Archive for the ‘VPA’ Category

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Poetry Out Loud

March 22, 2020

Before the virus 

The Poetry Out Loud (POL) Maine State Finals he state finals took place at the Waterville Opera House on March 2. The following ten high school students proudly took their places after excelling at the classroom, school and regional level. If you click on their names you can hear parts of an interview and the student reciting.

Northern Maine Regional Champions

Southern Maine Regional Champions

Ella Shaffer, grade 10, Rangeley Lakes Regional School photo by Kate Philbrick, Sun Journal

At the time the students, their families and schools understood that one student would be selected to represent Maine at the POL National Finals. Each student was prepared to recite three poems. At the end of round two five state finalists were selected to recite their third poem from which one is the runner-up and one is the state champ. Grade 10 student from Rangeley Lakes Regional School Ella Shaffer was named the 2020 State Champ and Maine’s representative to travel to Washington, D.C. at the end of April. Ella did an amazing job reciting  “Sestina: Like” by A.E. Stallings, “I Eat Breakfast to Begin the Day” by Zubair Ahmed, “No, I wasn’t meant to love and be loved” by Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib.

Traditionally a school bus from Rangeley travels to the POL state finals with a group of students and their teachers to support their school representative and also participate as audience members. English teacher Tim Straub has been a huge supporter of his students and the program. Along with Sonja Johnson, art teacher who is amazing! Everyone can benefit from the experience. This year was no exception but it was the first time Rangeley traveled home with the POL State Champ. Those of us who live in a small town in Maine know how exciting this news was for the residents in Rangeley and you can see in the video (below) what that looked like to Ella’s dad on the night of March 3 returning to town. (Get out your tissues).

Sadly the Corona virus (COVID-19) has robbed Ella and her school community the opportunity to travel to D.C. at the end of April for the national event. Even though the national event has been canceled it doesn’t remove the pride that this community has for Ella! I’m sure her three poems will be with her everywhere she travels during her lifetime.

If your high school doesn’t participate in the Poetry Out Loud program you can learn more at the National Poetry Out Loud website. Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high school students across the country. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Poetry Out Loud is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation and administered at the state level by the Maine Arts Commission.

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MAC Arts Learning Grants

March 18, 2020

Put together an idea to apply for now 

You may know that the Maine Arts Commission provides a variety of grants for the arts. Among the funding is a grant specifically for arts education called Arts Learning. The deadline is March 26, 2020 and the maximum that you can apply for is $5,000. You are required to match the total requested by 50% which can be in cash or in kind. The cycle for this funding is July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021.

The Arts Learning Grant provides funding to support schools and organizations for PK-12 arts education programs. This can be done through school programs, community arts education programs, curriculum planning, professional learning for arts educators, teaching artists, and teachers of all content. Applicants are encouraged to use teaching artists from the Maine Arts Commission’s Teaching Artist Roster.

Eligibility Requirements

All applicants must have an active Maine Arts Commission account and current Vendor Code to receive funding.  A school district or nonprofit organization is eligible to apply if they meet the following criteria:

  • Is an organization with 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 in the state of Maine.
  • Is in compliance with Final Reports required by the Maine Arts Commission for previous awards.

 NOTE: A school must apply through its school district. All paperwork must be conducted through the Superintendent’s offices. Communications and funds will go directly to the district to then be delivered to the applying school. The Maine Arts Commission will not contract directly with individual schools. 

Ineligible Expenses: Grant awards may not be re-granted nor used to cover the costs of brick-and-mortar projects, permanent or capital equipment, operating support or fundraising.

Application Materials 

Incomplete applications will not be eligible for review. A completed application in the Grants Management System (GMS) must contain:

Online – Fields within the Grants Portal that will need to be completed

  • Complete answers to all narrative prompts (Required)
  • Completed project budget (Required)

Uploads – Up to a total of 10 pieces of support materials uploaded through the Grants Portal

  • Resumes, bios, or curriculum vitae for all key personnel (Required): This should  include resumes for teaching artists as well
  • One to three letters of support (Required): Letters from individuals or representatives of organizations or schools who can speak to their anticipated benefit from the project 
  • Lesson plans (Required): Teaching plans or the units showing learning outcomes and assessment tools 
  • Most current completed Form 990 (Required for nonprofit organizations)
  • Copy of IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter (Required for nonprofit organizations)
  • Artistic samples (Required): Images (up to five), audio or video materials (no more than 15 minutes in length), Prose samples (no more than 20 pages in length), poetry (no more than 5 poems), etc.
  • Collateral (Highly Recommended): Materials such as press reviews, articles, marketing materials, etc.

