Posts Tagged ‘Side X Side’

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Meet Mia

July 6, 2022

Mia Bogyo, Education Programs Manager, CMCA

I was so happy to have a lengthy conversation with Mia Bogyo and to learn her story. Mia has a bubbly personality and is an enthusiastic creative person who approaches each task at hand positively. When Mia smiles it is with her whole being. She is totally committed to her work in art education and applies her energy so everyone benefits. Her story…

Mia Bogyo uses the pronouns, she/her and is the Education Programs Manager at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) in Rockland. Mia’s high school experience at George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill heavily influenced her pathway to art making and teaching. She was able to take advantage of all the programming that Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle had to offer high school students.

Mia at work!

Mia went to the University of Southern Maine (USM), started in the Studio Arts program and then switched to the Art and Entrepreneurship program. During her freshman year she was involved with Oak Street Studios (downtown Portland) and Side X Side and really loved teaching with both programs. She was experimenting with teaching in the community arts programming and in-school/out of school and after school programs. With further consideration she had the choice of majoring in the community art education program or study for a BFA with a K-12 certification. She jumped into the art education program and continued doing some teaching at Oak Street Studios and Side X Side, gaining in-depth experiences. She taught during the school year as well as during the summer. She student taught at Oceanside Elementary School in Portland, Falmouth Middle School, and Casco Bay High School in Portland and graduated in 2018 which gave her comprehensive experiences to help her consider public school teaching or a community education pathway.

USM has agreements with Maine College of Art + Design (MECA+D) and Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) which enables students learning opportunities at all three campuses. Mia traveled to Greece with a MECA+D study abroad summer program.

PUBLIC SCHOOL EXPERIENCE

Mia took on a long-term substitute position at Canal Elementary School in Westbrook. She was contracted for three months and it turned into six. The experience provided something that she couldn’t possibly have planned for. She was impressed with the Westbrook art education program and received a great deal of support while there. She had the chance to attend department meetings with the K-12 art staff and she had ongoing communication with department chair Rachel Somerville who provided incredible support. She even had the chance to advise a student teacher from Maine College of Art + Design. This was a unique experience, chaotic at times, however, between the student population and the support she was provided, everyday was an adventure. She was inspired and walked away with a new confidence and clarity a direction.

She also taught at the Gorham Arts Alliance in their pre-school and after school programs. This experience provided Mia a better understanding of younger learners which was invaluable. This gave her the confidence to work with young children. Soon after she left there, the pre-school became more a part of the public school. Mia views this positively because it helps facilitate a sequential art education program starting at a younger age. Schools adjust their art programs since students have art education prior to kindergarten.

MOVE TO ROCKLAND

Two and half years ago Mia moved to Rockland and visited CMCA to learn about their programming. She was impressed with their educational offerings and that most of it was being facilitated by a volunteer, Sandy Weisman. They had a serious conversation about CMCA’s five year plan which included a comprehensive art education program. Mia’s philosophy and CMCA’s were so aligned that they offered her the position of Education Programs Manager. She is grateful for the mentoring that Sandy provided and for her collaborative ongoing work with Community Arts Instructor Alexis Iammarino, who oversees the ‘Arts @ Work’ program.

Look Inside program

CMCA EDUCATION PROGRAMS, for all ages

VISION – Dedicated to promoting dynamic engagement with contemporary art and artists, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art offers programs that fuel the imagination, stimulate forward thinking, and cultivate conversation.

The priority is to develop programming that:

  • Expands access to the new ideas and modes of expression inherent in contemporary art
  • Provides authentic and experiential art education that engages local artists as teachers and mentors
  • Empowers individuals to explore their own capacities as creative thinkers and makers

CMCA learning programs:

  • Art Lab – Offering hands-on education programs year round for all ages.
    • Look Inside specifically geared to K-12 school visits, created by professional museum educators and assisted trained volunteer education staff, invites students to look at and understand the world in new ways. The program strengthens the following:
      • Visual literacy
      • Interdisciplinary learning
      • Deep and thoughtful looking
      • Hands-on creating making
    • Expanded program supporting K-12 school visits and professional development for Maine art teachers online and in person
    • February and April school vacation workshops
    • Summer Art Camp facilitated by guest teaching artists
  • Arts @ Work is a free mentorship program connecting high school students across the mid-coast region to arts leadership, career development, volunteer opportunities and studio practice development. This program is facilitated by Community Arts Instructor Alexis Iammarino.
  • Community Partners are plentiful at CMCA which help to connect artists of all ages, races, genders, socio-economic status, and abilities to contemporary artwork and artists.
Mia leading Look Inside program

