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National Arts in Education Week

September 15, 2017

Celebration continues

Americans for the Arts has been celebrating National Arts in Education Week across the nation. I’ve appreciated the information that they’ve provided all week and I hope you have as well. A great big THANK YOU to Jeff Poulin, Arts Ed Program Manager at the Americans for the Arts, for providing this information. Included below are links and information to help you recognize the importance of arts education.

This week, Americans for the Arts is running a blog salon featuring youth voices on the topic of #BecauseOfArtsEd. You may consider sharing what is posted in the coming days – here are the ones from yesterday:

The following professional development opportunities remain for the week; you may consider sharing with your networks:

  • Friday, September 15: Arts Education for Native American Youth. Register for the webinar #ArtsEdChat

Jeff’ s favorite social media posts shared yesterday 

Please check out the on ArtsMeet national arts event calendar and share events with friends and colleagues in your region (or other regions, too!)

Thank you for being a leader in the field of arts education and for joining the celebration of National Arts in Education Week.

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Who Are They? Wintergreen Arts Center – Part 4

September 15, 2017

Thinking outside the Center, taking art to the people

This blog post is one of a 6-part series about the Wintergreen Arts Center in Presque Isle.  Wintergreen provides creative experiences that empower the young and young-at-heart to imagine, invent, and innovate. With quality arts education programming for children of all ages, family-friendly signature events, and adult programs, Wintergreen works with several community partners to deliver inspiring opportunities to help individuals bloom and Aroostook County thrive. Dottie Hutchins is Wintergreen’s executive director. You can learn more at www.wintergreenarts.org

ART with HeartDuring the summer of 2017, the Wintergreen Arts Center taught art classes at five locations in Presque Isle. Classes were held at the Presque Isle Housing Authority on Birch Street, the new Adult Daycare Center on Davis Street, Presque Isle Rehab and  Nursing Center on Academy Street, Leisure Village Retirement Center on Dewberry Drive, and of course, the Wintergreen Arts Center on State Street.

“We’re thinking outside the Center,” said Dottie Hutchins, Wintergreen’s executive director. “And, as part of our plan, we taught art classes in neighborhoods and senior care facilities throughout Presque Isle last summer. This is a big step in Wintergreen’s goal to take art directly to people who may not otherwise be able to get to our Center.”

It is also the result of community partnerships Wintergreen has been building with several organizations in the Star City. Partnerships created with the sole purpose of bringing neighborhoods and opportunities together.

PI Nursing Home

Wintergreen is also reaching out to enrich the lives of local senior citizens through art as well.

“The Aroostook Medical Center first invited us to participate in a partnership-building meeting at the Presque Isle Housing Authority about a year ago,” said Hutchins. “And the results have been quite amazing.  Probably a dozen organizations are now working together to bring a variety of quality programs to the Birch Street Neighborhood.”

Wintergreen Art Teacher Shaye McHatten taught ART-with-heart and photography at the Presque Isle Housing Authority. The goal of the ART-with-heart program was to create connections through art by incorporating teenage volunteers as mentors to work with the children on a wide range of art projects.

“Shaye taught arts and crafts at the Agency on Aging’s new Adult Daycare Center, and the Presque Isle Rehab and Nursing Center in July,” said Hutchins. “And, in August, we led a family history / genealogy group at Leisure Village.”

Pet PortraitsWintergreen also offered classes at its 149 State Street location. In July, Wintergreen Art Teacher Kara Addington taught Pet Portraits, a community arts project to help homeless animals find forever homes.  Students painted portraits of animals living in local shelters to be displayed at area businesses in hopes of inspiring people to adopt a pet.

In August, Shaye McHatten also taught photography at the Center.

“We feel our summer programming was a huge success at all locations,” said Hutchins.  “The feedback from surveys confirmed that we are on the right track to successfully bring art directly to people throughout our community; especially to those who may be challenged with transportation or other barriers. Our goal is to expand this outreach on a year-around basis.”

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National Arts in Education Week

September 14, 2017

Celebration continues

Be sure to check out all of the great links below in this email thread from each day of the week – perfect to share with your networks and increase the impact of #ArtsEdweek!

