Posts Tagged ‘teaching artist roster’

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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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“Finding the Boxmaker”

May 7, 2019

Tom Luther’s album released

Finding the Boxmaker album cover

On May 1, 2019 composer/performer Tom Luther released his newest album, “Finding the Boxmaker”. The album has been released in digital-only format on Bandcamp, and can be found at THIS LINK.

“Finding the Boxmaker” is an instrumental work that was inspired by William Gibson’s Count Zero and the art of Mark Kelly. The music combines acoustic performance with electronic, improvised material with algorithmic/systems based material, and a layering of “found” sounds. The music explores different combinations of all three and alternates between “Tableaus” and “Assemblages”.

There are five “Assemblages” of slowly evolving soundscapes surrounded by six “Tableaus” of more traditional musical narratives. Like chapters in a novel, there are over-arching relationships between the Tableaus that “nest” the work together.

Much of the work is driven by the idea of assemblage, this being the collecting or curating of seemingly unlike (and often ordinary) found objects and arranging them in compelling ways. The work of Joseph Cornell (1903-1972) stands out as exemplary, and is a key narrative element in Gibson’s novel. Mark Kelly also works with assemblage in addition to working with some systems driven art which is the second primary driver of the work.

Despite the influence of Count Zero, “Finding the Boxmaker” is not a retelling of Gibson’s novel. “It is an exploration of systems, a merging of acoustic and electronic aesthetics, and a restructuring of how I think about music and art and my relationship to both”, says Luther.

“Finding the Boxmaker”

Tom is on the Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist roster and a member of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative as a Teaching Artist Leader. Tom will be facilitating on June 17 at the Teaching Artist professional development workshop. When Tom isn’t writing music he is teaching at the Midcoast Music Academy. Not to mention Tom is a great guy and musician that you should meet if you don’t already know him and his work. 

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Teaching Artist Professional Development Workshop

April 23, 2019

Space limited

The Arts Commission is providing a one-day professional development workshop for Maine Teaching Artists.
Monday 17 June 2019
8:45 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Only 20 spots available – REGISTER TODAY
Viles Mansion/Governor Samuel Cony House, 71 Stone Street, Augusta.
$25.00. Registration is required.
Purpose
The workshop is focused on the role and benefits of a teaching artist. We will address how to structure and market a residency as well as tips for communicating and collaborating teachers,  administrators, and community arts representatives. The workshop will include resources and techniques on applying your expertise as an artist to the structure of your work as a teaching artist including communication tips, connecting standards and assessments in your lessons, promotional information, funding opportunities, messaging and much more.
Outcomes
  • Information on applying your expertise as an artist to the structuring of your lessons and residencies.
  • Hands-on experience in relating the learning standards and assessments to your work.
  • Participation in sessions that are planned to fit your specific needs as a teaching artist.
  • Promoting yourself and your work as a teaching artist
Workshop Presenters
  • Tom Luther – Teaching Artist, Musician, Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teaching Artist Leader
  • Lindsay Pinchbeck – Arts Educator, Founder and Director Sweetland School, Hope
  • Kate Smith – Elementary music educator, Central School, South Berwick
Please note: To be eligible to apply for the Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist Roster teaching artists must attend the one-day workshop.
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Dance Education Grant Opportunity

December 11, 2018

Dance Education Grant Deadline January 31, 2019

Don’t miss this great opportunity for Maine schools and teaching artists

January 31, 2019, 5:00 p.m. is the deadline for the Maine Arts Commission’s dance education grant for PK-12 schools and teaching artists. Applications must be filed using the Commission’s online grants management system at www.MaineArts.com.

Launched in 2015, the dance education grant provides high quality learning opportunities for students and educators in schools where dance education is not being offered. Dance education changes lives, yet only 5 percent of all schools in Maine offer opportunities in this artistic discipline, according to the Arts Education Census study conducted in 2016 by the Maine Arts Commission.

During this past grant cycle, the program funded artist residencies at Maranacook Middle School in Readfield and Freeport High School. Both residencies are taking place during this school year. Nancy Salmon is the teaching artist on the  Maine Arts Commission’s Teaching Artist Roster who is providing instruction.

You can read the stories of past recipients of the dance education grant. Six schools have been awarded funding during the last three years. You can read about the success stories on this blog by searching using “dance education”.

Funding for this program is made possible through the generosity of an annual dance performance in November called “Fall Into Dance”. This year two schools and ten dance studios collaborated to put on the performance. It is facilitated by Thornton Academy dance educator and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader Emma Arenstam Campbell.

This year the event raised $3,810.00. To date the dance education grant has awarded $17,421.00. Dancers Making a Difference contributing one year to this grant in addition to the funds raised by Fall Into Dance. All of this money goes directly to schools to create a dance education opportunity that works towards establishing dance education programs.

“We are extremely appreciative of these contributions and the impact they will have on dance education in Maine,” said Julie Richard, Executive Director of the Maine Arts Commission. “There are so few dance education programs in our state and this is one important way we can make a difference for the students that we serve.”

Review Criteria

  1. Clear demonstration of high-quality arts education teaching and learning opportunity.
  2. Evidence of significant collaborative planning among teachers and other partners, and the capacity to carry it out.
  3. Clear demonstration of equity and access to learning addressing the differences of learners.
  4. Description of evaluation methodology with clear objectives and outcomes.
  5. Alignment with dance standards.
  6. Commitment beyond the conclusion of the project.

Grant guidelines and application criteria are at www.MaineArts.com and the Commission encourages PK-12 educators or teaching artists to review them prior to applying. The funding cycle for these grants is for projects from September 1, 2019 through March 30, 2020. Applicants may apply up to $2,500 and are not eligible if they’ve applied in the past.

