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PK-12 Teaching Artist Roster


The Maine Arts Commission selected the following artists after conducting an application process with careful review of each applicant. The artists on the roster have demonstrated mastery of an artistic discipline, knowledge and expertise in sequential arts instruction, good communications skills, planning and organizational ability, and an understanding of their target learners.



Eileen Ahern—Blue Hill—Visual Arts
Anne Alexander—Windham—Visual Arts
Annegret Baier—Portland— Music
Ian Bannon—Portland—Theatre and Visual Arts
Gretchen Berg—PortlandTheatre
Kristine Biegel—Gorham—Visual Arts
Patience Meliora Blythe—Bar HarborVisual Arts
Karen Brooks—Lewiston—Visual Arts
Robin Brooks—Topsham—Visual Arts
Scot Cannon—Belfast—Music
Tim Christensen—Franklin—Visual Arts
Sandi Cirillo—Searsport—Visual Arts
Doug Day—Rockport—Music and Theatre
Sara Anne Donnelly—Portland—Literary Arts
Laurie Downey—West Baldwin—Visual Arts
Brian Evans-JonesSouth Berwick—Literary Arts
Leland Faulkner—Auburn—Media Arts
Gibson Fay-LeBlanc—Portland—Literary Arts
Randy Fein—CamdenVisual Arts
Gayle FitzpatrickOgunquit—Visual Arts
Kelly Holyoke Fitzpatrick—Orland—Dance
Chrissy Fowler—Belfast—Dance
Judy Fricke—Bangor—Music
Hio Ridge Dance—Denmark—Dance
Mark Horn—Augusta—Music
Huey—Portland—Media Arts
Amanda Huotari—Buckfield—Theatre
Namory Keita—Westbrook —Music and Dance
Katenia Keller—Belfast—Dance
Devon Kelley-Yurdin—Portland—Visual Arts
Marita Kennedy-Castro—Portland—Dance
Carin Lee—South Berwick—Literary Arts
Catherine J.S. Lee—Eastport—Literary Arts
Elly Lovin—Portland—Dance
Susan MacNichol—Eastport—Visual Arts
Beverly Mann—Belfast—Theatre and Visual Arts
Libby Marcus—Portland—Theatre
Stevie McGary—Dedham—Dance
Heléna Melone—Brooks—Dance
Karen Montanaro—Casco—Dance
Amy-Jane F. Mooney—Hampden—Dance and Theatre
John Morris—South Portland—Dance
Rijah Newell—Portland—Dance and Theatre
Dee Peppe—RocklandVisual Arts
Jeri Pitcher—Readfield—Theater
Brigid Rankowski—Westbrook—Media Arts 
Shirleyanne Ratajczak—WatervilleVisual Arts
Maureen L. Robinson—Brewer—Dance
Nancy Salmon—South Freeport—Dance
Reba Short—Portland—Theatre
Putnam Smith—Durham—Music
Martin Steingesser—Portland—Literary Arts
Martin Swinger—Augusta—Music
Ann L. Thompson—Biddeford—Visual Arts
Malley Weber—Hallowell—Visual Arts
Michael Wingfield—Portland—Music


Eileen Ahern

Discipline(s): Visual Art: Drawing, Painting, Ceramics, Cut paper, Pop-ups, Simple books

Teaching Philosophy: As a teaching artist, I share my enthusiasm for making things, and learning from the world around us.  Keeping projects focused to build confidence, while encouraging individual expression, experimentation, discovery and fun.  Making art helps the student engage with culture, history, and their own stories.  I will develop projects for different age groups, and/or to support curriculum.  I speak French and some Spanish, and would be happy to create projects to collaborate with Language classes.

Grade-level Preference: PK-12
Years Taught: 8
Geographic Availability: 50 miles from Blue Hill, negotiable
Fee: $50 per hour, plus travel and materials, negotiable
P.O. Box 378
Blue Hill, ME 04614


Anne Alexander

Discipline(s): Sculpture, Ceramics, Alabaster carving, Drawing

Teaching Philosophy: I am a sculptor, who works in the mediums of carving wood and stone and modeling clay. I also was an art teacher in both public and private schools, for over twenty years. One of my passions is to connect people to the natural environment through the arts and I have many ideas for creating art works inspired by the natural world. I also have an interest and experience studying and incorporating the arts of indigenous cultures into my work and student projects.  I enjoy working with students of different abilities and backgrounds and to lead each child to do his/or her best and individual work in the arts.  I speak Spanish quite well and basic French and would be happy to do projects with foreign language classes.

