Posts Tagged ‘Arts are basic coalition’

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Happy Arts Education Month

March 1, 2021

Celebrate!

On Wednesday, February 17 Arts Education Advocacy Day was celebrated during a zoom a plenary session provided by the Arts are Basic Coalition (ABC) and the Maine Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE) working with the Maine Department of Education and the Maine Arts Commission. All of Maine’s professional arts education organizations leaders are members of ABC and presented along with amazing student voices. I’m sure many of the Maine Arts Education blog readers attended.

Commissioner of Education, Pender Makin, participated in the event and I think her message is a great place to start March – Arts Education Month. I encourage you to share her message with your colleagues (visual and performing arts educators and all others), with parents, school board members and your community members. The archive of the plenary session will be available and provided by MAAE in the very near future.

COMMISSIONER PENDER MAKIN’S MESSAGE

We (MDOE) value the arts in education extremely highly and perhaps above everything else and here’s why: it’s more than the pragmatic use of the arts to build the architecture, the neural pathways within brains that their engagement in the arts definitely develops, allowing them to better learn and more deeply learn all of their other content. That’s important but it’s not that, it goes beyond the creativity, the self-expression. Even goes beyond the social emotional pieces. It goes beyond the power of the arts which is so critically important at this time above all other times to heal a broken society, to find and create unity in divisiveness. It goes beyond that even. And here’s what I think it is. Arts in education, especially in public education, where every child is supposed to have their very best shot provided for them is critical because it ultimately makes life worth living. The arts make all the other business we do worth doing. It is critical now and always has been but we really need to move forward that we provide equity of opportunity, equity of access, and make sure that all of our arts opportunities are widely available and represent the demographics in the surrounding community.”

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Arts Education Advocacy Day

February 16, 2021

Don’t miss it!

REGISTER HERE TO PARTICIPATE

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Maine Arts Education Advocacy Day

January 26, 2021

Sponsored by the Maine Alliance for Arts Education and the Arts are Basic Coalition, and supported by the Maine Department of Education, this 90-minute plenary session, featuring reports by Governor Janet T. Mills, Education Commissioner Pender Makin, and state arts education association leaders, will report on the impact of this year’s pandemic on arts education. The plenary will kick-off a week of meetings between high school arts advocacy student teams and their state legislators.

REGISTER NOW BY CLICKING HERE

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Arts Advocacy Week

December 2, 2020

If there was ever a year for Arts Education Advocacy Day, this is it!… so mark your calendars for February 17 – 28th!  This year’s Virtual Advocacy “Day” will be a full week-and-a-half of important events and meetings. Our plenary session on Wednesday, February 17th will feature reports from the field by the leaders of each of the four professional arts educators’ associations that partner with MAAE in the Arts are Basic Coalition (ABC), representing visual art, music, theatre and dance. They’ll be sharing how the pandemic has impacted their discipline, and showing us how they’ve been responding to the challenges, including students’ voices as well.

The week and a half will also be an opportunity for Maine arts students to advocate directly with their legislators in small groups, a tradition we started in 2016 that brought students to Augusta from all around the state. This year zoom meetings will make that trip a lot easier! And the student delegations will also have other advocacy opportunities this year. Our new ABC Student Leadership Group (SLG – see below) has been hard at work on an initiative to form the teams of students who will be representing their schools on Advocacy Day first as advocacy teams at their school who can support arts education locally, as well as connect with the other school teams around the state via our student-managed Instagram account!

Organizing the teams will start this week with a message to the arts teachers from the ABC and Student Leadership Group asking the teachers to encourage one or two enthusiastic arts students at their school to attend a zoom meeting with the SLG about forming a team. The meeting will take place on December 6 at 7 pm

You can help!  If you’re a high school or middle school arts educator but not a member of your ABC arts organization, you can contact Melissa Birkhold, MAAE Advocacy Coordinator, at melissa.birkhold.maae@gmail.com to start the process. If you’re not an arts educator, please forward this email to your local arts educators so they can follow up.

Our SLG students below are looking forward to connecting with other students who share their arts enthusiasm. Their goal is creating a broad network of student arts advocacy teams for Advocacy Day and beyond!  This is the year when those teams are needed more than ever. We thank you for your help, and we’ll keep you posted as we make progress!

If you have any questions please contact Susan Potters, Executive Director
Maine Alliance for Arts Education at maaebangor@aol.com.

ABC Student Leadership Group

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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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