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Maine Arts Leadership Initiative

Maine Arts Leadership Initiative


In the spring of 2011, the Maine Department of Education launched the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) with the mission: Creating an environment in Maine where quality assessment in arts education is an integral part of the work all arts eduators do to deepen student learning in the arts. In August 2015 the title and mission were changed to reflect the work. The Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) 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. Presently in phase six, the Maine Arts Commission continues to provide professional learning opportunities for educators. Eighty-five teacher leaders and teaching artists leaders provide workshops at the local, regional, and statewide level. Their work continues to transform arts education in Maine classrooms.

Please view our 2016 Teacher Leader Map.



During the Statewide Arts Education Biennial Measure of Success conference on October 9, 2015 at Point Lookout Conference Center the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Resource Bank was unveiled. The bank includes a comprehensive searchable bank of resources developed by MALI Teacher Leaders and divided by disciplines including dance, media arts, music, theatre, visual arts, and creativity. This work is very useful to arts educators, curriculum leaders, and others responsible for teaching and learning in the arts. The Resource Bank is located at If you have any questions please contact Argy Nestor at


Since the spring of 2011 the MAAI has accomplished the following:

  • Eighty-one PK visual and performing arts teachers have become teacher leaders and participated in summer institutes, building on their knowledge and classroom practices. The focus has been leadership, assessment, technology, and creativity and teaching in a student-centered environment. Four teaching artists have become teaching artists leaders and participated in summer institutes, building on their knowledge and classroom practices.
  • In September 2014 the Maine Arts Assessment Resources website was launched that contains a plethora of outstanding resources to assist those providing quality arts education to students in Pre-K through grade 12. The website is continually growing.
  • Teacher leaders provide workshops on a variety of topics throughout the state. At the last statewide biennial conference on October 9, 2015 Arts Education: The Measure of Success, almost 200 visual and participated in 9 workshops. The workshop leaders created resources that are available at!measure-of-success-conference/chki including videos, assessment tools and other valuable items.
  • Ninety-five arts educators have taken graduate courses available through the New England Institute for Teacher Education.  
  • “Another Arts Teacher’s Story” series of 72 blog posts highlighting the work of Maine arts educators are posted at
  • Seven webinars facilitated by Rob Westerberg and Catherine Ring are archived with meeting plans. Click for access.
  • Seven videos of arts teachers' student-centered classrooms were created and are available for teachers and other school personnel on YouTube.
  • Over 1,500 Maine arts educators have participated in one or more professional development opportunities to date included regional and statewide conferences. 


Phase Five Included:


Program Contact Information

For information about any of the Maine Arts Commission’s arts education funding opportunities or programs, please contact Argy Nestor at 207/287-2713 or by email at