Posts Tagged ‘Maine Alliance for Arts Education’

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Arts Ed Advocacy Day

March 22, 2021

Documentation of the day – February 17

If you were able to attend the virtual plenary sessions on February 17 in recognition of Arts Education Advocacy Day you are aware of the outstanding opportunity the 2 hour session provided. If you were not there, you’re in luck. All of the sessions were recorded and embedded below. The day was organized by the Maine Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE) in collaboration with the leaders of the ABC – Arts Are Basic Coalition.

The first one below actually took place during the last part of Arts Education Advocacy Day, the ABC Student Advocacy Initiatives. We know at the heart of providing quality arts education programs and access to it are students! I salute all the Maine students who care deeply for the arts and are afforded an excellent curriculum. And, to all the arts educators striving to provide access to these programs, thank you!

ABC Student Advocacy Initiative

Governor Janet T. Mills Arts Ed Advocacy Message

Remarks from Maine Arts Commission Arts Education Director Martha Piscuskas

Conversation with Maine Art Education Association President Lynda Leonas and Argy Nestor

Visual Art Advocacy Video Maine Minds

Conversation with Maine Educational Theatre Association leader Kailey Smith and Beth Lambert

Maine Department of Education – Kellie Bailey, Social/Emotional Learning and Trauma-Informed Practices Specialist, Commissioner Pender Makin, and Jason Anderson, Visual and Performing Arts Specialist

Conversation with Maine Dance Educator representative Thornton Academy Dance Educator Emma Campbell and MaryEllen Schaper

Conversation with Maine Music Educators Association President Sandra Barry and Kaitlin Young

Music Advocacy Video

Thank you to Susan Potters, Executive Director of MAAE and Melissa Birkhold MAAE Advocacy Coordinator for the plenary session for Maine Arts Ed Advocacy Day and making these individual videos available. The videos are also available on the MAAE website at THIS LINK.

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Arts Education Advocacy Day

March 7, 2021

February 17 plenary session

If you missed the plenary session provided by the Maine Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE) for Arts Education Advocacy Day you are in luck! The session was recorded and available below. A HUGE THANK YOU to the MAAE partners in the ABC Arts are Basic Coalition MAEA – the Maine Art Education Association, MMEA – Maine Music Educators Association, MaineEdTA – Maine Educational Theatre Association, and the Maine dance educators. It is the first time they’ve presented together and they sent a collective message about the importance of quality arts education programming for every Maine student. Along with the leaders of the state professional organizations Governor Mills recorded message was included in the program. Others who spoke in addition to the professional organization leaders were: Commissioner of Education Pender Makin, Martha Piscuskas, Maine Arts Commission Education Director Martha Piscuskas, Maine Department of Education (MDOE) VPA Specialist Jason Anderson, and MDOE Social/Emotional Learning and Trauma Informed Practices Kellie Bailey.

Most importantly students voices were an integral part of the day. Be sure and catch them towards the end of the video. From the MAAE website:

What we may remember most vividly about Advocacy Day this year was the voices of the students – not only the individual students expressing their feelings about the arts in the videos accompanying the ABC reports, but also the live panel of arts students who are forming advocacy teams in their schools, part of a statewide new ABC initiative directed by MAAE. Coming at the end of the program, the students’ rich discussion about local advocacy and what their teams could mean for the arts in their schools not only brought together the separate themes of the four earlier reports, but made it very clear that Maine arts students can and should be a part of any future efforts to advance the cause of arts education in our state.

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Arts Education Advocacy Day

February 16, 2021

Don’t miss it!

REGISTER HERE TO PARTICIPATE

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Arts Advocacy Week

December 2, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABC Student Leadership Group

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Letter from ABC

June 21, 2020

5 organizations send letter

ABC’s Mission and History

The Arts are Basic Coalition (ABC), led by the MAAE, is an advocacy partnership made up of representatives of Maine’s professional teachers’ associations in art, music, theater and dance (see individual members and contact information below). ABC’s mission is “to advocate with a common strong voice for the visual and performing arts for all students in Maine.” ABC was created when the Maine Arts Commission and the Maine Alliance for Arts Education in the summer of 2000 convened a large group of Maine arts education organizations and supporters to investigate ways in which we could collaborate for the cause of “arts every day for every child.” Out of that meeting grew ABC.

