Archive for the ‘YAHOO’ Category

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MALI Teaching Artist Leader Story: Kerry Constantino

February 19, 2019

Teaching Artist – Dancer

This is one of six blog posts in 2019 that include stories of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Phase 8 Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artist Leaders. This series includes a set of questions so you can learn a little bit about each leader. CLICK HERE  for more information on MALI. CLICK HERE  for more information on the 96 Teacher Leaders and 11 Teaching Artist Leaders. CLICK HERE  for Arts education resources. CLICK HERE for the MALI Resource Bank. Search in the “search archives” box on the bottom right side of this post for past teacher leader stories. Thank you Kerry for sharing your story!

Kerry Constantino

Kerry Constantino began teaching dance to kids right out of college when she graduated college in 2003. Even though she really enjoyed teaching, Kerry felt like she needed more time and experience just creating art. She stepped away from teaching and turned her focus towards developing her technique, studying movement and choreographic theory, and participating in the practice and creation of dance for herself and others. Nearly a decade later, Kerry found herself wanting to teach again, so she applied and was accepted in the San Diego Young Audiences Teaching Artist Training, where she re-learned a lot of things that would prepare her for her role as  a teaching artist. And, she loved it! Kerry really feel at home working with all members of the community. Whether through a school residency or at a private studio, she finds that working with dancers of all ages is so satisfying.

What do you like best about being a teaching artist?

I love being a teaching artist because people, especially young people, are natural dancers.           Giving people permission to move, when so often in a school and work setting, we are told to stay sedentary, is one of my greatest joys.

What do you believe are three keys to ANY successful visual and performing arts education?

I have no idea what would be the key to having a successful arts education, however, I think the thing that stops people from having a successful arts education is a pressure from society that the arts are not valid, or that they are superfluous. The arts give us tools to be creative problem solvers, to think three-dimensionally, and to have the confidence to improvise if we need to. I think all kinds of industries and workplace environments benefit when there are artists at the table.

Have you found assessment to be helpful in your classes, workshops and residencies, and if so, how?

Assessment is part and parcel to being a teaching artist. Whether I’m teaching 3 year olds or 70 year olds, having tools to assess how my students are understanding me is important. When teaching dance, so much is dependent on being a clear communicator, I want my students to dance articulately, safely, and joyfully. Knowing how much of my information is getting across is accomplished through using assessment throughout class.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative?

I have loved my experiences learning with the other educators in the MALI. It has been inspirational to hear their stories and learn from what they are currently practicing in their classrooms. Learning from other teachers and seeing how they organize and strategize their teaching techniques is invaluable.

What are you most proud of as an artist and/or a teaching artist?

I think what I am most proud of in my art is that I haven’t gotten stuck with just one medium. I began as a dancer, but over the years I have continued to be a voracious learner in many different mediums. I don’t think I will ever be satisfied just practicing and teaching one thing, there is so much more to learn. As I have learned new mediums I’ve incorporated it into my own art and into my teaching as well. Sometimes it feels like I’m a bit of a “Jack of all trades” it’s during those times that I remind myself that if I stop learning new things, then I have stopped growing.

Kerry Constantino

What gets in the way of doing a better job as a teaching artist?

I think that the biggest challenge for me as a teaching artist is navigating the process of finding residencies. I still feel really new to teaching, so I’m hoping this gets easier the more that I do it. I tend to retreat a bit when it comes to pursuing residencies because I feel like there are other people who are doing what I do, but with more experience and better. I talk myself out of things a lot and I think this is all born out of fear.

What have you accomplished through hard work and determination that might otherwise appear at first glance to be due to “luck” or circumstances?

Everything. I have spent years pushing and finding a way to continue as a dancer and movement artist. Sometimes it feels too hard, like if being a dancer and choreographer is this hard, then I just shouldn’t do it, but for some crazy reason I keep going. Every piece of choreography I have shown, every informal performance, every single time I have made dance and shown it there has been a period during my creative process that has felt impossible.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about becoming a teaching artist or is just starting out?

Go for it! Practice saying what you want to say to your students before you are actually in front of a class. Write down everything. Get a calendar and use it. Don’t worry if you get flustered on the first day and forget your whole lesson plan, you will be ok!

MALI Summer Institute, August 2018, USM

If you were given a $500,000.00 to do with whatever you please, what would it be?

