Maine Arts Commission’s roster provides additional resources for teachers and schools

The 2017 new teaching artists attending the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative at Thomas College.

The 2017 new teaching artists attending the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative at Thomas College.

The Maine Arts Commission is pleased to announce the addition of four new Maine artists to its online Teaching Artist Roster. Ten new Maine artists recently took part in a three-day, annual professional development session at Maine Arts Leadership Initiative’s (MALI) Summer Institute at Thomas College, meeting the eligibility requirement to be added to the roster.

“The Arts Commission teaching artist roster is focused on supporting high quality arts education in our schools and community arts organizations,” said Argy Nestor, the Commission’s Director of Arts Education. “Ensuring high quality arts education is at the heart of our cultural plan, and advancing the skills of those on the roster is a direct outcome of the results of our recent statewide Arts Education Census.”

The Maine Arts Commission’s Teaching Artist Roster provides greater access for teachers, schools, and community groups to area artists who are trained and knowledgeable in classroom requirements, and is available free for use to all who wish to locate and contract with Maine artists for educational purposes.

Of the 10 Maine artists newly eligible to be added to the roster, five have been given the additional credential of “teaching artist leaders:”

Tom Luther, a musician and teaches piano and digital/computer music from Union.
Nicole Cardano, an actress who teaches elementary and middle school improvisational skills as well as theatre productions and show choir. She lives in Seal Cove.
Dana Legawiec, is an actor whose recent teachings involve grade 3-5 students in mask, improve, physical theatre, and yoga. She is from Bowdoinham.
Brian Evans-Jones, a writer who teaches creative writing and poetry to elementary school students through higher education levels. Brian lives in South Berwick.

This year’s MALI Summer Institute brought together approximately 70 arts educators from around the state to strengthen leadership skills, share classroom practices and creative learning methods throughout Maine’s school systems. Over the course of the institute, each educator produced a follow-up project that the Maine Arts Commission subsequently makes available as a statewide educational resource.

Since 2011, MALI has provided opportunities for hundreds of arts education “teacher leaders” to inspire over 1,500 educators through teaching workshops, presentations, and webinars at the school, district, regional, state, and national level.

The Maine Arts Commission currently administers the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative as part of one of its five priorities, fostering PK-12 lifelong arts education programs, in its five-year cultural plan, Fortifying Maine’s Creativity & Culture. To learn more about any of the Maine Arts Commission’s arts education funding opportunities or programs, please contact Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education at argy.nestor@maine.gov or 207/287-2713.

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