Posts Tagged ‘statewide conference’


Conference Participants Say it Best!

October 30, 2013

Comments from the field

IMG_3675The following are comments from teachers about their experiences at the Arts Education: Leading the Way conference and the Maine International Conference on the Arts held last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at UMaine, Orono. Please provide your reflections at the bottom of this blog post by clicking on “Leave a Comment” or email them directly to me at

So excited to be a part of and see my colleagues and friends leading the way in the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative. The conference offered a multitude of opportunities to gain knowledge into the challenges we face teaching and assessing the arts in 21st century learning.

It’s a breath of fresh air to be in an atmosphere where you can network with colleagues and share a rich diversity of ideas from such a knowledgeable group. The pacing of the whole event was fantastic and kept us all engaged throughout the day.
~ Jimi Neel, York Middle School Music Educator

A first of its’ kind for me (24 yr educator)….. bringing arts educators, artists educators and teaching artists together.
Left with many tools to implement – gallery connections with Amanda in Moncton NB, Liam with Maine College of Art, experiences with 3D printers and digital laser cutters and fellowship. A rural state/region with much talent to share – MICA brought us together to applaud, share, adapt and laugh.                                                                                                                                                                                                               ~ Suzanne Goulet, Waterville Senior High School Visual Arts Educator

Lynn Tuttle’s presentation of the upcoming national arts standards was awesome!  She has a remarkable ability to explain incredibly complex issues in a simple, direct and entirely comprehensible manner that takes away all the fear of change.  The keynote presentation and workshop that followed showed how classroom-friendly the new standards intend to be and encouraged all of us in attendance to look at these with a serious eye to how they can improve what we do in the classroom.

The remainder of my day was spent exploring student-centered classroom in two workshops led by Sasha Bladen and Jeff Orth.  Both workshops presented concrete ideas, with lots of helping hints and handouts, of how to put more learning control into the hands of our students without giving up the core need to have them accomplish meaningful tasks and meet the standards without getting lost in the chaos.  I was guilty of having half my mind listening and the other half jotting down notes of how to use this in my classroom Monday morning!

It was great just to be in the same room with so many peers facing the same questions and challenges and sharing ideas and support.  I met some helpful colleagues who may become important contacts in the coming months.  Thank you Maine Arts Commission, DOE and Argy, for putting together this terrific weekend!                                                                                                     ~ Rick Osann Bonny Eagle High School Theatre

As usual, art teachers are just awesome! When they come together, they soak up news and information and help to create enormous energy. All participants were there to learn and grow and take advantage of the opportunity to make more sense of assessment and standards based education. The art teachers who participated are dedicated, motivated, and ready to take on this challenge.                                                                                                                                                                   ~ Kal Elmore, Bangor High School Visual Arts Educator

Words will never do justice in describing a day with my peers working, learning, and reflecting on best practice and assessment strategies. The work our peers have pored into these presentations is reflected in their thoughtful, informative, and enthusiastic sharing. The state of Maine holds a wealth of knowledge ready to be offered to anyone who wants to grow in their profession. I urge everyone to consider attending one of the upcoming Mega-regional workshops!                                                                            ~ Heidi O’Donnell, President Maine Art Education Association, Art Educator, Belfast High School


Amazing Teacher Leaders

October 27, 2013

Maine is the winner!

We are so fortunate in Maine to have amazing teacher leaders in the Arts who have stepped up to offer workshops they’ve created based on their learning in the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative. On Thursday, October 24, the biennial statewide conference was held: Maine Arts Education: Leading the Way. We had 223 arts educators attend and the MAAI teacher leaders did a fantastic job offering over 35 workshops. You can probably tell from this photo taken at the end of the day that it was a SUCCESS! More info on the conference in other blog posts coming up. If you were one of those who attended, THANKS for coming!



Stacking Wood

October 21, 2013

What’s it Like?

IMG_3654This weekend at my home we cut, split, and stacked our fire wood for the winter. It is an activity that I really enjoy, especially when the weather is just right. You might just ask so what is “just right” for wood stacking? Not too cold, not too hot, blue sky, and just the right amount of sunshine. We had it all this weekend. Stacking the wood is an activity that brings back fond memories of when my children were small and they would contribute and feel so useful as they carried their one stick of wood at a time to the wood shed. And, use their plastic chain saws to pretend they were cutting the wood. It brings a smile to my face as does their participation as ‘adults’. Instead of us inviting our friends to join us for a day of wood cutting and sharing a spaghetti feed at the end of the day, they bring their friends. What fun!

IMG_3665Cutting the wood gives me a great deal of satisfaction. Early in the process all the wood is sitting there staring me in the face and I wonder, will we get this done in the time planned? And the end of the day comes, I am feeling exhilarated that the task is accomplished!

It is not unlike the work of professional development planning for Maine arts educators. Teachers have to be in the right place with the right temperature to participate. This week is a big one for Maine arts teachers. And, all of you are invited to join in on the FUN! On the calendar this week:

  • Today, Monday, October 21 is the last day to contribute your feedback on the National Core Arts Standards high school draft that were released for public comment on September 30.  Download the draft and connect to the survey at Thank you for contributing your opinion on the DRAFT.
  • Lynn Tuttle, Director Arts Education at the Arizona Department of Education, will be traveling to Maine to share information on the NCAS. This is a unique opportunity for Maine Arts Education.
  • The statewide conference Arts Education: Leading the Way will be held on Thursday, October 24 at UMaine, Collins Center for the Arts. It is not to late to register. The over 30 workshops topics are just what arts teachers are looking for. How do we know? Because the workshops are being presented by your colleagues from across Maine. Who knows better than your colleagues about your needs? It is not too late to register. Please (quick) go to for all the details.

