Posts Tagged ‘Julie Richard’

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Glorious Celebration!

December 18, 2018

Maine Excellence on Arts EducationLast Tuesday at the State House Complex the celebration for the Maine Excellence on Arts Education was held. The Maine Arts Commission (MAC) was proud to invite young artists and musicians from throughout the state and recognize them for their accomplishments. Over 250 attended the ceremony including 160 students from SeDoMoCha (Dover-Foxcroft) and Marshwood (Eliot) Middle Schools, 45 teachers and students from 9 Maine schools/districts. The chorus students had never met each other yet they came together and sang America, the Beautiful (arr.

Marshwood Middle School music educator Kris Bisson and SeDoMoCha School music educator Kaitlin Young share conducting America, the Beautiful

Ruth Elaine Schram) which started the afternoon program in the Hall of Flags. It was amazing and moved many in attendance to tears. The visual artists were recognized for their individual artwork by Julie Richard, the MAC Executive Director and Charles Stanhope, the MAC Chair.

Students from Marshwood, under the direction of music teacher Kristine Bisson, performed a piece called The River Sings its Song. The original lyrics and music were written by the students during a collaboration with Kris and Brian Evans-Jones. Brian is a teaching artist and a poet who did a residency during the 2017-18 school year. Students made the connection between an unused bridge in their community and their place in the world as young adolescents. During the performance students shared the story of the work which you can read below:

  • Rowan: Our school is comprised of students from Eliot and South Berwick, Maine as well as from Rollinsford, New Hampshire. There are nine rivers in these three communities, with some that flow into each other, much like our student body blending two independent states. We could easily connect to our rivers and bridges since most of us spend time near them in our towns. WE CAN RELATE.
  • Sylvia sharing part of the story

    Kelsey: We took a field trip to the bridge and river to discover the history this area has experienced. We were inspired by the natural beauty as we saw a great heron fly from its spot at the river’s edge. We wrote about the decaying bridge and the babbling river as the driving force that keeps going forward no matter what the season or changes might bring. This is how we feel about our own paths in life: nothing is impossible. WE HAVE PURPOSE.

  • Samantha: We learned about the native Americans, early settlers, and modern-day dwellers at this site. + We wrote a grant to work with a poet-artist-in-residence, Mr. Brian Evans-Jones, to help us dig deeply and gather thoughts into one complete lyric. + We learned how to create music that fit our thoughts and translate into comfortable melodies our voices could sing. + We trusted our fellow students to share our honest thoughts and ideas which led to a larger collaboration with our entire class; and later, the entire chorus of seventy-six students. WE LEARNED ABOUT EACH OTHER.
  • Julia: Our composition has two sections: one slow and solemn section for the bridge: abandoned, destined to be removed; another section for the river: always moving, reaching forward, regardless of destination, an unpredictable path.  The bridge is presented at the beginning, for this is what you see from afar as you travel the road. But surrounding the bridge, always, is the river. The river holds hope: providing power still, for our town. It is cleansing. It is peaceful. It is free. WE CREATE OUR LEARNING.
  • Marshwood Middle School Music educator, Kris Bisson, conducting the chorus.

    Eva: BRIDGING ADOLESCENCE: A RIVER FLOWS THROUGH USIN 2007, THE GREAT WORKS RIVER BRIDGE IN SOUTH BERWICK, MAINE WAS CLOSED BY THE STATE DUE TO DETERIORATION. IT WAS TOO EXPENSIVE TO REPLACE.   ONCE A SCENIC DRIVE ON VINE STREET, IT NOW COULD NOT BE TRAVELLED BY CAR, BICYCLE, OR FOOT. WHEN OUR CHORUS TOOK A FIELD TRIP TO EXPLORE, WRITE, AND DISCOVER THIS BEAUTIFUL AREA, MANY OF OUR STUDENTS HAD NEVER BEEN HERE. 10 YEARS OF OVERGROWTH COVERED THE ROAD AND SURROUNDING AREA THAT HAD BEEN DORMANT. WHAT COULD WE DO TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

