Posts Tagged ‘advocacy’


National Arts in Education Week

August 21, 2016

Save the dates

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 6.12.15 AMCelebrate this year’s National Arts in Education Week! September 11–17, 2016

Designated by Congress in 2010, the third week in September is a national celebration of the transformative power of the arts in education. Over the course of September 11–17, celebrate arts education in events across the country; advocate to federal, state, and local decision-makers; and participate in visibility campaigns on social media using #ArtsEdWeek. Americans for the Arts will also host a series of professional development opportunities on ArtsU. For more information, contact Arts Education Program Manager Jeff Poulin at


Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 6.14.57 AMThe arts are a part of our lives every day, but we take all 31 days in October to commemorate the arts in a big way! National Arts & Humanities Month is the largest annual celebration of the arts and humanities in the United States. October may seem far away, but it’s never too early to start planning the celebration in your community. Our website offers resources and tools to establish a Do-It-Yourself Community Visioning Forum, host a Creative Conversation, or partner with a local arts venue on an open house or a special performance. Follow NAHM on Facebook for the latest updates on the national celebration, including a special social media challenge coming October 1, and to share your ideas and events with our followers.


Arts Education Advocacy Day

March 23, 2016

Join the excitement in Augusta – tomorrow!

Maine Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE) has planned a wonderful day in Augusta at the State House for Arts Education Advocacy Day. Thanks to Executive Director, Susan Potters, MAAE for the preparation work. Students will be meeting with legislators, SLAM from MSAD #33 will be interviewing Commissioner of Education William Beardsley, Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader Andrea Wollstadt will be leading the Biddeford Intermediate School Chorus in a performance. Maine Arts Commission Executive Director Julie Richard will speak and Jeff Poulin, Arts Education Program Manager from Americans for the Arts will join us and much much more! I hope to see you there!

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National Arts in Education Week

September 13, 2015


Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 8.52.00 AMBelow are suggestions, from Americans for the Arts, on how to celebrate National Arts in Education Week and resources to help you do do.

Information on Website and Resources
Launched in March 2015, a website containing downloadable resources has been made available for those interested in celebrating, advocating and participating in National Arts In Education Week.  A share domain ( and logo have been created to unify the field in celebration. Containing action-oriented materials, the site asks supporters to take three actions:
·         Celebrate: Host or attend an event in your community to celebrate the week (and be sure to include it on ArtsMeet National Event Calendar). Download the logo (above) to be used on any materials, fliers or public awareness campaigns.
·         Advocate: Use the latest tools to bring attention to the cause of arts education in your community or state. Download resolutions for your school, city or state elected officials to voice their own support of arts education.
·         Participate: Get online and use the hashtag #ArtsEdWeek. Show a picture of student artwork or a performance with #EncourageCreativity or tell a story about an arts educator who made a difference with #TeachTheArts. Also, use the new Encourage Creativity. Teach the Arts. video campaign to bring awareness to the cause.

The Arts Education Navigator
The newest tool from Americans for the Arts launching on 9/14/15! Do you believe in the transformative power of arts education? The Arts Education Navigator will help you turn your passion into action.  Follow this six step process to better understand your role in the arts education ecosystem, the policies which affect your state, the current trends in the field and how to best take action. With over 300 contributors and 75 partner organizations, find the tools and tips you need to take action immediately! (Note: this link goes live on 9/14/15)

Blog Salon September 14–18: Reauthorizing ESEA
Read from 20 of the top experts from the field on the impacts of the current reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). As the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate go into Conference Committee, this is your chance to understand the inner workings on this law and its impact on arts education. Learn more on ARTSblog.

“Arts Education: What You Need to Know” Webinar Series
Every year there are new buzzwords which affect our work. Each day during the week of September 14–18, we will gather thought leaders to unpack these terms, where they came from, and their impact on our day to day work in arts education. These daily webinars will be held at 3:00 p.m. (EST) and last approximately 20 minutes. To continue the conversation, join Jeff Poulin (@JeffMPoulin) and special guests for a Twitter chat from 8:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. (EST) by following the specified hashtag. You can either view them live or throughout the week.

