Archive for the ‘YAHOO’ Category

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Dance Grant Funds

March 23, 2017

Another great opportunity to dance

On a chilly Saturday in March I traveled south to the beautiful Noble High School for the Fifth Annual Benefit Performance for Dancers Making a Difference, “Dancing To Make A Difference 2017”  Benefit.

Dancers Making A Difference was formed to allow studios and their performers the opportunity to come together and share their passion and talent in a non-competitive environment while working for the good of a local non-profit whose mission they support. In the last 4 years Dancers Making A Difference have raised almost $15,000. Proceeds raised have gone toward helping the following organizations. End 68 Hours of Hunger, Camp Kita, Friends In Action, and youth in the Maine Foster Care system. Initiatives for Maine Foster Care included Josh’s College Care Packages, Rose Mary’s Sacks of LOVE, and H.O.M.E. (Having Opportunities Means Everything).

Dancers Making A Difference is an official 501c, and this year the proceeds from the performance in early March are designated to the Maine Arts Commission’s Dance Education Grant Fund. The money raised was a little more than $5,000 and will be combined with the $3,500 raised in November at a dance performance held at Thornton Academy by a combined group of dance studios and school dance programs.  The grant will be announced in the near future and is earmarked for PK-12 school programs where no dance education is available to students.  

Last year the students in St. Agatha, MSAD #33 benefited from the first funding awarded and had dance educator/teaching artist John Morris spend a week in December at their two schools meeting with every student in grades K-12. You can read about the residencies in three blog posts dated

A great big thank you to the board of Dancers Making a Difference for their commitment to providing dance opportunities to learners of all ages. Through their hard work and supportive families and community members they have raised $6730 that will go towards the dance education grant administered by the Maine Arts Commission. Watch future blog posts with information on how your school/district can apply. You can check out their facebook page “Dancers Making a Difference, or email them at DMAD122014@gmail.com for more information.

Nicolette Wilford, Barbra Childress, Argy Nestor, Tricia Bates, Cheryl Arnold – board members of Dancers Making a Difference

 

This is the Senior Repetory Company from Brixham Danceworks, host of the Dancers Making a Difference benefit performance. Pictured are (back) Grace Wirling, Kianna Lynch, Alyssa Saltz, choreographer Cheryl Arnold, Emma Dodier, Sammi Pooler, Mikayla King, Gracie Lodge-McIntyre (front) Hannah Sparks, Maggie Childress, Holly Proulx, Sarina Arnold, Leah Sobotka and Maddie Letellier (lying down)

 

 

 

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Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Hilary Martin

March 21, 2017

MALI Teacher Leaders Series

This is the fourth blog post of the Phase 6 Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leader stories. This series includes a set of questions so you can learn a little bit about the work each Maine visual or performing arts teacher or artist is doing.  CLICK HERE  for more information on MALI. CLICK HERE  for more information on the 81 Teacher Leaders plus 4 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. There have been 74 posted to date. Thank you Hillary for sharing your story!

Hilary Martin is currently working as a grades K-8 ed. tech. at the Vassalboro Community School in AOS 92. Before this year, beginning in 2013, she worked as the K-12 theatre teacher at the Vinalhaven School, where she taught K-5 drama, high school public speaking, and middle and high school electives in acting, directing, playwriting, and technical theatre and design. While at Vinalhaven Hilary also directed after-school productions.

What do you like best about being an arts educator?

Having the opportunity to help students be creators, and giving students who might not be highly successful in other classes a place where they can shine.

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

Community support, investment from administrators and colleagues, and a passionate teacher.

How have you found assessment to be helpful to you in your classroom?

Assessment allows me to get a sense of what students have and haven’t mastered, so I know what curriculum areas to spend extra time on, and it allows me to give students useful, constructive feedback on their work.

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

Being an arts educator can often feel very isolated–a lot of time you’re the only one in the building in your subject area, and being a theatre teacher even more so, as there aren’t that many of us in the state! Being involved with MALI has been a wonderful opportunity to network and share resources with other theatre teachers.

