Posts Tagged ‘Maine Arts Commission’

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Director of Arts Education

January 14, 2020

Maine Arts Commission

The Maine Arts Commission is delighted to welcome Martha Piscuskas as our new Director of Arts Education. Martha brings 30 years of nonprofit organizational leadership alongside a deep understanding of the state’s issues. Most recently she was Executive Director at Waterfall Arts, the community arts center in Belfast that she co-founded in 2000. She has extensive experience in community arts education, developing programming for all ages and in collaboration with local schools. One of five siblings, all artists, with parents in secondary education, Martha grew up immersed in active creative inquiry. In addition to serving on her local school board, she has led and founded numerous Maine organizations including MaineShare, Maine Center on Economic Policy, and Maine Initiatives. Martha has presented nationally and served on multiple boards, including as the Chair of the Waldo County Fund of the Maine Community Foundation, and the Chair of the New England Board of Haymarket People’s Fund. A member of the Zeta class of Leadership Maine, she holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Wesleyan University, and a BFA from the Maine College of Art. A longtime resident of Waldo County, Martha lives on a homesteading solar-run farm with her family.

Martha’s contact information: 287.2750  martha.piscuskas@maine.gov.

 

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Dance Dance Dance

December 10, 2019

Dance Education grant

Thanks to Martha Piscuskas for providing information for this blog post.She is the interim director for arts education, Maine Arts Commission.

Hunt and Allison Smith

Nearing the gym, through the corridor literally owned and decorated by the K-third grade Central School students in South Berwick, one could already hear the rhythmical claps of a class fully engaged in old-time dancing. Recently I paid a visit to Kate Smith’s music program, where the whole school was treated to a residency with Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artists Hunt and Allison Smith, who played and taught old English, Irish and even Russian dances throughout the  week.

Thanks to the leadership of Kate and the Physical Education Teacher, Kristan Tiede, the school received a Maine Arts Commission Dance Education Grant and funding from the Marshwood Education Fund to bring this duo to play their fiddle, accordion and teach traditional set dances in circles, squares, and lines over three days. The teaching artists held the attention well of the students, no matter which age group. Even parents, siblings and teachers got to join in with a community family contradance one evening. Says Kate, “I know the residency with the Smiths will renew my confidence in teaching units that embed dance in music units in a more thoughtful, appropriate and successful way.  

I love the opportunity to integrate other subjects and collaborate with peers deepening student learning while giving us the chance  to learn from each other.”

I invite you to learn more about the Maine Arts Commission grant opportunities and the Teaching Artist roster.

The dance education grant at the Maine Arts Commission was established in 2012 with the help of Thornton Academy dance educator Emma Campbell and several dance programs and studios in southern Maine. Through a fund raiser performance they have contributed thousands of dollars so students, school communities, and teaching artists  across the state could benefit from dance education learning opportunities.

If you have any questions about arts education programs at the Maine Arts Commission please contact Martha Piscuskas, Interim Director of Arts Education.

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Intergenerational

December 2, 2019

Puppetry, Storytelling, Music

On Saturday, December 7, students from Falmouth High School (FHS) and residents of The Cedars retirement community in Portland will gather for An Intergenerational Celebration of Puppetry, Storytelling, and Music. The event will mark the culmination of a four-month long project in collaboration between FHS, The Cedars, and Figures of Speech Theatre (FST).
FST Director of Education, Ian Bannon, designed and directed the project, which began with a series of TimeSlips creative storytelling sessions at The Cedars. TimeSlips is a collaborative storytelling format designed by MacArthur Fellow Anne Basting for use by people with cognitive disabilities like dementia. Creativity is an ideal way for people with cognitive challenges to communicate. TimeSlips is developed as a ritual so people with memory loss can learn it through their subconscious or implicit memory. It is based on shifting the emphasis from memory to imagination.
FHS students took turns joining Bannon for the sessions at The Cedars, assisting with the storytelling sessions while gaining first-hand experience with TimeSlips and familiarity with the residents.
FHS Theater Teacher Dede Waite’s students from FHS then dove into the rehearsal process, learning about full-body silhouette shadow puppetry from Bannon and Devon Kelley-Yurdin, a visual artist and community organizer. Students then used the skills learned during rehearsal to adapt three of the TimeSlips-generated stories into original shadow plays. Students in FHS Music Teacher Jake Sturtevant’s music composition class created an original score for each performance, elevating and polishing their fellow students’ work.
Towards the end of the rehearsal process, Cedars residents were invited to join FHS students at the school for a hands-on shadow puppetry workshop, allowing students a chance to work side-by-side with the residents to create short vignettes using the skills they had developed.
The final performances will take place during An Intergenerational Celebration of Puppets, Storytelling, and Music at The Cedars at 1:30 PM on Saturday, December 7. Students will present their adaptations live for the residents. Following the performances, the students, residents, and audience members will be invited to join in an ice cream social designed to foster an intergenerational exchange about the process and performance. Members of the public are fully encouraged to attend.
This project was been funded in part by a Project Grant for Organizations from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Since 1982, Figures of Speech Theatre, has toured the world for more than 35 years with original works created at the intersection of drama, poetry, sculpture and dance. The company has performed in venues including the New Victory Theater, the Smithsonian Institution, the Kennedy Center, and Tokyo’s International House. Through their educational programing—which takes place in all 16 Maine counties—FST seeks to engage imaginations, impart skill-based training, awaken consciousness regarding world cultures, and expand students’ sense of life’s possibilities. We offer a range of programming and touring productions in service of that vision.
More information about Figures of Speech Theatre is available on their website: www.figures.org.
The Cedars, Maine and Northern New England’s most comprehensive, non-profit senior community was founded in 1929 as the Jewish Home for Aged. As we celebrate 90 years of innovation, The Cedars offers a full continuum of senior living options, including: Independent Living, Assisted Living, Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Care. Currently under construction is the new Sam L. Cohen Households, due to open in Fall 2020, will provide a home environment using the best practices for an enlightened, person-centered approach to care in private rooms for rehabilitation, skilled nursing care and a new, vitally-needed memory care assisted living.
More information about The Cedars is available on their website: www.thecedarsportland.org.
An Intergenerational Celebration of Puppetry, Story-Telling, and Music will be presented on Saturday, December 7 at 1:30 PM at The Cedars, 630 Ocean View Ave in Portland. The performance, which will be followed by an ice cream social, is open to the public free of charge. For more information, please contact Angie Hunt at (207) 221-7171.
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NH Arts Ed Conference

