Posts Tagged ‘MAC’

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Maine Arts Awards

February 23, 2018

First time presented

The Maine Arts Commission and ArtsEngageME are pleased to be partnering on the Maine Arts Awards – a brand new program to recognize and celebrate the arts in our communities.

The first Maine Arts Awards ceremony will take place during the Maine International Conference on the Arts on September 28, 2018. Each awardee in seven categories will be given a work of art commissioned especially for the Maine Arts Awards.

Any Maine citizen, organization, business, school, or community may be a Maine Arts Awards nominee. Accomplishments of a nominee should reflect substantial contributions made in Maine that exemplify a long-term commitment to the arts.

  • Any Maine citizen that meets the eligibility requirements can make a nomination to the Maine Arts Awards.
  • Any Maine citizen, organization, business, school, or community that meets the eligibility requirements may be nominated for a Maine Arts Award.

The Maine Arts Awards will be an annual event recognizing the deep commitment and dedication that individuals and organizations have contributed to the advancement and strengthening of the arts in Maine.

A selection committee consisting of arts funders and state leaders will make the selections from among the nominations received.

The goal of the Arts Commission and ArtsEngageME is to raise awareness of the arts and the contributions of our sector through this program.  Please join us in celebrating those who have made a difference in your community or region through the arts, and make a nomination today!

Categories for nominations include

  • Lifetime Achievement in the Arts
  • Business
  • Arts Education
  • Community
  • Artist
  • Rural Organization
  • Philanthropist

For more information and to download the guidelines and nomination form please CLICK HERE.

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Ukulele Tutorials

February 17, 2018

Jeffrey Weinberger

You can access tutorials for the ukulele that Jeffrey Weinberger has created on his YouTube channel.

His latest one is below for you to check out, The 59th St. Bridge Song, the Simon and Garfunkle classic. Also known as Feeling Groovy from 1966.

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MAC Teaching Artist Roster

February 15, 2018

7 new artists

Seven Maine Artists Added to Arts Commission’s Teaching Roster

Maine Arts Commission’s roster provides additional resources for teachers and schools

AUGUSTA, ME, February 8, 2018—The Maine Arts Commission is pleased to announce the addition of seven new artists to its online Teaching Artist Roster.  Selected by the Arts Commission through an application process, teaching artists provide greater access for teachers, schools, and community groups to area artists who are trained and knowledgeable in classroom requirements throughout Maine. The following teaching artists have been recently listed on the roster:

  • Nicole Cardano

    Nicole Cardano, an actress who teaches elementary and middle school improvisational skills as well as theatre productions and show choir. She lives in Seal Cove.

  • Emilia Dahlin, a musician who teaches students to explore literary devices in songwriting to create powerful imagery and foster a strong sense of authorship. Emilia resides in Gorham.
  • Rob Duquette, a musician and songwriter whose lessons teach themes of resilience, compassion, kindness, gratitude, and a sense of purpose. Rob is from York.
  • Emilia Dahlin

    Kal Elmore, a printmaker who collaborates with teachers to develop lessons that help students experience a new media, a new technique, and/or a different way of thinking about visual art. She is from Old Town.

  • Russell Kaback, a musician and a storyteller who writes songs that tell the story of his grandfather’s life as a Polish Jew and Holocaust survivor.  Through lyrics and song, students make a lasting connection with the experience of a concentration camp survivor from the Nazi era to the present. Russell resides in South Portland.
  • Dana Legawiec, an actress whose recent teachings involve grade 3-5 students in mask, improvisational, physical theatre, and yoga. She is from Bowdoinham.
  • Rob Duquette

    Tom Luther, a musician who teaches piano and multimedia art. Tom applies traditional composition, improvisation, generative, and interactive techniques in his teaching, drawing freely from his experiences in numerous musical forms.  Tom is from Union.

“We are really proud of the learning opportunities that each artist on the roster provides to our schools and communities in Maine,” said Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education at the Arts Commission.

In addition to overseeing the teaching artist roster along with many other arts education programs and services offered by the Arts

Kal Elmore

Commission, Argy organizes the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Mega-Regional Conferences. Maine educators from PK-higher education are invited to participate in this year’s professional development opportunity at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in South Paris, Friday, March 23 at 8:30 – 3:15 p.m.  The workshop facilitators are Maine arts educators who will have dynamic ideas to share.

