Posts Tagged ‘George Stevens Academy’


Meet Mia

July 6, 2022

Mia Bogyo, Education Programs Manager, CMCA

I was so happy to have a lengthy conversation with Mia Bogyo and to learn her story. Mia has a bubbly personality and is an enthusiastic creative person who approaches each task at hand positively. When Mia smiles it is with her whole being. She is totally committed to her work in art education and applies her energy so everyone benefits. Her story…

Mia Bogyo uses the pronouns, she/her and is the Education Programs Manager at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) in Rockland. Mia’s high school experience at George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill heavily influenced her pathway to art making and teaching. She was able to take advantage of all the programming that Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle had to offer high school students.

Mia at work!

Mia went to the University of Southern Maine (USM), started in the Studio Arts program and then switched to the Art and Entrepreneurship program. During her freshman year she was involved with Oak Street Studios (downtown Portland) and Side X Side and really loved teaching with both programs. She was experimenting with teaching in the community arts programming and in-school/out of school and after school programs. With further consideration she had the choice of majoring in the community art education program or study for a BFA with a K-12 certification. She jumped into the art education program and continued doing some teaching at Oak Street Studios and Side X Side, gaining in-depth experiences. She taught during the school year as well as during the summer. She student taught at Oceanside Elementary School in Portland, Falmouth Middle School, and Casco Bay High School in Portland and graduated in 2018 which gave her comprehensive experiences to help her consider public school teaching or a community education pathway.

USM has agreements with Maine College of Art + Design (MECA+D) and Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) which enables students learning opportunities at all three campuses. Mia traveled to Greece with a MECA+D study abroad summer program.


Mia took on a long-term substitute position at Canal Elementary School in Westbrook. She was contracted for three months and it turned into six. The experience provided something that she couldn’t possibly have planned for. She was impressed with the Westbrook art education program and received a great deal of support while there. She had the chance to attend department meetings with the K-12 art staff and she had ongoing communication with department chair Rachel Somerville who provided incredible support. She even had the chance to advise a student teacher from Maine College of Art + Design. This was a unique experience, chaotic at times, however, between the student population and the support she was provided, everyday was an adventure. She was inspired and walked away with a new confidence and clarity a direction.

She also taught at the Gorham Arts Alliance in their pre-school and after school programs. This experience provided Mia a better understanding of younger learners which was invaluable. This gave her the confidence to work with young children. Soon after she left there, the pre-school became more a part of the public school. Mia views this positively because it helps facilitate a sequential art education program starting at a younger age. Schools adjust their art programs since students have art education prior to kindergarten.


Two and half years ago Mia moved to Rockland and visited CMCA to learn about their programming. She was impressed with their educational offerings and that most of it was being facilitated by a volunteer, Sandy Weisman. They had a serious conversation about CMCA’s five year plan which included a comprehensive art education program. Mia’s philosophy and CMCA’s were so aligned that they offered her the position of Education Programs Manager. She is grateful for the mentoring that Sandy provided and for her collaborative ongoing work with Community Arts Instructor Alexis Iammarino, who oversees the ‘Arts @ Work’ program.

Look Inside program


VISION – Dedicated to promoting dynamic engagement with contemporary art and artists, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art offers programs that fuel the imagination, stimulate forward thinking, and cultivate conversation.

The priority is to develop programming that:

  • Expands access to the new ideas and modes of expression inherent in contemporary art
  • Provides authentic and experiential art education that engages local artists as teachers and mentors
  • Empowers individuals to explore their own capacities as creative thinkers and makers

CMCA learning programs:

  • Art Lab – Offering hands-on education programs year round for all ages.
    • Look Inside specifically geared to K-12 school visits, created by professional museum educators and assisted trained volunteer education staff, invites students to look at and understand the world in new ways. The program strengthens the following:
      • Visual literacy
      • Interdisciplinary learning
      • Deep and thoughtful looking
      • Hands-on creating making
    • Expanded program supporting K-12 school visits and professional development for Maine art teachers online and in person
    • February and April school vacation workshops
    • Summer Art Camp facilitated by guest teaching artists
  • Arts @ Work is a free mentorship program connecting high school students across the mid-coast region to arts leadership, career development, volunteer opportunities and studio practice development. This program is facilitated by Community Arts Instructor Alexis Iammarino.
  • Community Partners are plentiful at CMCA which help to connect artists of all ages, races, genders, socio-economic status, and abilities to contemporary artwork and artists.
Mia leading Look Inside program