November 27, 2019

Culturally Responsive Leadership

Martha Piscuskas

Recently Martha Piscuskas, Interim Director of Arts Education at the Maine Arts Commission attuned the New Hampshire Arts Education conference. The theme was Culturally Responsive Leadership. There were great discussions and learnings on how to create more inclusive  creative spaces, for educators and the young artists we mentor.

Martha returned with several resources to share – some listed below with Martha’s comments included. Martha suggests that you take a look and consider how to use them in your classroom and/or with policy makers.

If you have any questions please contact Martha at martha.piscuskas@maine.gov.

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Poetry Out Loud

October 25, 2019

Registration December 1, 2019

Joao Rodrigues Victor-2019 Maine State Poetry Out Loud Champ

The Maine Arts Commission is proud to partner once again with the National Endowment for the Arts to give Maine schools the opportunity to participate in Poetry Out Loud in 2019-2020.

About Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high school students across the country. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Poetry Out Loud is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation.

How it Works

Victor on the national stage reciting

Once you register with us, involvement in Poetry Out Loud starts at the classroom level. We’ll provide educational materials and resources to help get you and your students started. Winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to regional and state competitions, and ultimately to the National Finals. Awards and placements are determined solely by the judges’ scores based on the Poetry Out Loud Evaluation Criteria.

Poetry Out Loud Awards

Each winner at the state level receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington, DC to compete for the national championship. The state winner’s school receives $500 for the purchase of poetry materials. The first runner-up in each state receives $100, with $200 for their school. At the national finals, a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends is awarded annually.

Please visit the national Poetry Out Loud site to explore and learn more about this great program.

Key Dates

September 10, 2019       Registration Opens

December 1, 2019          Registration Deadline

February 3, 2020            Northern Maine Regional Finals (snow date February 4)

February 10, 2020          Southern Maine Regional Finals (snow date February 11)

March 2, 2020                 Maine State Finals — Waterville, ME (snow date, March 3)

April 28-29, 2020            National Finals – Washington, DC

For more information about Poetry Out Loud, please contact Brita Wanger-Morier, Performing Arts & Media Director at the Maine Arts Commission, at 207.287.2750 or by email Brita Wanger-Morier.

REGISTRATION 

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MAC Student Exhibit

September 17, 2019

Call for Art

The Maine Arts Commission is issuing a call for student art for inclusion in the 2019-2020 Maine Excellence in Arts Education at the State Capitol Complex in Augusta. Art teachers from public, private and parochial schools in Maine are invited to submit one piece of two-dimensional artwork that represents artistic excellence from a K-12 student. Selected works will hang in various locations including the State House, the Cross Office Building (second floor), and the office of the Maine Arts Commission from December 2019 – April 2020. In March 2020, during National Youth Art Month, all selected artists, their families and submitting teachers will be invited to a celebration of Young Artists where they will receive recognition for their artistic achievements.