Since 2011, MALI has provided opportunities for hundreds of educators with inspirational workshops, presentations, and webinars at the school, district, regional, state, and national level. More information and event registration for the 2018 MALI Mega Regional is available here.

Russell Kaback

The Maine Arts Commission currently administers the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative as part of one of its five priorities, fostering PK-12 lifelong arts education programs, in its five-year cultural plan, Fortifying Maine’s Creativity & Culture. To learn more about any of the Maine Arts Commission’s arts education funding opportunities or programs, please contact Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education at argy.nestor@maine.gov or 207/287-2713.

Dana Legaweic

Tom Luther

The Maine Arts Commission supports artists, art organizations, educators, policy makers, and community developers in advancing the arts in Maine. For more than 50 years the Commission has encouraged and stimulated public interest and participation in the cultural heritage and cultural programs of our state; has worked to expand the state’s cultural resources; and encouraged and assisted 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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Brewer in the Snow

January 29, 2018

Arts Learning Grant recipient

In the snow storm earlier this month when many schools had back to back snow days I headed off to the beautiful Brewer Community School. I arrived to find the parking lot so full of snow (and you know I love snow) I wasn’t sure where the sidewalks and parking lots started and ended. Not only was there snow everywhere but the wind was blowing and it was VERY cold!

Once I got inside the building and met up with Christopher Burk, founder and director of the Jazz Residency Initiative, (JRI) I soon forgot about the wind and cold. The Maine Arts Commission Arts Learning Grant assisted JRI with funding this year so I was excited about learning more about the program and seeing it in action. The weather could have shut down the program but the commitment to Brewer School’s music education was evident when the school opened in the afternoon so rehearsals and learning could continue.

Brewer High School jazz band

Brewer High School music teacher Brady Harris was having a lesson with resident jazz musician Mike Stern. At first glance from the center of the Brewer Performing Arts Center Mike looked like a high school student. Later I realized he connected with the students quickly and easily because he was in many ways much younger than his age. They went back and forth comfortably before the high school jazz students arrived for rehearsal and they all jumped right in to making music. I was so impressed! The middle school students followed for rehearsal and their first time meeting Mike (due to the storm). Led by Lanissa Nadeau the students were so well prepared and played amazingly! My only disappointment was that I couldn’t stay for the evening performance but I understand that it was a big success!

Brady and Mike

JRI BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Jazz Residency Initiative (JRI) is a Maine based non-profit dedicated to positively impacting the development of aspiring jazz musicians by facilitating artist-in-residencies with master musicians. Guest artists share their knowledge with student musicians through a series of masterclasses, rehearsals, and interactive workshops. The three day residencies culminate in Capstone Concerts in which the featured artists and the students share a stage and perform for their community. The Capstone Concerts also includes a Pro Set during which the featured artist plays with regional professional musicians, often providing the students their first opportunity to experience a live professional jazz performance. Through the residencies, JRI pursues its multifaceted mission of inspiring student musicians, improving their musicianship, providing quality listening opportunities for the students and their communities, showcasing regional professional musicians, and reenergizing local music educators.


PROGRAM PLANNING 

Planning for each residency typically begins 8 to 14 months in advance. This is partly due to the scheduling demands of the world class master musicians we work with. For example, our most recent residency in Brewer featured Mike Stern. Stern began his career playing with Blood Sweat & Tear and later Miles Davis, and went on to release 17 albums, earning 6 Grammy nominations. Another reason for the long planning cycle is that we want to empower local music educators to build the residencies into their curriculum for the full year. Repertoire selection is done months in advance in conjunction with both the teachers and the featured artist. This allows the hosting music educators to introduce the music to their students and be prepared to explore more of the artistic expression of the pieces. It also allows more time for the students to listen to the guest artists’ discography and alternate renditions of the repertoire. During the follow through phase of the residencies, the teachers guide their students to incorporate learnings related to the repertoire, and to utilize newly learned practice techniques.

Lanissa Nadeau conducting the middle school jazz band

DETAILS OF JRI

While JRI has honed the format of the residencies to be fairly consistent over the four years that we have been coordinating them, each remains as unique as the featured artists and the communities that host them. They are all hosted by high schools, but open to the public, and strive to include both younger and older students as much as possible. For example, in Brewer, both the high school and middle school big bands were included throughout the residency and Capstone Concert. During others, the middle school students will participate in workshops, but will not perform. While JRI will provide general guidance, we allow the guest artist to select which masterclasses they present, and run the rehearsals as they see fit. There are common themes that all of the featured artist touch on; I don’t think we have had one yet that did not tell the students to practice all twelve Major scales, in time, regularly. The different artists, however, clearly have different points of emphasis such as the importance of listening, time feel, music theory, and technical proficiency.