The pandemic offered Mia and CMCA some challenges along with opportunities. They quickly shifted to online offerings. They built over 1,300 art kits with each kit being attached to one lesson. Over time students participating collected tons of ideas and materials. Parents are grateful for the quality art supplies to help steer their child while at home and most likely will last for a very long time. They worked with the local teen shelter providing art kits while they were doing food distribution.

Covid influenced and impacted decisions and direction. They are building on the challenges. Returning from the pandemic to in-person has been a different kind of challenge. They continue to offer online opportunities and will not lose what they learned during the most difficult part of the pandemic. They have streamlined their communication. CMCA is the only organization in the area providing online. They are now very open for schools and love having groups visit.

The other big learning is that they are clear that “creativity can be a step away from technology now.” They used technology to engage people while simultaneously making and offering the art kits, serving all ages, PreK through adults. Since it was difficult to get kids online they pre-recorded the lessons and the local school district communicated the information to students.

The instruction reached quite a distance during the pandemic. Schools as far away as Machias and Kennebunk participated during the heart of the pandemic. CMCA provided virtual tours and workshops. Perhaps due to the pandemic programs with classroom teachers are growing.

Mia has connected with the teachers at Harbor School and George Stevens Academy and provides workshops for students there.



CMCA has a free membership for Rockland residents. In many cases this starts with the teacher and the local schools.

CMCA is at a turning point, growing from what they’ve learned about young and adult learners. They are diversifying their teaching staff and including artists from the mid-coast. Many are interested in teaching and sharing what they do. Covid has shown that teachers, formally trained or not, can and wants to give back. Adult community members are interested in learning from an expert.

Mia teaches the elementary and middle school gifted and talented program in RSU 13 (Rockland) which she teaches at the school. The students also visit the CMCA shows throughout the school year.

The After School program involves partnering with the local schools through their 21st century program.

Rockland High School program is called ‘Arts at Work’, established in 2017, and CMCA partners with that program. Teaching artist, Alexis Iammarino facilitates this program. Internship for high school students at CMCA, focusing on the community. Alexis also oversees the mural program in the summer as lead artist for Arts in Action, which has been painting murals for several years in public spaces throughout Rockland. The town is being visually transformed thanks to the murals these young people have created with Alexis.

The ArtLab portion will expand to be more community based space for teaching artists.

CMCA is building on their relationship with the Mid-coast School of Technology. Together they are considering alternative learning spaces with an interest in the Graphic Design and Film programs offered at the school.

CMCA is part of the RSU 13 Youth Alliance. The organization is made up of more than 15 organizations who put out a newsletter and meet monthly. The organizations are located in the mid-coast, from Rockland to Camden, and are connected with youth, trying to build connections with youth and/or provide opportunities for youth. The group also supports each other by checking in with members to learn what is needed for youth, to help address struggles and to understand what is being heard from youth.

Mia leading Third Sunday


Mia works closely with Maine Art Education Association, hosting conferences and communicating about the resources that CMCA has for educators. She enjoys exploring this together with teachers and providing professional development in a collaborative manner, planning and implementing.


CMCA is 70 years old and the 5th year that they’ve been in their new facility in Rockland. On the 3rd Sunday of the month they have Sunday tours. In partnership with the Farnsworth Art Museum this summer they are offering joint field trips for children and summer camp programs for children in RSU13. Mia is honored that organizations wish to collaborate with CMCA but focusing on the numbers is a priority for them. And, getting everyone on the same timeline is a challenge.


The education portion of CMCA will continue to grow while being mindful of their mission and goals. They will hire a part-time employee (10-15 hires a week) to help maintain the programs that they are currently housing. In Mia’s own words: “It is so exciting to have new work that turns over, exciting to have this space to use, exciting to make connections. I am wanting to do (provide programming for). “I am always reminding myself to slow down.”