For more information visit the grants and the teaching artist roster webpages at www.MaineArts.com.

Watch for a notice announcing when the application will be available. Begin planning and be sure and communicate about your ideas with Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education at 207-287-2713 or email at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

All photos in this blog post were taken at the November 2018 Dance Into Fall performance at Thornton Academy.

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Dance for Joy

November 9, 2018

What fun

Amber Pendleton, grade 6, Prescott Memorial School, Washington

This collage was created by Amber Pendleton who was in 5th grade at the time when Teaching Artist Chrissy Fowler provided a dance residency at Prescott Memorial School in Washington. She was working with art teacher Anthony Lufkin and a Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leader (MAL) in a Gifted and Talented art class. This was Amber’s response to the fabulous opportunity. The residency took place with funding from the Maine Arts Commission Dance Education fund. This fund was established by a MALI dance teacher at Thornton Academy, Emma Arenstam Campbell. If you’re interested in bringing dance education to your school please watch for the information coming soon on this blog for the 2019-20 school year. The dance performance that has provided the funding for this grant will take place at Thornton Academy on Friday, November 16, 6:30 p.m. Only dance educators on the Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist Roster are eligible for the funding. Please consider reaching out to one of them and begin planning for next year. This funding has been in place for three years and hundreds of students in grades Pre-K through 12 throughout Maine have benefited from the opportunities it has afforded. If you have questions please don’t hesitate to contact me at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

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Huey

October 18, 2018

Henry David Thoreau film

Many of you know the Maine film maker – Huey. He is on the Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist roster. I understand if you want to see a beautiful film perhaps you can catch one of the showings of Huey’s film Henry David Thoreau: Surveyor of the Soul. Over the next two weeks it will be shown several times. Huey himself along with some of the people interviewed in the film will be present as well. 
“If you are not yet a Thoreau enthusiast, this beautiful, engrossing documentary just might turn you into one. If you already are, it will remind you of the many reasons why.”  Lucille Stott, forthcoming in December issue, Appalachia
October 18, 2 p.m., Vermont International Film Festival, Main Street Landing Film House
60 Lake Street, 3rd floor Burlington, VT.  https://vtiff.org/events/neq-1/
October 20, 10 a.m., Dietrich Theater, Tunkhannock, PA.  With guests featured in the film: Rochelle Johnson, Professor of English & Environmental Studies at the College of Idaho and Sandra Harbert Petrulionis, Professor, Penn State Altoona and author, To Set This World Right, The Antislavery Movement in Thoreau’s Concord.    
http://www.dietrichtheater.com/show.aspx?sid=4553&id=23
October 24, 7 p.m., Twilight Auditorium, 101, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT. With guest featured in the film, Matt Schlein, director Walden Project, Vergennes High School Vergennes, VT and Rebecca Kneale Gould, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and member of the board of the Thoreau Society.   
http://www.middlebury.edu/events?trumbaEmbed=date%3D20181024#/?i=1 
October 25, 12:30 p.m., Lecture: Thoreau, Katahdin, the Penobscot People and the Maine Woods,  Woodin Environmental Colloquium, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT.    http://www.middlebury.edu/academics/es/news/woodincolloquiumseries
November 14, 7 p.m., Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, MA
DVDs will be available for purchase at all screenings. If you can make it to a screening, you can order DVDs for all of Huey’s films at http://www.filmsbyhuey.com/order/
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Visual Thinking Strategies

July 27, 2018

Waterfall Arts

Every so often I meet educators who are not familiar with Visual Thinking Strategies or VTS as it is commonly called. Waterfall Arts, a community arts center in Belfast, provides a program using VTS. As part of their outreach efforts of the Youth and Family Outreach (YFO) program at Waterfall Arts, program coordinator Bridget Matros offers Visual Thinking Strategies training to teachers in area schools. These strategies are activity used in the YFO after school programs and are also utilized in field trips to Waterfall Arts. Teaching Artist Bridget Matros has put together the information below (taken from the VTS site). Thank you Bridget! She is also on the Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist rosterWaterfall Arts programs are comprehensive and they provide multiple programs for learners of all ages.

Many teachers in Maine, visual arts and others, use VTS in their classrooms. Several years ago we provided an all day workshop on the topic. Once reading this blog post, if you’re interested in learning more please contact me at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

What is VTS?

Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) is a method initiated by teacher-facilitated discussions of art images and documented to have a cascading positive effect on both teachers and students. It is perhaps the simplest way in which teachers and schools can provide students with key behaviors sought by Common Core Standards: thinking skills that become habitual and transfer from lesson to lesson, oral and written language literacy, visual literacy, and collaborative interactions among peers.

VTS provides a way to jumpstart a process of learning to think deeply applicable in most subjects from poetry to math, science and social studies. Art is the essential first discussion topic because it enables students to use existing visual and cognitive skills to develop confidence and experience, learning to use what they already know to figure out what they don’t; they are then prepared to explore other complex subject matter alone and with peers.

How does it work?

In VTS discussions teachers support student growth by facilitating discussions of carefully selected works of visual art.

          Teachers are asked to use three open-ended questions:

  • What’s going on in this picture?
  • What do you see that makes you say that?
  • What more can we find?3 Facilitation Techniques:
  • Paraphrase comments neutrally
  • Point at the area being discussed
  • Linking and framing student commentsStudents are asked to:
  • Look carefully at works of art
  • Talk about what they observe
  • Back up their ideas with evidence
  • Listen to and consider the views of others
  • Discuss multiple possible interpretations
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