Americans for the Arts is running a blog salon featuring youth voices on the topic of #BecauseOfArtsEd. You may consider sharing what is posted in the coming days – here are the ones from yesterday:

Professional development opportunities remain for the week

  • Thursday, September 14:  Arts Education for LGBT Youth. Register for the webinar #ArtsEdChat!
  • Friday, September 15: Arts Education for Native American Youth. Register for the webinar #ArtsEdChat!

Jeff M. Poulin, Arts Ed Program Manager, AFTA, favorite social media posts shared yesterday 

Please check out the on ArtsMeet national arts event calendar and share events with friends and colleagues in your region (or other regions, too!)

Thank you for being a leader in the field of arts education and for joining the celebration of National Arts in Education Week.

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Who Are They? Wintergreen Arts Center – Part 3

September 14, 2017

From nursing homes to pizza parties, creating relationships with paint

This blog post is one of a 6-part series about the Wintergreen Arts Center in Presque Isle.  Wintergreen provides creative experiences that empower the young and young-at-heart to imagine, invent, and innovate. With quality arts education programming for children of all ages, family-friendly signature events, and adult programs, Wintergreen works with several community partners to deliver inspiring opportunities to help individuals bloom and Aroostook County thrive. Dottie Hutchins is Wintergreen’s executive director. You can learn more at www.wintergreenarts.org

Mars Hill_Group ShotThe Wintergreen Arts Center brought the Sip & Paint craze to Aroostook County during February of 2015.  At first, it was a fun fundraising event, but later it turned into more—much more.

Just over a year later, Wintergreen received a call from Vicki Jackson, activities specialist at the Aroostook Health Center in Mars Hill, a 72-bed facility owned by The Aroostook Medical Center (TAMC) which provides long-term care and rehabilitation services. She heard about Wintergreen’s guided-painting events and thought it would be a great activity to offer her residents—right in their own facility. Then the idea of opening it up to the community took shape and Wintergreen was invited to take their Sip & Paint event on the road.

On April 13, 2016, a team from Wintergreen, which included three board members, their executive director and head teacher, had an experience they’ll treasure for a lifetime. Twenty-four artists joined them in the Aroostook Health Center’s dining room and picked up their brushes. From the ages of nine to 92, residents accompanied by members of their families, staff and the community, came together for an evening of comradery and creativity.

“What an excellent way to spend an evening with some of my favorite Wintergreen Arts Center people and the residents, family members and staff of the Aroostook Health Center,” said, Co-Chair Kim Guerrette Michaud. “My heart is full!” Kim’s sentiments were echoed by the entire Wintergreen team. Seeing residents in wheel chairs straighten up in their seats and paint side-by-side with their loved ones, neighbors and care givers, opened everyone’s hearts. Their paint brushes even allowed some, who may not verbalize their thoughts out loud anymore, to communicate with paint—in a complete and meaningful way.
Mars Hill_3

Vicki Jackson (photo, center, in flowered blouse) takes great joy in bringing new, fun and fulfilling experiences to the Mars Hill healthcare facility that brighten her residents’ daily lives.

“The residents and staff are still asking ‘when can we paint again’,” said Vicki.  “I would like to express my sincere thank you to Wintergreen for bringing Sip & Paint to our residents. It was a special night for them and we will always be grateful.”

Energized by their experience at the Aroostook Health Center, members of Wintergreen’s team set a goal to create more significant relationships with other age groups—teens and tweens. Historically the center’s programming and signature events draw participants of all ages but its core group of enthusiasts are children from the ages of toddlers through elementary school students. Drawing teens and tweens to the center on a regular basis meant attracting them with age-appropriate themes. So, Wintergreen gave their guided-painting event a twist and their new monthly Pizza ‘n Paint for Teens & Tweens became an instant hit for those just entering their double-digit through teen years.

RETRO_20160624_Group ShotWintergreen’s first Pizza ‘n Paint for Teens & Tweens night was held on May 27, 2016, attracting 21 young artists including eight from the Boys & Girls Club of Presque Isle. Wintergreen Artist / Instructor Caitlin Sanipass encouraged her aspiring artists to express themselves with a birch tree scene on canvas.