To: ​Maine School Superintendents, Principals, and School Board Chairs
From:​The Arts are Basic Coalition (ABC): Maine Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE), Maine Art Education Association (MAEA), Maine Music Educators Association (MMEA), Maine Educational Theatre Association (MEdTA) and Maine Dance Educators.

As the leaders of the five Maine organizations that collectively represent the Visual and Performing Arts in Maine schools, we are writing to let you know that in this time of anticipated changes in schools and heightened concern about school funding reductions we are putting our creative and collaborative skills to work to respond to the artistic and social needs of our students and using our advocacy experience to help preserve state funding levels in Maine schools.

Advocacy has long been a strong suit of Maine arts education leadership. For more than 20 years our five statewide professional organizations have been united in the Arts are Basic Coalition (ABC) for federal and statewide advocacy. Led by the Maine Alliance for Arts Education, our coalition’s members, from all around the state, go beyond arts educators and include parents, students, community arts organizations and individual arts supporters – all eager to send a message about the importance of arts education and education in general.

Last fall our coalition created a new ABC Student Leadership Group that was inducted at the Blaine House, with the Governor as signatory. This group of 11 exemplary arts students from around the state is eager to add their advocacy voice and to create a wider network of student advocates. The current threat to school funding is putting all of us to the test, and we have already joined with our state partners, the Maine Education Association, to advocate for additional federal aid that will offset anticipated state and local budget reductions.

Maine arts educators are also developing innovative ideas to adjust their work to the new school safety guidelines. These include ideas that draw on the ways that the arts connect to social and emotional learning, such as giving students more opportunities to express the experiences they are living through and to connect meaningfully to others. They also draw on the arts’ connection to community economic development, giving arts students the tools to contribute to the creative economy of their communities, and involving them in initiatives that develop the potential of their community’s natural resources.

Education is the lifeblood of our young people’s and our state’s future. We as arts educators are excited about the ways that we can offer our positive energy and creative problem solving to Maine schools in this challenging time, and share ideas that can give us all hope. We look forward to staying in contact with you as we go into the summer months, and to continuing to work with you in the fall. You can reach us by contacting Susan Potters at s​potters@maineartsed.org​or 207 439-3169. Thank you!

Susan Potters,​​MAAE​

Benjamin Potvin, Victoria Cherry,​​MMEA

Lisa Ingraham,​​Theresa Cerceo,​​MAEA​

Rick Osann,​​MaineEdTA

Emma Campbell,​Maine Dance Educators

Delia Harms, ABC Student Leadership Group

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Celebrate: March and the Arts!

March 1, 2017

Happy Arts Education Month!

YAHOO! We have a great opportunity this month to celebrate the amazing work and accomplishments of students in the visual and performing arts. CONGRATULATIONS to all the educators who provide an excellent arts education and access to it for learners of all ages. I know that you are proud of your students and I encourage you to take advantage of this month designated to celebrate arts education. Whether you do it in a small or large way, please let me know about the work you are doing so I can let others know. Your good ideas should be shared so others can learn from you! And, a great big THANK YOU for your commitment to visual and performing arts education!

MY SUGGESTION: Take advantage of Arts Education Month to engage others in the conversation of why a quality arts education is essential for all students.

Below are the professional organizations who provide many suggestions and links to ideas to help you and your students plan for a celebration.

NAEA

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-7-40-12-pmThe National Art Education Association has been celebrating Youth Art Month since the 1960’s. Check out what the National Art Education has to offer on the topic by using the key words “youth art month” in the search bar on the site. The purpose of YAM is to emphasize the value to children from participating in visual art education.

CFAE

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-7-56-21-pmThe Council for Art Education at provides tons of resources to help you plan. They have ideas on their site that teachers and students are engaged in across the country. The ideas range from school based to community, both large and small. You can sign up for their free newsletter and receive information on a regular basis.

NAfME

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-7-54-48-pmThe National Association for Music Education has been recognizing Music in Our Schools Month since 1985. The idea started in 1973.  You can learn what NAfME has to offer on MIOSM by CLICKING HERE. The purpose of MIOSM is to raise awareness of the importance of music education for all children – and to remind citizens that schools is where all children should have access to music.