What are you most proud of in your career?

While at Vinalhaven, I began taking students to the Maine Drama Festival. Our first year attending we placed second at the regional competition, and the program has been successful enough to continue under the new Vinalhaven theatre teacher. I’m very proud of how I was able to expand the already very strong theatre program at Vinalhaven!

What gets in the way of being a better teacher or doing a better job as a teacher?

Time, or the lack of it! With all of the responsibilities teachers have there is very little time for professional development, collaborating with colleagues, or even individual curriculum planning–all things that are crucial to being an effective educator.

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

While on Vinalhaven, I had the opportunity to become a literacy interventionist, in addition to my work as the theatre teacher. This gave me a great opportunity to improve my skills as a teacher and get to know my students in a new way. While to some extent that opportunity was a result of being in the right place at the right time, it was also a result of my own hard work and commitment to continuing my education and training.

Look into your crystal ball: what advice would you give to teachers?

Know your limits, and don’t be afraid to say no to additional commitments. Arts educators tend to love what we do a great deal, and as a result it can be easy to overextend ourselves–I know I’ve found myself in positions where I took on more than I could reasonably handle! Remember to leave yourself space for rest and recovery.

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

I would create a program to expand the number of in or after school theatre programs for elementary students. For many students, their first opportunity to participate in theatre comes in middle or high school, but elementary students can benefit just as much from being involved in theatre.

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

It’s hard to say, but I hope that by the time I reach 94 I’ll have the perspective to look back on all the moments of my life as valuable learning experiences!

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Aroostook Mall Art Exhibit

March 20, 2017

Northern pARTners

Mackenzie Vigue and Delanie Cyr of Mapleton Elementary School

The Northern pARTners, Aroostook County regional art teachers, held a reception at the Aroostook Centre Mall on Thursday, March 9th from 7-7:30pm. Students from all around Aroostook County gathered to celebrate and showcase student artwork for the Essence of the North annual YAM(Youth Art Month) art show.

There were eleven county school districts represented including Presque Isle/Mapleton, Fort Fairfield, Limestone, Caribou, Ashland, Washburn, Connor, Hodgdon, Houlton, Mars Hill, and St. Agatha/Frenchville.

The Aroostook Centre Mall graciously donated space again this year for hanging the show. Vibrant colors and stunning examples of student artistic talents and skills filled the room as county art educators put up their student work.

Student artists accompanied by family and friends filled the gallery space from 6:45-7:45 Thursday evening. The visual appeal of the exhibit is an experience one wouldn’t want to miss. This was evident on reception night as people of all ages excitedly traveled around the exhibit.

Jack Boone of Zippel Elementary School

Beth Walker, Washburn art educator, provided a scavenger hunt which has student artists and their families studying the artworks looking for 2 clues in each district’s collection. They check off if they found the clue and write down the district where it was found. Stacy Ramsey, art educator from Hodgdon, created a visual scavenger hunt for her younger students. Students had to find photo images that she had photographed and printed off.

Despite the blustery weather conditions, it was an exciting evening meeting, greeting, and praising the students and their art work.

The northern pARTners are very appreciative and thankful to the Aroostook Centre Mall for providing this opportunity to display artwork from school districts around the county.

The artwork will be on display from February 28 through March 31st.

 

Abby Collins of Zippel Elementary School

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Congratulations Gabrielle!

March 17, 2017

Gardiner Area High School Senior Gabrielle Cooper

Gardiner High School Senior Gabrielle Cooper Maine Poetry Out Loud State Champ
Natalie Lisnet, senior at Bangor High School, is runner up

AUGUSTA, ME, MARCH 13– The Maine Arts Commission is proud to announce that Gabrielle Cooper, a senior from Gardiner High School, won the Maine Poetry Out Loud State Finals and is on her way to the nationals in Washington, D.C. in April. Natalie Lisnet, a senior from Bangor High School took runner-up. Cooper won the championship in three rounds of readings among 10 finalists representing Maine’s northern and southern regionals.