  • Sylvia: PEOPLE BUILD BRIDGES, BRIDGES BUILD COMMUNITIES, COMMUNITIES BUILD OPPORTUNITIES. MARSHWOOD MIDDLE SCHOOL CHORUS DECIDED THAT WE WOULD EMBRACE OUR COMMUNITY AS OUR CLASSROOM. The metaphor of ADOLESCENCE being a BRIDGE was an easy one to relate to because there is a path before us;  yet we cannot predict the journey. And travelling the path is something we all have to do… sometimes together… sometimes alone… or sometimes with help…The elements of nature, history, and a sense of belonging are important to the human spirit. AND THIS IS WHAT WE WROTE…. WE HAVE POWER.
  • Kendra: We learned that a new footbridge for bikes and pedestrians is being planned by a local neighborhood organization. We wanted to help with this effort and held a school-wide Talent Show. We donated our proceeds to the Bridge Brigade towards the one-million-dollar cost of this project. We even had a model of the footbridge on display in our school to help spread the word about the efforts being made to keep a bridge in this location. WE EDUCATE OTHERS AND MAKE AN IMPACT. 
  • Students sharing the story, Hall of Flags, State House

    Dani: Beyond the notes, our students learned about each other and themselves. This project helped us to become reflective writers. We respected everyone’s personal ideas and many times offered encouragement to each other. We experienced creating melodies and harmonies that were designed entirely by us. We recorded melodies and emailed them to Mrs. Bisson or went to the piano to play what was in our heads so we could share with the class. And we shaped them all into one cohesive work: “THE RIVER SINGS ITS SONG”. WE COLLABORATE, AND TOGETHER,WE GROW.

  • Sabrina: In November of 2018 the State Department of Transportation removed the existing bridge. NOW THERE IS A VOID. We experienced history. We saw a bridge in need of repair. We learned that it wasn’t going to be healed. We witnessed photos of its removal. We witnessed loss. We would like to include two reflections from our chorus members to share the impact this project has had on our own development: “As we have experienced composing, practicing, and reflecting, I have developed a strong emotional connection with this piece. It symbolizes the change of our town landmark, but also the change I now see in me.
  • Kendra: “The struggles of adolescence are travelled by all of us and therefore, all can relate to this piece. The river’s emotions are brought to life in this lilting piece full of sorrow and mystery. Hope intertwines and creates crescendos of joy. Let the river sing its song!”

The performance was video taped in its entirety and posted on the Marshwood Education Foundation (one of the projects’ funders) Facebook page and by Senator Shenna Bellows. I suggest that you take a few minutes and watch and listen!

SeDoMoCha Middle School Chorus

Students, under the direction of SeDoMoCha music teacher Kaitlin Young, performed Glorious. And, incredibly glorious it was! The song was based on the composition performed by Macklemore, featuring Skylar Grey. The additional lyrics and choral arrangement was created by the SeDoMoCha Middle School Chorus which was based on their developmental transition. The audience was moved by their words and obvious passion for singing.

Olivia Larson, grade 4, Hancock Grammar School. Art teacher: Jane Snider

Thirty-six students representing nine schools along with their art teachers were recognized for their artwork which is part of an exhibit in the State House Complex including the Governor’s reception area, the Health and Human Services committee meeting room, the Education and Cultural Affairs committee meeting room, and MAC. This is a “first” time exhibit – the student work hangs in the same location as their teachers. The schools and teachers included in the exhibit are listed below. All are teacher leaders with the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative. Grade 4 student from Hancock Grammar School, Olivia Larson was so excited and proud she said: “This is the best day of my life”.

  • Gorham Middle School, Teacher: Amy Cousins
  • Hancock Grammar School, Teacher: Jane Snider
  • Jonesport Elementary and Jonesport Beals High School, Teacher: Lisa Marin
  • Marshwood Middle School, Eliot, Teacher: Melanie Crowe
  • Maranacook Middle School, Readfield, Teacher: Hope Lord
  • Oxford Hills High School, South Paris, Teacher: Cindi Kugell
  • Brewer High School, Teacher: Lori Spruce
  • Richmond Middle School and High School, Teacher: Jeffrey Orth
  • Waterville High School, Teacher: Suzanne Goulet

Amy Cousins, Gorham Middle School art teacher and two of her students receiving their certificates from Argy Nestor, left and Julie Richard, right

The pride was evident in the faces of students, teachers, family members, and legislators. The art is on display at the following locations until April 31, 2019:

  • Maine Arts Commission
  • Cross Office Building second floor North and South corridors
  • Education & Cultural Affairs Committee room 202
  • Health & Human Services Committee room 209
  • State House, Office of the Speaker of the House
  • State House, Governor’s Reception Area

If you’d like a map that includes the location of each piece email me and I’d be glad to email or snail one to you.