There is so much I could do with $500,000. I have always hoped to own a home that would have a dance/art/movement studio in it. Dance requires a lot of open space, so I think that would be a big thing for me, to have a proper studio where I could hold classes and have informal performances in my own home. One of my first dance teachers lived in a huge old victorian house and the “ballroom” was her dance studio. It is definitely a dream of mine to do that. Oh, and more travel, I have terrible wanderlust.

Imagine you are 94 years old. You’re looking back. Do you have any regrets?

If I make it to be 94, I hope that I can see that all of my choices were what made my long beautiful life. I can’t say there would be any regrets at this point.

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POL Southern Regional Finals

February 13, 2019

Amazing Reciters

The Poetry Out Loud (POL) Southern Maine Regional Finals were held earlier this week at the beautiful Westbrook Performing Arts Center. Students traveled from 17 high schools in the southern part of the state to recite poetry. The Maine Arts Commission held the Poetry Out Loud (POL) Southern Maine Regional Finals in conjunction with the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Students have been practicing and reciting poems in schools across the state and country since the fall. For the event each student had prepared three recitations and wowed the audience with their amazing performances.

We’re so proud of the following students who participated (listed in order of their recitations, selected randomly). The names with stars are the five students moving onto the state finals on March 11 at the Waterville Opera House, 3:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. The Messalonskee Jazz Band under the direction of music educator Andy Forster will perform at 2:45 and again in between recitations. All are welcome!

  • Jack Lent, North Yarmouth Academy
  • Stephanie Brown, Portland High School
  • Amber Soucy, Lisbon High School
  • Kaitlyn Guay, Greely High School
  • Liam Doyle, South Portland High School
  • Hannah Smith, Westbrook High School
  • Helen Strout, Cape Elizabeth High School
  • Delaney Ziegman, Thornton Academy**
  • Aaliyah Biamby, Gorham High School**
  • Olivia Cox, Mt. Ararat High School
  • Blythe Thompson, Waynflete School
  • Wyatt Bates, Yarmouth High School**
  • Maya Ham, Oak Hill High School
  • Charles Van West, Maine Coast Waldorf School
  • Allison Rickert, Kennebunk High School
  • Allan Monga, Deering High School**
  • Joao Victor, Lewiston High School**

For more information about the Poetry Out Loud program please go the POL pages at the Maine Arts Commission website.

Southern Regional Finalists Wyatt Bates, Delaney Zeigman, Aaliyah Biamby, Allan Monga, and Joao Victor

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.

Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure that starts at the classroom level. Winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to a regional and/or state competition, and ultimately to the National Finals.

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Celebrating Teachers

February 3, 2019

Proud of arts educators

Today is the last day nominations are being accepted for the 2019 County Teachers of the Year and the 2020 Maine State Teacher of the Year.

Information is located on the Maine Teacher of the Year Website.

The Maine State Teacher of the Year process of selecting and recognizing educators is very extensive. The process starts in January with nominations and during the following several months essays are written and submitted, interviews take place, presentations occur and video tapes created. Many are nominated of which each county has a teacher named. After 9 months the process takes it down to 3 finalists and in the end one teacher is selected. Each year in November a gala celebration happens where all of the county teachers of the year are recognized along with the next years State Teacher of the Year.

Anthony Lufkin

The 2019 gala took place the week before Thanksgiving. It was to see Kaitlin Young, music educator, Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader and the 2018 Maine Teacher of the Year emcee the evenings program. It was a chance to celebrate Kaitlin’s amazing journey and what she has contributed to education. She has been a wonderful representative of all Maine teachers and especially Visual and Performing Arts Educators. In addition, three more arts educators were celebrated. I’m so proud of their work.

  • Christine Del Rossi, Sagadahoc County, Visual Arts grades 9-12 Mt. Ararat High School
  • Anthony Lufkin, Knox Counnty, Visual Arts grades PreK-8 Union Elementary School, Prescott School (Washington), Friendship Village School, Middle School Alternative Education
  • David Coffey, Waldo County, Music grades 6-12 Belfast Area High School

Christine Del Rossi

 

 

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Dance Education Funding

January 29, 2019

Schools/districts apply by January 31, 2019

AUGUSTA-January 23, 2019—The power of dance is alive in Maine schools thanks to a Dance Education Grant offered by the Maine Arts Commission that is available to PK-12 schools and teaching artists until January 31, 2019. Applicants can apply for awards up to $2,500 to fund a dance residency in their school district.