The Maine Arts Commission organizes the poetry recitation contest in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. Jennifer Rooks, public affairs host and producer at Maine Public Broadcasting Network was the master of ceremonies for the event at the Waterville Opera House. The event also featured music from the Maranacook Chamber Singers and a reading by Maine Poet Laureate Stuart Kestenbaum.

Poetry Out Loud Maine Champion Gabrielle Cooper poses with her first place trophy. It was Cooper’s first time competing in the state and regional finals. She will now move on to Washington D.C. to compete in the national championship.

“I think that when a poem works and a poet gets to the point where he or she wants to get, it’s because they made a discovery in their work,” Kesterbaum said while speaking to the finalists during intermission. “I think when you spoke those poems, you were making that same discovery in the words that the poet made.”

All 10 contestants recited two poems by memory before intermission, at which time the panel of four judges selected five finalists. In the final round of five, Cooper recited “To Be of Use,” by Marge Piercy, a poem Cooper said, is about the value of hard work and how nice it is to see progress in your efforts.

In her spare time, Cooper enjoys horseback riding, playing in her school band and volunteering with Spectrum Generations’ Meals on Wheels program. Cooper will attend Dartmouth College next fall, where she hopes to pursue a degree in economics.

After the event, Cooper thanked her mom and English teachers for all the support and effort they put into helping her along the way.

Maine Poetry Out Loud State Finalists: (left to right): Emma Beyor, Kate Hodgson, Amran Mahamed, Skyler Vaughn, Arielle Leeman, Antyna Gould, Gabrielle Cooper, Natalie Lisnet, Jordan Bryant and Sabrina Small.

“They helped me a lot with practicing after school, during my study halls, breaking down my poems for me, and giving me feedback after the regional competition,” Cooper said. “That’s been a great help. It’s been nice to spend that time with them.”

Cooper will receive $200, as well as a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books for Gardiner High School. She will then represent Maine at the National Poetry Out Loud Finals in Washington D.C. on April 25-26. Cooper will compete for the first place award of a $20,000 scholarship. In total, $50,000 in prizes and school stipends will be awarded to the top 10 finalists and their schools.

In addition to Cooper and Lisnet, the other state finalists were: Emma Beyor, Erskine Academy; Kate Hodgson, Camden Regional High School; Amran Mahamed, Deering High School; Skyler Vaughn, The Maine Girls’ Academy; Arielle Leeman, Morse High School; Antyna Gould, Medomak Valley High School; Jordan Bryant, Greely High School; and Sabrina Small, Maine Coast Waldorf School.

For more information about Poetry Out Loud, and for how your school can participate next year, visit http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/POL-Home or contact Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education, Maine Arts Commission at argy.nestor@maine.gov. Videos of the Poetry Out Loud state and regional finals will be made available on the Maine Arts Commission youtube and Facebook page: https://www.youtube.com/user/VirtualMaineArts.

The Maine Arts Commission supports artists, art organizations, educators, policy makers, and community developers in advancing the arts in Maine. For more than 50 years the Commission has encouraged and stimulated public interest and participation in the cultural heritage and cultural programs of our state; has worked to expand the state’s cultural resources; and encouraged and assisted freedom of artistic expression for the well-being of the arts, to meet the needs and aspirations of persons in all parts of the state. Additional information is available at mainearts.com.

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Heart Warming

March 15, 2017

National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards

This is a video tape of the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards being presented in conjunction with Michelle Obama in November 2016. When you listen to the descriptions of the programs perhaps you will feel as I did – no matter what, the future is in good hands. It’s a bit longer than most videos I post but it is worth your time. Be sure and listen carefully when you get to about 32 minutes.