Thank you Mia for providing so much information for the blog readers so they can learn (more) about you and the education programs at CMCA.


George Stevens Academy

December 2, 2018

Holiday Concerts

The Annual Holiday Concert – WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5,  6:45 p.m. featuring the George Stevens Academy (GSA) Band, Jazz Band, four Jazz Combos, the Steel Band Class & Planet Pan Steel Band. Welcome music will be performed by the Holiday Angels at 6:30pm. If you would to like reserve seating, please call 374-2800.

The GSA Band, Jazz Band, four Jazz Combos, the Steel Band Class & Planet Pan Steel Band will also present a morning Holiday Concert at 9:15AM on Wednesday, December 5 for the area elementary school students & you’re welcome to attend as well.

2019 GSA Band


Quinn & the Tuplettes

July 28, 2018

Reach Auditorium – Deer Isle

George Stevens Academy’s Quinn & the Tuplettes final two performances are Saturday, July 28 & Friday, August 3. They will open for Chris Brubeck’s Triple Play on Saturday, July 28 at the Reach Auditorium in Deer Isle at 7:30pm. MORE INFORMATION
Their farewell performance will be at the Deer Isle Jazz Festival at the Stonington Opera House on Friday, August as the group will open for pianist David Virelles with acclaimed master percussionist Román Díaz. MORE INFORMATION.

George Stevens Academy

November 30, 2017

Holiday performances

GSA Jazz Band

Join George Stevens Academy music groups for their Annual Holiday Concert on Tuesday, December 5 at 6:45pm featuring the GSA Band, Jazz Band, four Jazz Combos, Period 6 Steel Band Class & the Planet Pan Steel Band. Welcome music will be performed by the Holiday Angels at 6:30pm. If you would to like reserve seating, please call 374-2800.

Below is the basketball performance schedule and other December events for the Holiday Angels, Jazz Band, Quinn & the Tuplettes, Lowdown, See Vu Play & The Good StuffCombos:

  • GSA Band

    Monday, December 11: BAND plays at Girls vs Central

  • Tuesday, December 12: JAZZ BAND plays at Boys vs Deer Isle/Stonington
  • Wednesday, December 13: Holiday Angels play at Parker Ridge at 1:45
  • Friday, December 15: BAND plays at Boys vs Ellsworth
  • Saturday, December 16: Quinn & the Tuplettes: Blue Hill Public Library Holiday Party, 3:00pm
  • Monday, December 18: BAND plays at Girls vs Bucksport
  • Thursday, December 21: JAZZ BAND plays at Boys vs Sumner

Anything Goes

November 8, 2017

George Stevens Academy

November 10, 11, 7:00PM, Anything Goes being performed at The Grand in Ellsworth by George Stevens Academy students.


George Stevens Academy

November 15, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 7.42.15 AM


Lucy & the Diamonds

May 3, 2013

Performing at Maine Maritime Academy graduation

“Lucy & the Diamonds” from George Stevens Academy will perform at the Maine Maritime Academy Graduation on Saturday, May 4 at 10:15am.

Under the direction of Steve Orlofsky the combo will have a different look since it we will be missing Oliver Scott, bass & Nicholas Steenberg, guitar who will be taking mandatory SAT’s.

“Lucy & the Diamonds” welcome Matthew Stephens, bass, Lorna Stephens & Kenzie Tefft on vocals in addition to Peter Howell, trombone, David Reinke, piano, Gavin Rogers, drums & the one & only Lucy Jakub on vibes!

Lucy's diamonds at the sculpture


George Stevens Academy

September 7, 2012

Blue Hill Fair

Last week, for the 19th consecutive year, the George Stevens Academy (GSA) Jazz Band from Blue Hill performed during the Harness Races at the Blue Hill Fair on Saturday, September 1st. What fun!

GSAs music educator, Steve Orlofsky, was excited about the performance and very proud of the student’s musical abilities, their pride, loyalty & dedication to prepare 12 tunes in just 6 rehearsals (before school even starts!) and then perform in front of a huge Grand Stand audience!

Sounds like GSAs Jazz Band was off to a GREAT start! Please let us know how you started the year with your students so I can post your proud moments!