The topics include:

  • Monday, September 14, 3:00pm ET: Arts Integration
    Including presentations from Amy Duma (John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts), Janet Starke, (Richmond Center Stage) and Lauren Hess (Cincinnati Public Schools). Register here. Follow the conversation at #ArtsIntegration
  • Tuesday, September 15, 2015, 3:00pm ET: Creative Youth Development
    Including presentations from Heather Ikemire (National Guild for Community Arts Education), Traci Slater-Rigaud (President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities), Erik Holmgren (Massachusetts Cultural Council) and Denise Montgomery (CultureThrive). Register here.  Follow the conversation at #CYD
  • Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 3:00pm ET: STEAM
    Including presentations from Kate McClanahan (Americans for the Arts), Lucinda Presley (The Innovation Collaborative) and Andrew Watson (Alexandria City Public Schools). Register here. Follow the conversation at #STEAM
  • Thursday, September 17, 2015, 3:00pm ET: Arts Education Standards
    Including presentations from Pam Paulson (Perpich Center for Arts Education), David Dik (Young Audiences Arts For Learning) and Jim Palmarini (Educational Theatre Association).  Register here. Follow the conversation at #Standards
  • Friday, September 18, 2015, 3:00pm ET: Creative Aging
    Including presentations from Gay Hanna and Evan Sanderson (National Center for Creative Aging) and Robert Schultz (City of Mesa, AZ Arts and Culture).  Register here. Follow the conversation at #CreativeAging
    Be sure to register for the webinars to receive the direct link, pre-reading materials, and details for the follow up Twitter chat!

Join the National #ArtsEdChat on Twitter
Join Americans for the Arts’ Arts Education Program Coordinator, Jeff M. Poulin (@JeffMPoulin) and special guests for a Twitter chat from 8:00–9:00pm ET by following the specified hashtag. The Schedule is as follows.
Monday, September 14, 8:00-9:00pm ET: Arts Integration (#ArtsIntegration)
Tuesday, September 15, 2015, 8:00-9:00pm ET: Creative Youth Development (#CYD)
Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 8:00-9:00pm ET: STEAM (#STEAM)
Thursday, September 17, 2015, 8:00-9:00pm ET: Arts Education Standards (#Standards)
Follow @Americans4Arts and #ArtsEdWeek for more updates.


Rock Stars!

September 1, 2015

Great stuff happening with Arts educators and Arts education!

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Sue Barre’s colleagues on the first workshop day: Strings Teacher Ciara Hargrove, Digital Arts Teacher and MALI Teacher Leader and Leadership Team member Suzanne Goulet, Strings Teacher Sam Lyons, and art teacher Dave Matteson

Everyday I hear about the focus and commitment that Maine Arts Educators have about teaching and to their students. The following all happened on the same day. YES, these made my day – I am so proud of the work that Arts educators do for the sake of their PK-12 students! These teachers are all making a difference and carry the sign ROCK STAR! in my book!

  • Sue Barre sent this early one morning… “In the opening school assembly today the Superintendent told everyone to look to the music document for guidance… kinda cool!” CONGRATULATIONS to Sue who teaches music in Waterville Schools and is a Teacher Leader with the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI). In addition, Waterville High School VPA teachers (seen in the photo to the right) established this goal: “We made a VPA goal to have all students in our Waterville High School VPA classes do at least one reflective writing assignment and then share those at a faculty meeting this year.”  Awesome work team!
  • jen - Version 2Jen Nash was on WERU morning show called Arts Alive and was a ROCK STAR! Jen was articulate and represented arts educators across the state…. Jen teaches music at Sebasticook Middle School and is an MALI Teacher Leader.
  • Theresa Cerceo is a MALI Teacher Leader who teaches K-12 Visual Art in Dr. Levesque Elementary School, Wisdom Middle/High School, MSAD 33 (all the way up in the County). Her Logic Model plan for her work as a Teacher Leader this year, involves advocacy work with students. In her own words: “I started working with my students today on advocacy work. I had K – 12 come up with possible blog titles and the high school art club created the, “Student Leaders in the Arts Movement” or S.L.A.M.!  We will have a meeting at the start of every art club meeting (once a week).  We had a great talk about the importance of messaging why the arts are essential. They had a lot of great ideas and really took ownership of the project. We have a board going for all the different activities we will work on. They are excited!” (There will be more information about this in the near future. Theresa is piloting this idea and will gladly share more with you about this in the months to come!)
Students (l to r): Daley Pedersen, grade 11 Elizabeth Raymond, Grade 12, Adam Weyneth, Grade 12, Jasmine DeMoranville, Grade 11, Sarah Harris, Grade 12, Dorothy Harris, Grade 10, Cassandra Boucher, Grade 10, Celine "Ce Ce" Young, grade 12