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Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Pam Chernesky

March 14, 2017

MALI Teacher Leaders Series

This is the third blog post of the Phase 6 Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leader stories. This series includes a set of questions so you can learn a little bit about the work each Maine visual or performing arts teacher or artist is doing.  CLICK HERE  for more information on MALI. CLICK HERE  for more information on the 81 Teacher Leaders plus 4 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. There have been 74 posted to date. Thank you Pam for sharing your story!

Pam Chernesky teaches theatre and visual art at Houlton Middle/High School. She has taught art and theatre in Maine for the past 29 both downstate (Gov. Baxter School for the Deaf and Bonny Eagle High School) and, has been teaching art in the County for the past 3 years. Her high school courses include Art 1, Art 2, Advanced Art, Ceramics, Photography, and Theatre. She also teaches art and theatre with 6th, 7th and 8th graders in the Middle School. In total Pam teaches about 400 students with 3/4 of her time in visual arts and 1/4 teaching theatre.

What do you like best about being an arts educator?

 I love seeing students connect with each other and discover their own creative voice. In my district students have not had any elementary art or theatre so I see them transform into artists. Teaching students to take risks, believe in their ideas, and work collaboratively energizes me on a daily basis.

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

Opportunity to learn, passionate teachers who love sharing their craft, and resources and support from the administration and the community. If these happen consistently then success is at hand.

How have you found assessment to be helpful to you in your classroom?

Many of my students have their first ever art or theatre class in middle or high school and truly believe they can’t create, have no ideas, or are afraid that they will get it “wrong”. Quality assessment provides clear expectations for both the students and me.   They see their progress toward meeting standards and realize that they CAN achieve and create.

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

I definitely cherish meeting and working with so many wonderful arts teachers from across the state who are like-minded and willing to think outside the box. The trainings and leadership opportunities that have been afforded to me since joining MALI are impacting my practice and leadership in so many ways.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I am proud of the accomplishments of my students. This includes the state and nationally recognized performers and artists, as well as the students who just take my classes to earn a graduation credit and instead learned so much more. I know that when you learn to create, you will be less likely to destroy. When you put yourself out there and take a creative risk, you will be less likely to criticize different ideas. When you connect with others and see diverse ways to express ideas, you will not see your world in such a black and white, right and wrong view. The arts impact every human being who participate in profound and long-lasting ways, and I am proud of my part in facilitating those changes in my students.

Visual Art and Theatre teacher Pam Chernesky and Dance and Phys. Ed. teacher MaryEllen Schaper (Bonny Eagle Middle School)

What gets in the way of being a better teacher or doing a better job as a teacher?

In schools, time is always a huge factor, coupled with the strange concept that the arts are not a “core” subject and therefore don’t really matter in the same way as other subjects. The resistance to change at a systemic level is most frustrating. I think that if schools let all the arts teachers reinvent the way a school day would operate, I could be a better teacher and my students would see connections and be better learners and future citizens.

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

I have worked hard to expand offerings for students both during school and in extra-curricular areas. Students participate in the MLTI Screensaver Challenge, the Scholastic Art Awards, art shows outside of school and the MPA One-Act Festival. I am on the boards of our community arts center and the local children’s theatre. Most people have no idea of the hours of work and coordination it takes to build relationships, provide opportunities, and share those successes with the community.

Look into your crystal ball: what advice would you give to teachers?

Never underestimate your power as a teacher to change a student’s life and make a difference. Your students are learning more than vocabulary or skills, they are learning to think, empathize, connect and become better human beings, and we teach all those things through the arts.

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

I would travel with my family and experience arts and cultures around the world. I could probably even get a ticket to Hamilton in New York! I would also save money for my daughter’s college expenses as she pursues her love of music. I would use the rest of the money to provide more opportunities for my students. Field trips to museums and performances are out of reach for many rural schools who live great distances away from those venues. It would be a thrill to be able to afford to take them to see the works of art that they have only seen in books or on the internet, or to see live performances.

