iPads Allow Kids With Challenges To Play In High School’s Band

There’s a steady stream of hype surrounding the pluses and pitfalls of classroom tablet computers. But for a growing number of special education students tablets and their apps are proving transformative. The tablets aren’t merely novel and fun. With guidance from creative teachers, they are helping to deepen engagement, communication, and creativity.

In a typical red brick public school building in the Fresh Meadows section of Queens, New York, one creative and passionate music instructor is using tablet computers to help reach students with disabilities. In the process, he’s opening doors for some kids with severe mental and physical challenges.

On the surface, the PS 177 Technology Band looks like a typical high school orchestra. But there are two big differences. First, while they use traditional instruments, they also play iPads. And all of the band members have disabilities. Some have autism spectrum disorders.


iPads Allow Kids With Challenges To Play In High School’s Band

Should we allow failing arts organizations to die?


Agree or disagree: we should let arts organizations that don’t adapt die.

Arts organizations are already dying. In Detroit, in New York City, in the UK. From operas to art galleries. This is no longer an urban versus rural debate. A nonprofit versus for profit debate. A “one discipline is dying” but “others are inexplicably thriving” debate.
And a follow up article that was also interesting . . .
Should we allow failing arts organizations to die?

Arts Education August 20, 2014


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 Arts Education News
from the Montana Arts Council
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August 20, 2014
Greetings,
Many of you who read this newsletter are educators, and by now you have already reported back to your schools and are getting your classrooms ready for the new school year.  We at the Montana Arts Council wish all Montana educators the very best school year.  While you are on the front lines every day ensuring the college, career and civic readiness of every Montana students, we will be working to support you by placing artists and arts organizations in the schools, promoting the value of arts education to a wider audience, providing professional development opportunities, and working with our partners at the Office of Public Instruction to move forward the effort to revise the Montana Standards for Arts.  Read more about why that’s a big deal on the blog.
Below you will also find links to opportunities, resources, advocacy, research and articles of interest to arts educators and advocates.  Click on anything underlined and it will take you to the link. 
Don’t forget you can also follow the Big Sky Arts Education blog here and get daily news and information about arts learning from my Twitter feed @BigSkyArtsEd
Cheers, Emily 
Nominate an Outstanding Montana Arts Educator for the 2015 Governor’s Arts Awards
 
  
For the first time, outstanding Montana arts educators are eligible to be nominated for the Governor’s Arts Awards.  The 2015 nomination process is now open, and nominations will be accepted through December 15, 2014. 
                   
The Governor’s Arts Awards program honors outstanding citizens and organizations in Montana whose achievements in the arts, or on behalf of the arts, benefit all Montanans. Anyone or any organization in Montana with commensurate accomplishments can be nominated for the Governor’s Arts Awards. Awards are not given posthumously.
To make the final selections, the council uses these criteria:

1. Worthiness of statewide recognition
2. Integrity
3. Excellence
Key Dates
August 18 – December 15, 2014 – Nomination process is open for submissions
Mid February 2015 – Council members select up to six awardees
Early June 2015 – Awards Ceremony and Reception in Helena
Revision of the Montana Standards for Arts
Montana to revise their Arts Standards
  
The Montana Office of Public Instruction in partnership with the Montana Arts Council will soon begin the process of revising the Montana Standards for Arts in Montana’s K-12 public schools.  The Arts Standards were written in the 1990s and have never been revised.
  
The revision process will offer an opportunity to create new standards that are discipline-specific in dance, theatre, music, visual art and media arts, rather than the general standards we have now that cover all disciplines with a broad sweep. 
  
The process will also offer multiple opportunities for input and participation from educators, parents, business and community leaders and arts education advocates to improve the quality of arts education in our state.   The process will include focus groups, an open nomination process for writing and review teams, and a public comment period during the adoption process. The revised standards must be adopted by the Montana Board of Public Education and will be brought forth for consideration by the Superintendent of Public Instruction. 
  