Teaching Artist Nancy Salmon with students at Freeport High School

Dance education makes a difference in children’s lives and creativity. Yet only five percent of all schools in Maine offer opportunities in this artistic discipline, according to the Arts Education Census study conducted in 2016 by the Maine Arts Commission.

The Dance Education Grant emphasizes high quality learning experiences for students and educators through a series of residencies that are administrated by teaching artists from the Arts Commission’s Teaching Artist Roster. Each residency is designed to teach the art of movement, performance, creative expression, and teamwork.

Freeport High School students rehearsing their dance

During this past school year, the dance education grant funded residencies at Freeport High School and Maranacook Middle School. Nancy Salmon, a teaching artist listed on the Arts Commission’s teaching artist roster, provided the instruction.

“The students know that dance is more than memorized steps,” Salmon said, reflecting on her residency program at Freeport High School that collaborated with the theater program. “They know how dance movement can enhance meaning of words in a script and how all dance and movement have elements in common. I believe all of us, teacher, students and visiting artist, have honed our adaptation, flexibility, and focus skills.”

Freeport High School students rehearsing their dance

Applying what they learned in the dance residency program, the Freeport theater class wrote a play based on three thematic stories, and then performed the piece as an interactive workshop for all second graders in the Freeport school district.

“The dance education grant is intended as seed money to grow a dance program,” said Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education at the Maine Arts Commission. “This funding provides a unique opportunity, one that I hope all schools without dance ed curriculum in place will take advantage and apply.”

Collaborators – Teaching Artist Nancy Salmon and Freeport High School Theater teacher Natalie Safely

Funding for the grant is made possible through an annual dance performance presented by two schools and ten dance studios in collaboration with Thornton Academy dance educator and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader Emma Arenstam Campbell.

Dance Education Grant guidelines application criterion is listed at www.MaineArts.com. Applications will be accepted until Thursday, January 31, 2019.The Commission encourages PK-12 educators or teaching artists to review the guidelines prior to applying. The funding cycle for the grant must take place September 1, 2019 through March 30, 2020.

For more information visit the grants and the teaching artist roster webpages at www.MaineArts.com.

For questions regarding the grants or current teaching roster, contact Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education at 207-287-2713 or email at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

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MMEA District 2

January 22, 2019

Honors Instrumental Music Festival

On January 12, Maine Music Educators’ Assn District 2 held the Honors Instrumental Music Festival at Oxford Hills High School. The amazing High school band performance, under the direction of Grammy Award winning music educator, Jared Cassedy, is linked below.

Jared, music educator at Windham High School, Windham, NH was interviewed on CBS and you can read the ARTICLE HEREI have also included a link to Jared’s CBS interview. The performance was outstanding!

If your district concerts are videotaped and you’d like to see them on this blog please send me the information at argy.nestor@maine.gov. Thanks!

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Doodle 4 Google

January 21, 2019

Opportunity for learners, K-12

Use your imagination to create a Google Doodle based on what inspires you. The 2019 Doodle for Google contest is open and this year’s theme is

When I grow up, I hope…  

Students in the U.S. in grades K-12 are eligible to create a design, using any materials, and submit it to the Doodle for Google Competition. For eligibility, requirements, and rules CLICK HERE

DEADLINE: MARCH 18, 2019, 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time 

Each design must be accompanied by an ENTRY FORM

JUDGING CRITERIA

  1. Artistic merit:
    Based on artistic skill
  2. Creativity:
    Representation of the contest theme, use of the letters in the Google logo, and the unique approach to the doodle
  3. Theme communication:
    How well the contest theme is expressed in both the artwork and the written statement

Submissions will be divided into 5 grade level clusters for judging:

  1. Grades K-3
  2. Grades 4-5
  3. Grades 6-7
  4. Grades 8-9
  5. Grades 10-12

Jimmy Fallon and Kermit the Frog announcing the Doodle 4 Google on the Tonight Show!

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New International Resource

January 19, 2019

ARTS EDxchange

Americans for the Arts is home to the International Arts Education Research and Resource Exchange – or ARTS EDxchange – a digital platform fostering engagement and collaboration between arts educators and practitioners from around the world. Open to Americans for the Arts members and non-members alike, ARTS EDxchange is the first international arts education listserv, allowing subscribers the opportunity to share their work with a global audience and access resources on the cutting edge of arts and cultural education. Learn more.

This is the first-of-its-kind international arts education listserv, allowing subscribers the opportunity to share their work with a global audience and access resources on the cutting edge of arts and cultural education.

You can sign up for ARTS EDxchange here and please share with others!

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