Posts Tagged ‘National Endowment for the Arts’


Maine State POL Champ

March 21, 2018

Allan Monga, Deering High School Junior

They came, they recited, and they were AMAZING! Students from the following high schools were this year’s Poetry Out Loud finalists:

  • Abigail vanLuling, Grade 12, Gorham High School
  • Hanna Lavenson, Grade 10, Messalonskee High School
  • Lauren Farmer, Grade 10, Rangeley Lakes Regional School
  • Emma Lombardo, Grade 11, Westbrook High School
  • Nelson Peterson, Grade 12, Oak Hill High School
  • Lydia Caron, Grade 12, Bangor High School
  • Wyatt Bates, Grade 11, Yarmouth High School
  • Richard Hilscher, Grade 12, North Yarmouth Academy
  • Lauren Dodge, Grade 12, Lee Academy
  • Katharine Kemper, Grade 10, Camden Hills Regional High School
  • Allan Monga, Grade 11, Deering High School

You can listen to them recite from the regional finals held earlier this winter on the Maine Arts Commission site.

Allan Monga, Deering High School

Yahooooo for Allan Monga from Deering who is Maine’s 2018 State Champ.  The poems he recited at the Waterville Opera House on March 20th at the state finals included “The Song of the Smoke” by W.E.B. Du Bois, “She Walks in Beauty” by Lord Byron (George Gordon) and “In the Desert” by Stephen Crane. You can hear him recite “In the Desert” on Maine Public Radio.

The Maine Arts Commission is proud of all of the recipients and wish Allan the best at the national finals which will be held in Washington, D.C., on April  23-25. They will be live streamed – look for the link in a later blog post.

CONGRATULATIONS to Allan and all of the 9,500 students in schools across the state who participated this year. See hundreds of photos from the state finals on the Maine Arts Commission Facebook page.

Waterville High School jazz band under the direction of music educator Sue Barre provided music at the state finals

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. It begins in Maine’s schools where school champions are selected to compete in two regional finals at which ten students are ultimately selected to recite at the state finals. One student, the state champion, moves on from the state finals to represent Maine at the national finals in Washington D.C., where students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico will compete for a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends for the purchase of poetry books.

Lauren Dodge, Lee Academy

Charles Stanhope, Chair Maine Arts Commission, Allan Monga, Maine State Champion, Julie Richard, Executive Director, Maine Arts Commission


The Arts and the Economy

March 10, 2018

$760 Billion contributed to the US Economy

Washington, DCNew data released March 6 by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) offers an insightful picture of the impact the arts have on the nation’s economy. The arts contribute $763.6 billion to the U.S. economy, more than agriculture, transportation, or warehousing.  The arts employ 4.9 million workers across the country with earnings of over $370 billion. Furthermore, the arts exported $20 billion more than imported, providing a positive trade balance.

Produced by the BEA and NEA, the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACSPA) tracks the annual economic impact of arts and cultural production from 35 industries, both commercial and non-profit. The ACPSA reports on economic measures—value-added to gross domestic product (GDP) as well as employment and compensation. For the first time, the report also includes the arts impact on state economies as contributions to gross state product (GSP). The numbers in this report are from 2015, the most recent reporting year.

“The robust data present in the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account show through hard evidence how and where arts and culture contribute value to the economies of communities throughout the nation,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “The data confirm that the arts play a meaningful role in our daily lives, including through the jobs we have, the products we purchase, and the experiences we share.”



  • For all national findings, see this arts data profile.
  • The arts contributed $763.6 billion to the U.S. economy in 2015, 4.2 percent of GDP and counted 4.9 million workers, who earned $372 billion in total compensation.
  • The arts added four times more to the U.S. economy than the agricultural sector and $200 billion more than transportation or warehousing.
  • The arts saw a $20 billion trade surplus, leading with movies and TV programs and jewelry.
  • The arts trended positively between 2012 and 2015 with an average growth rate of 2.6 percent, slightly higher than 2.4 percent for the nation’s overall economy. Between 2014 and 2015, the growth rate was 4.9 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars.

By Industry

  • Among the fastest-growing industries within the ACPSA are web-streaming and web-publishing, performing arts presenting, design, and architectural services.
  • Tax-exempt performing arts organizations (those producing art and those presenting the art of others) contributed $9 billion to the U.S. economy and employed 90,000 workers, who earned $5.6 billion in total compensation.
  • Consumers spent $31.6 billion on admissions to performing arts events, $1 billion more than projected.
  • The value added by performing arts presenting (tax-exempt and for-profit) rose by 9.5 percent during the recent three-year period.