Grade-level Preference: PK-Senior Citizen
Years Taught:  25+
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: $350 day plus travel out of Portland area
26 Main Street
Windham, ME 04062
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Annegret Baier

Discipline(s)West African Music and Dance, Cultural exposure and appreciation

Teaching Philosophy: My hand drumming has a strong primal and physical appeal to audiences of all ages, and invites listeners to participate and react directly through hand clapping, movement and dancing. I’m glad to inspire younger girls by playing a traditionally male instrument with joy and skill. I hope to convince every student of their power and strength and ability to go out into the world and choose freely what they want to do in their life.

Grade-level Preference: PK-12
Years Taught: 20
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: $500/ full day, pro-rated partial day, discounted for multiple days/negotiable
14 Bedell Street
Portland, ME 04103


Ian Bannon

Discipline(s): Puppetry, Physical Theater, Ensemble Devising

Teaching Philosophy: I bring over a decade of experience and boundless energy to the classroom. I teach one-off workshops but revel in long-term projects that support curriculum. Each workshop is tailored to the needs of the students I serve, enabling them to explore their world, express their thoughts, and demonstrate their learning through puppetry. The form can be used in myriad ways: enabling students to imagine and realize the impossible through the magic of shadows, requiring students to work intensely in tight quarters with their peers, devising original material along a theme, adapting curriculum into performance, providing an emotionally-safe distance to process difficult material...the opportunities are endless!

Grade-level Preference: K-12, Adult
Years Taught:  11
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: $500 per day, negotiable for longer contracts, subsidies available
26 Frederic Street, #1R
Portland, ME 04102
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Gretchen Berg

Discipline(s): Physical Theater

Teaching Philosophy: I offer many years of teaching experience coupled with enthusiasm and an understanding of schools. Good art and deep learning share a commitment to rigor and pleasure. One example is that for 7 years I've worked with 3rd graders and their teacher creating physical theater performances based on their yearly in-depth study of Portland. Each year they perform for 2nd graders (and staff from Maine Historical Society). The 2nd graders become 3rd graders who then do their own study and performance the following year. Students and teachers become experts on the city AND on performing their learning.

Grade-level Preference: PK-12
Years Taught: 35
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: $300 day (1-3 classes) plus travel
24 Linden Street
Portland, ME 04101


Kristine Biegel

Discipline(s): Fine Arts

Teaching Philosophy: I believe that art making should build confidence, strengthen learning and give a voice to all students in the classroom. I work with the classroom teacher and their academic curriculum to design arts-based projects that reinforce learning standards through both 2D and 3D art experiences. All projects are designed to create deeper learning for students through collaborations, problem solving, layering the learning and creative choice. This is a collaborative process between the teachers and the teaching artist with unique lessons designed to complement a specific set of learning goals.

Grade-level Preference: K-5
Years Taught: 15
Geographic Availability: Within 75 miles of Scarborough, negotiable
Fee: $300 per day, 1-3 classes, travel included within 75 miles. Materials TBD by project.
Links:, Farnsworth Art Museum Camp, VSA COOL School Program, Elementary School Teaching Artist Program
47 Black Brook Road
Gorham, ME  04038


Patience Meliora Blythe

Discipline(s): Jewelry, Metalsmithing, Metal Sculpture

Teaching Philosophy: I find the energy and enthusiasm of young people inspiring. I also find that the arts are a natural vehicle for children to express themselves in positive ways. My process of art-making is directly tied to my surroundings; where I am, both physically and emotionally, is reflected in the pieces that I make. I find my greatest inspiration in the natural world and draw many forms from plants and geographical features of my environment.

Grade-level Preference: 6-8
Years Taught: 8
Geographic Availability: I live in Bar Harbor and have a studio in Hulls Cove but am willing to travel to other points in Maine.
Fee: Negotiable based on course descriptions and organizational capabilities.
Links:, and Facebook-Blythe Metals Studio
60 Main Street
Bar Harbor, ME 04609


Karen Brooks

Discipline(s): Paper Art, Sculpture and Book Arts

Teaching Philosophy: Paper art is having a resurgence as a medium. In a highly technological age, it provides a “hands on” experience to students. My way of paper art making involves moving and blending elements throughout the process of creating a piece, which enhances the practice of spontaneity and improvisation. This allows divergent ideas to emerge. I have seen those who lacked confidence find creative courage as they built and rearranged elements and were inspired to make new forms to add to a piece. This is what I most love about working in paper, and why I enjoy sharing my approach to this medium with others.