Vendor Code – An applicant must have a current Vendor Code to receive award funds

  • Your Vendor Code is a state assigned number that allows for payment processing. Please check your Maine Arts Commission User/Organization account to see if there is a number in the Vendor Code field. If the field is blank you will need to complete a Vendor Form with exactly the same name and contact information as used in the application. This must be provided to the agency prior to award notification and can be submitted through email, surface mail, or FAX. The form can be downloaded from the Grants Help page.

Application Questions

(To be completed in the GMS-grants management system) (All character counts include spaces)

  1. Describe your project idea in two to four sentences. (Max: 638 characters – about 100 words)
  2. How does your proposal align with the State of Maine Learning Results for Visual and Performing Arts or other relevant standards? (Max: 1,275 characters – about 175 words)
  3. Describe any partnership(s) and/or collaborative planning (Max: 1,275 characters – about 175 words)
  4. State the project objectives and plans for evaluating project success. If this is an ongoing program, share how you will demonstrate growth and expansion from previous iterations.  (Max: 1,275 characters – about 175 words)
  5. List the professional teachers and teaching artists participating in the project. Please summarize their professional experience(s). If applicable, describe the any professional development opportunities these teachers will receive.  . (Max: 1,275 characters – about 175 words)

Review Criteria

Arts Learning Grant applications are reviewed on a competitive basis using the following criteria:

  1. Quality of Project. (25%) 
  2. Alignment of project with State of Maine Learning Results for Visual and Performing Arts. (10%)
  3. Evidence of significant collaborative planning among teachers and other partners. (25%) 
  4. Description  of evaluation methodology with clear objectives and outcomes.  (20%)
  5. Assurance that the project will include certified, trained teaching artists and will provide professional development opportunities where appropriate.  (10%) 

Review Process

Applications are reviewed by panels of public members, selected for their expertise. All grant recommendations are presented to Maine Arts Commission members who approve the review process, making the grant official. The review process and delivery of funds may take up to six months. This means that grant funds may be used to reimburse costs which have been incurred for the project after the grant has been approved but prior to funds being disbursed.

Assistance

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 specific questions about the Arts Learning program:
Please contact Martha Piscuskas, Director of Arts Education, at vog.eniam@saksucsiP.ahtraM or 207-287-2750.
For general questions about the application or review process:
Please contact Kerstin Gilg, Director of Grants and Accessibility, at kerstin.gilg@maine.gov or 207/ 287-6719 .
For questions about award payments:
Please contact Darren Henry, Director of Operations, at Darren.Henry@maine.gov or 207/ 287-2726.

APPLY NOW

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Celebration

March 17, 2020

Maine Excellence in Arts Education

Last week at the State House students, teachers, parents and other community members came together to celebrate the art of children. There was music, dancing, poetry recitations, and much more. The Maine Arts Commission (MAC) Maine Excellence in Arts Education celebration is an opportunity to recognize students whose art work is on display throughout the State House complex.

Forty students were recognized for their accomplishments and presented a certificate by David Greenham, MAC Chair and Martha Piscuskas, MAC Director of Arts Education. Performances were provided by the Maine Arts Academy Chamber Singers from Sidney, Little Eagles Drumming Group from Pleasant Point, and the Indian Township School Dancers.

Artist Ethan from Sebago Elementary School with his art work and family

Ethan receiving his certificate

Student artists at the State House

Indian Township School dancers

Maine Arts Academy Chamber Singers

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Students Need You

March 16, 2020

Now more than ever

Whether your school/district is shut down or planning to or figuring out how to respond to the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) your students need you more than ever. I know that some schools are doing online learning but that doesn’t work for many schools or students who do not have access to the technology needed.

Being able to reassure the youngest of children that you’re OK will help them know that they’re OK. Perhaps you can create short videos or audio clips (using QuickTime or Garage Band or another program or app) so they can see and/or hear your voice. Post them in a central spot where they can access them whenever they need their spirits lifted. I know you’re a bright spot on a normal day!

I’m sure that your creative spirits will provide you with the ideas and strength you need to find the necessary pathway to survive and strive through this challenge. I’m convinced that this situation requires ‘out of box’ thinking and will make us better teachers! Who better to use creativity than visual and performing arts teachers?

Navigating the challenge

I hope that you will support each other and one way to do that is to share the plethora of resources that you are using. I will be posting information on the Maine Arts Education facebook along with continuing to provide information on the blog. As usual, please send your stories for the blog so others can learn and be inspired by you and your work (and play).

Below are a few resources to support you in navigating this challenging situation. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help out by emailing me at meartsed@gmail.com

HELPFUL ARTICLES

TEACHING RESOURCES

GENERAL

PERFORMING ARTS

VISUAL ART

OPPORTUNITY TODAY

Jason Anderson, Maine Department of Education Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, is providing two zoom meetings for you to participate in to share ideas. Both meetings will be recorded and archived at a later day in case you can not participate in real time.

10:00 meeting, today, March 16 – CLICK HERE to join the meeting.