Below is a video created by the Maine Arts Commission Marketing & Communications Director Ryan Leighton. You can see photos of the artwork at THIS LINK and photos of the day at THIS LINKI hope you’ll visit the exhibit.

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MALI Mega Ellsworth

November 22, 2016

Wonderful learning

img_4488The first Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Regional conference took place yesterday at Ellsworth High School. The participants were appreciative of the opportunity, not just to attend and learn in the formal sessions, but to have the chance to network with other arts educators.

Each participant attended two sessions in the morning from the following selection:

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    Illustrating to Write session

    Where are your Art Standards within the Studio Habits of Mind! with Jane Snider, Hancock Grammar School

  • Ellsworth High School VPA Academy  with Rebecca Wright, Leah Olson, Shannon Westphal, Ellsworth High School
  • More Cowbell with Tim Hart, MLTI
  • Illustrating to Write with Ann Marie Quirion Hutton, MLTI
  • Bringing it All Together with Sue Barre, Waterville High School
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    Evidence of Learning Through Google

    Evidence of Learning Through Google with Charlie Johnson, Mount Desert Island High School

  • Visual Notetaking/Doodling in Class with Ann Marie Quirion Hutton, MLTI
  • Making 8-bit Art with Tim Hart, MLTI

 

A great big thanks to all of the MALI Teacher Leaders and MLTI session presenters. Without your willingness, commitment, and leadership we wouldn’t be able to have the Mega conferences.

Thank you to the Ellsworth High School VPA boosters club who provided lunch – it was all mmmmmmm!

Director of the Maine Arts Commission Julie Richard joined us in the afternoon. Teaching artist and dancer Nancy Salmon led us movement that got us ready for the afternoon. Beth Lambert from the Maine Department of Education  joined me in providing foundational information on the statewide arts education census that was conducted during the 2015-16 school year.

The day ended with some great door prizes. Thanks to those who contributed. The next MALI Mega Regional conference takes place on Wednesday, January 4 at USM, Portland. Please CLICK HERE for information and registration.

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MAC Executive Director Julie Richard

Teaching Artist and dancer Nancy Salmon

Teaching Artist and dancer Nancy Salmon

Participants moving with Nancy Salmon

Participants moving with Nancy Salmon

Ellsworth High School art teachers sharing a funny moment

Ellsworth High School art teachers sharing a funny moment

Participants at lunchtime

Participants at lunchtime

Sue Barre presenting Bringing it all Together, her assessment system

Sue Barre presenting Bringing it all Together, her assessment system

Participants sharing lunchtime

Participants at lunchtime

Discussing the census information

Discussing the census information

More Cowbell session

More Cowbell session

 

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Dance Grant Awarded

April 11, 2016

Aroostook county schools awarded dance grant

MSAD#33 Student Riley Theriault; Teaching Artist John Morris; MSAD 33# Art Educator Theresa Cerceo; Maine Arts Commission Director of Arts Education Argy Nestor; Thornton Academy Dance Teacher Emma Campbell; and Thornton Academy student dancer Vojtech Machytka. Photo courtesy of the Maine Arts Commission.

MSAD#33 Student Riley Theriault; Teaching Artist John Morris; MSAD 33# Art Educator Theresa Cerceo; Maine Arts Commission Director of Arts Education Argy Nestor; Thornton Academy Dance Teacher Emma Campbell; and Thornton Academy student dancer Vojtech Machytka. Photo courtesy of the Maine Arts Commission.

AUGUSTA, ME, April 8, 2016—The Maine Arts Commission has awarded a special new grant, “Hopes for the Future,” to provide dance education to K-12 students in Frenchville and St. Agatha in the northern most part of Aroostook County. The $2,650 award to Maine School Administrative District (MSAD) 33 will give the district’s 240 students and teachers a unique opportunity to participate in the dance making process.

