Posts Tagged ‘MAAE’

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ABC Student Leadership

June 26, 2020

Representatives from across the state

The 12 arts students from high schools around the state who make up the first Student Leadership Group of the Arts are Basic Coalition (ABC) gathered in Augusta in the fall. The students were all selected for their commitment to the arts by the four Maine professional associations that make up the ABC: the Maine Art Education Association (MAEA), the Maine Music Educators Association (MMEA), the Maine Educational Theatre Association (MEdTA) and the Maine Dance Educators. Below are photos and short bios of all the students.

Madi Baker (Visual Art) is a senior at Hampden Academy, studying AP art and design. She is also doing an independent study in art education, and is a member of Hampden Academy’s Voices Unlimited choral group. Madi feels a strong commitment to arts education and a mission to promote creativity in all forms.

 

Maille Baker (Theatre) is a senior at Nokomis Regional High. Over her years at Nokomis she has been involved in a number of groups including drama club, jazz band, combo, and ensemble, jazz chorus, and show chorus. She is also an award-winning dancer and back country skier. Maille is Vice President of her school’s chapter of National Honor Society, and is an active member of Key Club and FBLA. She was student of the year her freshman year, and received the Dartmouth Book Award this past school year.

Colette Carrillo (Music) is a sophomore from Waterville High School. She is an active member of the school’s choral program and has participated in the Kennebec Valley Music Festival Chorus for three years. She participates in the Waterville High School’s annual musical productions. Colette also composes her own music.

 

Michaela Carrow (Theatre) is a sophomore from Hermon High School. She is a member of Thespian Troupe 8263 and participates both on the stage and behind the scenes in plays, one-acts, and show choir. She has also sung in the District V Festival chorus and is very active in her school’s Art Club. She is currently working towards her Honors Diploma.

 

Alexis Grant (Dance) is a senior at Maine Arts Academy in Sidney. As a member of MEAA’s Spotlight Dance Team as well as TNT Dance Studio’s Competitive Edge Team, her days are filled with learning choreography and working in dance technique classes. She has also performed, volunteered, and created choreography for Lakewood Theater’s Teen Tech and Tour group, with her favorite role being Jan in the production of Grease. Alexis has recently attended the Dean College Summer Arts Institute and the AMDA High School Summer Conservatory as a dance major.

Delia Harms (Music) is a sophomore from Massabesic HS in Waterboro. Her main musical interest is playing the bassoon in her school band as well as in the Portland Youth Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra. Delia has also performed in the Maine Music Educators District One Honors Festival and All-State Band and in her high school chorus.

 

Ethan Hayes (Visual Art) is a freshman Visual Art student at Wisdom Middle / High School in Aroostook County. He is a member of S.L.A.M.! (Student Leadership in the Arts!), Wisdom’s Arts Advocacy and Student Leadership group. Ethan is inspired by science fiction, fantasy and animals like reptiles and sea creatures. He likes to create conceptual drawings for video games and animation projects.

Alison Jones (Theatre) is a junior from Bonny Eagle High School in Standish, currently entering her third year of High School Theatre. She is on the BEHS Theatre student leadership board as the membership chair. An active member of Bonny Eagle’s Thespian Troupe 211 for two years, Alison is performing in and assistant-directing the fall production. She has also received an award for her performance in Humbletown at the state level of the Maine Drama Festival. Last year Alison achieved 3-star Thespian status, as well as recognition as a Vice President’s List Scholar. Her other interests include writing, for which she has received two Scholastic Keys, and was a participant of the Maine Playwright’s Festival workshop last spring.

Tyler Lucca (Music) is a sophomore from Yarmouth High School, where he plays trombone in the honors level Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band and sings in the honors level Chamber Choir. Tyler is currently playing Uncle Fester in the Addams Family fall musical. He also plays banjo in a youth bluegrass ensemble called Flight 317. This well-known and respected band based out of 317 Main Community Music Center in Yarmouth has a rotating cast of high-schoolers and performs frequently in many venues ranging from seasonal festivals to restaurants.