PANDEMIC

The pandemic offered Mia and CMCA some challenges along with opportunities. They quickly shifted to online offerings. They built over 1,300 art kits with each kit being attached to one lesson. Over time students participating collected tons of ideas and materials. Parents are grateful for the quality art supplies to help steer their child while at home and most likely will last for a very long time. They worked with the local teen shelter providing art kits while they were doing food distribution.

Covid influenced and impacted decisions and direction. They are building on the challenges. Returning from the pandemic to in-person has been a different kind of challenge. They continue to offer online opportunities and will not lose what they learned during the most difficult part of the pandemic. They have streamlined their communication. CMCA is the only organization in the area providing online. They are now very open for schools and love having groups visit.

The other big learning is that they are clear that “creativity can be a step away from technology now.” They used technology to engage people while simultaneously making and offering the art kits, serving all ages, PreK through adults. Since it was difficult to get kids online they pre-recorded the lessons and the local school district communicated the information to students.

The instruction reached quite a distance during the pandemic. Schools as far away as Machias and Kennebunk participated during the heart of the pandemic. CMCA provided virtual tours and workshops. Perhaps due to the pandemic programs with classroom teachers are growing.

Mia has connected with the teachers at Harbor School and George Stevens Academy and provides workshops for students there.

Artlab

SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIPS, OPPORTUNITIES

CMCA has a free membership for Rockland residents. In many cases this starts with the teacher and the local schools.

CMCA is at a turning point, growing from what they’ve learned about young and adult learners. They are diversifying their teaching staff and including artists from the mid-coast. Many are interested in teaching and sharing what they do. Covid has shown that teachers, formally trained or not, can and wants to give back. Adult community members are interested in learning from an expert.

Mia teaches the elementary and middle school gifted and talented program in RSU 13 (Rockland) which she teaches at the school. The students also visit the CMCA shows throughout the school year.

The After School program involves partnering with the local schools through their 21st century program.

Rockland High School program is called ‘Arts at Work’, established in 2017, and CMCA partners with that program. Teaching artist, Alexis Iammarino facilitates this program. Internship for high school students at CMCA, focusing on the community. Alexis also oversees the mural program in the summer as lead artist for Arts in Action, which has been painting murals for several years in public spaces throughout Rockland. The town is being visually transformed thanks to the murals these young people have created with Alexis.

The ArtLab portion will expand to be more community based space for teaching artists.

CMCA is building on their relationship with the Mid-coast School of Technology. Together they are considering alternative learning spaces with an interest in the Graphic Design and Film programs offered at the school.

CMCA is part of the RSU 13 Youth Alliance. The organization is made up of more than 15 organizations who put out a newsletter and meet monthly. The organizations are located in the mid-coast, from Rockland to Camden, and are connected with youth, trying to build connections with youth and/or provide opportunities for youth. The group also supports each other by checking in with members to learn what is needed for youth, to help address struggles and to understand what is being heard from youth.

Mia leading Third Sunday

MAEA RELATIONSHIP

Mia works closely with Maine Art Education Association, hosting conferences and communicating about the resources that CMCA has for educators. She enjoys exploring this together with teachers and providing professional development in a collaborative manner, planning and implementing.

SUMMER

CMCA is 70 years old and the 5th year that they’ve been in their new facility in Rockland. On the 3rd Sunday of the month they have Sunday tours. In partnership with the Farnsworth Art Museum this summer they are offering joint field trips for children and summer camp programs for children in RSU13. Mia is honored that organizations wish to collaborate with CMCA but focusing on the numbers is a priority for them. And, getting everyone on the same timeline is a challenge.

LOOKING AHEAD

The education portion of CMCA will continue to grow while being mindful of their mission and goals. They will hire a part-time employee (10-15 hires a week) to help maintain the programs that they are currently housing. In Mia’s own words: “It is so exciting to have new work that turns over, exciting to have this space to use, exciting to make connections. I am wanting to do (provide programming for). “I am always reminding myself to slow down.”

Thank you Mia for providing so much information for the blog readers so they can learn (more) about you and the education programs at CMCA.