“Pizza n’ Paint was a success for the Boys & Girls Club of Presque Isle, along with other youth from the community,” said Fenton Jones, program director. “Thank you Wintergreen Arts Center for sharing this fun and learning-filled event with us!”

The Boys & Girls Clubs of America is a national organization of local chapters which provide after-school programs for youth. The Boys & Girls Club of Presque Isle was established in 1995 by the Aroostook Band of Micmacs. The club accepts all students from ages five to 18, native and non-native; and, their mission is “to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens.”  Visit www.pi-bgc.org for more information.

With the help of a lead sponsorship from State Farm Agent John Harvell, and a sponsorship from Katahdin Trust Company, Wintergreen was able to cut the cost to area youths for their monthly Pizza ‘n Paint for Teens & Tweens; and, on June 24, 2016, the venue sold out for Wintergreen Teacher Corey’s RETRO ART:  Painting on vinyl records. With the encouragement of Wintergreen Event Planner Amy Joy Berube, others came forward to support the evening of creative activity; drinks were provided by Pepsi; pizza by Circle K; and the young artists enjoyed a special cookie intermission provided by Kelly Mathes of Confectionately Yours. A truly fun, filling night for teens and tweens in Aroostook County!

Another invitation from TAMC enabled the Wintergreen Arts Center to once again bring its guided-painting event on the road; this time in partnership with the Presque Isle Housing Authority.

Wintergreen+IMGThe mission of the Presque Isle Housing Authority is to assist low and moderate-income families with safe, decent and affordable housing opportunities as they strive to achieve self-sufficiency and/or to improve the quality of their lives. TAMC saw an opportunity to support the Housing Authority’s mission by offering fun, relevant, and accessible healthy living activities to their residents, and invited Wintergreen to participate.

At the request of members of the Housing Authority’s staff, Wintergreen took their Pizza ‘n Paint event directly to the Authority’s neighborhood community center. Three guided-painting events were organized: One for adults in July and another for teens and tweens in August, and one for families in November. All events were successful—especially the family event—in terms of bringing art into the Authority’s neighborhood; getting adults and children engaged in the creative process; and, building long-term relationships in the community.

Our entire Wintergreen team embraces these wonderful invitations to encourage creativity and the arts in Aroostook County.

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National Arts in Education Week

September 13, 2017

Celebration continues

Today, Americans for the Arts is promoting the very special and highly anticipated Arts Ed Week PSA. You can share the YouTube video link or share Americans for the Arts’ Facebook video.

Published this week regarding Arts Ed Week

This week’s blog salon featuring youth voices on the topic of #BecauseOfArtsEd. You may consider sharing what is posted in the coming days – yesterday’s

Professional development opportunities remain for the week

  • Wednesday, September 13: Arts Education for English Language Learners. Register for the webinar & #ArtsEdChat!
  • Thursday, September 14:  Arts Education for LGBT Youth. Register for the webinar #ArtsEdChat!
  • Friday, September 15: Arts Education for Native American Youth. Register for the webinar #ArtsEdChat!

Jeff M. Poulin, Arts Ed Program Manager, AFTA, favorite social media posts shared yesterday 

Please check out the on ArtsMeet national arts event calendar and share events with friends and colleagues in your region (or other regions, too!).

Thank you for being a leader in the field of arts education and for joining the celebration of National Arts in Education Week.

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Who Are They? Wintergreen Arts Center – Part 2

September 13, 2017

How a celebration of life and art touched the County

This blog post is one of a 6-part series about the Wintergreen Arts Center in Presque Isle.  Wintergreen provides creative experiences that empower the young and young-at-heart to imagine, invent, and innovate. With quality arts education programming for children of all ages, family-friendly signature events, and adult programs, Wintergreen works with several community partners to deliver inspiring opportunities to help individuals bloom and Aroostook County thrive. Dottie Hutchins is Wintergreen’s executive director. You can learn more at www.wintergreenarts.org
Alan Mountain_Gallery view

During the month of May, 2016, the Wintergreen Arts Center participated in “May is Mental Health Month” with a show celebrating the life and art of Alan Mountain (1956–2015), a local artist who lived his entire adult life with a disabling mental illness. The show touched hundreds of people’s lives and through the generosity of Alan’s family, an auction of his artwork and the sale of a book he helped to write, brought in approximately $3,000.00, with all proceeds divided equally between the Wintergreen Arts Center and Catholic Charities of Maine.