DATES TO REMEMBER

  2019
Call Opens: Wed, September 18 (officially on the website)
Deadline to Apply: Wed, October 30
Final Notification of Acceptance: Tues, November 5
Deadline for Work Delivery: Fri, November 15
Exhibition Opens: Mon, December 2
  2020
Public Celebration: Wed, March 11 (snow date Mar 18)
Exhibition Ends: Thurs, April 30
Retrieval of Artwork: Fri, May 1 – May 15

PROCESS
One piece of 2-D artwork may be submitted per school. Each school should have one designated teacher to submit the chosen artwork for that school. The program will exhibit approximately forty-five student works from around the state. Selection will be made on a first come, first served basis per Superintendent Region*. Five pieces of work will be accepted from each of the nine Superintendent Regions. The regions are as follows:

Aroostook

Cumberland County

Hancock County

Kennebec County

Mid Coast

Penquis

Washington County

Western Maine

York County

If you are unsure of which region your school district is located in, please see the Index of MSBA School Districts by Region.

TO APPLY

Please let us know as soon as possible that you will have work prepared to be in the exhibition. Slots fill up!

Apply Here Now!

ARTIST STATEMENT

Once a young artist’s work is selected, we will ask the submitting teacher to provide a brief (one sentence) statement/quote from the student about their thoughts either toward making art in general, or about the specific piece that they are entering. These statements will be printed on each artwork’s label for the public to read. We believe this added element will assist in enlightening the audience about the essential need for art making in providing young people with a comprehensive learning experience.

IMPORTANT

Only two-dimensional artwork will be accepted. Submitted art work must fit the maximum dimension of 18” x 24.” When submitting smaller artwork, it must be mounted on an 18” x 24” mat or poster board. There is a combined maximum thickness of 3/16’’ for artwork and mat together. The artwork can be exhibited vertically or horizontally (please indicate) and will be placed in pre-existing frames. Artwork submitted that does not fulfill these size requirements will be considered ineligible. All artwork must be labeled on the back with the student’s name, school, and grade. Please do not send artwork in cylinders or mailing tubes.

For more information or questions please contact the Interim Director of Arts Education for the Maine Arts Commission, martha.piscuskas@maine.gov, 207/287-2713, or visit our website at www.mainearts.maine.gov.

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MAC Job

June 30, 2019

Operations director

The Maine Arts Commission position of OPERATIONS DIRECTOR will provide financial planning, policy planning, event planning, and program and operations review to assure compliance to state and federal rules and regulations, and to exchange information. Assists the Executive Director in the operations of the Maine Arts Commission and reviews, adjusts and recommends approval or disapproval of budget requests and develops budget controls and improvement methods; reviews and evaluates organization, management procedures and management reporting systems to improve efficiency; and oversees and manages events and programs, and other duties as needed.

JOB DUTIES

Develops, evaluates and ensures adherence to policies and procedures concerning Maine Arts Commission’s programs and service delivery – including data tracking and collection, reporting, and program review and assessment in order to ensure efficient delivery of quality programs and services and compliance with applicable state and federal laws, regulations, policies, procedures and performance standards.
Participates in the review of budget requests and revenue forecasts using knowledge of laws, rules, policies and programs in order to develop a budget proposal consistent with the agency’s goals and objectives and within available resources.
Receives and reviews requests, including Financial Orders, for revision to work programs using knowledge of laws, rules, policies and program objectives and available resources in order to recommend approval/disapproval actions to the Executive Director.
Reviews, analyzes and maintains records of revenues and expenditures using knowledge of accounting procedures and budgeting, to recommend corrective action when necessary.
Reviews and evaluates organizational structure and managerial procedures using knowledge of policies and management techniques in order to maximize efficiency and economy within State Government.
Assists with agency human resource management including preparation of documents and record keeping.
Manages and coordinates events and programs.
Assists with agency cultural planning process.
Other duties as assigned.

KNOWLEDGES REQUIRED FOR THIS POSITION

Knowledge of accounting and finance.
Knowledge of public sector budgeting and planning including performance management.
Knowledge of government human resource structures, policies and norms.
Ability to manage programs and events, develop project budgets, grant proposals and administer projects.
Ability to recommend policy and program initiatives.
Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing.
Ability to establish and maintain respectful working relationships.
Knowledge of state and federal government administrative management.
Knowledge of the functions and management of cultural organizations.
Knowledge of strategic planning and implementation.
Ability to solve problems and make recommendations.
Ability to work effectively within and to lead teams.

APPLICATION INFORMATION

Please upload a) recent resume, b) cover letter describing your interest and your skills in the context of the Job Duties, and c) copies of post-secondary transcripts. Questions about this posting can be directed to Mindy Hansen at 207-624-7430 or Melinda.Hasen@maine.gov.

BENEFITS

The value of State’s share of Employee’s Retirement: 21.17% for confidential positions. The value of State-paid Dental Insurance: $13.13 biweekly. The value* of State-paid Health Insurance:

Level 1: 100% State Contribution (employee pays nothing): $444.68 biweekly
Level 2: 95% State Contribution (employee pays 5%): $422.45 biweekly
Level 3: 90% State Contribution (employee pays 10%): $400.21 biweekly
Level 4: 85% State Contribution (employee pays 15%): $377.98 biweekly
*The level of the actual value of state paid Health Insurance will be based on the employee’s wage rate and status with regard to the health credit premium program.

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