Posts Tagged ‘Maine Arts Commission’

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Watershed Resources

November 18, 2020

New resources are now available about finding, processing, and creating with native Maine clay. With support from the Maine Arts Commission and the Anonimo Foundation, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts education team has created resources for teachers, students, and makers interested in working with clay found in Maine’s great outdoors. Follow the link below to access videos and tutorials on digging and processing glacial marine clay.  

The videos feature Watershed and Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist Malley Weber.

The Maine Clay Tutorials are interesting and creative, I’m sure you and your students will learn from them and enjoy them.

Artist Malley Weber
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Richard’s Leaves Commission

November 16, 2020

In the news Portland Press Bob Keyes

Julie Richard, who has directed the Maine Arts Commission since 2012, will leave her post in Augusta next month to return to Arizona, where she will direct the Sedona Art Center.

“This has not been an easy decision for me,” Richard wrote in her letter of resignation. “I care deeply about the arts and culture sector in Maine and I am very proud of what has been accomplished during my tenure.”

David Greenham, the commission’s chairman, thanked Richard for her service and wished her well. “I am very happy for Julie and also very grateful for the work she has done in Maine to bring the arts commission forward in so many areas,” he said in a phone interview. An interim director likely will be named in a few weeks, while the commission begins looking for a replacement, he said.

In a news release announcing Richard’s departure, the commission cited her work to create a statewide cultural plan in 2015, her efforts to reform the agency’s grant programs and the creation of an advocacy and support organization for the state’s cultural sector, ArtsEngageMe. She also oversaw a statewide census of arts education in Maine and instituted the biennial Maine International Conference on the Arts.

Greenham said Richard and her staff have been responsive to the pandemic, taking on at least two extra grant programs since March to help artists and arts organizations. “That’s a lot of work and a big process, and that was on top of all the regular work they do with the grant programs,” he said.

In a typical year, the commission processes about 450 grant applications across multiple programs and artistic disciplines. In 2020, it reviewed and processed 1,421 successful grants to provide emergency relief with additional funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and CARES Act.

Read the entire article from the Portland Press at THIS LINK.

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Congressional Art Awards

November 5, 2020

Opportunity for high school students

The Congressional Art Awards has taken place each spring since 1982. This is a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent across the country and in each congressional district. Since its inception more than 700,000 high school students have participated.

2020 District One Winner
Gus by Alek Gideon
Grade 10, Freeport High School
Art Teacher: Kimberly Medsker-Mehalic

This opportunity is open to all high school students. The overall winner of each participating congressional district will have the opportunity to have their work displayed in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol for the entire year, beginning in June. In addition, students will be flown to Washington, D.C. for the official opening of the show in June.

The Maine Arts Commission partners with the Maine College of Art (MECA) and the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards to select the artwork. Artwork that MECA has invited to exhibit for the annual Maine Regional Scholastic Art Awards are automatically submitted to be juried for the Congressional Art Competition.

2020 District Two Winner
Noor Aden by Carolyn Adams
Grade 12, Lewiston High School 
Art Teacher: Sarah Stocker

For more information please visit the Maine Arts Commission’s website or the Federal Congressional Art Competition website or email Pamela Moulton at pmoulton@meca.edu.


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Call for MALI Teacher Leaders

May 21, 2020

You’re invited!

Visual, Performing and Literary Arts Teacher/

Teaching Artist Leader SEARCH: MALI – Phase 20-21

APPLICATION DEADLINE: MONDAY, JUNE 1Join us for a GREAT opportunity! The Maine Arts Leadership Initiative invites YOU, with other selected Maine teachers and teaching artists, to be part of a year-long exploration in leading your school communities and the profession in effective teaching and learning in the arts.  If you are selected, you will be expected to attend the 2020 Summer Institute, taking place virtually June 15, July 24, and in-person August 5, pending state policy.   

This year’s Institute will explore Leading with Resilience; Embedding Social and Emotional Learning in our Teaching, Ourselves, and Our Communities; and Arts Advocacy.  

If you are selected, there is no cost to attend the Institute; however the expectation is that you integrate your learnings in your classroom, your school community, and share with other educators in your region of Maine and beyond.  Full participants will receive documentation of up to 35 contact hours.   

If interested, please complete the online application form, linked here and below, by June 1.