Mike working with a middle school student

MIKE STERN

During Mike Stern’s visit to Brewer he touched on all of these themes to varying degrees, but it may be his positive energy and encouragement to “Just keep playing. Keep music in your life regardless of if you intend to perform professionally, teach it or just enjoy it” that is best remembered. Stern also shared non-musical pearls of wisdom such as “learn to get along with others” and “don’t hold grudges.” One highlight was when the  64 year old jazz guitar master informed the students that he still has a teacher and that like him, they should all “practice what their teachers assign first and save the easy or fun stuff for the end of their practice time.” 

A great big THANKS to Christopher Burk for providing information for this blog post.

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Deep Learning with Pottery and Poetry

January 23, 2018

YEEHA at Sweetland School

What happens when a collaboration takes place with an arts integrated school and two teaching artists? MAGIC! I had the amazing opportunity to be present while young learners were engaged in connecting their learning through pottery and poetry.

Lindsay Pinchbeck, founder and director of the SweetLand School in Hope invited poet Brian Evans-Jones and potter Tim Christensen to create connected curriculum and learning for the school’s students.

Both Brian and Tim are on the Maine Arts Commission (MAC) Teaching Artists roster and are Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teaching Artist Leaders. Lindsay is a member of the MALI Design Team and started her school three years ago.

This blog post combines the background information with the participants responses, observations, learnings, and feelings.

FROM THE COLLECTIVE VOICES OF THOSE WHO PARTICIPATED
LINDSAY
The Sweetland School recently had the good fortune of a residency with ceramist Tim and poet Brian. Both artists wove together a program sharing passion and skill in poetry and clay with the children. They created work that knocked all our socks off. Magic was the word tumbling off our tongues this week. For the teachers of Sweetland it was a wonderful opportunity to see the children with fresh eyes.

Brian shared a style of poetry called the Anaphora, with repeated lines. He pushed the children to apply real and imaginary content into their poems. He helped the children generate ideas and then edit and refine their poetry. His goal was to support each child to make a 5 line poem, they all generated much more work. I observed writing, reading, sharing, helping one another, public speaking, laughter and pure joy as the children created and shared their work. 

Tim worked in the studio over 4 days with the children to create 5 or so place settings – cups, plates, bowls, even forks and spoons were created.  The children took their lines of poetry and added the words from the poetry workshop along with images to each piece. Stories of travel and adventure, wove through their clay making experiences as Tim led the children forward in their pottery explorations.  

Children’s conversations:

  • “I know what you find in the magical misty woods!” “A smiling carrot.” 
  • “What do you do when you don’t know what to draw?” Tim “I make a mark and see where it takes me.” 
  • “You know what I have to say about this – It’s really hard but incredibly fun.”  

This week I observed a community of learners drive their learning forward. They advocated for what they needed, supported one another, weren’t afraid to ask questions and were giving and thoughtful hosts with our visiting artists. We saw the children at their best, staying focused for long 2 hours sessions in detailed work and generating work they were proud of. The power of visiting artists to inspire cannot be underestimated. In this safe environment where the children have learned to be themselves and own their ideas they were able to fly with the support of professionals who are passionate about sharing the magic of the process and their craft.  We as a staff learned alongside the children and were a community of learners together. 

To say thank you at the end of their visit the children encircled Brian on Tuesday and Tim on Thursday and sang to both visiting artists. This has officially been termed “Sweetlanded,” by Tim and it’s a pretty magical experience. When all the pieces have been fired we plan to have a special celebration of the work  at the Hope Library. Thank you Brian and Tim! and a note of thanks to Argy Nestor and the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative where this collaborative residency was hatched. It was a magical experience. 

BRIAN
At the close of my two days teaching at Sweetland Arts School, the 12 children with whom I’d been working asked me to sit in the center of a rug. Standing around me, they joined hands and began to sing. The song was new to them, so there were a few stops and starts, but they got there in the end. This is what they sang to me, twice:

In this circle deep peace

In this circle no fear

In this circle Great Happiness

In this circle safety.