3:00 meeting, today, March 16 – CLICK HERE to join the meeting.

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The Blog is Back!

March 9, 2020

Yahooooo

I’m back at the Maine Arts Education blog for all you amazing blog readers, 1,472 of you – educators, artists, arts directors, community members and so many more people who I know read the blog every day. So much has happened during my hiatus in the world of arts education. I realize I can’t go back and provide you with ALL of the information that has come across my desk and that has been happening BUT I can share some of the highlights – starting tomorrow. In the meantime if you’ve had an event, attended one, know about an upcoming one and you’d like to send me the information and photos to include in the  blog please don’t hesitate to email me at meartsed@gmail.com. Thanks so much!

I’ve been busy and I’m sure you have as well. Some of my highlights:

  • Meeting with the following educators planning our June trip to Mpamila Village in Malawi to provide professional development workshops in arts integration for 10 days for 20 educators from several villages in the Ntchisi district:
    • Lindsay Pinchbeck, Director and Founder Sweet Tree Arts and Sweetland School
    • Ian Bannon, Teaching Artist and Director of Education, Figures of Speech Theatre and Associate Project Manager, Celebration Barn Theater
    • Amy Cousins, Visual Arts Teacher Gorham Middle School and 2019 Maine Art Education Association Teacher of the Year
    • Hannah Wells, Teacher at Sweetland School and Illustrator & Designer
    • Hope Lord, Visual Arts Teacher Maranacook Community Middle School
  • Mid-Coast School of Technology

    Sewing dresses and pants for the learners in Mpamila School. If you’re interested in supporting this work, please let me know. We have 100 dresses sewn and 70 pants (30 to go). We can use some support to purchase underwear to put in the pockets. T-shirts and beanie babies have been donated by very generous people.

  • Recently we took the Sweetland Middle School students to the Mid-Coast School of Technology for a tour. Amazing new building and the mural designed by students and a local artist at the entrance inside and out is amazing. We will be visiting a sailmakers shop next week and continue making our boat that compliments the Odyssey studies underway. Each week during photography the learners travel to Maine Coast School of Photography to use their facility. Our middle schoolers are participating in apprenticeships with a local photography, jeweler, actor, and at The Apprenticeshop in Rockland. They are having amazing learning opportunities with wonderful artists.
  • Through my HundrED work we’ve connected with an arts integration program in India and are excited about planning with them on a project for the fall.
  • Arts education events including this past weekends performances of Maine Drama Festival at Camden Hills Regional High School – wow, the students were awesome!

I look forward to hearing from you with your news to share!

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Theater Vacation Camp – Portland

February 10, 2020

Ovations Offstage/Portland Recreation’s Theater Vacation Camp

February Vacation Theater Camp – “The Wizard of Oz” – February 17 – 21, 2020 from 8:30 – 3:30pm

You can ensure your child’s February break is filled with creativity, growth, play, and the exploration of endless imaginative possibilities by registering them for Ovations Offstage/Portland Recreation’s Theater Vacation Camp! This camp is great for kids who have no theater experience to those who have participated in a few productions or taken a few theater classes. The teaching staff is well able to differentiate across experience and create a place for each student to be an integral member of the ensemble. All students will participate in the following workshops throughout the week: Stage Basics, Accelerating Imaginations: An Intro to Acting, Musical Theatre Singing, Puppetry along with theatre games and rehearsals for the final production. Click on the image below for more details.

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Ticket to Ride

February 5, 2020

Funding available once again

Great news for Maine educators seeking funding for field trips. Ticket to Ride, the Maine Arts Commission grant program that provides funding for schools wishing to travel to arts based venues and events is back! Grant applications are administered on a first come first serve basis, so don’t delay.

Ticket to Ride provides funding to defray the cost of travel for Maine schools wishing to visit Maine arts based venues and events as part of a well-rounded curriculum. The goals of the travel should support student learning and be aligned with the visual and/or performing arts standards. Applications are accepted throughout the year. Funding will be made available approximately one month after an application is submitted. Schools may apply more than once a year as long as they are applying to attend a different event, bringing a different student population, or have not expended their eligible amount.

Any PK-12 school in Maine with a documented free and reduced lunch student population between 30 and 49 percent is eligible to receive support of up to $300 each school year. Any PK-12 school population of 50 percent or greater is eligible to receive up to $500 per school year. Schools are welcome to use Ticket to Ride funds in combination with transportation funds that may be available from individual Maine arts based venues and events.

Eligibility Requirements

All applicants must have an active Maine Arts Commission account and current Vendor Code to receive funding.  A school district is eligible to apply if they meet the following criteria:

  • Is a public school district in the state of Maine.
  • Is in compliance with Final Reports required by the Maine Arts Commission for previous awards.

For more information and to apply go to the TICKET TO RIDE grants page on the Maine Arts Commission website.

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