Questions? Contact Martha Piscuskas, Director of Arts Education at the Maine Arts Commission, Martha.Piscuskas@maine.gov  207-287-2750

Year-long Expectations for Teaching Artist/Teacher leaders (TA/TAL):

  • Attend New Teacher/TA introduction cohort zoom on Monday June 15
  • Complete pre-reading/viewing and participate in online discussion (on google classroom) 
  • Attend and participate in 2 virtual discussion meetings on Wednesdays – June 24 & July 15 – (w/mixed cohorts and breakout rooms)
  • Attend August 5, Wednesday in-person day in Waterville (tbd) if possible
  • Commit to two reflection sessions as a MALI TA/TAL one with cohort, one with “thought partner”
  • Develop a personalized Growth Plan for the coming year, and practice/learn ways to share it with others
  • Engage in Fall “thought partner” one-on-one check in 
  • Attend winter retreat – tentatively February 28, 2021.  Will include update on personal goal and/or action plan 
  • Author a guest blog post on the Maine Arts Ed daily blog

JOIN US!  Become a Teacher Leader and Change Lives 

APPLY TODAY!

Questions on the Application:

Name/contact information

Administrator Name/contact information (if classroom teacher)

Paragraph of Interest — Selected individuals will be expected to be active leaders in helping to develop and support excellence in teaching and learning in Maine. A full commitment to the Institute timeline is expected as seen in the online information sheet.  Please attach a brief overview of your interest and current/past experience (if any) in Leadership. Include your experience collaborating with other arts educators and experiences relevant to the initiative.  (Please no more than ~ 500 words, about 1 page.) 

Resume/CV —  If you are a Teaching Artist, please also include websites or documentation of your teaching work.  

Letter of Reference – CLASSROOM TEACHERS: This should be from your administrator.  TEACHING ARTISTS: This should be from a school or community  organization with whom you have worked.   Please attach a Letter of Recommendation in which the person includes comments and/or examples reflecting your leadership potential and your ability to work collaboratively.  Selected individuals will be responsible for sharing their newly developed expertise and related classroom experiences with other arts educators.

Maine Arts Leadership Initiative 

Background Information

MALI MISSION

MALI’s OVERALL OBJECTIVES 

  • Create and implement a statewide plan for teacher leadership in arts education. This includes professional development opportunities, locally, regionally and statewide, which will expand on the knowledge and skills of teachers to better prepare them to teach in a student-centered and proficiency-based learning environment.
  • Develop and implement standards-based high quality teaching and learning statewide for Visual and Performing Arts 
  • Continue to build on expanding the team of arts educators and teaching artists representing all regions of Maine
  • Provide workshops and other professional development opportunities for educators 
  • Founded in 2011
  • 108 teacher leaders and teaching artists leaders have attended summer institutes on assessment, leadership, technology, creativity, proficiency-based standards-based and student-centered teaching and learning
  • Teacher leaders have presented workshops at three statewide arts education conferences, with over 600 educators attending
  • Teacher leaders facilitated regional workshops across Maine and 15 mega-regional sites across Maine
  • Maine Arts Ed Blog — 78 teachers profiled in Another Arts Teacher’s Story series 
  • Arts assessment graduate courses offered by New England Institute for
    Teacher Education
  • Nine arts education assessment webinars for Maine educators facilitated by Rob Westerberg and Catherine Ring – archived
  • Video stories of seven teacher leaders that demonstrate a standards-based arts education classroom located on Maine ARTSEducation YouTube channel
  • Teacher Leader Resource Team development of items for resource bank
  • Maine Arts Assessment Resources website
  • Partners have included MDOE, USM, MAEA, MMEA, University of Maine Performing Arts, and New England Institute for Teacher Education, Bates College

For More Information

APPLY TODAY TO BECOME A MALI TEACHER LEADER

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Taking Care of Ourselves Workshops

April 15, 2020

Two opportunities-today and tomorrow

Hands-On Virtual Workshop: How do we practice self-care in times of crisis?

This hands-on workshop will give us some individual tools to sustain ourselves – emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Learn breathing techniques, meditative practices, and body alignment tips. 

DETAILS

Today, Wednesday, 15 April, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.. Provided by the National Guild for Community Arts Education. Youth and adult practitioners, teaching artists, and culture workers in community arts education are all welcome.

FACILITATOR

Cultural worker and artist Raji Ganesan.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Understanding Ourselves and the Critical Need of Self-Care

This webinar contains a 40 minute education session surrounding stress and ways that thinking and productivity can sometimes be impacted. Plus 25 minutes of community dialogue where participants can listen and ask questions.

40 minute education session surrounding stress– this would cover some very basic and simple neuroscience regarding stress, ways that our thinking and productivity can sometimes be impacted as well as our social interactions or lack thereof and several ways to detect those signs of change in ourselves.

