Dance education grant announced for Aroostook County

The following is an announcement from the Maine Arts Commission 

The Maine Arts Commission has awarded a grant, “Hopes for the Future,” to provide dance education to K-12 students in Frenchville and St. Agatha in the northern most part of Aroostook County. The $2,650 award to Maine School Administrative District (MSAD) 33 will give the district’s 240 students and teachers a unique opportunity to participate in the dance making process.

The district’s Art Educator Theresa Cerceo, and Teaching Artist John Morris collaborated in pursuing the grant. Mr. Morris is a member of the Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist online roster located at https://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Teaching-Artist-Roster.

He will guide the students through a dance-making process over the course of a five day residency that will culminate in a final show.  Mr. Morris has also created an open online resource for dance located in the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Resource Bank at http://www.maineartsedresources.org/. He will employ these resources as part of teacher workshops during the residency so the work can continue after his departure. “In adding dance education to the community’s experience with the arts, we will broaden their knowledge base of the arts as an academic subject,” stated Ms. Cerceo.

Funding for this grant was provided via a collaborative performance held in November 2016 at Thornton Academy in Saco. Seven schools and dance studios worked together to create the performance and raise the funds to make possible this unique opportunity for dance education. The residency will be documented on the Maine Arts Education blog at meartsed@wordpress.com so that members of the public can learn more about the residency’s process and impact.

The Maine Arts Commission is encouraging other organizations and/or arts venues to consider such collaborations to provide funding to schools to help establish either dance or theater education programs. Students have limited access to both of these disciplines across the state.

To learn more about the Commission’s PK-12 arts education programs, including the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) and the teaching artist roster, or how to develop a grant like this one, contact Argy Nestor at argy.nestor@maine.gov or 207-287-2713.

The Maine Arts Commission shall encourage and stimulate public interest and participation in the cultural heritage and cultural programs of our state; shall expand the state’s cultural resources; and shall encourage and assist freedom of artistic expression for the well-being of the arts, to meet the needs and aspirations of persons in all parts of the state. Additional information is available at mainearts.com.