But ultimately, art is what you want it to be. For me, among many others, it is a reaction.

I paint absent-minded abstractions when I need to relax, I express my frustrations when I’m angry, and I admire beauty when I’m joyful. I use it as a tool, a way to process emotion. This has come in especially handy during recent months. Amidst a global pandemic, one can expect many emotions. I went through a whirlwind of life events simultaneously, good and bad, so it is no surprise that I made a lot of art. The most defining piece of this era was one called “separate.” It was a paper cut representation of the idea of social distancing. It will join the large body of work that I am sure will arise worldwide in reaction to this pandemic.

Fruit Salad part 1, 2020, 24”x 24,” acrylic on canvas

Two Shrooms, 2020, 8” x 5,” ink pen on paper

Flank Study, 2019, India ink on paper

Blind, 2019, 6”x 12,” pen and paper

Sea Tea, 2019, 6” x 6” x 4,” ceramic and ceramic glaze

Skull and Books, 2019, 18” x 24,” conté on paper

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Congratulations Dennie Palmer Wolf

June 29, 2020

YAHOOOO for Dennie!

Association of Teaching Artists congratulates Nam-Ni Chen, Kwame Scruggs, and Dennie Palmer Wolf on their recognitions!

Dennie was the consultant during the first Maine arts education census. Out of that work came a comprehensive look at arts education in Maine and the Imagination Intensive Communities project. Seven school districts including their greater communities were highlighted with the amazing arts educational opportunities they provide for learners of all ages. It was a pleasure to work with Dennie and her knowledge and experience were immeasurable. I’m thrilled to learn that a true friend of Maine is being recognized at the national level.

The Distinguished Service to the Field Award will be given to Nai-Ni Chen, the Innovation in Teaching Artistry Award will be given to Kwame Scruggs, and the Teaching Artist Ally Award will be given to Dennie Palmer Wolf. Read the full press release here.

  • The Distinguished Service to the Field Award, given to a long-tenured artist educator is awarded to Nai-Ni Chen whose 20-plus years of dance teaching artistry in the Tri-State area has impacted  more than 100 schools with both in-school residencies and assembly performances, in particular their partnership with the A. Harry Moore Laboratory School for students with disabilities.
  • The Innovation in Teaching Artistry Award given to a Teaching Artist demonstrating innovation and excellence in the field, is awarded to Kwame Scruggs founder and director of Alchemy in Akron, OH where he has developed a program to engage adolescent males through the telling, discussion, and interpretation of mythological stories and fairy tales told to the beat of an African drum.
  • The Teaching Artist Ally Award given to a professional or organization integral to the work of teaching artists, but not a teaching artist themselves is awarded to Dennie Palmer Wolf of WolfBrown whose research has been cited by arts education organizations nationally. Wolf’s recent article “Teaching Artists as Essential Workers: Respect, Collaboration and Heft” named teaching artists as the most vulnerable population in the arts education field and called for economic support during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Awards of Recognition given to teaching artists or organizations in acknowledgment of their contributions to the field of teaching artistry is given to Tim Lord and Jason Duchan at DreamYard in the Bronx, NY, Nicole Bond of the SMART Museum in Chicago, IL, Margie Reese of Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture in Wichita, TX, and Mandi Jackson from Music Haven in New Haven, CT.

The Awards Ceremony will be streamed on Thursday, July 23rd 7:00PM – 8:00PM EDT at as part of Lincoln Center “Activate” professional development series for Teaching Artists.

Established in 2002, the ATA Awards were the first in the nation to recognize artist educators. The ATA Awards seek to raise the visibility of Teaching Artists within the arts in education and community arts fields and in the organizations and institutions for which they work as well as honor innovation in teaching artistry.

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ABC Student Leadership

June 26, 2020

Representatives from across the state

The 12 arts students from high schools around the state who make up the first Student Leadership Group of the Arts are Basic Coalition (ABC) gathered in Augusta in the fall. The students were all selected for their commitment to the arts by the four Maine professional associations that make up the ABC: the Maine Art Education Association (MAEA), the Maine Music Educators Association (MMEA), the Maine Educational Theatre Association (MEdTA) and the Maine Dance Educators. Below are photos and short bios of all the students.

Madi Baker (Visual Art) is a senior at Hampden Academy, studying AP art and design. She is also doing an independent study in art education, and is a member of Hampden Academy’s Voices Unlimited choral group. Madi feels a strong commitment to arts education and a mission to promote creativity in all forms.

 

Maille Baker (Theatre) is a senior at Nokomis Regional High. Over her years at Nokomis she has been involved in a number of groups including drama club, jazz band, combo, and ensemble, jazz chorus, and show chorus. She is also an award-winning dancer and back country skier. Maille is Vice President of her school’s chapter of National Honor Society, and is an active member of Key Club and FBLA. She was student of the year her freshman year, and received the Dartmouth Book Award this past school year.

Colette Carrillo (Music) is a sophomore from Waterville High School. She is an active member of the school’s choral program and has participated in the Kennebec Valley Music Festival Chorus for three years. She participates in the Waterville High School’s annual musical productions. Colette also composes her own music.