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

I hope not. I struggle with balancing my family life with my arts life, and it is wonderful when they intersect. I am lucky to have the loving support of my family but I don’t underestimate the time we have together. Hopefully at 94 I can look back with fond memories of it all! I know I love what I am doing right now.

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Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Jaclyn Bousquet

March 9, 2017

MALI Teacher Leaders Series

This is the second blog post of the Phase 6 Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leader stories. This series includes a set of questions so you can learn a little bit about the work each Maine visual or performing arts teacher or artist is doing.  CLICK HERE  for more information on MALI. CLICK HERE  for more information on the 81 Teacher Leaders plus 4 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. There have been 73 posted to date. Thank you Jackie for sharing your story!

Jaclyn Bousquet presently teaches Visual Art to grades 9-12 at Traip Academy in Kittery, ME where she has spent the majority of her five year teaching career. At Traip Academy, Jackie teaches seven visual arts courses including AP/Advanced Art, Mixed Media, Art Fundamentals, Drawing, Painting, Stained Glass, and Pottery. On average, Jackie teaches about 125 students per year with many repeating students taking multiple art courses each year. In addition to teaching art, Jaclyn is also a Co-Advisor for the class of 2017 and the S2S/Interact club.

What do you like best about being a music/art/theater/dance educator?

I love the positive relationships I have fostered with my wonderful and passionate art students. It is the most amazing feeling in the world to know that I am making an impact on these students by encouraging their creativity and exposing them to the visual arts.

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

The essentials for any successful visual and performing arts education include, community and school investment, a passionate and effective art teacher, and a budget!

How have you found assessment to be helpful to you in your classroom?

Assessment is helpful in providing feedback to students so that they may improve upon their future work, as well as make revisions to make stronger work. Quality assessment and rubrics also validates the arts as integral to a well rounded education.

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

As the only visual arts educator in my building, I often work in isolation. Becoming involved with MALI has enabled me to network and collaborate with other visual arts teachers across the state. Working with MALI has also encouraged me to become more confident in my own leadership abilities, as I have been pushed outside of my comfort zone in creating and presenting workshops for other art educators.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I am extremely proud of the partnerships I have worked so hard to create with the surrounding community over the last four years. I have collaborated with local businesses, art galleries, and community members in order to enhance student learning and advocate for the arts. As a result of my efforts, I now have three annual art shows that occur in the community, as well as other meaningful projects that encourage students to communicate and collaborate with community members outside of the classroom.

What gets in the way of being a better teacher or doing a better job as a teacher?

Time! As a teacher with seven art courses, it often feels as though I am racing time even with a block schedule. Having enough time to create meaningful and engaging lessons and art activities, provide students with meaningful feedback through assessment, and engage in professional development is extremely challenging.

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

I am lucky to be working in a community that places strong value on the arts, so I think the work involved with setting up art shows and collaborating with local businesses can easily be overlooked or underestimated. I’ve worked extremely hard to set up community partners and display student work in public spaces in order to advocate for my program.

Look into your crystal ball: what advice would you give to teachers?

As a relatively new teacher myself, there are still many things I am figuring out! The advice I would give to a new teacher, and that I often need to remind myself, is to continue making art and pursuing your own passions because it will radiate into your teaching. Additionally, I would stress the importance of changing things up and avoiding routine in the classroom. It is easy to repeat successful lessons year after year, but just like our students, it is important for us to take risks in order to learn and grow and become stronger educators.

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

The first thing I would do is revamp my classroom with new cabinetry and storage, and workstations for kids. Maybe I would create an entirely new classroom and expand our program! I would also invest in some expensive new Pottery equipment. I might create some kind of arts enrichment program or grant for schools that do not have formal arts education programs in place.

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

This is a hard question! I will be so wise by the time I am 94, that any “regrets” will be thought of as learning experiences that helped shape who I am. I believe that everything happens for a reason and that I am always exactly where I need to be and that things unfold for a purpose. In the present, I am doing what I love and would not trade a minute of it!

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