Posts Tagged ‘Maine Arts Commission’


In Today’s News

May 2, 2019

Congratulations Victor!

Joao Victor performing on the national stage

Portland Press Herald article written by Mark Laflamme about Maine’s Poetry Out Loud champion Joao Victor. CLICK HERE

National Public Radio aired a segment yesterday on the Poetry Out Loud program and included not only this year’s Maine champ but our 2018 Maine champ, Allan Monga. You’ll want to listen to the entire 2 minutes put together by Elizabeth Blair. CLICK HERE!

Allan Monga

Washington Post article from May 1 on Allan and Victor.

Poetry Foundation post from May 2.




Congrats Dance Ed Grant Recipients

April 9, 2019

Dancing in School

Congratulations to Central School in South Berwick and Mabel I Wilson School in Cumberland, recipient of dance education grants for the 2019-20 school year.

Hunt and Allison Smith

Central School music educator Kate Smith and physical education teacher Kristan Tiede will work with Teaching Artists Hunt and Allison Smith to introduce 489 grades PK-3 to traditional-style set dances.

Students in the ten kindergarten classes at the Mabel I Wilson School will have the opportunity to receive instruction from Teaching Artist and dancer Elly Lovin to learn movement and creative dance education.

The funding for this grant is provided by a group of dance studios and two high schools with dance education programs. Each year on a Friday night in November a fund raiser is held to raise the funds. This is the only grass-roots funding program that the Commission has in place. Thank you to all of these amazing dance instructors and students who are committed to this effort. To date they provided over $21,000 and hundreds of Maine students have benefited.

To learn more about about the dance education grant and the Maine Arts Commission other arts education funding opportunities please go to MACs Arts Education funding page.

Students with dance educator Elly Lovin at the East End Elementary School, Portland during a dance education funded residency



Pen Pals Pilot Program

April 4, 2019

PEER 2018:  5th Grade Painting Pen Pals Pilot Program

Lynda Leonas has been a Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leader since 2015, Phase 5. It was great to hear about her work at Walton School that is connecting her students with others.
5th grade students from Mrs. Breau’s class at Walton School in Auburn, Maine, began a trial practice run of the painting pen pal program on November 8 during a 30-minute art class with their art teacher, Lynda Leonas. Each student inspired personal responses and program feedback from music and art educators, teaching artists, and members of the Maine Arts Commission during the November MALI Critical Friends Day at the Viles House in Augusta. Students were thrilled with the responses they received and hope to meet their practice partners one day!
Elementary schools in Androscoggin and Cumberland Counties will participate in a larger practice run of this peer student painting exchange this coming spring. We hope to define and direct any technical adjustments necessary in creating a simple large scale painting pen pal exchange and exhibit for teachers and students within the State of Maine. Each grade 5 student will create a painting within an open choice painting studio environment. The painting will be exchanged with a student in another school district. Each participant will reflect upon key ideas and emotions expressed within the art work they receive and respond with his/her own personal interpretation to create visual conversations!
Students and teachers will expand their communities without leaving their classroom throughout the Painting Pen Pals process. Students will access and upload paintings, reflections, and literary responses in the form of poetry into a WIKI site creating an online exhibit while art and classroom teachers upload formative assessments, enrichment activities, and their own painting pen pal works! Our goal is for all peer partnerships to meet in person at a culminating exhibit of their completed works.

Tonight on Bill Green’s Maine

March 30, 2019

7:00 Poetry Out Loud on WCSH TV

Be sure to check out Bill Green’s Maine tonight at 7 p.m. Bill Green will be airing a special Maine Poetry Out Loud edition on WCSH TV (Channel 6) in Portland and WLBZ (Channel 2) in Bangor at 7 p.m. March 30!

2019 State Champ, Joao Victor from Lewiston High School and 2018 State Champ and 2019 Runner up Allan Monga from Deering High School

Bill Green, emcee, 2019 POL State Finals



POL State Finals Today!