2012 Maine State Jazz Champion GSA Jazz Band.
front row, left to right:
Gavin Rogers, Nicole Bakeman & Haley Maiden
2nd row:
Steve Orlofsky, Lucy Jakub, Meredith Olivari, Catherine Nevin, Lorna
Stephens, Ramsay Williamson, Grace Bugbee & Nicholas Steenberg
3rd row:
Ben Olivari, Peter Howell, Jordon Soper, Zach Strehan, Rown
Levangie-Thomas, Oliver Scott, Nate Cole, Sam Elliott & Edward Lameyer

Not pictured are 9 new members: freshmen: Abby Jakub, Grace Hyland, Erin
Niehoff,  Maya Sealander, Nicholas Bianco, & Matthew Stephens. Sophomore
Baxter Forrest & seniors Beck Brownlow & So Young Ihm.

These new members replace the seniors of 2012, Nicole, Haley, Meredith,
Ramsay, Grace, Ben & Sam.


Dance at George Stevens Academy

June 8, 2012

GSA Arts Festival 2012

Each year at George Stevens Academy during the annual Arts Festival the students in dance classes have a chance to show others their accomplishments.

I received this email recently with a link to the video footage from the festival.

“We had fun and worked hard and enjoyed sharing with our friends and school. Special thanks to our guest artists Alison Chase, Kenneth Neil, & Jessica Bendig from Alison Chase Performance Group, and Nathaniel Dombek, & Maiki Saito from Maine State Ballet; we loved the energy they brought to our stage.

Throughout the year GSA Introduction to Dance class enthusiastically taught and performed Beyoncé’s Move Your Body with the goal of sharing our love and support for GSA alumnus, US Marine Jake Fox, and his healing journey after a roadside bomb in Afghanistan wounded him.”

Not only were these students engaged in their learning but doing it thoughtfully in support of a marine makes the learning that much more meaningful.

To view all the video footage please click here.


Steve Orlofsky Honored

June 4, 2012

Maine Music Educators Association

I know that some of you attended the Thursday night banquet at the Maine Music Educators Conference this past month at UMaine when Steve Orlofsky was surprised. No, I would say Steve was more than surprised, shocked is a better word to describe it! Head of School from George Stevens Academy, Paul Perkinson, presented the MMEA award to Steve before a room of his peers on May 17th.

The presentation included the following sentiments from a student of Steve’s:

“Never have I seen a man so infused with energy, so passionate about music, and so in tune with his students as Steve Orlofsky, the music director at George Stevens Academy. The man is a veritable force of nature, fueled by a vat of coffee, constantly moving. I am fairly certain he could win a trophy at a speed walking competition.

And I am totally certain that he could win a trophy at a music competition. He has done it before. Multiple times, actually. In my three years at GSA, I can not remember one in which a GSA musical group did not win first place at the District or State Jazz Fest, and the trophies and banners speak for the years before me. If it were possible to win trophies fro playing at basketball games, those would be won as well. I have head referees who claim to have heard dozens of school bands while refereeing across the state, and they all say that the GSA Band are the best. And we are the best, thanks to Mr. O.

We all know the iconic image of him counting off, and then becoming distracted by somethinghe wants to tell us and forgetting his conducting hand, so that he will be telling us something, and his baton will still be unconsciously counting out a steady beat. We always have a good laugh when it happens. We learn many things in band besides music, such as how to avoid a moose on the side of the road, how to find the best dog at a kennel (Mr. O keeps us up to date with the cutest dogs at the local animal shelter), what to buy your wife on Valentine’s Day, and much more. And he always tells us stories. When he was 10 years old, his teacher asked him what he wanted to do when he grew up, and he said, “I want to be a high school band teacher.” The teacher had looked at him as if he were crazy, but he stuck to his dream, and here it is, years later, doing the thing he has wanted to do since he was a kid.

I have improved in my skills on the drum set, the piano, and in my general undersatnding of music and its flow while with Mr. O, and I’ve had fun the entire time. I’ve played stuff from the Rolling Stones to Duke Ellington and everything in between. I think it was best put into words a while by Aaron, my fellow percussionist in the school band. The subjet of classes came up, and I asked him which one he liked the most. He said, “Dude! Band!”.


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