AUGUSTA — The Maine Arts Commission has announced the selection of 11 new artists to its Teaching Artist Roster and the selection of four artists as part of a new pilot program, Teaching Artist Leaders.

The roster, launched in 2014 and available at mainearts.maine.gov, includes Maine artists whose work reflects their expertise and commitment to providing learning opportunities for students and/or teachers in PK-12 educational settings. The Teaching Artists are available to conduct high-quality learning opportunities for students in school settings, as well as for community organizations that offer arts education.

The new additions to the Teaching Artist Roster are Annegret Baier, of Portland, music; Karen Brooks, of Lewiston, visual arts; Scot Canon, of Belfast, music; Tim Christensen, of Franklin, visual arts; Sara Anne Donnelly, of Portland, literary arts; Brian Evans-Jones, of South Berwick, literary arts; Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, of Portland, literary arts; Namory Keita, of Westbrook, music and dance; Elly Lovin, of Portland, dance; Nancy Salmon, of South Freeport, dance; and Putnam Smith, of Durham, music. The commission encourages educators and those responsible for arts education to utilize the roster by communicating directly with the Teaching Artists through the website.

Teaching Artist Leaders program is for teaching artists to work alongside PK-12 teacher leaders as an expansion of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative. The new Teaching Artist Leaders, selected through a competitive application process, also include Brooks and Christensen, along with Jeri Pitcher, of Readfield; and Bridgid Rankowski, of Westbrook.

MALI, established in 2011, is committed to the development of teacher leaders to ensure deep understanding and meaningful implementation of high quality teaching, learning, and assessment in the arts. The new Teaching Artist Leaders will join MALI’s participating educators in August for three days of collaborative professional development on the topics of teaching and learning; assessment; advocacy; funding; and more.

The Arts Commission defines Teaching Artists as professional artists who are dedicated to lifelong learning and arts education, have made it an integral part of their professional practice, and who have cultivated skills as educators in concert with their skills as artists. The successful applicants demonstrated mastery of an artistic discipline; knowledge and expertise in sequential arts instruction; good communication skills; planning and organizational ability; and an understanding of PK-12 learners.

There are now 58 artists on the roster in disciplines including music, dance, theater, visual arts, media arts, and literary arts. Applications are accepted only two times per year.

To learn more about the Maine Arts Commission teaching artist program and to access the application, visit mainearts.maine.gov.

To learn more about the Arts Commission’s other PK-12 arts education programs contact Argy Nestor at [email protected] or 287-2713.

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