*25 minutes of community dialogue – listen or ask questions specific to your organization’s culture, overarching concerns during this time, and solution-focused strategies and techniques to minimize the intensity of the current global pandemic impact

DETAILS

Tomorrow, Thursday, 16 April, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Provided by the Maine Arts Commission. The workshop is free and open to anyone in the Maine arts community.

FACILITATOR

Originally from Maine, Winden Rowe (MS, NCC, LPC,) is a trauma therapist and public speaker who maintains a private practice in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. In this time of pandemic she has consulted with organizations, leading large-scale talks to employees and community members on how to manage the stress of shocking global change and was to engage self-care in a critical time.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

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Poetry Out Loud

March 22, 2020

Before the virus 

The Poetry Out Loud (POL) Maine State Finals he state finals took place at the Waterville Opera House on March 2. The following ten high school students proudly took their places after excelling at the classroom, school and regional level. If you click on their names you can hear parts of an interview and the student reciting.

Northern Maine Regional Champions

Southern Maine Regional Champions

Ella Shaffer, grade 10, Rangeley Lakes Regional School photo by Kate Philbrick, Sun Journal

At the time the students, their families and schools understood that one student would be selected to represent Maine at the POL National Finals. Each student was prepared to recite three poems. At the end of round two five state finalists were selected to recite their third poem from which one is the runner-up and one is the state champ. Grade 10 student from Rangeley Lakes Regional School Ella Shaffer was named the 2020 State Champ and Maine’s representative to travel to Washington, D.C. at the end of April. Ella did an amazing job reciting  “Sestina: Like” by A.E. Stallings, “I Eat Breakfast to Begin the Day” by Zubair Ahmed, “No, I wasn’t meant to love and be loved” by Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib.

Traditionally a school bus from Rangeley travels to the POL state finals with a group of students and their teachers to support their school representative and also participate as audience members. English teacher Tim Straub has been a huge supporter of his students and the program. Along with Sonja Johnson, art teacher who is amazing! Everyone can benefit from the experience. This year was no exception but it was the first time Rangeley traveled home with the POL State Champ. Those of us who live in a small town in Maine know how exciting this news was for the residents in Rangeley and you can see in the video (below) what that looked like to Ella’s dad on the night of March 3 returning to town. (Get out your tissues).

Sadly the Corona virus (COVID-19) has robbed Ella and her school community the opportunity to travel to D.C. at the end of April for the national event. Even though the national event has been canceled it doesn’t remove the pride that this community has for Ella! I’m sure her three poems will be with her everywhere she travels during her lifetime.

If your high school doesn’t participate in the Poetry Out Loud program you can learn more at the National Poetry Out Loud website. 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 and administered at the state level by the Maine Arts Commission.

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MAC Arts Learning Grants

March 18, 2020

Put together an idea to apply for now 

You may know that the Maine Arts Commission provides a variety of grants for the arts. Among the funding is a grant specifically for arts education called Arts Learning. The deadline is March 26, 2020 and the maximum that you can apply for is $5,000. You are required to match the total requested by 50% which can be in cash or in kind. The cycle for this funding is July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021.

The Arts Learning Grant provides funding to support schools and organizations for PK-12 arts education programs. This can be done through school programs, community arts education programs, curriculum planning, professional learning for arts educators, teaching artists, and teachers of all content. Applicants are encouraged to use teaching artists from the Maine Arts Commission’s Teaching Artist Roster.

Eligibility Requirements

All applicants must have an active Maine Arts Commission account and current Vendor Code to receive funding.  A school district or nonprofit organization is eligible to apply if they meet the following criteria:

  • Is an organization with a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service, is a public school district, or is a unit of municipal, county or tribal government in the state of Maine.
  • Is in compliance with Final Reports required by the Maine Arts Commission for previous awards.

 NOTE: A school must apply through its school district. All paperwork must be conducted through the Superintendent’s offices. Communications and funds will go directly to the district to then be delivered to the applying school. The Maine Arts Commission will not contract directly with individual schools. 

Ineligible Expenses: Grant awards may not be re-granted nor used to cover the costs of brick-and-mortar projects, permanent or capital equipment, operating support or fundraising.