“We are extremely pleased that MSAD #33 will benefit from this inaugural grant.  It couldn’t go to a more worthy district in a very deserving part of our State,” stated Julie Richard, Maine Arts Commission Executive Director.

The district’s Art Educator, Theresa Cerceo, and Teaching Artist John Morris collaborated in pursuing the grant. Mr. Morris is a member of the Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist online roster located at https://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Teaching-Artist-Roster.

He will guide the students through a dance-making process over the course of a five day  residency that will culminate in a final show.  Mr. Morris has also created an open online resource for dance located in the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Resource Bank at http://www.maineartsedresources.org/. He will employ these resources as part of teacher workshops during the residency so the work can continue after his departure. “In adding dance education to the community’s experience with the arts, we will broaden their knowledge base of the arts as an academic subject,” stated Ms. Cerceo.

Funding for this grant was provided via a collaborative performance held in November 2016 at Thornton Academy in Saco. Seven schools and dance studios worked together to create the performance and raise the funds to make possible this unique opportunity for dance education. The residency will be documented on the Maine Arts Education blog at meartsed@wordpress.com so that members of the public can learn more about the residency’s process and impact.

The Maine Arts Commission is encouraging other organizations and/or arts venues to consider such collaborations to provide funding to schools to help establish either dance or theater education programs. Students have limited access to both of these disciplines across the state.

To learn more about the Commission’s PK-12 arts education programs, including the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) and the teaching artist roster, or how to develop a grant like this one, contact Argy Nestor at argy.nestor@maine.gov or 207-287-2713.

The Maine Arts Commission shall encourage and stimulate public interest and participation in the cultural heritage and cultural programs of our state; shall expand the state’s cultural resources; and shall encourage and assist freedom of artistic expression for the well-being of the arts, to meet the needs and aspirations of persons in all parts of the state. Additional information is available at mainearts.com.

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In Today’s News

February 13, 2016

Director of Maine Arts Commission, Julie Richard

Julie at Atlantic Art Glass in Ellsworth learning how to blow a glass ball

Julie at Atlantic Art Glass in Ellsworth learning how to blow a glass ball

A leader committed to quality arts education for all Maine students, Maine Arts Commission Director, Julie Richard spoke  about the Maine Arts Education Census on Thursday at Thomas College as part of the business breakfast series hosted by Thomas and Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce.

Julie Richard knows that without strong arts education in Maine schools, children will not have a strong understanding of the arts. Read more of the article Maine Arts Commission chief touts benefits of arts education at http://www.pressherald.com/?p=800275.

A second article in the Morning Sentinel about Julie’s presentation can be found at http://www.centralmaine.com/2016/02/11/maine-hungers-for-art-and-culture-maine-arts-commission-director-tells-waterville-audience/.

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Great Day for Arts Education

December 8, 2015

Celebration at the State House

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 7.28.43 AMLast week 75 students in grades PK-12 were honored for their accomplishments in visual art and music education. We celebrated in the Hall of Flags in Maine’s State House. We are honored to have the First Lady Ann LePage as a partner in the Excellence in Visual and Performing Arts Education and to join us in recognizing the students in the ceremony.

Joining the First Lady in the Hall of Flags was Maine Arts Commission Executive Director Julie Richard, State Board of Education Chair Martha Harris, Acting Education Commissioner Bill Beardsley, and Legislators, Mick Devin (Nobleboro) and Martin Grohman (Biddeford).

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 7.27.02 AMStudents from AOS 93, AOS 92, MSAD 41, and the Biddeford School districts were presented certificates and viewed their artwork on display throughout the State House complex, in the Maine Arts Commission and the Maine Department of Education.

Additionally, students from the Waterville High School Jazz Band under the direction of Sue Barre and a select choir under the direction of Ciara Hargrove performed at the ceremony. I know that Sue, Ciara and visual art teachers Lisa Workman, Kate Grant, Suzanne Goulet, and Sasha Bladen are proud of their students’ accomplishments!

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 7.26.47 AMThis is a first for the State of Maine. The Maine Department of Education and the Maine Arts Commission are collaborating to bring together this exhibit and in celebrating the students and teachers in a ceremony. I am sooooo excited that this is happening for Maine’s students and teachers!

It is a pleasure to work with Maine’s DOE Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, Beth Lambert on the Excellence in Maine Visual and Performing Arts Education exhibit and celebration ceremony.