This moment felt completely, beautifully appropriate for my experience on the residency. It wasn’t just that the song used anaphora (repeated phrases) to create its structure, which was the technique I had helped them learn for the poems they wrote with me. It was that, through their song and their spontaneous desire to give it to me, they were teaching me something, as they and their school had done all residency.

During the previous two days, I had sometimes felt the opposite of deep peace, great happiness, and safety: I had feared that my whole work at the school was going awry. I am not now sure why I felt this way, except that panic and a feeling of ineluctable disaster are often a part of a creative process. But by the students’ continued steady efforts, and I suppose mine too, things had turned out right in the end. Their poems collectively were funny, tender, deeply personal, wildly inventive, and above all wonderful to hear all read out one after another, as they had just done.

When I sat in the middle of their voices, I knew that they had given me this moment to teach me that I need not have feared: if you keep working, wisely and with good heart, your projects will succeed.

So what I will take away from this residency is a feeling of gratitude, not for what I taught, but for what I learned. I learned that a vision, to create a school where the arts are not peripheral but central, can be made to happen, by Lindsay and her husband Chris. I learned that children who are skillfully supported to trust their own decision-making and imaginations can invent the most marvelous things, such as the spontaneous class play involving sheep and blades of grass that was scripted and performed by the grade 1-3 group, to illustrate concepts of division and remainders, based on a poem they’d made about the number 17. I learned that there is more scope in my own teaching to allow students to make their own choices about how they grow their writing. And I learned a little, just a little, about what can be achieved if we step back, let go of control, and trust the kids, the process, and the art.

NINA
Watching the children with these visiting artists has been both inspiring and illuminating. They brought their best selves to the work each day, and churned out pieces that are jaw-drop-worthy. One word comes to mind in particular when thinking about their manner throughout this residency: absorbed. Their attention never seemed to wander, their focus remained strong, and their process was steady. The visiting artists were strong guides that brought their wealth of experience effortlessly to the children, openly sharing and encouraging progress and process along the way. The response from the children was eager and positive; the energy of creativity filled the room and excitement and pride about their work bubbled up. It was tangible.
Watching the children thank the artists at the end, was perhaps, my favorite part. They circled around each artist, holding hands and sang them a song we sing here at Sweet Tree to celebrate birthdays. A song about creating safety, deep peace and great happiness. This was both instigated and carried out by the students as an offering of gratitude, creating moments that were as beautiful as the work they made this week.
TIM
For four days, I had the great pleasure to work at Sweetland School. The students wrote poems, working for two days with Brian, an award winning poet from South Berwick. They then created 5 functional pieces of pottery, on which they etched, using the sgraffito technique. Starting with individual lines of their poems, the young artists translated verbal language into visual language, creating a place setting which could be rearranged in different settings, making mix and match pottery poems. This exercise challenged the artists to formulate imagery that was as specific as their words: no mean feat! 
For the younger artists, some in the 7 year old range, making the leap from verbal to visual was a struggle, though they were able to write their poems on the pieces, and had a ton of fun creating useful, functional pieces. For the older artists, in the 10-12 year old range, the concept came easily, and their illustrations highlighted specific points in their poetry lines, illuminating their intent, adding focus and emphasis. All of the poems, read aloud during a sharing period at the end of Brian’s time at Sweetland, were insightful and important, the young poets finding their voice easily, conveying thought and emotion beautifully.
I was struck by the powerful way that the younger students looked up to the older cohort, striving to match them in the quality of their products. I was also struck by the kindness of the students, the emphasis on community, collaboration, sharing, and creative expression at Sweetland. Real learning and growing was evident at every step!
OLIVIA
I could see the children’s minds work as they sat molding the clay and thinking about how to visually describe the words of their poems. It was incredibly inspiring and exciting to watch how naturally art meshed with all learning.
LINDSAY LAST WORDS
Thanks for sharing your very open and wonderful impressions. They are feelings I feel often and hope that others can experience too. That piece about being in the creative process and not know the road ahead or how we’ll get there is something that is so much a part of creative thinking and so scary for adults. It can be explored safely with the help of the children and I believe at the very heart of deep learning.
When we don’t know where we are going I think we are on the right track because doesn’t that mean we are learning something new?
 