Grade-level Preference: PK-12
Years Taught: 35
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: Negotiable
104 Spring Street
Lewiston, ME 04240


Robin Brooks

Discipline(s): Drawing, Painting, Collage, Mixed Media Explorations, Group Mural, Puppets, Found Object Assemblage

Teaching Philosophy: When working with children or adults, I try to help each person discover their creative potential and make a connection to the world of art.  My approach to teaching starts with exploring materials, both traditional art materials like paint and clay as well as found or recycled materials.  I draw my inspiration as a teacher from several sources--the Reggio Emilia early childhood community, the Choice-Based art education network, and the Mindfulness in Education movement.  All of these groups encourage reflective practice and growth and learning on the part of the teacher.

Grade-level Preference: PK-12
Years Taught: 35
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: $300/day, $50/hour, negotiable
47 Ivanhoe Drive
Topsham, ME 04086


Scot Cannon

Discipline(s): Music, Mime, Songwriting, Music Recording, Character Education

Teaching Philosophy: My teaching philosophy is one of inclusion. Every child responds to music, mime, movement, telling stories and positive reinforcement. My songwriting residencies are a combination of all those. All my work is based on the speech problems I had growing up.  The inability to express myself led me to the arts to find a way to communicate. In my residencies I want to give the children the same feelings of wonder I had the first time I played an instrument, wrote a song, heard myself sing and shared my stories with others. We all work together to find the subject, write the words, turn them into lyrics, practice and make a recording. Where we end up is how far the children want to go.

Grade-level Preference: 2-8, other grades considered
Years Taught: 40
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: $500/day - up to 4 classes or $200/class, negotiable with longer projects,
114 Congress Street
Belfast, ME  04915


Tim Christensen

Discipline(s): Sgraffito on Porcelain, Sculpture, Pottery, Public Art

Teaching Philosophy: I start with the idea that everyone can be an artist, and that art can offer people a strong, clear, and confident voice with which they can express themselves. I am passionate about the subject matter as well and try to convey that excitemetn to young artists. Through storytelling and visuals, I share the history, the science, the process, and the potential paroducts of working in clay. I pass around examples of pottery I have made using the sgraffito method adn preface its importance in history as a visual way of recording information that predates the written language. I firmly believe students learn by experience (touching, hearing, seeing, and feeling). They thrive in a safe, supportive environment where they know their voice will be heard and respected.


Grade-level Preference: PK-12
Years Taught: 13
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: $250/day, 8 am to 5 pm, negotiable


Sandi Cirillo

Discipline(s): Fibers, Mixed Media

Teaching Philosophy: As a fiber artist, the focus in my work is on the investigation of various manmade and natural fibers that I can use to incorporate into a finished piece of art. As an art teacher, I implore my students to do the same, reminding them that everything we discover is an adventure and brings us closer to completion of their own artistic creations. Focusing on the environment is another key element in my art and in my approach to teaching.

Grade-level Preference: Elementary
Years Taught: 26+
Geographic Availability: Mid-Coast Maine/ negotiable
Fee: $50 per hour plus travel and materials/negotiable
27 Union Street
Searsport, ME 04974



Doug Day

Discipline(s): Songwriting, Theater

Teaching Philosophy: My motivation in teaching is to help another (student or teacher) learn to create a story with music through learning what is helpful in communicating a good story and what is superfluous. I use rhythm, rhyme and melody, the stuff of song, to build the story; but the methods used are methods that can be applied across the board in one’s life of connecting with others. Once you see the result of a student’s awareness of her ability to connect with herself, her classmates and her community by singing and dancing and saying words aloud, you realize the essential nature of this process and the role of Art in school and life.

Grade-level Preference: K-12
Years Taught:  25
Geographic Availability: Anywhere in Maine. My gigs are often five day programs and I am willing to travel.
Fee: $500/day; same as I have for thirty years! negotiable is true, but it doesn’t vary much unless we make an arrangement for a longer term project.
Links:, ICE! , an historical musical with students from rural Maine reflecting studies of the ice cutting industry, 1880-1900 on Vimeo 
28 Pascal Avenue
Rockport, ME 04856
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Sara Anne Donnelly

Discipline(s): Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Journalism

Teaching Philosophy: With games, close reading, and lots of writing, I combine a classroom teacher’s emphasis on craft instruction with an artist’s appreciation for the often messy process of turning an idea into a composition. Classes often feature mini-lessons on technique, an emphasis on revision, and a writer’s workshop with constructive peer review. Writing has been a vital and fulfilling way for me to communicate with myself and with others, and I am passionate about helping students see it as such a resource.

