We drove into Camden, Maine on a sunny summer day, and knew immediately why they call Maine Vacationland! It was in this beautiful setting that the Wyeth family made art for generations, and where the NAEA Team East meeting took place from Friday, June 26 to Sunday, June 28th.
Team East is a group of the thirteen states of the Northeast, from West Virginia up to Maine. Sponsored by the National Art Education Association (NAEA) the retreat is a way to bring Art Educator Association members together to network, share ideas and report on what their state is doing to promote and advocate for art education. It is also a place to hear about the work being done by the NAEA, and to help input our ideas on the content and wording of policy and position statements that will become official communications.
During this weekend the group looked at and discussed these focus areas:
Advocacy Research Learning Community connections Organizational Vibrancy
The input from our conversations will be included in the work of the NAEA leadership as it crafts and amends its policies and position statements. Professional development was a hot topic; we discussed the unequal access to meaningful professional development opportunities, and how NAEA can be a resource through webinars, and other info available on their website (NAEA.org). States in the Northeast are fairly close to each other, so many invitations to combine conference or workshop efforts across state lines also added to the richness of possibilities. For example, New Hampshire has partnered with Vermont to offer PD workshops at the Hood Museum, and we would like to plan more events like that.
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act going through Congress was discussed. There was a vote on a revision on July 7th. Although I don’t know at this time what the result was, the discussion centered around wording for the arts. The arts were included as a core subject, but were designated as ‘arts and music’. Andrea Haas, President of the Connecticut Art Educators Assoc. wrote an eloquent letter asking congress to re-word the arts designation to say: “Visual arts and Music’ or’ Visual and Performing Arts. She is encouraging us all to use her letter to send to our congress-people. If you would like a copy of her letter, send me an e-mail at email@example.com and I will forward it to you.
On Saturday we were treated to a tour of the Farnsworth Museum in Rockport. This small museum is noted for the number of Wyeth paintings in its collection. Sculptor Louise Nevelson also lived in this area, and many of her pieces are part of the collection as well.
Local artist Eric Hopkins gave a talk about his work and how it told the story of his life. His work is spontaneous and simplified. One of the things that stayed with me the most was the obvious connection to flying in his imagery: he flew small planes, and many of his paintings are wonderful aerial views of the Maine coast.
Peter Geisser, Team East VP, asked us all to read through the existing position statements under review at NAEA. If you wish to explore them further, please go to the website at NAEA.org.
Here are the topics: Early Childhood Art Education Certification and licensing of Art Educators Teacher Evaluation Museum Education Arts Integration 21st Century skills Distance Learning in the Arts Student Assessment Race-based Mascots
As you can see, these are all charged, and crucial topics for Art Education, and NAEA is hard at work making sure the statements include everything needed to be complete and comprehensive. Although these meetings only last a weekend, we really dive into some important work! And we have the chance to network with art educators from many other states. It is truly rewarding to take part, and helps us in NH to feel part of a larger effort on behalf of Art Education!
All the Best, Martha Rives Advocacy Co-Chair
NH Reps at Team East with NAEA Eastern Region President Peter Geiser and Pat Frankiln, President NAEA
TEAM EAST CONFERENCE 2014 The Eastern Region Leadership Conference was held this year in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
5 members of the New Hampshire Art Educators' Executive Board attended the three day conference June 21-23: President-Claire Provencher, Membership Chair and President Elect-Lisa Rancourt, Secretary-Debi Rapson, Treasurer-Lori Sweeney and Advocacy Chair and Past President- Martha Rives. It was a weekend filled with Art and conversation. We toured New Bedford Art Galleries, enjoyed a wine and chocolate tasting, had a walking tour of the whaling city and took a scenic trip aboard the Cape Cod Dinner Train. We listened to reports from 13 Eastern states and discussed current trends in core standards, reviewed the NAEA Position Statement, discussed graduation requirements in the Visual Arts and learned of upcoming leadership initiatives and opportunities. We shared valuable collaboration and communication with Art Educators from around the country. Thanks Massachusetts for hosting us !
ART MATTERS because it... 1. Boosts literacy 2. Improves culture 3. Teaches problem solving 4. Collaborates and communicates 5. Increases leadership 6. Civic engagement 7. Strengthens perseverance 8. Higher order thinking skills 9. Creativity needed for future workers 10. Teaches articulation, criticism and listening 11. Helps form personal identity 12. Raises questions 13. Cultural connections 14...it is a conversation that never ends !
TEAM EAST 2013
Debi Rapson, Claire Provencher, Lori Sweeney, Martha Rives and Lisa Rancourt all Executive Board Members attended the Team East Conference for three days of Leadership workshops for the Eastern Region.