Application Materials 

Incomplete applications will not be eligible for review. A completed application in the Grants Management System (GMS) must contain:

Online – Fields within the Grants Portal that will need to be completed

  • Complete answers to all narrative prompts (Required)
  • Completed project budget (Required)

Uploads – Up to a total of 10 pieces of support materials uploaded through the Grants Portal

  • Resumes, bios, or curriculum vitae for all key personnel (Required): This should  include resumes for teaching artists as well
  • One to three letters of support (Required): Letters from individuals or representatives of organizations or schools who can speak to their anticipated benefit from the project 
  • Lesson plans (Required): Teaching plans or the units showing learning outcomes and assessment tools 
  • Most current completed Form 990 (Required for nonprofit organizations)
  • Copy of IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter (Required for nonprofit organizations)
  • Artistic samples (Required): Images (up to five), audio or video materials (no more than 15 minutes in length), Prose samples (no more than 20 pages in length), poetry (no more than 5 poems), etc.
  • Collateral (Highly Recommended): Materials such as press reviews, articles, marketing materials, etc.

Vendor Code – An applicant must have a current Vendor Code to receive award funds

  • Your Vendor Code is a state assigned number that allows for payment processing. Please check your Maine Arts Commission User/Organization account to see if there is a number in the Vendor Code field. If the field is blank you will need to complete a Vendor Form with exactly the same name and contact information as used in the application. This must be provided to the agency prior to award notification and can be submitted through email, surface mail, or FAX. The form can be downloaded from the Grants Help page.

Application Questions

(To be completed in the GMS-grants management system) (All character counts include spaces)

  1. Describe your project idea in two to four sentences. (Max: 638 characters – about 100 words)
  2. How does your proposal align with the State of Maine Learning Results for Visual and Performing Arts or other relevant standards? (Max: 1,275 characters – about 175 words)
  3. Describe any partnership(s) and/or collaborative planning (Max: 1,275 characters – about 175 words)
  4. State the project objectives and plans for evaluating project success. If this is an ongoing program, share how you will demonstrate growth and expansion from previous iterations.  (Max: 1,275 characters – about 175 words)
  5. List the professional teachers and teaching artists participating in the project. Please summarize their professional experience(s). If applicable, describe the any professional development opportunities these teachers will receive.  . (Max: 1,275 characters – about 175 words)

Review Criteria

Arts Learning Grant applications are reviewed on a competitive basis using the following criteria:

  1. Quality of Project. (25%) 
  2. Alignment of project with State of Maine Learning Results for Visual and Performing Arts. (10%)
  3. Evidence of significant collaborative planning among teachers and other partners. (25%) 
  4. Description  of evaluation methodology with clear objectives and outcomes.  (20%)
  5. Assurance that the project will include certified, trained teaching artists and will provide professional development opportunities where appropriate.  (10%) 

Review Process

Applications are reviewed by panels of public members, selected for their expertise. All grant recommendations are presented to Maine Arts Commission members who approve the review process, making the grant official. The review process and delivery of funds may take up to six months. This means that grant funds may be used to reimburse costs which have been incurred for the project after the grant has been approved but prior to funds being disbursed.

Assistance

Agency staff are always here as a resource for you. We recommend contacting the correct staff person a minimum of two-weeks prior to submitting your application.

For specific questions about the Arts Learning program:
Please contact Martha Piscuskas, Director of Arts Education, at vog.eniam@saksucsiP.ahtraM or 207-287-2750.
For general questions about the application or review process:
Please contact Kerstin Gilg, Director of Grants and Accessibility, at kerstin.gilg@maine.gov or 207/ 287-6719 .
For questions about award payments:
Please contact Darren Henry, Director of Operations, at Darren.Henry@maine.gov or 207/ 287-2726.

APPLY NOW

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Ticket to Ride

February 5, 2020

Funding available once again

Great news for Maine educators seeking funding for field trips. Ticket to Ride, the Maine Arts Commission grant program that provides funding for schools wishing to travel to arts based venues and events is back! Grant applications are administered on a first come first serve basis, so don’t delay.

Ticket to Ride 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 travel should support student learning and be aligned with the visual and/or performing arts standards. Applications are accepted throughout the year. Funding will be made available approximately one month after an application is submitted. Schools may apply more than once a year as long as they are applying to attend a different event, bringing a different student population, or have not expended their eligible amount.

Any PK-12 school in Maine with a documented free and reduced lunch student population between 30 and 49 percent is eligible to receive support of up to $300 each school year. Any PK-12 school population of 50 percent or greater is eligible to receive up to $500 per school year. 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.

Eligibility Requirements

All applicants must have an active Maine Arts Commission account and current Vendor Code to receive funding.  A school district is eligible to apply if they meet the following criteria:

  • Is a public school district in the state of Maine.
  • Is in compliance with Final Reports required by the Maine Arts Commission for previous awards.

For more information and to apply go to the TICKET TO RIDE grants page on the Maine Arts Commission website.

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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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