Thank you all for trusting the process, believing in the arts and being able to stand back and see the magic the children have to offer, I think standing out of the way is sometimes the hardest thing to do.
Not only did this residency exemplify why bringing outstanding teaching artists into the environment is so important but that every one processed the learning so the value of it became clear.  A great big THANK YOU to Lindsay, Brian, Nina, Tim, Olivia, and the YOUNG LEARNERS for contributing to this blog post and for the great work they do every day as educators!
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Ticket to Ride Funding

January 16, 2018

It’s back!!!

The Maine Arts Commission is once again accepting applications for Ticket to Ride thanks to the generous support of the Betterment Fund and proceeds from The Art of Giving Gala sponsored by DownEast Magazine.

PLEASE NOTE

The application process has changed!! Applications will be submitted using the Maine Arts Commission Grants Management System (GMS). Please do not use old Ticket to Ride applications. Tips for applying are below!

DETAIL OVERVIEW

The Ticket to Ride program provides funding to defray the cost of travel for Maine schools wishing to visit Maine arts based venues and events as part of a well-rounded curriculum. The goals of the trip should support student learning and be aligned with Maine’s Visual and/or Performing Arts Standards.

Any PK-12 school in Maine is eligible to receive support of up to $300 each school year and any PK-12 school in Maine with a documented free and reduced lunch student population of 50 percent or greater is eligible to receive support of up to $500 each school year.

TICKET TO RIDE PATHWAY TO APPLYING

Students at the Portland Museum of Art from the Self Directed Studio Art class at Gardiner Area High School

IMPORTANT DETAILS

  • Completed applications will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and will be approved by the Maine Arts Commission’s Director of Arts in Education upon receipt.
  • Applications are accepted throughout the year and funding will be made available approximately one month after they are submitted.
  • Within three weeks following your trip, the Maine Arts Commission requires the submission of follow-up documentation that includes teacher feedback and student work samples of the experience. A link to the Follow-up Form is provided in the Ticket to Ride funding approval email.
  • Alert your district that you’re submitting an application
  • Schools may apply more than once a year as long as they are applying to attend a different event or bringing a different student population. And, provided there is funding still available for your school.

INELIGIBLE EXPENSES

The Maine Arts Commission respectfully requests that Ticket to Ride funds not be used to replace existing transportation funds in school budgets but rather to supplement them when necessary. Schools are welcome to use Ticket to Ride funds in combination with transportation funds that may be available from individual Maine arts based venues and events. Be sure and check with the venue for funding.

TIPS FOR APPLYING

The following tips will help when you get to the application in the GMS. Please gather the information needed so when you get to the application you’ll have it ready. The system is designed to accommodate all the grants the Maine Arts Commission awards, so some terms and fields may seem not descriptive for schools.

  • Email – Person with whom we will contact throughout the grant process
  • DUNS Number – Does not apply to schools – please enter “0”
  • First Name, Last Name – Contact person at the school
  • Contact Email – Same as above email
  • Address, City, State, Zip, Phone – Of the school that will receive the funds
  • % of Free & Reduced Lunch – This information is available in your school or district
  • Vendor Code – Check with your school or district office to obtain

TICKET TO RIDE PATHWAY TO APPLYING

For questions and assistance, please contact Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education, Maine Arts Commission at 287.2713.

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In Today’s News

January 16, 2018

Medomak Valley High School POL

Two students from Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro have been named to represent the school at the Northern Maine Regional Finals for Poetry Out Loud.

Poetry Out Loud is organized nationally by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation and administered at the state level by the Maine Arts Commission. It begins in Maine’s schools where school champions are selected to compete in two regional finals at which ten students are ultimately selected to recite at the state finals.

Read about Lydia Simmons and Elizabeth Flanagan in the Village Soup, January 15 edition. The article was written by Dagney C. Ernest.

Join us for one Maine’s regional or the statewide events.

February 12, 2018     Northern Maine Regional Finals (Performing Arts Center, Hampden Academy, 3 p.m.)

February 13, 2018     Snow date for Northern Maine Regional Finals

Feb 28, 2018               Southern Maine Regional Finals (Westbrook Middle School, 3 p.m.)

March 1, 2018            Snow date Southern Maine Regional Finals

March 14, 2018          Maine State Finals (3 p.m., Waterville Opera House)

March 20, 2018          Snow date for Maine State Finals

April 23-25, 2018       Poetry Out Loud National Finals (Washington, D.C.)

 

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