 

Michaela Carrow (Theatre) is a sophomore from Hermon High School. She is a member of Thespian Troupe 8263 and participates both on the stage and behind the scenes in plays, one-acts, and show choir. She has also sung in the District V Festival chorus and is very active in her school’s Art Club. She is currently working towards her Honors Diploma.

 

Alexis Grant (Dance) is a senior at Maine Arts Academy in Sidney. As a member of MEAA’s Spotlight Dance Team as well as TNT Dance Studio’s Competitive Edge Team, her days are filled with learning choreography and working in dance technique classes. She has also performed, volunteered, and created choreography for Lakewood Theater’s Teen Tech and Tour group, with her favorite role being Jan in the production of Grease. Alexis has recently attended the Dean College Summer Arts Institute and the AMDA High School Summer Conservatory as a dance major.

Delia Harms (Music) is a sophomore from Massabesic HS in Waterboro. Her main musical interest is playing the bassoon in her school band as well as in the Portland Youth Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra. Delia has also performed in the Maine Music Educators District One Honors Festival and All-State Band and in her high school chorus.

 

Ethan Hayes (Visual Art) is a freshman Visual Art student at Wisdom Middle / High School in Aroostook County. He is a member of S.L.A.M.! (Student Leadership in the Arts!), Wisdom’s Arts Advocacy and Student Leadership group. Ethan is inspired by science fiction, fantasy and animals like reptiles and sea creatures. He likes to create conceptual drawings for video games and animation projects.

Alison Jones (Theatre) is a junior from Bonny Eagle High School in Standish, currently entering her third year of High School Theatre. She is on the BEHS Theatre student leadership board as the membership chair. An active member of Bonny Eagle’s Thespian Troupe 211 for two years, Alison is performing in and assistant-directing the fall production. She has also received an award for her performance in Humbletown at the state level of the Maine Drama Festival. Last year Alison achieved 3-star Thespian status, as well as recognition as a Vice President’s List Scholar. Her other interests include writing, for which she has received two Scholastic Keys, and was a participant of the Maine Playwright’s Festival workshop last spring.

Tyler Lucca (Music) is a sophomore from Yarmouth High School, where he plays trombone in the honors level Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band and sings in the honors level Chamber Choir. Tyler is currently playing Uncle Fester in the Addams Family fall musical. He also plays banjo in a youth bluegrass ensemble called Flight 317. This well-known and respected band based out of 317 Main Community Music Center in Yarmouth has a rotating cast of high-schoolers and performs frequently in many venues ranging from seasonal festivals to restaurants.

Sophie Patenaude (Music) is a junior from Poland Regional High School in Poland. She is a classical pianist who also plays tenor saxophone in her school’s concert band. Sophie sings with her school’s chorus, chamber choir, a cappella choir and jazz band and her own acoustic duo, Meraki, as well as being a backup singer for The Masterstroke Queen Experience. She has attended several Maine Music Educators Association District II and All State Honors Choral festivals and will be attending her first NAfME All National Honors Choral festival in November. Sophie also performs frequently in musical theater and theater productions as a musician, actor, and dancer.

McKenna Shoberg (Dance) is a junior from Lake Region High School. She is a member of the National Honor Society and has been dancing for 14 years. She took master classes with Carlos Garland from So You Think You Can Dance and has starred in The Wizard of Oz for Lake Region Community Theater. She also attended drama classes at Venice Little Theater in Venice, Florida. McKenna has choreographed dances and received an award for leadership in dance. Last year she won a laker pride award which recognizes being a positive role model, consistently helpful, and selfless.

Gabriella Thompson (Dance) is a senior at Thornton Academy in Saco. She has taken dance curricularly for the past four years in Thornton’s dance program. Gabriella is a co-leader of the Thornton Academy Dance Company. She has participated in TA’s musicals and is a member of the Interact Club and National Honors Society. After graduating, Gabriella plans on going to a University to study business and communications. She wants to continue dancing throughout college because of her passion and love for it!

The Arts are Basic Coalition (ABC), led by the MAAE, is an advocacy partnership made up of representatives of Maine’s professional teachers’ associations in art, music, theater and dance (see individual members and contact information below). ABC’s mission is “to advocate with a common strong voice for the visual and performing arts for all students in Maine.” ABC was created when the Maine Arts Commission and the Maine Alliance for Arts Education in the summer of 2000 convened a large group of Maine arts education organizations and supporters to investigate ways in which we could collaborate for the cause of “arts every day for every child.” Out of that meeting grew ABC.

Until recently ABC limited its advocacy to state legislation, successfully advocating to keep the arts in the Maine Learning Results, restore the Visual and Performing Arts staff position at the Department of Education, and ensure a one-credit arts requirement for high school graduation. Last spring ABC expanded the scope of its work to include advocating to stakeholders in schools and communities around the state. Each of the partnering organizations also designated a special advocacy delegate to represent that organization in ABC’s expanded work. (See the names and contact info below.) ABC showed off its new logo at Arts and Culture Day at the capitol in April and will be playing a larger role in organizing MAAE’s semi-annual Arts Education Advocacy Day at the Statehouse. A critical part of ABC’s expansion has been its creation of a new ABC Student Leadership Group. For all the news and information about the group see News on the left.

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