Sophie Patenaude (Music) is a junior from Poland Regional High School in Poland. She is a classical pianist who also plays tenor saxophone in her school’s concert band. Sophie sings with her school’s chorus, chamber choir, a cappella choir and jazz band and her own acoustic duo, Meraki, as well as being a backup singer for The Masterstroke Queen Experience. She has attended several Maine Music Educators Association District II and All State Honors Choral festivals and will be attending her first NAfME All National Honors Choral festival in November. Sophie also performs frequently in musical theater and theater productions as a musician, actor, and dancer.

McKenna Shoberg (Dance) is a junior from Lake Region High School. She is a member of the National Honor Society and has been dancing for 14 years. She took master classes with Carlos Garland from So You Think You Can Dance and has starred in The Wizard of Oz for Lake Region Community Theater. She also attended drama classes at Venice Little Theater in Venice, Florida. McKenna has choreographed dances and received an award for leadership in dance. Last year she won a laker pride award which recognizes being a positive role model, consistently helpful, and selfless.

Gabriella Thompson (Dance) is a senior at Thornton Academy in Saco. She has taken dance curricularly for the past four years in Thornton’s dance program. Gabriella is a co-leader of the Thornton Academy Dance Company. She has participated in TA’s musicals and is a member of the Interact Club and National Honors Society. After graduating, Gabriella plans on going to a University to study business and communications. She wants to continue dancing throughout college because of her passion and love for it!

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.

Until recently ABC limited its advocacy to state legislation, successfully advocating to keep the arts in the Maine Learning Results, restore the Visual and Performing Arts staff position at the Department of Education, and ensure a one-credit arts requirement for high school graduation. Last spring ABC expanded the scope of its work to include advocating to stakeholders in schools and communities around the state. Each of the partnering organizations also designated a special advocacy delegate to represent that organization in ABC’s expanded work. (See the names and contact info below.) ABC showed off its new logo at Arts and Culture Day at the capitol in April and will be playing a larger role in organizing MAAE’s semi-annual Arts Education Advocacy Day at the Statehouse. A critical part of ABC’s expansion has been its creation of a new ABC Student Leadership Group. For all the news and information about the group see News on the left.

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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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Arts Advocacy Day

December 1, 2016

Get Your Students Involved in Advocacy Day 2017!

Arts students became arts advocates at last year’s Arts Education Advocacy Day.  The Maine Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE) and its community arts organization partners around the state invited arts teachers to send their screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-2-28-16-pmmost enthusiastic students to meet one-on-one with their elected representatives at the Statehouse. Close to 200 students came, representing every arts discipline and over half of the senate and house districts. The legislators were delighted to meet with the students and in some cases brought them right into their offices and Senate and House chambers.

And meeting their legislators was only the beginning. At a dance workshop and performances downstairs in the Hall of Flags the students had an opportunity to meet each other and celebrate the arts together.

screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-2-30-17-pmThe statewide expression of arts education support was also reflected by the exhibit tables in the Hall of Flags, which were organized county by county. Deb Bickford’s Westbrook High School art team provided identifying signs.

At Advocacy Day 2017 on Wednesday, March 8th, we will not only welcome the students again; this year a committee of students from around the state will be helping to plan the day’s activities. We already have some new ideas to help students meet each other, and to make the day even more exciting. The program will begin at 9:30 a.m. and end by 1:00 p.m. Lunch is provided. We’ll be looking for two student advocates (of any age) from each state legislative district (note: that’s legislative, not school district). We hope you as arts educators can help us recruit those students and offer them that opportunity. And if you can come too, so much the better!

screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-2-30-03-pmTo get involved and find out more, contact Susan Potters, MAAE director, at spotters@maineartsed.org. For a full report and more photos of last spring’s Advocacy Day, visit MAAE’s website, www.maineartsed.org.
 At Advocacy Day 2017 on Wednesday, March 8th, we will not only welcome the students again; this year a committee of students from around the state will be helping to plan the day’s activities.  We already have some new ideas to help students meet each other, and to make the day even more exciting.

Thanks to Susan Potters for providing the information for this blog post.

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In Today’s News

April 9, 2016

Students urge Maine lawmakers

Christopher Cousins wrote this article for the Bangor Daily News, March 24, 2016.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Students and arts educators from across Maine crowded the State House on Thursday to try to convince lawmakers that art education in public schools is important.

The students and teachers started the day with the Lake Region High School band and chorus performing the National Anthem in the House and continued with a concerted lobbying effort in the Hall of Flags.

