Posts Tagged ‘teaching artist’

h1

MALI Teaching Artist Leader Story: Shawna Barnes

February 5, 2019

Teaching Artist – Sculptor

This is one of six blog posts in 2019 that include stories of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Phase 8 Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artist Leaders. This series includes a set of questions so you can learn a little bit about each leader. CLICK HERE  for more information on MALI. CLICK HERE  for more information on the 96 Teacher Leaders and 11 Teaching Artist Leaders. CLICK HERE  for Arts education resources. CLICK HERE for the MALI Resource Bank. Search in the “search archives” box on the bottom right side of this post for past teacher leader stories. Thank you Shawna for sharing your story!

Shawna N.M. Barnes is a Ceramic Sculptor who has been focused on teaching for three years. Her favorite group to teach is the one full of people who “don’t think they can” because of a disability. Or never gave art a try because of their disabilities. “Problem solving and finding ways to show them they can create and engage in creativity… is amazing.”

What do you like best about being a teaching artist?

I love all the people I have met as a teaching artist. Doors that have been opened, and opportunities presented. It has provided me the ability to share my passions with others who appreciate it.

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

First, allowing for differential interpretations of a topic. Essentially acknowledging that the world is full of gray. And when it comes to art, the spectrum of how art and its concepts are perceived, truly is a spectrum.

Second, the ability to acknowledge that art is a bridge between worlds. Whether that be yours and mine, real and fantasy, or past and future. It allows for difficult conversations to be had, often bridging a divide caused by a lack of understanding. Teaching this concept to our students is vital.

Third, the ability to appreciate content, subject matter and skills needed to complete a work of art without having to like the art itself. The ability to see it with an objective eye.

Have you found assessment to be helpful in your classes, workshops and residencies, and if so, how?

Thus far, assessments have helped guide the evolution of my classes and workshops. By evaluating what is working, what is not; what different ages and abilities respond to; I have been able to fine tune the classes so that the highest number of people fund value and enjoyment from the class.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the Maine Arts Leadership initiative?

The benefits have been innumerable! It has been the push I needed to create the resource center in my website. I have been given the opportunity to grow my speaking career by giving presentations at conferences. It has sparked collaborations between several members for brand music, for upcoming tutorials, and similar applications. It has introduced me to a group of peers that have become my support network. It has given me the confidence in my own set business that my intuition is right and I am on the right path.

What are you most proud of as an artist and/or a teaching artist?

I am most proud of breaking barriers and showing others where barriers exist. As a disabled artist, I often chose to just not participate in events and workshops because it was easier. I’m taking my challenges and helping create solutions that benefit not just me… but hopefully generations of disabled learners and artists so that they can have access to creative outlets.

What gets in the way of doing a better job as a teaching artist?

My health, admittedly. It can cause me to be unreliable and miss deadlines. Another factor is physical accessibility to facilities that may want to host me for workshops or seminars

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

Simply being an artist is hard work and requires determination every day to put the work in. I work through a variety of disabilities just to be able to create; myasthenia gravis,  cervical dystonia,  hypermobility joint syndrome, seizures, chronic pain, peripheral neuropathy and PTSD are the heavy hitters.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about becoming a teaching artist or is just starting out?

You will stumble as you find your footing but don’t let that detour you from continuing to put the work in to build the foundation of your career. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  There’s plenty of room for everyone at the top, do not entertain a scarcity mindset. 

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

Build my handicap accessible studio. Give a few grants to local artists and arts organizations looking to make their space accessible by adding ramps or stairlifts to their infrastructure. And spend a few weeks in Paris, soaking up all the amazingness that is the Louvre.

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

None.

h1

Arts Accessibility

January 8, 2019

Complete a survey

Shawna Barnes is a Teaching Artist Leader (TAL) with the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI). She is reaching out to the Maine Arts Education blog readers to assist in completing a survey. In Shawna’s words…. has created a survey to collect information on accessibility and I ask you to take a few minutes to complete it so she can get a comprehensive picture As part of her work as a TAL she is collecting information and providing resources and opportunities for others to gain knowledge about accessibility to arts education.