I hope to learn that Maine’s contribution to the NCAS feedback has been plentiful and to see you at this Arts Education: Leading the Way conference! And, if you see me, please do tell me your “wood” stories!


Opening Session Presentation NCAS

October 6, 2013

Maine Arts Educators will get first-hand info on the National Core Arts Standards

Screen shot 2013-10-03 at 9.40.55 PMWe fortunate that Lynn Tuttle from the Department of Education in Arizona is traveling to Maine for the statewide biennial arts education conference! Lynn’s session is titled Maine and the National Core Arts Standards.

The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards is a group committed to the development of the next generation of arts education standards. Maine educators have reviewed drafts of the PreK-8 standards and have provided feedback to the writing teams. Presently the draft of the high school standards are being reviewed by the public. You have until October 21 to do so. The draft is located at

Lynn Tuttle, one of the national leaders coordinating the revision of the National Standards in the Arts, will present the context and history behind the revision as well as describe the process of revising the standards. The goal of the presentation and discussion is to provide the Maine arts education community with an overview of the context and purpose of the standards as well as an opportunity to have questions answered about the current NCAS draft.

Lynn will also do a follow-up workshop for those who wish to continue the discussion from the opening session called More on the National Core Arts Standards. And the description:             Want to know more about the National Core Arts Standards? Wondering how the proposed standards may influence and support high quality teaching and learning in the arts? If so, this follow-up session with the presenter Lynn Tuttle, Director of Arts Education, Arizona Department of Education, facilitated by Bronwyn Sale, Lecturer in Education at Bates College, will provide the opportunity for participants to ask questions in an interactive discussion format.

Along with the opening session there are over 30 workshops to select from to attend during the day.

You can register for the conference at The $80 registration cost includes lunch. PLEASE NOTE: No purchase orders will be accepted.

You can learn about the workshops being offered at or Friday’s blog post.

If you have questions please email me at


Arts Education Conference Workshops

October 3, 2013

October 24, 2013 – Arts Education: Leading the Way Conference

Each week the Maine Arts Education blog will have information on the upcoming conference. Yesterday’s blog post called How Do I Register for the Conference? provided step-by-step instructions on how to register for the biennial statewide arts education conference. Below are the workshop topics and the time slots that they are being offered at the conference, ARTS EDUCATION: LEADING THE WAY on Thursday, October 24 at UMaine, Collins Center for the Arts. If you’d like to see a description of each workshop and learn (and see) who is presenting the workshop please click

These 35 workshops are being presented by YOUR colleagues from throughout Maine. You will be able to attend three workshops.  The Maine Arts Assessment Initiative’s teacher leaders will be providing the following  workshops:

Screen shot 2013-10-02 at 7.03.47 PMScreen shot 2013-10-02 at 7.04.10 PMScreen shot 2013-10-02 at 7.04.28 PMScreen shot 2013-10-02 at 7.04.46 PM

To register please click here

The cost to attend the conference is $80 which includes lunch. PLEASE NOTE: PO’s will not be accepted this year. For more information please go to


Arts Education: Leading the Way Conference

August 20, 2013

October 24, 2013, UMaine, Orono, Collins Center for the Performing Arts

After last weeks “dry-run” for the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative Teacher Leaders to present their workshops for each other and an invited group of “critical friends” at USM, I got to thinking about how fortunate we are in Maine. Not only are Arts educators willing to share their teaching practices but they are sharing formally at the statewide conference Arts Education: Leading the Way.


Teacher leaders and critical friends at USM for dry-run of workshops that will be included in the statewide Arts Education: Leading the Way conference being held October 24, 2013, UMaine

I am excited that the conference will be held on the UMaine campus, Orono, Collins Center for the Performing Arts. Our last conferences were very exciting. In 2007 it was held at the Samoset in Rockport, 2009 at Point Lookout in Northport, 2011 at USM, Portland campus, and this year we travel a little farther north to the University’s flagship campus. Each year the workshop offerings have become more varied and go deeper into teaching and learning. You can read the topics and short descriptions of the 35 workshops being offered by downloading the .pdf of the workshops at You can even see photos of the workshop presenters.

In addition to the 35 workshops being offered during three sessions the Opening Session will include performances by the UMaine Symphonic band, a welcome from the Dean of Arts and Sciences, Jeff Hecker, and an informative presentation by Lynn Tuttle, the Director of Arts Education at the Arizona Department of Education. Lynn has been leading the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards and will provide a history of the national standards development. Read more about Lynn and her presentation at this link As many of you know the draft of the PreK-grade 8 standards was released in June for feedback. The draft of the high school standards are scheduled for release in September so we are really fortunate to have Lynn join us to share information as well as answer questions. We are fortunate to have the University Singers perform during the afternoon closing session.

The conference registration is located at . Cost for the conference which includes lunch is $75.00 until September 15 when it goes up to $80.00. (Please note: school purchase orders will not be accepted this year). In addition conference attendees receive 6 contact hours at no extra cost.

On Friday, October 25 and Saturday, October 26 the Maine International Conference on the Arts will take place in the same location. The conference will offer keynotes, showcasing artists and over 25 workshop sessions, including workshops at the new U Maine Innovative Media Research and Commercialization Center. You can read about both conferences at

To register for each conference please go to There are scholarships available and you will find information and details on the registration page.

I suggest that you take a few minutes and check out the information from page to page on the Maine Arts Commission site where all the details are included. I hope to see you there!

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