Maeve Porter Holliday and Maggie Ruff, both seniors at Casco Bay High School in Portland, spent the morning standing outside the House of Representatives with signs that read “Erik Jorgensen.”

Jorgensen, a Democrat from Portland, is their state representative. They said they wanted to urge him to support art education as a “fundamental right,” not an elective.

The article is located at https://bangordailynews.com/2016/03/24/living/students-urge-maine-lawmakers-to-support-art-education/.

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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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Happy Arts Education Month!

March 1, 2016

March it is!

When others are looking out the window waiting for Spring, Visual and Performing Arts Educators and others committed to excellent quality and access to arts education, are celebrating Arts in the Schools Month!

The month of March officially marks Youth Art Month, Music in Our Schools Month, Theatre in Our Schools Month, and Dance Education Month. A time for everyone to recognize students and their involvement in Arts education. We celebrate all that is “right” and “great” about visual and performing Arts education and a time to shout about it!

Celebrating Arts in Our Schools Month

Celebrating Arts in Our Schools Month

March provides an opportunity for Arts education to shine even greater than it does day to day. How will you take advantage of this opportunity? I suggest that you read the post I wrote one year ago called Arts Education Month for ideas or borrow language from this post to communicate with others. Use your voice to let others know why you believe that a quality Arts education is essential for all students, PK-grade 12.

Parts of this blog post have been borrowed from HomeRoom, an education blog of the US Department of Education who borrowed the post from the Office of Innovation & Improvement. Other parts are from the professional dance, music, theatre, and visual arts organizations websites.

The arts are an important part of a well-rounded education for all students. Arts-rich schools, those with high-quality arts programs and comprehensive course offerings, benefit students in and outside of the art or dance studio, music room, or stage. “All children deserve arts-rich schools,” Secretary Duncan told an audience of arts education advocates in 2012, as he discussed the disappointing results of an ED survey that showed many students lacking adequate access to arts education.

There’s no better time to echo the secretary’s pronouncement than in March, widely known as “Arts in the Schools Month.” Under the leadership of national associations representing teachers of dance, music, theatre, and the visual arts, a variety of activities unfold throughout the month — some that showcase the achievements of students and others that focus on the professional growth of arts educators committed to achieving the goal of arts-rich schools for all students.

Waterville Senior High School band students

Waterville Senior High School band students

MUSIC

Music in Our Schools Month was established nation-wide in 1985 by the National Association for Music Education.

Music teachers celebrate Music In Our Schools Month (MIOSM) in many ways by offering special performances, lessons, sing-alongs and activities to bring their music programs to the attention of administrators, parents, colleagues, and communities to display the positive benefits that school music brings to students of all ages.

Each year the National Association for Music Education sponsors a concert for MIOSM. You can view the concert videos by CLICKING HERE.

Bossov Ballet, Maine Central Institute

Bossov Ballet, Maine Central Institute

DANCE

For students of dance, March is when the National Dance Education Organization celebrates the artistic and academic achievements of exceptional students through the National Honor Society for Dance Arts (NAHSDA), which recognizes students who display outstanding artistic merit, leadership, and academic achievement in studying dance. Students who are members of NHSDA have an opportunity to be nominated for one of the highest honor programs for dance in the U.S., the NDEO Artistic Merit, Leadership, and Academic Achievement Award.

Poland Community School STEAM camp

Poland Community School STEAM camp

VISUAL ART

Youth Art Month (YAM) focuses on the value of visual art and art education for all children, with the theme of “Start With Art, Learn for Life.” State affiliates of the National Art Education Association (NAEA) help with support of YAM programs throughout the month, and NAEA members locally sponsor art exhibits and other activities to direct attention to benefits of visual arts learning and to increase community understanding and support of their schools’ arts education programs.

Maine Northern Maine Regional Final participants

Maine Northern Maine Regional Final participants

THEATRE

Theatre In Our Schools (TIOS) is a celebration of theatre in our schools and schools in our theatres. Sponsored by the American Alliance for Theatre & Education (AATE) and the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), the goals of TIOS are to raise public awareness of the impact of theatre education and draw attention to the need for more access to quality programs in and out of school for all students. While TIOS presentations and advocacy may happen anytime in schools, theatres, and other public spaces, AATE and EdTA will recognize and promote March as the official Theatre In Our Schools month.