Shawna has created an Arts Accessibility resources website and it is at the beginning of being an amazing website!

SURVEY

Hello! My name is Shawna Barnes and I am a teaching artist leader with MALI. My project for the year is to work towards and advocate for arts accessibility in ALL its definitions. I am a disabled Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran turned artist and know the challenges I face when it comes to arts accessibility – especially as it relates to residencies. Truth be told, not many of the facilities are wheelchair or mobility impaired friendly. But that’s just one layer of this cake. That’s where YOU come in. I am looking for input from anyone and everyone who is touched by arts education.  Whether you are a teacher/educator, artist, occupational/physical therapist, caregiver or parent to a person with disabilities, home school coop, arts organization leader… I want to hear from everyone. If a question doesn’t apply to you, there’s an option to select N/A. This survey will be used to help inform my next steps in this project.  It will help me know where and what to focus my workshops on that center around developing creative adaptive solutions to help learners of ALL abilities. For more information or with any questions, please feel free to email me at info@shawnabarnes.com.

SURVEY

If you know someone who’s input I should have, PLEASE send them the link. It will stay up indefinitely. The more information I have, the better!!

h1

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.

h1

Huey on Maine Calling

December 3, 2018

Henry Thoreau

Katahdin from Abol Bridge. This may be the first viewpoint from which Thoreau would have seen Katahdin in its full glory.

Today, Monday December 3, 1:00 p.m. -2:00 p.m., film maker Huey is a guest on Maine Calling, Maine Public Radio. They will be discussing his film, Henry David Thoreau: Surveyor of the Soul.

Joining Huey on the show will be Kristen Case, Assistant Professor of English, University of Maine, Farmington and Darren Ranco, Chair of Native American Programs, University of Maine.  Both Kristen and Darren are in the film. 
You can listen to the show live at 1:00 p.m. by tuning into 90.1FM in Portland, 90.9FM in Bangor and online at THIS LINKThe rebroadcast of the show can be heard in the evening on December 3, 8:00 p.m. 

Huey

Next Thursday, December 6, 10PM, Maine Public Television will Broadcast Surveyor of the Soul.  This is a television only broadcast and can’t be seen online.

As always DVDs of all of Huey’s films, including Surveyor of the Soul and his documentary on jazz legend Marian McPartland, can be purchased in the Store”.
Huey is a member of the Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist Roster. He is available for artists residency’s in schools and communities. If you have questions please contact  Huey at huey@filmsbyhuey.com.
Check out Huey on FACEBOOK or follow Huey on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM
h1

Monte Selby

November 2, 2018

Keynoter at MAMLE

On October 18 and 19 the annual conference for the Maine Association for Middle Level Education (MAMLE) was held at Point Lookout. Educator and teaching artist Monte Selby provided the keynote. It was filled with thought provoking ideas and lots of music. Monte’s 22 year old son Martin joined him and provided a wonderful addition to the presentation.

Monte has a long history in education including serving as a school principal. He presently spends a lot of time in classrooms and schools in Maine and across the country making music with students. He’s written and performed songs with over 39,000 students around the world.

Below is a collaborative song he wrote with middle schoolers.

LIGHTEN UP

DON’T LOOK AT ME WITH THAT TONE OF VOICE

WHEN YOU CALL THE KETTLE CORN THAT’S A TASTY CHOICE

STICKS AND STONES MAY BREAK MY BONES BACK

THE GRASS ISN’T GREENER TO BE EXACT

BECAUSE WORDS DO HURT JILL AND THATS A FACT JACK!