By State

The value-added to a state’s economy defined as contributions to the GSP is noted for individual ACPSA industries and the states in which that industry ranked above the national average. For example, as a percentage of GSP, Nevada is at the top for performing arts companies and Louisiana follows only California and New York as the premiere state for movie production. For all state findings, see this arts data profile. Other leading states are:

  • Graphic design in Illinois contributed $589.5 billion to GSP, 69 percent above the national rate.
  • Architectural services in Massachusetts added $804.6 million, 73% greater than the national rate.
  • Industrial design in Michigan added $429 million, 9 times the national rate.
  • Jewelry manufacturing in Rhode Island is $224 million, 33 times the national rate
    Art‐related printing in Wisconsin contributed $530.9 million to the state’s economy, four times greater than the national rate.

In a research brief looking at rural states, North Carolina and Tennessee had the largest rural arts economies with value-added from rural areas in both states totaling more than $13 billion.

In a research brief about the fastest-growing arts economies, Washington State and Utah topped the list with average annual growth rates over five percent between 2012 and 2015.

More state examples are on the State Highlights Fact Sheet.


The NEA, BEA, and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies have developed resources to help users navigate the data.

  • A Key to Industries describes the 35 ACPSA industries and the percentage and amount of economic value ascribed to each.
  • The NEA created five research briefs featuring national and state overviews, plus special topic areas:

o   The Economic Contributions of Tax-Exempt Performing Arts Organizations 

o   Rural State Arts Economies

o   Three Years of Fast-Growing Arts Industries at the State-Level

  • Through an award from the NEA, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies produced an interactive dashboard that allows users to explore key information for individual states.
  • The Bureau of Economic Analysis’s state fact sheets feature ACPSA value-added, employment, compensation, top industries, trends, and rankings for 50 states and the District of Columbia.
  • Two interactive infographics produced by the NEA offer a quick and fun look at national and state data.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Please visit


Statewide Data Infrastructure Project

January 25, 2018

Taking the Lead

This was published on January 4, 2018 on the National Endowment for the Arts blog.


Maine Poetry Out Loud

December 11, 2017

Poets go to school

The Poetry Out Loud (POL) program is underway across Maine and the country. Over 10,000 Maine high students are selecting their poems, furiously memorizing and practicing them for themselves, their classmates, and their teachers.

Maine has 48 high schools participating this year, 10 new to POL. At some schools every student, grade 9-12 participates. Maine is repeatedly one of the states with the highest participation and this year will be no exception.  The 2017 Maine State Champ, Gabrielle Cooper, attended Gardiner Area High School; one of the schools where all students participate every year. Three of the new schools this year were fortunate to have

Winthrop High School students with Gibson Fay-LeBlanc

poets visit them to work with students and teachers. Portland’s fifth Poet Laureate, Gibson Fay-LeBlanc provided a workshop at Winthrop High School and Hampshire County Council’s Hampshire Poet Brian Evans-Jones provided workshops at Herman High School and Van Buren District Secondary School.

Students had a chance to experiment with their voices and ‘try out’ their poems for feedback. Both Gibson and Brian are on the MAC Teaching Artist roster and available to provide workshops for schools and community organizations.

Brian at Hermon High School

Thanks to all of the teachers who are working with students across Maine. I was thrilled to be at Hermon High School for the workshops. Brian led the students through exercises to help prepare their voices and their confidence. He said: “It’s important to understand your poem. The better you understand your poem the better you communicate the meaning and with that comes confidence.” Even listening to students recite their poems 2 and 3 times, I could hear their confidence rise.

Poetry Out Loud (POL) 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.  This exciting program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage. Maine’s POL represent public and private high schools as well as high school homeschooling populations.

You have a chance to learn more about POL in Maine. The Maine Arts Commission invites you to attend the regional and state finals.