PROFESSIONAL LEARNING

Like all academic areas, students of the arts are successful because of teachers who are highly skilled, knowledgeable of developments in their fields, and motivated.

The Maine Arts Leadership Initiative provides resources aplenty at THIS LINK.

Maine DOE MEARP-1 participants

Maine DOE Maine Arts Education Resource Project – Integration participants

It’s your turn to get involved

Arts-rich schools benefit everyone. Research increasingly shows that arts education heightens engagement for all students and can increase motivation and persistence for those most at risk of failing or dropping out of school. Learning in the arts also uniquely equips students with the skills in creativity and divergent thinking as well as problem-solving and teamwork that they need to be college and career ready. The Arts Education Partnership, with support from ED and the National Endowment for the Arts, has publications and a research clearinghouse, ArtsEdSearch, to help you learn more about why the arts in our schools are worth honoring for a month.

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Attend Maine’s Arts Advocacy Day at the State House in Augusta, March 24. For more information CLICK HERE for the Maine Alliance for Arts Education website. I hope to see you there!

Take advantage of Arts Education Month to engage others in the conversation of why a quality arts education is essential for all students. Be sure that your principal and school have participated in the statewide Arts Education Census that is underway and being facilitated by the Maine Arts Commission. To learn more CLICK HERE.

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Arts Advocacy Day

January 16, 2016

Augusta – March 24

Registration for MAAE Arts Education Advocacy Day, Thursday, March 24th, is now open!  And attending yourself is only one of the ways you can register your interest and support.

In this year of increased statewide attention to arts education generated by the Arts Commission’s Census of arts ed in all Maine schools, MAAE’s Advocacy Day will be sending a message to all of the state’s legislators that every Maine student deserves access to quality arts education at school. Our lobbying at the Statehouse in Augusta this year will be a full court press!  We’re inviting our best advocates… young people… to come to Augusta from every senate and house district in the state…..first to tell their legislators how the arts have been important to them in one-on-one lobbying outside the senate and house chambers between 10 and 11 a.m. then to invite their legislators to come downstairs to the Hall of Flags to meet more of their constituents at the tables, which will be organized this year by counties and hosted by delegations from the whole community. All are invited to be at their county’s table to talk to their legislators when they come downstairs.

Register at http://eepurl.com/bLE54n if you plan to attend on March 24th yourself, if you can help us to identify a student who can attend, or if you just want to be kept in the loop about all the excitement!

For information about the Arts Ed Census click https://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Arts-Education-Census

And feel free to contact me Susan Potters, Executive Director of the Maine Alliance for Arts Education at spotters@maineartsed.org if you have any questions about Advocacy Day.

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Statewide Arts Education Survey

December 15, 2015

Launching today Arts Education Census

Many of you remember that in 2008 a statewide arts education census was conducted. At that time the work was lead by the Maine Alliance for Arts Education. Out of that work the Opportunities to Learn in the Arts reported the findings. The full report and executive summary are located at https://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Arts-Education-Census. At that time PK-12 Visual and Performing Arts Educators were asked to complete a lengthy survey.

It is time to update the information and get a clear picture in 2016 what is happening statewide in arts education. This time every Maine school Principal is being invited to complete the survey. Principals may be asking you (PreK-12 arts teachers) to help complete the survey. I urge you to participate in any way that you can so we can get a complete picture. Our goal is 100 per cent – without every school participating we will not have a complete picture of Arts education in Maine!

Below is today’s news release from the Maine Arts Commission. You can learn more about the census plan and the opportunity that you have to participate at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Arts-Education-Census. Please email me at argy.nestor@maine.gov if you have any questions.

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The Maine Arts Commission is leading the effort to conduct a statewide inventory of all arts education resources in the state’s 751 PK-12 schools currently recognized by the Maine Department of Education. Data collection has just begun and will continue through May 2016, with the goal of collecting information from 100% of Maine schools.

The objectives and outcomes of the Statewide Arts Education Census include:

  • Identifying the changes in Maine’s visual and performing arts education programs and resources since the 2009 census.
  • Discovering where students have access to quality arts education and where it is unavailable.
  • Development of a comprehensive report to inform stakeholders and policy makers at both the local and state levels.
  • Broad sharing of the census findings so that it can be used to frame conversations, evaluate where programs or program enhancements are needed, and guide policy-making decisions.

