Posts Tagged ‘Maine’

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Who Are They?: Celebration Barn – Part 5

April 28, 2016

Producing

This blog post is part of a series called Who Are They? where information is provided for the Maine Arts Ed blog readers to learn about community organizations and institutions that provide educational opportunities in the arts. You will learn that they are partnering with other organizations and schools to extend learning opportunities, not supplant. Please consider ways in which you can collaborate to provide excellent arts education for all learners.

This is the last of 5 blog posts about Celebration Barn which is located at 190 Stock Farm Rd, South Paris, ME. Thanks to Ian Bannon for providing the posts.

Celebration Barn Theater has a long history of producing new work that is crafted, innovative, and wildly alive. In the 70’s and 80’s the Barn’s founder, Tony Montanaro, trained and directed ensembles of touring performers in addition to helping individual artists create compelling works that are uniquely their own.

he Last Hurrah at Camp Maine Photo by Davin Currie

he Last Hurrah at Camp Maine
Photo by Davin Currie

The tradition continues with Amanda Huotari at the helm as Celebration Barn’s Artistic and Executive Director. Last summer, NYC’s Jeff Wirth wrote and directed The Last Hurrah at Camp Maine, a comic summer camp reunion. Celebration Barn’s property played the role of the oldest summer camp in the state as the story unfolded all over the grounds and all around the audience.

Those of you who participated in the performance experienced firsthand the power of Jeff Wirth’s unique brand of interactive theater. It was met with such rave reviews from our audience that we have invited Jeff back to the Barn this summer to teach and present his latest creation: StoryBox.

StoryBox-1024x753The StoryBox itself is a multi-tech stage designed specifically for interactive performances- where live performance seamlessly integrates with improvisational lighting, soundscapes, and video streaming.

Jeff will bring together an ensemble of interactive performers during a week-long intensive training at Celebration Barn. The ensemble members will emerge as, “‘quintuple threat’ performers, combining skills in acting, dramatic improvisation, story structure, social psychology, and technology.”

Inter-actors employ these skills to empower the audience members, referred to as spect-actors, to play and direct the action of each scene. Audience members are invited to engage in whatever way they are most comfortable. They may choose to participate or sit back and enjoy the show as usual.

We can’t wait to see what Jeff–and all of you spect-actors–have in store for us this summer!

For more information about Celebration Barn Theater workshops, visit their by CLICKING HERE.

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Who Are They?: Celebration Barn – Part 4

April 21, 2016

Summer performance series

This blog post is part of a series called Who Are They? where information is provided for the Maine Arts Ed blog readers to learn about community organizations and institutions that provide educational opportunities in the arts. You will learn that they are partnering with other organizations and schools to extend learning opportunities, not supplant. Please consider ways in which you can collaborate to provide excellent arts education for all learners.

This is the fourth of 5 blog posts about Celebration Barn which is located at 190 Stock Farm Rd, South Paris, ME. Thanks to Ian Bannon for providing the posts.

Celebration Barn’s Summer Show Series offers Western Maine audiences the opportunity to experience original performances by a diverse range of world-class touring artists. From masterful physical comedy to powerful storytelling, and off-the-wall improvisation to unforgettable spectacle, each Saturday night performance offers a truly unique experience. offer local, statewide and national audiences the opportunity to experience original performances by a diverse range of world-class touring artists.

Happenstance Theater's Brouhaha, coming to Celebration Barn on August 20, 2016

Happenstance Theater’s Brouhaha, coming to Celebration Barn on August 20, 2016

Our 2016 Summer Show Series will feature Mike Miclon’s The Early Evening Show on the First Saturday of every month: June 4, July 2, August 6, September 3 & October 1! See what made this Western Maine gem the longest running variety show in the state.

Tickets are typically $14 adults, $12 seniors (60+) and $8 kids (17 and under), unless special event pricing is indicated. Seating is general admission. Purchasing tickets in advance is highly recommended. Shows begin at 8:00 PM (unless otherwise noted). Doors open 30 minutes before showtime.

Tickets can be purchased anytime online at http://www.celebrationbarn.com/shows-at-the-barn/ or Monday-Saturday from 9:30-12:30 via telephone at Celebration Barn’s Box Office: (207) 743-8452.

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In Today’s News

March 13, 2016

Maine Sunday Telegram

Read the following articles in the Maine Sunday Telegram and Portland Press Herald:

From the Portland Museum of Art’s Youth Art Month exhibition, “Teenage Angst” by Caitlyn Duffy, a 12th grade student of art teacher Chris Crosby at Gorham High School. Courtesy photo

From the Portland Museum of Art’s Youth Art Month exhibition, “Teenage Angst” by Caitlyn Duffy, a 12th grade student of art teacher Chris Crosby at Gorham High School. Courtesy photo

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In Today’s News

February 5, 2016

Doodle winner sister of Doodle winner

Albert Hall 5th grader continues school, family Doodle 4 Google streak. Karin Zimba is the Maine winner of the Internet search engine’s annual doodle contest; her sister, at the same school, won in 2014.