March 11, 2019

Waterville Opera House – March 11 – doors open 2:30 p.m. 

Maine’s Poetry Out Loud State Finals returns to the Waterville Opera House

Monday, March 11 at 3 p.m.
Doors open at 2:30 p.m.
FREE + open to the public

Don’t miss recitations by Maine’s top poetry high school student reciters!

Performance by the Messalonskee Jazz Band under the direction of music educator Andrew Forster, beginning at 2:45 p.m.

Readings by Maine Poet Laureate Stuart Kestenbaum

Emcee is Bill Green, host of NEWS CENTER Maine

If you can’t make it to Waterville, Boothbay Region Television will be streaming the competition live on the Maine Arts Commission’s Facebook page.


Arts Engage ME

February 27, 2019

Cultural Sector Network Meeting

Folks traveled from all parts of Maine for the Cultural Sector Network Meeting earlier this week. Maine Arts Commission Executive Director Julie Richard provided a presentation on the state budget which included how the Arts Commission is funded.

Nina Ozlu Tunceli

Traveling from DC for the meeting was the Executive Director of the Americans for the Arts Arts Action Fund, Nina Ozlu Tunnel provided an update on the federal budget.

Special guest Congresswoman Chellie Pingree was present to provide the Congressional outlook. Those attending joined in celebrating the congresswoman’s role as the Co-Chair of the House Congressional Arts Caucus.

Also in attendance and speaking were staff from Senator Collins and Senator King’s offices.

Everyone is looking forward to Arts & Culture Day planned for the State House on April 22. If you’re interested in participating please contact the Maine Arts Commission.



POL State Finals

February 25, 2019

Please join us, Waterville Opera House, March 11

Thirty two high schools including 4,300 students from across Maine participated in the Poetry Out Loud program this year.  This year’s regional contests were hosted at Hampden Academy and Westbrook Performing Arts Centers. The Maine Arts Commission, which produces and administers the statewide contests is excited about the upcoming state finals at the Waterville Opera House on March 11 at 3 p.m. where ten high school students will perform. The event is free and open to the public.

The doors at the State Finals will open at 2:30 p.m. and at 2:45 p.m. the Messalonskee High School jazz band, under the direction of music educator Andy Forster, will perform. Later in the program they will perform for a second time.

In addition, Maine Poet Laureate Stuart Kestenbaum will read from his poems. The event will be hosted by local television personality, Bill Green.

Northern Maine Regional Finalists Shaphnah McKenzie, Emma Jacot-Descombes, Magnolia Vandiver, Hanna Lavenson, Emily Campbell

Congratulations to the following finalists, their teachers and schools:

Northern Maine Regional Champions (in order alphabetically by school):

  • Shapnah McKenzie, Bangor High School
  • Magnolia Vandiver, George Stevens Academy
  • Hannah Lavenson, Messalonskee High School
  • Emma Jacot-Descombes, Rangeley Lakes Regional Schools
  • Emily Campbell, Waterville High School

Southern Maine Regional Champions (in order alphabetically by school):

  • Southern Regional Finalists Wyatt Bates, Delaney Zeigman, Aaliyah Biamby, Allan Monga, and Joao Victor

    Allan Monga, Deering High School

  • Aaliyah Biamby, Gorham High School
  • Joao Victor, Lewiston High School
  • Delaney Ziegman, Thornton Academy
  • Wyatt Bates, Yarmouth High School

There will be three rounds of recitations. Each student will recite two poems from memory. The scores will be tallied and five students will go to the final round reciting one more of their favorite poems. One state finalist will be named the overall state champion and advance to the national competition, where they will compete for a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends, as well as a $20,000 scholarship.

The event will also be broadcast and live streamed on the Maine Arts Commission’s Facebook page in collaboration with Boothbay Region Television and other local access TV stations.

For more information about the state and national finals, please visit the Maine Arts Commission: Poetry Out Loud webpage or contact me, Argy Nestor at or 207-287-2713.

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.

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