This work is an important part of the education initiative of agency’s recently-completed, five-year cultural plan. The education component of the plan will guide and inform the agency’s work in educational collaborations, promoting arts learning and enhancing the quality of arts education throughout Maine.

For the Census, the agency is collaborating with the Maine Department of Education and a steering committee comprised of representatives from the Maine Principals’ Association, Maine Superintendents, Maine Alliance for Arts Education, New England Institute for Teacher Education, Maine Art Education Association, Maine Music Educators Association, cultural and arts organizations, and PK-12 educators. More information about the census can be found at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Arts-Education-Census.

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.

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Building Community Through the Arts

December 5, 2015

Last month

IMG_20151101_1031521-768x1024MAAE Building Community Through the Arts theater residencies were in full swing last month at Piscataquis County Secondary School in Guilford and Penquis Valley High School in Milo. The students of Joseph Hennessey’s two senior English classes in PCSS worked with teaching artist Jeri Pitcher to creatively engage with their reading of Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe. At Penquis Valley HS teaching artist Beverly Mann worked with Chad Emery’s College Prep 10 English class as well as with Mr. Emery’s small (but very enthusiastic!) drama class. The classes performed their works at the Center Theatre in Dover Foxcroft on October 27th and November 3rd. For the three English classes this was the students’ first time on a stage, and even for the drama class it was the students’ first attempt at creating theater. Parents and members of the community also attended the performances, and all had an opportunity to watch compelling works, each exploring social themes that the students had chosen.  To learn about these theater pieces and see photos, visit MAAE’s website, http://www.maineartsed.org.

In post-performance discussions the students in all four classes talked about the program’s creative process through group improvisation as giving them a new sense of closeness with one another. Penquis Valley English teacher Chad Emery spoke about his admiration for the students’ work and about the combined impact of the program: “The program helps bring students closer together as evolving 21st century problem solvers. Teachers are able to witness these future leaders’ dynamic flexibility, creativity, and innate inspiration.  In seeing our students on stage, we see ourselves and all that the future has in store.”

Building Community Through the Arts in Piscataquis County was supported by funding from the Piscataquis County Fund of the Maine Community Foundation and the Maine Arts Commission.

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MAAE Artist Residency Program

August 19, 2015

Addressing Social Issues in Portland

Maine Alliance for Arts Education’s (MAAE) Building Community Through the Arts drama and dance residency program (BCTA) was developed in 2000 after the shooting at Columbine High School brought the issue of social climate in schools to the nation’s attention. The BCTA residencies, engaging whole classes of students in non-­arts high school classrooms in the collaborative creation and performance of an original theater or dance piece,  introduced many students to creative theater and dance, even as they helped to break down social barriers and build trust. Until recently the program has been operating primarily in the Penquis Region of the state, where student social issues were often based on socio­-economic diversity or gender issues. But BCTA has been expanding into more areas, and this summer it has come to Portland, where the social issues the students are dealing with include racial and religious diversity.

5e4a1529-30a4-4c07-8632-b978223a4a28The introduction of the BCTA program into Portland has been through MAAE’s new partnership with OPEN (Organization for Partnership and Engagement with Neighborhoods), an after-school and week­end program in Portland’s Parkside area that engages diverse youth to take an active role in the decision making and dialogue about issues of social justice affecting their community.  During a three-­week residency in July with BCTA theater artist Jeri Pitcher, an OPEN group of 12 mostly minority and immigrant youth created “Amy’s First Day,” an original drama, which they performed for the community on the evening of July 22.

The play, the first time that the OPEN program had incorporated theater, addressed racial and religious bias in the community through the eyes of the title character Amy, an African girl newly arrived in Portland. To read more about the play and the issues it raised, visit MAAE’s website, http://www.maineartsed.org

668f31f2-e4bc-4d8c-b762-6ceeb50c2a54MAAE will be working with OPEN and with the youth themselves to explore options for bringing the BCTA program into Portland schools. Public input is welcome as well. To contribute to this discussion and for more information contact MAAE Executive Director Susan Potters either by email (s.potters@maineartsed.org) or by phone (207) 439­-3169.

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