If you have questions or are interested in participating, please contact Beth at beth.lambert@maine.gov or me at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

Photo credits to the Maine Department of Education and the Maine Arts Commission.

 

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Big Week for Maine Arts Ed

July 28, 2014

This is a BIG WEEK for Arts Education in Maine!!

SUMMIT ON ARTS EDUCATION

MAAI Logo_Color_TxtCtr

We have more than 90 educators attending the Summit on Arts Education at USM, Portland campus on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and almost half of those will also be attending on Friday for the Teacher Leader day. Included on the attendee list are dance, music, theatre, and visual arts PK-12 teachers, teaching artists, other educators, and representatives from arts organizations and the university. There are 13 teams participating. The Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) Leadership team and Teacher Leaders have been crazy busy with the agenda planning that will be full of rich learning opportunities.

Included on the agenda:

  • Sessions on Assessment, Leadership, Student-centered, Standards-based, Proficiency, Advocacy, Arts Integration, Creativity, Literacy, Technology and much more provided by MAAI teacher leaders, leadership team, members, Lesley University staff, technology integrators from NC, MLTI, and MICDL, and teaching artists
  • The unveiling of the Teacher Leader Resource Bank by Julie Richard, Executive Director of the Maine Arts Commission
  • An electronic discussion with the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE) who are at a conference in Washington, DC this week
  • Arts Education Program Director, Jeff Poulin from Americans for the Arts will be presenting a session on Leadership and Advocacy
  • Stories and examples from MAAI Teacher Leaders
  • Time for networking with other Maine educators
  • Arts Education organizations, higher ed representatives, and community groups will be exhibiting and sharing information
  • The opportunity to create an Individual Action Plan and/or a Team Action Plan to implement back home in teachers school districts

Teachers who are attending the Summit will receive contact hours, CEUs or graduate credit.

If you have not registered for the Summit you may still do so no later than TODAY by clicking here https://webapp.usm.maine.edu/DCPEOnline/addRegCONFPage1.do?offeringId=100075146. For more information please click here https://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/NESummit

 

COMMUNITY CONVERSATION ON ARTS EDUCATION

Maine Focus Groups and Community Conversations – don’t miss this opportunity!

Are you interested in joining others interested in arts education to talk about the future of arts education in Maine? If so, please plan on attending the event on

Tuesday, July 29, 7:00-8:00pm at the Maine College of Art, 522 Congress St, Portland, ME.

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 2.27.24 PMWe have a wonderful opportunity to help influence the future of our community and the future of our state. Please join me  to participate in a discussion about the kinds of creative opportunities and activities you would like to see available for our residents, our children, and our families. Often times, plans are created for us, instead of with us they miss the mark and we miss the opportunity to see what we value included in the mix.

If you have questions about either of these opportunities taking place this week please don’t hesitate to email me at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

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National Core Arts Standards

June 18, 2014

Released – June 4, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 1.41.13 PMThe National Core Arts Standards were publicly released on June 4. In celebration, a webinar was provided that included several guests including our own Director of the Maine Arts Commission. Julie Richard spoke eloquently about the need for those responsible for arts education to work collaboratively with the next steps of the standards.

If you missed the webinar you can access the archive by clicking here and following these directions.       If you did not attend the event as audience, you will need to fill in the brief registration form. If you attended as an audience member, use the password you received when you logged in to the meeting.

Several teacher leaders from the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative reviewed and provided feedback during the development of the standards in the last year. These standards cover not only dance, music, theatre, and visual arts, but also the interdisciplinary field of media arts. The standards are built on the Artistic Process model.

The Conceptual Framework for the standards is available at nccs.wikispaces.com. If you have questions please check the FAQ by clicking here

The following blog about the new standards was posted on the Education Week curriculum blog at this link. You can access and download the standards for all five disciplines by clicking here.                  

Opportunities to pilot Model Cornerstone Assessments in your classroom will be announced soon by your professional arts education association (NAEA, NAfME, NDEO, EdTA, etc.).

Thanks to Scott Shuler for providing some of the information for this post. And for those of you who know Scott, after 25 years as the Connecticut Department of Education’s Arts Consultant, he will be retiring on July 1. Maine wishes him well as he continues on his journey committed to quality arts education!

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