Blog Posts for Maine

Maine Arts Leadership Initiative: Quality Arts Education for All Learners by Focusing on Educators Learning

Posted by Ms. Argy Nestor, Aug 16, 2017 0 comments

I am exhausted after last week and thrilled about the accomplishments that happened at the seventh Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Summer Institute. Almost 70 teaching artists and pre-K through grade 12 visual and performing arts teachers spent three intense days in a collaborative learning environment. I am proud of these educators who challenged themselves on the topics of teaching, learning, and assessment. I am again reminded of the value of bringing arts educators together to form a community and delivering meaningful professional development!

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Arts & Economic Prosperity 5: How the Nonprofit Arts & Culture Industry Impacts the Economy in Your Community

Posted by Randy I. Cohen, Jun 17, 2017 0 comments

When recently asked how best to advocate for the arts in the current environment, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (NM)—co-chair of the Senate Cultural Caucus and chief sponsor of the CREATE Act—was unequivocal: “Start by telling every one of your Senators about the economic benefits of the arts.” This familiar refrain is one we have heard for decades from city council chambers to governor mansions to the halls of Congress—and it works. Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 does just that. It changes the conversation about the arts from that of a “charity” to one about an “industry” that provides both cultural and economic benefits to the community.

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Maine’s Statewide Census in Arts Education

Posted by Ms. Argy Nestor, May 03, 2017 0 comments

An amazing collaboration in the state of Maine occurred when the Maine Arts Commission enlisted Noel Paul Stookey (the famed singer-songwriter) of Peter, Paul, and Mary to champion the statewide arts education census. The year-long effort achieved a stunning 95% response rate—making it the highest voluntary response rate on record nationally for a survey of this type. Responding principals noted that an important outcome of the census would be to advocate for assessment polices for arts education in order to gather Maine-centric, rather than national, data points that demonstrate the impact of arts education on student performance.

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Artists & Communities: Marty Pottenger & Jess Solomon in Conversation

Posted by Alicia Gregory, Mar 24, 2016 0 comments

What do you get when you place an artist in municipal government to work closely with employees, elected officials, and local artists on urgent issues like racism, immigration, gentrification, and more? The incredible work of Marty Pottenger who, for over 25 years,  has been utilizing art as tool for connection, exploration, and understanding—breaking barriers and fostering transformative dialogue around the country and specifically in the city of Portland, ME.

This month, continuing our Artists & Communities series, Marty is in conversation with Art in Praxis Director Jess Solomon, who is uses arts & culture, storytelling, and co-creation to help organizations and communities build their capacity in more intentional, strategic, and creative ways.

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Top 10 Reasons to Support the Arts in 2014

Posted by Randy I. Cohen, Mar 20, 2014 11 comments

There is an old quote attributed to John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich:

“If any man will draw up his case, and put his name at the foot of the first page, I will give him an immediate reply. Where he compels me to turn over the sheet, he must wait my leisure.”

This was the charge given to me by a business leader who needed to make a compelling case for government and corporate arts funding:

“Keep it to one page, please,” was his request. “I can get anyone to read one page.”

With the 2014 arts advocacy season upon us, the following is my updated “Top 10 Reasons to Support the Arts.”

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A Pipe Organ? Really?

Posted by Ray Cornils, Mar 14, 2014 1 comment

Ray Cornils Ray Cornils

What does a 100+ year old pipe organ have to offer school children in today’s world?

Portland, Maine’s iconic Kotzschmar Organ, donated over a century ago by publishing mogul Cyrus Curtis and the centerpiece of Merrill Auditorium ever since, has become the inspiration for a progressive and multifaceted education program in Maine schools. Developed by the Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ (FOKO) nonprofit, the curriculum includes a series of events, presentations, and in-school courses.

As an organist and choir director of both youth and adults, I am teaching all the time. My experience with FOKO’s education in the schools over the past ten years, presenting youth concerts on the Kotzschmar, has been eye opening to say the least. I continue to grow as a teaching artist through teaching in different school systems and working with teams of classroom teachers.

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