  • The Northern Maine Regional Finals will be held on Monday, February 12, 2018, 3:00 p.m. at the Hampden Academy Performing Arts Center, Hampden. The snow date is Tuesday, February 13, 2018, 3:00 PM. Hampden Academy, Regional School Unit #22, is an in-kind sponsor of this event.
  •  The Southern Maine Regional Finals will be held on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, 3:00 p.m. at the Westbrook Middle School Performing Arts Center, Westbrook. The snow date is Thursday, March 1, 2018, 3:00 p.m.
  • The Maine State Finals will be held on Monday, March 12, 2018 at the Waterville Opera House, 93 Main Street, Waterville. The snow date is Tuesday, March 13, 2018. Doors open to the public at 2:30 p.m. and the event begins at 3:00 p.m. No tickets are required. The event is free and all are welcome to attend. We anticipate that the event will conclude by approximately 5:00 p.m.

Working with teachers at Hermon High School

Learn more about the POL program at the national site or at the Maine Arts Commission POL webpages. If you teach or live near a high school that does not participate please plan on joining the program in the 2018-19 school year. Email Argy Nestor if you have any questions about how to get involved!



National Songwriting Challenge

October 12, 2017

Opportunity for high school studentsPresented by the National Endowment for the Arts. Partnering with the American Theatre Wing and in collaboration with Playbill, Inc. and Disney Theatrical Productions.

The Songwriting Challenge is a national songwriting competition open to high school students who have a passion for writing songs of any musical style that could be part of a musical theater production. The Challenge offers six semi-finalists mentorship opportunities with professional songwriters and musicians during an intense weekend workshop in New York City in April. At the end of that weekend, the performance of the students’ songs by those musicians and singers will be judged by a panel of esteemed musical theater artists as the final competition and webcast live. One of the six will be selected as the national champion and finalists will be awarded scholarships.

For additional guidelines, timing, and details please visit our application portal. Students can also find additional video resources to watch and utilize as inspiration when applying.

Click here for more information on how to apply!

The Songwriting Challenge is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts, partnering with the American Theatre Wing and in collaboration with Playbill, Inc. and Disney Theatrical Productions.

Please help us spread the word about this exciting opportunity for our young artists. To make sharing this information easier, find a downloadable poster (11X14).

If you have any questions, please contact Interim Director of Programs at the American Theatre Wing, Megan Kolb at (If you have a specific question regarding filling out the application please email


Farnsworth to Unveil Mural

August 31, 2017

During September First Friday


Farnsworth to Unveil Mural – During September First Friday

On Friday, September 1, during the First Friday art walk, there will be a special mural unveiling of a new mural arts project on School Street, on the wall of the Grasshopper Shop in downtown Rockland, which is a partnership between the Farnsworth’s Education Department and mural director Alexis Iammarino. The gathering will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m., on School Street, between Main and Union Streets, with a public remarks scheduled for 6 p.m. This is the eighth consecutive year that the Farnsworth has participated in First Fridays, thanks to a sponsorship from the First National Bank. During First Fridays, the museum is open free of charge to the public from 5 to 8 p.m.

The mural arts project has been made possible thanks in part to a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The purpose of this community project is to engage local youth in creating public art in downtown Rockland. The project has been guided by local community mural artist Alexis Iammarino. She was joined by Canadian-born mural artist Melissa Luk, who has created mural projects on multiple continents, most recently in the west-African nation of Gabon. The mural was also completed with help of local artists and volunteers of all ages, the youngest of which was 7 and the oldest 80 years old. The mural unveiling will celebrate the efforts of all those involved, give the public the opportunity to meet the artists, and toast this new addition to the cultural vibrancy of Rockland’s downtown. Free ice cream will be provided by the Grasshopper Shop.

For more information on this project, please visit the museum website at or call the museum’s Education Department at 207-596-0949.

Contact: David Troup, ext 128,



December 8, 2016


“I remember one of my first weeks at Google, riding home on the subway, and realizing that every single person was looking at their mobile device, and what a cultural responsibility we had to make those experiences great.” — Rob Giampietro, creative lead of Google Designscreen-shot-2016-12-01-at-9-49-47-am

Rob has a passion for interactive design and understands the power of “interdisciplinary colleagues”. He works to find a balance in technology and the creative process. This article exemplifies and may clarify why the importance of thinking globally about learning and creativity. Rob is part of the first generation of digital natives. I found it interesting to read about how he approaches work and the work he is doing.

CLICK HERE to read the entire article written by Sarah Burford for the National Endowment for the Arts Magazine. Please consider sharing the article with your students – could be very inspirational and open up possibilities!

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