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Read the entire article by clicking here https://www.centralmaine.com/2016/02/05/albert-hall-fourth-grader-continues-school-and-family-doodle-4-google-streak/.

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Theatre Conference

September 26, 2015

UMaine, Orono

The Maine Educational Theatre Conference is on the move!  The annual fall conference for high school students will be held this year at the beautiful facilities of the University of Maine at Orono on Friday, October 16.  Visit www.northeastthespians.org/maine.html for more information or contact Rick Osann, State Director at rosann@bonnyeagle.org.

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Teaching Artist Roster

July 14, 2015
Arts-84

Gretchen Berg, Teaching Artist

MAC webpage updated

The Maine Arts Commission is thrilled to have 14 new Teaching Artists profiles added to the roster. The roster was established in December 2014 to provide a space for Teaching Artists to communicate about their offerings in educational settings included PK-12 classrooms. In December 27 artists were included. The roster is located at https://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Teaching-Artist-Roster.

Congratulations to the following artists who have been added recently.

Anne Alexander

Beverly Mann

Carin Lee

Chrissy Fowler

Dee Peppe

Judy Fricke

Laurie Downey

Leland Faulkner

Martin Steingesser

Michael Wingfield

Reba Short

Sandi Cirillo

Theresa Secord

 The Maine Arts Commission encourages school districts to connect with Teaching Artists to enhance their local visual and performing arts curriculum and to provide students the opportunity to connect with working artists.

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In Today’s News

June 20, 2015

Great article about Karen Renton

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Karen Renton joins her pupils in an exciting and action-packed song called “Sasha.” Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

In Yarmouth, music teacher’s 34-year career ends on a high note – article from the Portland Press Herald, June 19, 2015. Written by Leslie Bridgers and located at http://www.pressherald.com/?p=660790. I love this article since it describes so well an elementary music class.

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MAAI Resource Team

June 11, 2015

Amazing resources available soon

The Resource Team meeting by Zoom updating each other on their progress

The Resource Team meeting by Zoom updating each other on their progress

During the last few months the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) Resource Team has been working to create more resources for the ‘bank’. The quality and variety of information contained in this second series of resources is very impressive. During the next couple of weeks the six team members are putting the finishing touches on their resources. They will be unveiled at the MAAI Summer Institute in early August.

Catherine Ring from the New England Institute for Teacher Education is the Project Manager, contracted by the Maine Arts Commission to oversee the work. Members of the 2015 Resource Bank Team include:  Theresa Cerceo (Frenchville), Patti Gordan (Raymond), Danette Kerrigan (Hiram), John Morris (Bridgton), Jake Sturtevant (Buxton), and Sarah Swain (Westbrook).

The Team has been meeting through Zoom video conferencing.  They’ve shared ideas, documents, and videos and provided each other with feedback as critical friends. It has been an amazing process to watch as the teachers have created their resources and shared them with each other. This years resources will contain documents as well as videos which we hope will provide greater clarity for educators accessing the resources. Last years resources are available at http://maairesourcebank.pbworks.com/w/page/82916230/MAAI%20Resource%20Bank.

This week we had a Zoom meeting with MAAI Leadership Team members, Rob Westerberg and Barb Vinal, to get their technology expertise on where to store the many resources so they are shareable and searchable. There is a lot of work behind the scenes, by MAAI Teacher Leaders and Leadership Team.

 

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Who Are They?: MECA, Part 6

April 15, 2015

Maine College of Art

This blog post is part of a series called Who Are They? where information is provided for the Maine Arts Ed blog readers to learn about community organizations and institutions that provide educational opportunities in the arts. You will learn that they are partnering with other organizations and schools to extend learning opportunities, not supplant.

Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 12.42.14 PMThis is the sixth and final post as part of this series on the Maine College of Art (MECA) which is located in downtown Portland. Thank you to Raffi Der Simonian
rdersimonian@meca.edu, Director of Marketing & Communications for his help in putting this series together.

The final post includes information about MECAs new music and art program which received $3 million to kickstart the program. Learn about it in this video from Ian Anderson, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College.

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Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Frances Kellogg

April 14, 2015

MAAI Teacher Leader series

This is the ninth and last blog post for 2015 on the Phase 4 Maine Arts Assessment Initiative’s (MAAI) Teacher Leaders sharing their stories. This series contains a set of questions to provide the opportunity for you to learn from and about others. You can learn more about MAAI at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/MAAI# and learn more about all 61 of the MAAI Teacher Leaders at http://www.maineartsassessment.com/#!teacher-leaders/c1qxk.