THEY BUILD UP FENCES WITH A BAD IMPACT

AND HENCE. IT’S COMMON SENSE

MAYBE WE ALL NEED TO LIGHTEN UP

LEAVE MORE ROOM FOR LESS SERIOUS

ENJOY OTHER PEOPLE AS PEOPLE FOR WHO THEY ARE

TREAT’M LIKE AN ALL-STAR

GREET OTHER PEOPLE THE WAY YOU WANT TO EAT PIE

WHAT GOES AROUND COMES BACK EMPTY

IF YOU SHARE AND THAT’S FINE

AN APPLE A DAY MAKES AN EMPTY TREE

THERE’S NO “I” IN TEAM BUT THERE’S A YOU AND THERE’S A ME

LIFE’S NOT ABOUT WAITING FOR THE STORM TO PASS

RAIN HAS A RHYTHM IF YOU’RE WILLING TO DANCE

LET’S TRY!  TO THE RHYTHM OF LIFE

MAYBE WE ALL NEED TO LIGHTEN UP

LEAVE MORE ROOM FOR LESS SERIOUS

ENJOY OTHER PEOPLE AS PEOPLE FOR WHO THEY ARE

TREAT’M LIKE AN ALL-STAR

HATERS GONNA HATE.  FAKERS GONNA FAKE

BREAKERS  GONNA SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE

BUT DON’T HATE THE PLUNGER JUST HATE THE STOOL

LIFE’S A GARDEN, SO DIG IT, IT’S COOL AND FREE

DON’T LET YOUR FLAWS DEFINE YOUR FUN

YOU’RE A BOOK WITH A COVER I DON’T INTEND TO JUDGE

EMOTION DOESN’T FALL FAR FROM THE TREE

THERE’S A STORY IN YOU THAT RELATES TO ME

SO IT’S HEY DIDDLE DIDDLE THIS SONG’S BEEN A RIDDLE

LISTEN REAL CLOSE THERE’S A LESSON

TO TICKLE YOUR BRAIN.  I HOPE YOU GAIN, THAT,

MAYBE WE ALL NEED TO LIGHTEN UP

LEAVE MORE ROOM FOR LESS SERIOUS

ENJOY OTHER PEOPLE AS PEOPLE FOR WHO THEY ARE

TREAT’M LIKE AN ALL-STAR

HOW THIS CAME ABOUT

“Lighten Up” is a song Monte wrote with 7th graders (about 100 students) who were on an interdisciplinary team called the All Stars. Each student wrote down lyric ideas in response to the question, “What could everyone on the All Star team do to help make this a great place to come to school?” They shared ideas and posted their words all around the room, but they were not finding a creative theme to serve as a main idea. As they continued brainstorming, Monte guided them to famous quotes or familiar phrases to generate ideas. One student made a mistake with his quote when he shared his mother’s favorite line, “Don’t look at me with that tone of voice”. The mistake sparked a creative idea to build their song lyrics with mash-ups of multiple phrases that would express their desire for 7th graders on the All Star Team to “Lighten Up.”

Now that you know the history I suggest that you go back to the top of this blog post and read the song once again.

Monte and students at the national student council conference last summer – performing a song they wrote for the conference.

To watch a group of middle school songwriters in action, Monte has shared a recent video that comes from a songwriting residency with 6th graders. They decided that the best way for them to become the greatest group of 6th graders in the history of the school, it would require everyone to allow each individual to “be yourself”.  The song is called, “You Be You”. You can see also see Monte’s son in the video.

The most popular song written with students in Maine comes from a group of 2nd graders at Mabel I. Wilson elementary. Their song, “Animal Habitat” reflects what they learned from an engaging science unit. Listen for the enthusiastic voices of over 100 2nd graders contributing to the chorus of their own original song!

mp3 of “Lighten Up”

Monte has a doctorate degree in School Leadership so he not only has the knowledge and experience to write songs with students but he has an understanding of administrators. He is a Grammy Award winning songwriter, recording artist, educator, author, and speaker. You can learn more about Monte at his WEBSITE and contact him directly by EMAIL.

h1

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/
h1

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
%d bloggers like this: