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Young Artist’s in Quarantine

June 23, 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.

This post is written by Caleb Edwards who will be a senior at Watershed School in Camden in the fall.

What instruments do you play and what is your artist medium?

  • I play violin, piano, drums, mandolin, and I sing. I draw with colored pencils.

When did you start making art and playing music?

  • I started playing violin at age 8 and picked up other instruments over the years. I have been drawing forever, but I guess I started taking it seriously in middle school.

What experiences have you had with arts education in the past that shaped your experience?

  • My Waldorf School elementary experience definitely sparked my interests in the arts, especially life drawing.

What role does art and music play in your life now?

  • Music is everything for me and I am hoping to go to college for music production and composition I’ve picked up a few more instruments one the years since I started playing the violin. I also work with Logic Pro and produce both my music and help other artists on recording.

How has quarantine changed the way you approach art (new sense of independence/freedom)?

  • I think the extra time has had the biggest impact. I did a month-long project through a media class at school which I wrote and recorded a piece of music everyday. This turned into a welcome routine in my life and the outcome is a large collection of work I can draw from in the future.

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Fellowship

June 22, 2020

Maine connecting  with India

Sweet Tree Arts is thrilled to announce their Fellowship Program in partnership with SLAM Out Loud. Sweet Tree Arts and the Sweetland School are located in Hope, Maine. SLAM Out Loud is an organization in India. The Fellowship is open to artists and educators and begins in August 2020. The Fellowship offers experiences in arts based, learner centered approaches with trailblazing educators and learners in Maine and India. Learn the details by clicking on the flyer (below) to make it larger. The application available at THIS LINK.

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Letter from ABC

June 21, 2020

5 organizations send letter

ABC’s Mission and History

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.

To: ​Maine School Superintendents, Principals, and School Board Chairs
From:​The Arts are Basic Coalition (ABC): Maine Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE), Maine Art Education Association (MAEA), Maine Music Educators Association (MMEA), Maine Educational Theatre Association (MEdTA) and Maine Dance Educators.

As the leaders of the five Maine organizations that collectively represent the Visual and Performing Arts in Maine schools, we are writing to let you know that in this time of anticipated changes in schools and heightened concern about school funding reductions we are putting our creative and collaborative skills to work to respond to the artistic and social needs of our students and using our advocacy experience to help preserve state funding levels in Maine schools.

Advocacy has long been a strong suit of Maine arts education leadership. For more than 20 years our five statewide professional organizations have been united in the Arts are Basic Coalition (ABC) for federal and statewide advocacy. Led by the Maine Alliance for Arts Education, our coalition’s members, from all around the state, go beyond arts educators and include parents, students, community arts organizations and individual arts supporters – all eager to send a message about the importance of arts education and education in general.

Last fall our coalition created a new ABC Student Leadership Group that was inducted at the Blaine House, with the Governor as signatory. This group of 11 exemplary arts students from around the state is eager to add their advocacy voice and to create a wider network of student advocates. The current threat to school funding is putting all of us to the test, and we have already joined with our state partners, the Maine Education Association, to advocate for additional federal aid that will offset anticipated state and local budget reductions.

Maine arts educators are also developing innovative ideas to adjust their work to the new school safety guidelines. These include ideas that draw on the ways that the arts connect to social and emotional learning, such as giving students more opportunities to express the experiences they are living through and to connect meaningfully to others. They also draw on the arts’ connection to community economic development, giving arts students the tools to contribute to the creative economy of their communities, and involving them in initiatives that develop the potential of their community’s natural resources.

Education is the lifeblood of our young people’s and our state’s future. We as arts educators are excited about the ways that we can offer our positive energy and creative problem solving to Maine schools in this challenging time, and share ideas that can give us all hope. We look forward to staying in contact with you as we go into the summer months, and to continuing to work with you in the fall. You can reach us by contacting Susan Potters at s​potters@maineartsed.org​or 207 439-3169. Thank you!

Susan Potters,​​MAAE​

Benjamin Potvin, Victoria Cherry,​​MMEA

Lisa Ingraham,​​Theresa Cerceo,​​MAEA​

Rick Osann,​​MaineEdTA

Emma Campbell,​Maine Dance Educators

Delia Harms, ABC Student Leadership Group

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Amazing Educators

June 20, 2020

YOU did it!

CONGRATULATIONS EDUCATORS

…for taking on most likely the biggest challenge in your teaching career and for getting the JOB DONE! As you close the door on another school year I wish you a relaxing summer. As you take time for yourself and reflect on the last months please know I am grateful for the commitment you make to your learners and to ARTS education!

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Juneteenth

June 19, 2020

Teaching Tolerance

I didn’t learn about Juneteenth until I was an adult. I wonder why it was never part of my formal K-12 education. Teaching Tolerance website has included a blog post today that was written by Monica J. Bell and actually first published June 18, 2015. It provides history and clear information which I encourage you to read as a teacher, parent, adult seeking clarity so you can be better informed living in America or beyond.