For more information about the Montana Standards for Arts revision process, or if you would like to get involved in the revision process, contact Emily Kohring, Director of Arts Education at the Montana Arts Council at (406) 444-6522.
Opportunities
NDEO, through its Online Professional Development Institute (OPDI), offer lifelong opportunities to enhance your career.  OPDI online dance education courses are designed to deliver accessible and affordable professional development.  There are seven great courses coming this fall. 
Announcing the launch of the 2015-2016 Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching program Online Application for K-12 teachers. 
Are you a U.S.: 
  • Primary and/or secondary classroom teacher?
  • Guidance counselor?
  • Curriculum specialist?
  • Curriculum head?
  • Talented and Gifted coordinator?
  • Special Education coordinator?
  • Media specialist/librarian?
You may be eligible to participate in a unique international professional development opportunity for 3-6 months through the Fulbright Program!
By conducting educational research abroad, U.S. teachers gain new skills, learn new instructional methods and assessment methodologies and share best practices with international colleagues and students. Teachers also have the opportunity to expand their understanding of other cultures and international education systems that will enrich their U.S. schools and local communities with global perspectives.
Teachers may travel to: Botswana, Finland, India, Israel, Mexico, Palestinian Territories, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam. 
The mission of the P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children’s Education is to promote the integration of the arts into all educational programs, with a special focus on children who learn in different ways.
The foundation is accepting grant applications from educators who need financial assistance to maintain or implement an arts education program. Grants of up to $1,000 will be awarded to support new or evolving programs that integrate the arts into educational programming. Although the purpose of the grant program is to assist teachers who wish to establish an effective way of using the arts to teach children who learn differently, proposed projects must serve all children in the classroom, including those with no trouble learning in a general education setting.  Teachers of pre-K-12 children are eligible to apply.
Register now the AEP 2014 National Forum on Arts and Education: Preparing Students for the Next America in and through the Arts.  Featuring 21 concurrent sessions on issues in arts education from presenters across the nation.
  
 Advocacy and Research
How do in-school arts education programs affect student creativity, academics, or social outcomes? Join researchers from the Kennedy Center and Johns Hopkins University as they share their investigation of these topics on the latest webinar from the NEA Task Force on the Arts and Human Development.  The webinar takes place on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. MDT. It is free and open to the public. Please register in advance.
 Of Interest for Arts Educators
Why the Arts Matter
Why The Arts Matter
Why The Arts Matter
This is a wonderful 30-minute documentary from the organization Nebraska Loves Public Schools about the power of arts education in our public schools.  A great piece of advocacy and well-worth the time it takes to watch. 
How Playing An Instrument Benefits Your Brain
How playing an instrument benefits your brain - Anita Collins
How playing an instrument benefits your brain – Anita Collins
Short piece from TedEd on how listening to and playing music creates “fireworks” in your brain. 
Despite overwhelming evidence that arts education correlates with higher graduation rates, better college performance and future success in the workplace, shrinking school budgets and strict curriculum standards keep restricting the time that teenage students spend exploring their creative sides. So a panel of artists, educators and activists – including marquee names like Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, author Salman Rushdie and design duo Rodarte – have come up with a novel solution, perfectly suited to the Internet age: a free, crowdfunded, peer-to-peer online arts school that brings the arts to students who need them.
The best assessments are about creativity and application, not regurgitation or formulaic writing. It also doesn’t hurt to be reminded now and then that getting out of one’s comfort zone can lead to great things-for both students and teachers.
 Job Opportunities
Professional artists are invited to apply to the Nevada Arts Council’s Artists in School + Communities Roster.
An online resource for schools, organizations and communities seeking to engage teaching artists, the roster will offer two tracks – an Education Track for arts-based learning experiences in pre-K-12 settings, and a Community Track for arts-based learning experiences in community settings. Artists may apply in one or both tracks. Application is not limited to Nevada artists. Applications and support material from artists and ensembles, including those in the folk and traditional arts, will be accepted through an extended deadline of September 30, 2014. Roster applications will be reviewed by a panel of specialists in the early fall.  For questions contact: Maryjane Dorofachuk, Arts Learning Coordinator, 702.486.3738.
VSA Montana is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting access to the arts for people with disabilities throughout the state of Montana. VSA Montana is part of a dynamic network of VSA arts affiliates throughout the country, and international affiliates around the world.
The Executive Director is responsible for strategic planning, collaborative networking and partnerships in the arts and disabilities communities, policy and program development and management, fund-raising, fiscal oversight, and marketing. The Executive Director will ensure successful outreach and programming in education and professional development, and will advocate for cultural access for people with disabilities statewide.
Call 406-549-2984 for details, or click on the link above. Position is open until filled by a qualified candidate.
WaterWorks is a unique art museum and community arts center in Eastern Montana.  Applications are being accepted now and the position is available immediately. 
 
  
The Montana Arts Council is the agency of state government established to develop the creative potential of all Montanans, advance education, spur economic vibrancy and revitalize communities through involvement in the arts.
  