4747f3_d808375765484117b6ae1b7e8f05a0cf.jpg_srz_p_147_138_75_22_0.50_1.20_0Frances Kellogg currently teaches K-3 classroom music and grades 6-8 chorus at Ellsworth Elementary Middle School.  She has taught in Ellsworth for the last three years.  Frances has just over 400 students and sees them twice each week for a total of 60 minutes. Previously, she taught PreK-6 classroom music and 3-8 chorus at Jay Elementary School and Spruce Mountain Middle School. This is her eighth year as a music teacher in Maine. Frances received her B.M.E. from the University of Maine at Orono in 2007, and currently performs with the University Percussion Ensemble there.

What do you like best about being a music educator?

I love to see students get inspired and have fun. I hear so many teachers say how much they wish they could do more creative things in their classrooms, but can’t because there isn’t time–often due to curriculum or testing. I get to watch my students unleash their creativity and give them the chance to think outside the box, while still teaching and giving them the information they need. I love it when my students draw a connection between music and ANYTHING else–their classroom, home, visual art, or physical education–when they make that connection, they get more excited about what we are learning and also remember more of what we are learning .

What do you believe are three keys to ANY successful visual and performing arts education?

A supportive community is a major key to a successful arts education:  support from the students’ parents, teachers, and administration. But building that support needs flexibility and a willingness to be a part of it. Make yourself seen at a parade or a baseball game can make all the difference to a student or the community as a whole. Being willing to adapt the framing of a lesson to be more interesting to your students can make the difference between a lesson they will forget and a lesson they will ask to repeat again.

How have you found assessment to be helpful to you in your classroom?

Assessment has given me a way to know not only what my students are learning, but also how well I am teaching. I have long used assessment as a tool for measuring student knowledge, but have more recently learned how to use assessment as feedback for my teaching. If the students aren’t grasping a concept, what do I need to change? What has worked and what hasn’t?  t has been quite the eye-opening adventure for me.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the arts assessment initiative?

Joining MAAI has been a huge growth experience for me. I took a leap, with both feet, into a leadership role which was new territory for me. The greatest benefit of all has been a chance to communicate and collaborate with other arts teachers around the state. I have been very fortunate to not be the only music teacher in my district, but I have often been the only music teacher at my level (elementary vs. high school or middle school). It’s been great to be able to talk with other elementary music teachers and to hear their ideas and perspectives, while at the same time being able to share my own. In addition, MAAI has given me a huge boost of confidence when talking with other arts educators which has in turn given me more confidence in working with other educators at my own school.

What are you most proud of in your career?

My growth. When I first started teaching, I taught things that I thought were fun and would interest students; a lot of them being things I remembered from when I was a kid or things that I learned in college. I tested students on the things I thought they should have learned and never really used them to learn about my teaching. Now, eight years later, I have learned to work with a curriculum, to use assessments with my students to give them and myself feedback, to adapt my lessons to interest my students while still teaching and/or reviewing the concepts that need to be learned, and to still have fun while learning. Looking back eight years, I see a transformation that I am truly proud of and I certainly hope it will continue.

What gets in the way of being a better teacher or doing a better job as a teacher?

Negativity. With all the seemingly overwhelming changes happening in education in Maine right now, it’s easy to get sucked in to people complaining or griping or worrying. The only way to fight it is to be positive!

What have you accomplished through hard work and determination that might otherwise appear at first glance to be due to “luck” or circumstances?

A good image. I started out as a nervous and anxious, fresh out of college kid who needed guidance. I didn’t know how to run a music program, or create/work with a curriculum, or put together concerts. I needed a lot of help (or at least it felt like it) when I first started. But I worked hard: I listened to what people told me about what they thought I should do and “how we’ve always done it”, and in the end, I made my own educated choices about what to do.  Whether it was having concerts in the evening vs. during the school day, or giving students the opportunity to earn their recorder to keep (rather than just giving it to them), or taking the risk to ask for funding for a new idea; I was able to make those decisions based on what I had learned. When I left my first job and came to Ellsworth, I had already started down this path, so I had a better idea of what I should do and how I should act and ask for things.

Look into your crystal ball: what advice would you give to teachers?

Listen to your students. When my students ask if we can learn about something, I try to find a way to make it happen. Last year, one classroom of third grade students asked if we could sing a song about the environment because they were learning about the rainforest and ecology in their classrooms. So, I found a song that not only focused on saving the environment, but also taught students how to listen for a read two part harmony. Another classroom asked about rap; we discussed what students think rap is vs. what it is (and what it can be), and each classroom wrote a rap together. These two activities were some of the most enjoyable things I taught, because the students were so involved in the process.

If you were given $500,000.00 to do with whatever you please, what would it be?

I would split it. Keeping some for myself, I would do some serious house renovations: new kitchen counters, painting, a front deck with a hot tub, and a temperature controlled room for musical instrument storage and enjoyment. With the rest, I would find the right way to invest it in bringing programs and visiting artists into schools, both the school I work for and other schools in my area.

Imagine you are 94 years old. You’re looking back. Do you have any regrets?

None. At that point, I will have had a chance to do what I always dreamed of in life:  teach. If I can inspire just one person, then I have done what I needed to do, and that is something to be proud of.

 

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