So, what is Juneteenth? The name combines the words June and nineteenth, the day in 1865 when enslaved Texans in Galveston were informed that slavery was over. Learn more in today’s post called Happy Juneteenth! from Teaching Tolerance.

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Indigo Arts Alliance

June 19, 2020

Releases every Friday

Indigo Arts Alliance  is a proud partner with I’m Your Neighbor Books and Diverse Book Finder bringing this important program for young children and families everywhere.

Starting today and every #FestivalFriday through August 31, Indigo will release a new reading video on the Beautiful Blackbird website that highlights a different book, as well as its Black author and illustrator.  Browse the book titles here and stay tuned for the live recordings, performances, arts and crafts activities weekly this Summer!

Stay connected to Indigo Arts Alliance on Facebook, and Instagram for updates.

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More Virtual Shows and Performances

June 18, 2020

Art, Music, K-Higher Education

CARRIE RICKER SCHOOL

Thanks to Art teacher Jen Williams for sharing her schools Virtual Art Show from Carrie Ricker School (RSU4) in Litchfield. It’s an 11 minute video on youtube showcasing the grades 3-5 student artwork – that is amazing. Two of the music tracks were created in music class with teacher Wade Johnston. View below.

AUBURN SCHOOLS VIRTUAL ART EXHIBITS

A great big thanks to Art teacher and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leader Lynda Leonas for providing links to two wonderful Virtual Student Shows from where she teaches in Auburn!

RAYMOND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Music teacher Patricia Gordan shared her COVID story on the blog recently. The Raymond Elementary School chorus has been working since January on five songs for the spring concert. Since being away from school she has been working on one of the songs virtually: “Send Down the Rain” by Joyce Eilers. The song has been put together beautifully! SEND DOWN THE RAIN

Davia Hersey

HAMPDEN ACADEMY VIRTUAL ART GALLERY

A section of the gallery features Paper Bag Portraits with this information: Let’s face it this quarantine has presented us with an opportunity to be creative. While looking for regular household items to use for art making, I found that a brown paper bag is a great size/ shape for a portrait study. It also has the effect of working on a piece of toned brown paper which is a nice place to start for a portrait. An exhibit with a plethora of ideas with thanks to Art teacher and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leader Melanie Crowe!

 

CAMDEN HILLS REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL

Guiding Light” – Text and Music by Matt LaBerge. Camden Hills Regional High School Chamber Singers and Alumni Virtual Choir. Director Music teacher Kim Murphy.

OAK HILL MIDDLE SCHOOL ART GALLERY

7th and 8th grade student artwork from Oak Hill Middle School is part of a virtual art show located at THIS LINK. Thank you to art teacher Gail Rodrigue-duBois for providing this opportunity.

USM JURIED STUDENT EXHIBIT

This special on-line exhibition was open to all USM students submitting work in any media. The juried show introduces students to a professional exhibition where they learn to prepare art for a professional setting, obtain feedback from art professionals, and have their work exposed to a wide range of viewers. Due to Coronavirus, the focus this year was on students learning how to photograph their art at home as well as uploading files – good skills to acquire for many future art opportunIties. GORHAM AND PORTLAND EXHIBIT

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MAINE

Thesis exhibits by Senior Seminar students Delaney Fone, Marissa Joly, Regan H. Mars, and Demel Ruff are now showcased online until August 15, 2020. The engagement of the public through the art, and the public presentation of students’ work are core components to the successful completion of the Art 401 Senior Seminar course, a senior capstone requirement course for the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art students, and a professional practice elective option for those obtaining their Bachelor of Arts studio degrees. SHOWCASE.

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Happy Retirement!

June 17, 2020

Maine is fortunate to have such marvelous arts educators!

We know that what a teacher offers can have an enormous impact on student development day to day AND over their lifetime. As educators retire at the close of another school year, 2019-2020, I invite you to join me in THANKING them for their years of service and dedication to students across the state.

May your road ahead be filled with many years of good health, love and happiness! Yahooooooo! I’m sure you’ll never forget your last spring of teaching through the COVID pandemic.

The following visual and performing educators have contributed a combined 263+ years to teaching visual and/or performing arts education!

  • CAROL BAKER ROUX, Sanford Jr. High 7/8 Band, 40 years
  • SALLY BEAN, MSAD 58, Mt Abram High School, Visual Arts, ? years
  • BECKY CHRISTIE, Mast Landing School, Freeport, 34 years
  • IVER LOFLING, Skowhegan High School, Visual Arts, ? years
  • MAX MARQUIS, River View Community School, S. Gardiner, MSAD 11, Visual Arts, 32 years
  • HEATHER MACLEOD, Brewer Community School and Brewer High School, General and Choral Music, 30 years
  • CHRISTINE NILES, Colby College, Theater Department, Visual Arts, ? years
  • NANCY ROWE, Camden Hills High School, Instrumental Music, 40 years
  • LUCY GRACE SARGEANT, Sanford High School, Visual Arts, 48 years
  • SUSAN CYR, Dike-Newell and Phippsburg Elementary Schools, Music, 39 years

If you  know of a teacher who is not on this list please be sure and email me at meartsed@gmail.com with the information and I’d be glad to add them. Thanks!