Sincerely,
  
  
Emily Kohring
Director of Arts Education
Montana Arts Council
ekohring@mt.gov / (406) 444-6522
Twitter: @BigSkyArtsEd
  
  
Arts Education August 20, 2014

Arts Education August 7, 2014


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 Arts Education News
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August 7, 2014
Greetings,
I mostly field a lot of calls and emails from people who are interested in letting me know about arts learning projects they are doing around the state, but once in a while an artist walks into my office for a visit, and makes my day.  This happened last week when musician Adam Nordell dropped by and handed me the newest issue of The Montana Quarterly, featuring an article about Bynum School, just north of Choteau, where for 80 years they have celebrated the beginning of each new school day by dancing.  It is a remarkable story about a rural Montana community, two wonderful teachers, and the power of the arts.  If you read anything in this newsletter this week, read it here.  You won’t be sorry you did. 
Also check out the exciting news right underneath here!
Below you will also find links to opportunities, resources, advocacy, research and articles of interest to arts educators and advocates.  Click on anything underlined and it will take you to the link. 
Don’t forget you can also follow the Big Sky Arts Education blog here and get daily news and information about arts learning from my Twitter feed @BigSkyArtsEd
Cheers, Emily 
As promised–exciting news!
Montana to revise their Arts Standards
  
The Montana Office of Public Instruction in partnership with the Montana Arts Council will soon begin the process of revising the Montana Standards for Arts in Montana’s K-12 public schools.  The Arts Standards were written in the 1990s and have never been revised.
  
The revision process will offer an opportunity to create new standards that are discipline-specific in dance, theatre, music, visual art and media arts, rather than the general standards we have now that cover all disciplines with a broad sweep. 
  
The process will also offer multiple opportunities for input and participation from educators, parents, business and community leaders and arts education advocates to improve the quality of arts education in our state.   The process will include focus groups, an open nomination process for writing and review teams, and a public comment period during the adoption process. The revised standards must be adopted by the Montana Board of Public Education and will be brought forth for consideration by the Superintendent of Public Instruction. 
  
For more information about the Montana Standards for Arts revision process, or if you would like to get involved in the revision process, contact Emily Kohring, Director of Arts Education at the Montana Arts Council at (406) 444-6522.
Artists in Schools and Communities FY15 Grant Cycle 
Grants for Arts Learning Projects through June 30, 2015
The Montana Arts Council is now taking applications for its FY15 Artists in Schools and Communities grant program.  Grants will be available to Montana schools, arts organization and other community organizations with not-for-profit status for arts learning projects that strengthen participants’ knowledge and skills in the arts by providing hands-on, participatory learning in the arts. 
  
Artists in Schools and Communities Grant updated guidelines for projects occurring between July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015 is posted on the MAC website.  The grant application process is online.  Grant requests may be made for amounts up to $10000 and require a 1:1 cash match.  Please contact Director of Arts Education Emily Kohring at (406) 444-6522 or ekohring@mt.gov with questions. 
  
Currently, funding for this program is extremely limited.  If you are considering applying for an AISC grant to bring an artist to your school or community during the 2014-2015 school year, you are strongly encouraged to call Emily at the number above and discuss your application with her first. 
  
Opportunities
The mission of the P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children’s Education is to promote the integration of the arts into all educational programs, with a special focus on children who learn in different ways.
The foundation is accepting grant applications from educators who need financial assistance to maintain or implement an arts education program. Grants of up to $1,000 will be awarded to support new or evolving programs that integrate the arts into educational programming. Although the purpose of the grant program is to assist teachers who wish to establish an effective way of using the arts to teach children who learn differently, proposed projects must serve all children in the classroom, including those with no trouble learning in a general education setting.  Teachers of pre-K-12 children are eligible to apply.
Register now the AEP 2014 National Forum on Arts and Education: Preparing Students for the Next America in and through the Arts.  Featuring 21 concurrent sessions on issues in arts education from presenters across the nation.
IRS rolls out new 1023-EZ for exempt applications
This may be of interest to any artists or arts groups who have ever been interested in incorporating as a non-profit organization to access funding–the process just got easier:  
Last week, the IRS gave the official launch to the new Form 1023-EZ, a shorter version of the traditional application for groups seeking 501(c)(3) exempt status. The tax agency announced a streamlined version was forthcoming in March and solicited public comments. According to the press release, as many as 70 percent of 501(c)(3) hopefuls are eligible to submit the three-page form, edited down from the 26-page original, which is available to certain organizations with gross receipts up to $50,000 and assets up to $250,000. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said the change will reduce wait times for applicants and enable his agency to “devote more compliance activity on the back end to ensure groups are actually doing the charitable work they apply to do.” Unlike its longer counterpart, the Form 1023-EZ must be filed electronically. Some sector leaders raise concerns about the new form, including the fact that applicants miss the educational benefits inherent in completing the full Form 1023. Source: IRS Press Release, BNA Daily Tax Report
 