Students (l to r): Daley Pedersen, grade 11, Elizabeth Raymond, Grade 12, Adam Weyneth, Grade 12, Jasmine DeMoranville, Grade 11, Sarah Harris, Grade 12, Dorothy Harris, Grade 10, Cassandra Boucher, Grade 10, Celine “Ce Ce” Young, grade 12

  • Joshua Bosse is the PK-12 Music Teacher in Madawaska and a new Phase 5 MALI Teacher Leader and put this message on the MALI community wiki: “I would like to take the time to just say that I appreciate what each and every one of you have been doing for MALI and for your school districts. With school already starting for me, I can say that I have already seen a dramatic change in my teaching (for the better). I feel that MALI has done great things for me, and I am more excited than ever to be teaching students what I love most! Again, thank you so much for all that you have done, and I hope you all have a wonderful school year, and that all of your workshops go well! I saw a lot of great plans! I will definitely be keeping in touch throughout the school year, and I am so overjoyed about being able to be part of this wonderful organization!”

When you find yourself asking yourself the hard questions about your chosen career field, know that you are not alone! I suggest that you “get off your island” and attend a MALI event to connect with spirited Teacher Leaders. And, join us at the fall biennial arts conference, Arts Education: The Measure of Success, October 9, Point Lookout Conference Center. Information and registration (early-bird through September 9) is located at MALI resources located at


Arts Action Alert

January 29, 2015

Americans for the Arts

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January 28, 2015

Dear Arts Advocate:

As the 114th Congress begins a new season of legislating, we are already deeply concerned about education legislation being considered. Two weeks ago, the new chairman of the Senate education committee released a “discussion draft” to consider changes to federal education policies. The last authorization, known as the No Child Left Behind Act, expired in 2007, so this legislation is long overdue.

However, the current draft bill contains a number of provisions that would be terrible for arts education should they become law. Among the problematic provisions, this bill:

1) Deletes the definition of “core academic subjects,” which includes the arts!
2) Terminates the $1 billion 21st Century Community Learning Center after-school program, which supports arts education;
3) Terminates the small, but mighty, federal Arts In Education program which has supported over 200 model grant programs for over a decade;
4) Omits indicators of student access to the arts as part of annual state reporting (example is New Jersey’s report) that help identify the equity gap.

One positive development so far is that there appears to be bipartisan consensus that there is an over-emphasis on student testing. This has been a growing concern in the education sector as arts education advocates have made the point for years that the class time spent on testing has pushed the arts out of the school day.

The Senate education committee has invited public comments and we have prepared a simple way to provide them with feedback from supporters of arts education. Please take two minutes and send a customizable message to the Senate education committee by the end of Monday, February 2nd.

Want to take further action? Plan to join Arts Advocacy Day on March 23-24 and bring your arts education advocacy directly to Capitol Hill! Learn more about this event here.

Click the link below to log in and send your message:


Catherine Ring: Art Advocate of the Year

March 19, 2014

Maine Art Education Association names art advocate

On Saturday, March 8 at the opening of the 20th annual Youth Art Month exhibit at the Portland Museum of Art, Catherine Ring shared the following message as she accepted the Advocate of the Year award. Catherine truly “walks the walk” of an advocate – She helped establish the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI), serves as a member of the leadership team for the MAAI, and is the executive director of the New England Institute for Teacher Education. CONGRATULATIONS Catherine!


Catherine receiving her award from MAEA president Heidi O’Donnell

Hello, I want to tell you some stories that really made me mad. But it’s not a bad thing. Because if you are an advocate, you can turn something you’re mad about into something good. And because I’m an advocate of the arts, I like to think I can turn MAD into MADD, which stands for Music Art Dance and Drama. All of the arts.

The first is a true story that happened to me when I was in kindergarten. The teacher rolled out some big paper on the floor and had all of us get down on the floor with some crayons and draw a picture of ourselves and our houses. I drew a picture of myself with wild purple curly hair and my house was a log cabin. The teacher came over and yelled at me and said, “No! Not like that. Do it like this!” and she moved me next to another girl, who drew a picture of herself with yellow hair, and a regular house with little curtains in the windows. I remember that day, because something in me told me that this wasn’t right. Why couldn’t I live in a log cabin and have purple hair? Why did I have to do it just like the teacher said? Just like the other little girl? I was mad. I think it was that day that I decided that I would be an art teacher when I grew up.

When that little voice inside me told me that the teacher was wrong, it made me mad. When I did eventually become an art teacher, I was determined to make sure my students grew to love art and I would encourage them to be as creative as possible. That voice in my head led to action and I turned something I was mad about into something good.