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Young Artist’s in Quarantine

June 16, 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.

This post is written by Amy Kunzinger who just graduated from Camden Hills Regional High School.

Art has been a big part of my life ever since I was a kid. Since I can remember I have been picking up a camera and snapping shots of loved ones at family parties, or bees buzzing in the garden. I got my first camera when I was about eight and have only grown my interest in photography since then.

My art, however, is not only limited to photography. I have always loved painting, drawing and clay, and my middle school after school art club helped me explore all of my interests at a young age. Art has always been a part of my academic education, but after school art is what helped me grow my interest in clay and photography. I went to a very small school in Appleton, and we only had one wheel to throw on, so my art teacher started an after-school club for kids that wanted more time to do things that we didn’t have the time, or resources for in class. I started throwing on the wheel and absolutely loved it. This interest spilled over into high school and I have been fiddling with clay ever since.

I can also remember the first time someone showed interest in my photography. It was again in middle school and my art teacher told me there was a photography show happening at the library in town. My ears perked up immediately. I got together a collection of my favorite photos and printed them all out. A lady took interest in one of my photos of a lightbulb and bought it. She wrote me a letter telling me to never stop creating, and I haven’t. Her letter gave me the confidence I needed to continue my journey in the arts.

Art for me is an outlet from the stresses of everyday life. In my photography I like to explore the unexpected, and the forgotten perspectives of everyday life. When I am out with my friends for a shoot, all the worries in the world are forgotten, and the world is my canvas to shape for the perfect photo. I also use paining and drawing as a way to forget everyday life, but those creations are more a private exploration I use for my own benefit— photography is what I let the world see.

Quarantine for me let me have more time to explore the arts in a more private sense for my own folly. I was creating clay masks and rubber prints almost every day to just try to forget the madness happening in the world. I also decided to start a project the first day of remote schooling where I would take a picture of myself every day, until remote schooling was over. It didn’t end until school did, so I ended up with weeks’ worth of photos, some where I was extremely happy, and other I looked just plain miserable.

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2021 Music Educator Award

June 15, 2020

Grammy Week

The Music Educator Award presented by Recording Academy and Grammy Museum have announced their quarterfinalists for 2021. Great news – three Maine music educators have been named to the list. How wonderful that three of our won Maine teachers rose to the top out of nearly 2,000 nominees!

CONGRATULATIONS Maine Music Educators:

  • CAROL CLARK – Gray-New Gloucester High School
  • PATRICK VOLKER – Scarborough High School
  • TRACY WILLIAMSON – Gorham Middle School
“I’m honored to have received the nomination for this award, but this is really for my students, and I’m happy for all of us!  This is for my current students and new graduates, for every one who has come through my music program, their parents, my administrators and the caring, supportive communities of Gray and New Gloucester. Wonderful things happen when you teach in small towns!”  ~Carol Clark

Carol Clark with her life long buddies, Loren Fields (band director Lawrence HS) and Lonnie Wescott (band & choir director Traip Academy)!

“It is such an honor to be nominated by my students and recognized on a national level. All I have ever sought to do as a music educator is bring people together, build communities through a love of music, and make the world a better place.”        ~Patrick Volker www.patrickvolker.com and we’re @redstorm_chorus on Instagram and Twitter.

Patrick Volker

“I am beyond thrilled to be nominated as a quarterfinalist for this amazing award along with so many talented music educators from all around the country!  I’m excited for my students to share in this experience with me!”  ~Tracy Williamson

Tracy Williamson

A total of 216 music teachers from 199 cities have been announced as quarterfinalists for the Music Educator Award™ presented by the Recording Academy® and GRAMMY Museum®. In total, nearly 2,000 initial nominations were submitted. In addition to our quarterfinalists, 91 legacy applicants from 2020 will also be eligible to win the award this year. Read the entire list of nominees.

The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators (kindergarten through college, public and private schools) who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools. A joint partnership and presentation of the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum, the recipient will be recognized during GRAMMY® Week 2021.

The award is open to current U.S. music teachers, and anyone can nominate a teacher — students, parents, friends, colleagues, community members, school deans, and administrators. Teachers are also able to nominate themselves, and nominated teachers are notified and invited to fill out an application.

Each year, one recipient is selected from 10 finalists and recognized for their remarkable impact on students’ lives. The eighth annual honoree will be flown to Los Angeles to attend the 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards® and a range of GRAMMY Week events. The nine additional finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the schools of all 10 finalists will receive matching grants.

Fifteen semifinalists will receive a $500 honorarium with matching school grants. The matching grants provided to the schools are made possible by the generosity and support of the GRAMMY Museum’s Education Champion Ford Motor Company Fund. In addition, the American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Education, NAMM Foundation, and National Education Association support this program through outreach to their constituencies.

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