“On May 6, we held an Opening Reception for Alan’s show during Presque Isle’s First Friday Downtown Art Walk which drew a crowd of over 125 people including several members of Alan’s family,” said Dottie Hutchins, Wintergreen’s executive director. “Alan’s mother, Alice Bolstridge gave a moving and candid talk about Alan, the importance of art in his life, and his mental illness.  Her bravery is equaled only by her generosity. The family’s gifts—both financial and groundbreaking—are extremely appreciated.

About her gift of Alan’s art and their book proceeds, Alice said, “With this donation, the family thanks these organizations for the important role they play in contributing to community mental health. I cannot overemphasize the therapeutic significance of artistic expression in Alan’s life.  And Catholic Charities’ mental health services provided for Alan’s needs in a variety of ways for most of his adult life: basic survival needs of housing, food, housekeeping services, and supplies he obtained in their ‘free’ store; that he often used in surprising ways in his art.”

Alice Bolstridge, a retired English teacher and native of Portage Lake, currently lives in Presque Isle.  She holds a PhD in English Literature, Oklahoma State University, 1987, MA in English, University of Maine, Orono, 1982, BS in Education, University of Maine, Presque Isle, 1970. She is credited with more than 100 publications of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction in a wide variety of literary magazines and anthologies; and, has received writing prizes from Maine Senior College Network, Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, and Passager Magazine. Alice’s focus on mental illness is both personal and passionate.

Wintergreen and Catholic Charities benefit from Alan Mountain art auction

Photo (L to R):  Catholic Charities’ Dixie Shaw, Alice Bolstridge and Wintergreen’s Dottie Hutchins

Dixie Shaw, director of hunger and relief services at Catholic Charities of Maine, said, “Catholic Charities is so thrilled to have this support from the family of Alan Mountain.  This will go far to provide services for those in Aroostook County struggling with mental illness.” If people would like more information about the services Catholic Charities provides in Maine, visit www.ccmaine.org.

The book Alice and Alan wrote, Oppression for the Heaven of It, a docu-fiction published under the pseudonym of Moore Bowen, won the 2013 Kenneth Patchen Award for an innovative novel. It is available from amazon.com, SPD, Ingram, Baker & Tayler. For more about the book and to read a copy of Alice’s gallery talk, visit https://moorebowen.wordpress.com/.

The Wintergreen Arts Center is deeply indebted to Alice Bolstridge for sharing her and Alan’s story; and, for her family’s generosity. It is the conclusion of Wintergreen’s board members that this is one of the best attended and most significant First Friday Art Walk Opening Receptions to be held at the center.

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National Arts in Education Week

September 12, 2017

Celebration continues

Today the Americans for the Arts continues the celebration! Last night officially kicked off the week with 92Y in NYC – check out the archived livestream here. So many great stories and inspiring remarks from business, civic, arts, and educational leaders – great student performances, too!

This week’s blog salon featuring youth voices on the topic of #BecauseOfArtsEd. You may consider sharing what is posted in the coming days – yesterday’s

The following professional development opportunities remain for the week

  • Tuesday, September 12: Arts Education for Students with Disabilities. Register for the webinar #ArtsEdChat!
  • Wednesday, September 13: Arts Education for English Language Learners. Register for the webinar & #ArtsEdChat!
  • Thursday, September 14:  Arts Education for LGBT Youth. Register for the webinar #ArtsEdChat!
  • Friday, September 15: Arts Education for Native American Youth. Register for the webinar #ArtsEdChat!

Jeff M. Poulin, Arts Ed Program Manager, AFTA, favorite social media posts shared yesterday 

Please check out the on ArtsMeet national arts event calendar and share events with friends and colleagues in your region (or other regions, too!)

Thank you for being a leader in the field of arts education and for joining the celebration of National Arts in Education Week.

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