Here are some other things that make me mad:
Not every kid thinks they are creative. We’ve all heard people say, ! • “Oh, I can’t draw. I’m not an artist. I can’t sing. I’m not creative.” Where did they get this idea? Aren’t all children born creative? There are many of us who believe they are. In fact, Sir Ken Robinson, who has written many books on the subject and who has spoken to audiences all around the world, believes all children are born creative, and that schools are killing creativity. He believes that we don’t grow into creativity, we are educated out of it. If that is true, that makes me mad.

If you are in a school that inspires your creativity, be very glad. But here are some realities in Maine:

  • Not every student in Maine gets Art.
  • Students don’t all get taught by qualified arts teachers.
  • Art and Music are often the first things that get cut out of school budgets.

Even though the research shows, irrefutably, that students with lots of exposure to the arts do better in all subject areas. Even though the research shows that test scores go up. Even though we know that the arts teach kids to be creative and critical thinkers, to be problem solvers and collaborators, to communicate and innovate. These are exactly the skills that are being sought after in the 21st century. So why would school leaders cut music or art? This doesn’t make sense. This makes me mad.

Catherine RingSo what do we do? How can we make a difference in our schools? How can we make people understand and support the arts in our schools? How do we help them understand that the arts are not something that’s just nice to have, or a frill, or just for fun? That the arts are absolutely essential for every child? In fact, that they are just as important as reading or math? How do we turn something that makes us mad into something good? We can get MADD.

There are a lot of things being done in Maine right now, I’m happy to say. We still have a lot of work to do, but music and art and drama and dance teachers all across Maine are making a difference through the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative. The arts teachers are making a difference in their communities through workshops in their school districts, and communities. They are making a difference by talking to their principals and parents and school boards. Arts teachers are making a difference. They are using their voices to express what they know is right, and change is beginning to happen.

So what can you do? How can you use your voice to make a difference? How can you be an advocate for more good quality arts education in our state? In every school? For every child? How do we go from being mad to being MADD? Well, here’s one way.

Because I am the Advocate of the Year, I am being asked to talk to a lot of people about how they can make a difference. I’ll be going to the state house and many other places throughout the year to advocate for the arts. I will also be writing for newsletters and other publications. But I could really use your help.

I created a new email account. If you agree that the arts are essential for every child, in every school, please email me at this address and let me know. So, again, here’s the question:

Why is it important to have the arts in every school?
If you are a student, please write your name, your age and what school you go to. If you are an adult or a student, please send me your stories that I can then share with others. I will take all of your answers and stories to the Statehouse, and to schools and organizations around Maine. I will write about the importance of the arts in education in publications throughout the year. Our voices together will be stronger. Together we can make a difference. Let’s help everyone get MADD about art!

“We don’t need to save the arts. Instead we can save the world with the arts.”
~ John Maeda, President, Rhode Island School of Design


Regional MAAI Workshop

February 26, 2014

Tonight at Waterville High School


Lisa Ingraham

The regional Maine Arts Assessment Workshop and Potluck at Waterville HS on Feb 26th (4-7pm…….3-4pm open advocacy lab and 7-8pm open advocacy lab) is open to all educators and administrators.

There is no cost (please bring a dish or snack to share).  Come early….leave early…come late…..stay late!

Please know that all educators and administrators are invited and discussions regarding local resources and galleries for valuable opportunities will also be presented.

Our schedule:
Guerrilla Advocacy Open Lab (S Goulet)          3:00 – 4:00

Lisa Ingraham and Gloria Hewett Presentations – 4:00 – 5:10

  • Lisa – Stick Figures and Finger Painting – Dispelling Myths about Elementary Art programs
  • Gloria – Working Backwards from a Great Art Lesson to Standards and Assessments

Break/Intro/Discussion/Sharing/Potluck          5:10 – 5:50

  • Lisa Wheeler – Common Street Arts Gallery
  • Nancy Baron – Harlow Gallery
  • Student teacher mentor opportunity

Pam Ouellette (to entire group)                 5:50 – 7:00

  • Literacy – Gateway to Creativity
  • Guerrilla Advocacy Open Lab (S Goulet)          7:00 – 8:00

Gloria Hewett

This workshop is your local outreach component of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative.

An exploration of each workshop can be found at (scroll down to Feb 26th date):

Contact hours available.

For more information and to RSVP…please contact any of the presenters or

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