EDTA

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-8-12-23-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-23-at-8-04-06-pmThe Educational Theatre Association and the International Thespian Society have partnered with American Alliance for Theatre & Education (AATE) to sponsor Theatre in Our Schools. For ideas on how to create a celebration CLICK HERE. Their resources are directed towards Thespians, schools, and educators. The purpose is to raise public awareness of the impact of theatre education and draw attention to the need for more access to quality programs for all students.

NDEO

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-8-27-36-pmThe National Dance Education Organization celebrates the artistic and academic achievements of exceptional students through the National Honor Society for Dance Arts (NAHSDA) by teaming up with the US Department of Education during March. Learn more about their advocacy work by CLICKING HERE.

As you’re contemplating your March celebration checking out the blog post I included last year at this time can provide you with more resources. CLICK HERE for that blog post from March 1, 2016.

AFTA

screen-shot-2017-02-16-at-3-03-58-pmAmericans for the Arts envisions a country where everyone has access to—and takes part in—high quality and lifelong learning experiences in the arts, both in school and in the community. Their arts education council represents a cross section of the country so all voices are represented. The Americans for the Arts website has a plethora of resources on arts education. Check them out by CLICKING HERE.

MALI

MALI_V3_Color_100ppiThe Maine Arts Leadership Initiative provides plenty of resources at THIS LINK. 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. MALI Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artists Leaders take on multiple leadership roles. If you’re interested in being part of a supportive collaborative group of visual and performing arts educators consider applying to be a Teacher Leader this Spring. If interested, or if you wish to learn more at this time please contact me at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

 

ARTS ADVOCACY DAY

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-9-06-48-pmWe know that arts-rich schools benefit everyone. It is our responsibility to help others who may not understand this statement. Arts Education month provides that opportunity and the Maine Alliance for Arts Education has plans for Arts Advocacy Day in Augusta at the State House on Wednesday, March 8. To learn more visit the MAAE site by CLICKING HERE.

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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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Great Day for Arts Education

March 28, 2016

Arts Ed Advocacy Day a success
IMG_2009 - Version 2On Thursday, March 24 the State House in Augusta was mobbed with students articulating what the arts mean to them, individually and collectively. Their messages were clear and legislators from all regions of Maine were listening.

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Biddeford Intermediate School Select Chorus under the direction of music educator and MALI Teacher Leader, Andrea Wollstadt

Maine Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE) directed by Susan Potters accompanied by many hands to organize the day. CONGRATULATIONS Susan! About 200 students representing elementary, middle, and high school were scheduled to meet with the representatives and senators from their regions.

Following the meetings students gathered in the Hall of Flags where there were performances and many were engaged in singing, dancing, poetry reciting, and visiting county tables with arts education information.

 

In Susan’s words, from MAAE website:

IMG_2003After the legislators themselves came downstairs a formal program included remarks by Acting Commissioner of the Department of Education, William Beardsley; Maine Arts Commission Arts Education Director, Argy Nestor; Farnsworth Museum Education Director, Roger Dell; Maine Resilience Building Network Co-facilitator, Sue Mackey Andrews; and Arts Education Program Manager at Americans for the Arts, Jeff Poulin. There were also student performances by the Biddeford Intermediate School Select Chorus, conducted by Andrea Wollstadt, by a Bangor High School English class working with teaching artist Katenia Keller, that had choreographed a piece collaboratively, and an art advocacy group speaking piece performed by SLAM! from SAD 33 in Aroostook County, directed by Theresa Cerceo.

It was a full day! But this Advocacy Day’s significance as a day of firsts was in the students themselves… not only in their sheer number (a first for the State House), but also as a statewide gathering of students involved in all art forms – visual art, music, dance, theater and poetry – meeting each other and feeling empowered. So this day was a first, but it wasn’t the last!

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Makayla and Cayden, students from Marshwood High School with music educator and MALI Leadership Team member Kate Smith are all smiles at Arts Ed Advocacy Day!

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Student Leaders in the Arts Movement (SLAM) presenting during the program.

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Senator Brian Langly, co-chair of the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee speaks to students in the Hall of Flags.

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Maine Department of Education Visual and Performing Arts Specialist Beth Lambert, music educator at Central Elementary School Kate Smith, and art educator from Dr. Levesque Elem, Wisdom Middle/High School, MSAD #33, Theresa Cerceo. Both Kate and Theresa are members of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Leadership Team.

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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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