Rhonda Long, Superintendent of Schools for Fergus County has announced that again this summer, teachers can earn up to 6 hours of Continuing Education credit for attending various sessions at the 29th Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering, August 14-17, 2014 in Lewistown, MT.  
The 6 hours of credit can be earned by attending the 50+ hours of cowboy poetry and western music offered in the day sessions at The Yogo Inn on August 15 and 16, or by attending the Saturday night Grand Stage Show starring SONS OF THE SAN JOAQUIN at the Fergus Center for the Performing Arts on August 15th.   Schedules and details are available at:  MontanaCowboyPoetryGathering.com.  Montana Cowboy Poetry celebrates and presents an oral history of the American cowboy of the upper Rocky Mountain west and the Montana Territory through poetry verse and music lyrics. 
 Advocacy and Research
As we wrap up summer looking forward into the fall, it is time to consider what should be on our back-to-school checklist. In addition to planning curriculum, it is necessary to consider the arts education advocacy agenda for the year ahead and our role in supporting its continued benefits to students around the country.
This is a very interesting and easy-to-digest new report from the Irvine Foundation in California on engaging diverse audiences in the arts, a topic where many organizations committed to arts education programming meet challenges.  It may be of interest to those of you trying to reach underserved youth. 
  
Of Interest for Arts Educators
  
  
Dance vs. PowerPoint, a modest proposal - John Bohannon
Dance vs. PowerPoint, a modest proposal – John Bohannon
  
Click on the above Tedtalk to see a beautiful illustration of how art and science can illuminate each other. You will never see Powerpoint presentations the same way! 
  
Due to the impact of K-12 education budget cuts across the country, it is expected that school arts programs (e.g. music, visual arts, dance, theater) in many schools and districts will be reduced or eliminated next year. The arts are often the most vulnerable because they are not considered as important as other subjects and are not evaluated through a high stakes, standardized testing process. But the reality is that the arts have a powerful impact on learning and are important in their own right. Here are ten reasons why, in a 21st century world, we should STRENGTHEN and EXPAND arts education, not reduce or eliminate it.
A little boredom is not a bad thing in anybody’s life.  It stimulates your creative side. 
A Harris Poll from The Wall Street Journal says three-quarters of Americans were involved in some sort of music program in school. 
It’s probably pretty stressful being a high school principal, for all kinds of reasons. But Eric Alburtus, principal of Portage Central High School, spends a big chunk of his time worrying about the arts. He’s specifically worried about the kind of human beings our schools are producing, when kids must fulfill heavy requirements in math and science, yet they barely have a chance to study music, choir, theater, or the visual arts.
 Job Opportunities
Professional artists are invited to apply to the Nevada Arts Council’s Artists in School + Communities Roster.
An online resource for schools, organizations and communities seeking to engage teaching artists, the roster will offer two tracks – an Education Track for arts-based learning experiences in pre-K-12 settings, and a Community Track for arts-based learning experiences in community settings. Artists may apply in one or both tracks. Application is not limited to Nevada artists. Applications and support material from artists and ensembles, including those in the folk and traditional arts, will be accepted through August 15, 2014. Roster applications will be reviewed by a panel of specialists in the early fall.  For questions contact: Maryjane Dorofachuk, Arts Learning Coordinator, 702.486.3738.
NASAA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership association that unites, represents, and serves the nation’s state and jurisdictional arts agencies which support excellence in and access to the arts. NASAA looks to fill the position of CEO. A passionate and knowledgeable advocate for the arts and effective arts policy, NASAA’s CEO will have a well-rounded set of competencies that distinguish him/her from others in the field as a persuasive leader with the ability to set and attain goals.
 
  
The Montana Arts Council is the agency of state government established to develop the creative potential of all Montanans, advance education, spur economic vibrancy and revitalize communities through involvement in the arts.
  
Sincerely,
  
  
Emily Kohring
Director of Arts Education
Montana Arts Council
ekohring@mt.gov / (406) 444-6522
Twitter: @BigSkyArtsEd
  
  
Arts Education August 7, 2014