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Visiting Gretchen

January 30, 2017

Physical Theater

img_4991Gretchen Berg has been a teaching artist for 35 years and she is excellent at what she does! I had the opportunity to visit her in Portland at the Riverton School a couple of weeks ago while she was doing a program under Side X Side.

I walked into a classroom of 4th graders who were sitting on the floor with Gretchen sharing ideas on ‘extreme weather’. She asked them: “share something with me that you’ve learned about the weather. Something that if a 3rd grader heard it, they would say: “WOW”! Students were anxious to share and by the time Gretchen was finished she had at least 3 pages of notes and ideas. This was STEAM in action!

Gretchen spent time with the students moving around the room, freezing, and unfreezing, listening and watching each other. The students became more and more careful about moving in the space and were attentive to their classmates. Gretchen spoke softly and I noticed the students were very attentive.

img_4985She had them working individually and transferred into working collaboratively. All the while preparing for the next steps. Gretchen will take their ideas and write a script for the students that is not only interesting but age appropriate in every way.

Gretchen meets with each of the three classes of grade 4 students six different times for 60 minutes. The final class meeting is for the quick rehearsal for the final performance. The culminating performance is during an afternoon with parents and family members invited to attend.

While in Portland visiting Gretchen I also had a chance to meet with the folks at Side X Side to learn more about their program. Side X Side is an educational nonprofit with a mission to promote engaged learning, critical thinking, problem solving and exploration while enhancing K-12 content curriculum through innovative, collaborative, creative, multi-disciplinary programming. On December 11, 2016 I included a blog post on the Side X Side program. Please check it out to learn more.

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Side X Side

December 11, 2016

Portland arts program

screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-7-32-27-pmSide X Side is an educational nonprofit with a mission to promote engaged learning, critical thinking, problem solving and exploration while enhancing K-12 content curriculum through innovative, collaborative, creative, multi-disciplinary programming.

About
Side x Side puts curiosity & engagement back into learning through innovative educational programming that cultivates creativity and collaboration.

Company Overview
Side x Side was created to provide educators, college interns, and K-12 students with a distinctive, creative framework to facilitate interdisciplinary, engaged learning through a multi-dimentional, platform. Within our programming, we cultivate intergenerational partnerships and professional relationships while activating long term collaborations between educators, students, visiting experts, and artists.

General Information
Imagine a classroom buzzing with excited students learning from a marine biologist about oceans, plankton, and the life cycle of an osprey. Picture students conducting scientific research, then building an interactive, 3-d installation of a living ocean with the expertise of a local sculptor. Visualize meaningful collaborations between classroom teachers, teaching artists, professional experts, and university interns. Now envision an entire school “a buzz”, where students are animated, engaged in hands-on learning, skilled at critical thinking, and exploring and developing the competencies necessary to thrive in the 21st century. This is the vision of SideXSide!

screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-9-59-28-amAwards
• U. S. Department of Education Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination Grant, 2014

• The Portland Education Foundation in partnership with Reiche Community School

• Donors Choose in conjunction with Mrs. Fox and the second grade team at Reiche Community School

• Portland Public Schools Envirologix STEM grant in conjunction with Mrs. Fox and the second grade team at Reiche Community School

Side x Side Professional Development

Side x Side’s Arts Institute develops comprehensive professional development programs for elementary school teachers. Through continuous professional development opportunities, Side x Side empowers teachers and cultivates a meaningful understanding of the impact of arts integration and its application in the classroom.

Side x Side’s professional development programs are designed with both art and classroom teachers to include relevant pedagogy, content and standards. This collaboration demonstrates how well-designed arts projects can form the basis of an interdisciplinary instructional approach that incorporates contemporary learning standards into all academic subject areas.

Side x Side’s professional development strives to:

Provide classroom teachers instruction in and exposure to various art forms applicable to their teaching and curriculum design in order to meet the needs of all students.
Help redefine how students access, engage with and demonstrate their knowledge of the curriculum.
Support relationships that help foster sustainable community-based education practices through the placement of teaching artists and content experts in k-12 classrooms.
Side x Side offered a Summer Arts Institute in June 2015, its first professional development conference for elementary school teachers and also held school-specific workshops in October last year.

For more information contact: info@sidexside.com or visit the “For Teachers” page. Side X Side is located at 636 Congress St., Portland.

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