Grade-level Preference: 6-12
Years Taught: 7
Geographic Availability: Southern Maine
Fee: $50 per classroom hour
19 Elllsworth Street
Portland, ME 04102


Laurie Downey

Discipline(s): Visual Art, Mural Making

Teaching Philosophy: As a teaching artist, I am a big believer in working closely with classroom teachers to integrate art into the curriculum, and making art with students that is grounded in their everyday lives. The Local Stories Project is based squarely in the community, taking advantage of the wealth of personal stories and strong sense of place in rural Maine towns. Students are first invited to create a public mural and performance about their town; the prospect of being artists and performers provides a powerful motivation for research work that follows. Classroom teachers and the local historical society plans field trips to nearby historical sites and brings community members - often grandparents or neighbors - into the school for interviews. As a visual artist and designer, I then guide students to use observational drawing to take notes and express ideas; sketchbooks combining written notes and drawing form the basis for the mural and the performance. I collaborate with theater/dance artist Gretchen Berg on this project.

Grade-level Preference: K-5
Years Taught: 25
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: Per project
"short video of Local Stories process"
24 Bowie Road
West Baldwin, ME 04091


Brian Evans-Jones

Discipline(s): Poetry, Creative Writing

Teaching Philosophy: Poetry is fun and more enjoyable and satisfying to me than any other kind of work. When I’m working with students, I want them to feel that way too. It might happen through the sensory exploration of an historic object, the wild comparisons they can create for it, and the emotions and experiences they can give it. It might be recording a hypnotic tapestry of words and phrases linked by sound. It might be the game-like challenge of fitting their thoughts into a poetic form, and at the same time letting the form give them new ideas. But whatever it is, I want them to discover not just ways to make poems, but new understanding of their power to think and re-think, shape and re-shape, imagine and re-imagine. I believe this can enrich their studies across all subjects, and their lives. With a first degree in math, I am particularly interested in bringing poetry into STEAM; but I appreciate any opportunities to help children and young people develop a greater understanding of poetry, creativity, their schoolwork in general, their lives, and themselves.

Grade-level Preference: 1-12
Years Taught: 11
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: $400/day, negotiable
5 Neally Street
South Berwick, ME 03908


Leland Faulkner

Discipline(s): Theatre, Film

Teaching Philosophy: My most basic artistic and educational mission is to remind people that they are surrounded with wonder at all times. I like to enlighten by entertaining with visual artistry, simple stories and objects brought to life through magic and movement, and in the process evoke wonder. On another level my mission is to bring diverse groups together by devising and presenting performances that share elements of physical theatre, international culture, and individual imagination. Character, Mime, and Story seem to cross cultural boundaries either by bringing narratives to life in live performance, or by performing universal material that crosses boundaries by using humor.  My performances and teachings take elements from my artistic work and provide accessibility to physical theatre in a school environment.  Seeing live theatre as a young boy was a magical experience, and I want to make that thrill reoccur in the heart of another generation.

Grade-level Preference: 7-12
Years Taught: 25
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: $500 per day for workshops and residencies, negotiable with longer contracts.
2426 Turner Road
Auburn, ME 04210


Gibson Fay-Leblanc

Discipline(s): Poetry, Fiction and Nonfiction Writing

Teaching Philosophy: Because I didn’t discover my interest in poetry and creative writing until my twenties, I understand the boredom and fear with which many students approach putting words on the page. I love finding unconventional ways into writing and believe that the biggest thing young writers need is encouragement. If they find a story they have to tell, they will, with help, learn whatever technical skills they need to learn to tell it.

Grade-level Preference: K-12
Years Taught: 17
Geographic Availability: No preference, outside of Greater Portland will require some travel reimbursement
Fee: $300/day, negotiable
117 Noyes Street
Portland, ME 04103


Randy Fein

Discipline(s): Two- and Three-dimensional Visual Art including interior and exterior murals, clay and mixed media sculpture, pottery, and clay relief tile murals

Teaching Philosophy: As a teaching artist, I am enthusiastic about inspiring others to discover their passion for creativity. Each workshop I lead is focused on strengthening confidence of each participant’s creative expression with the goal of bringing enhanced joy and self-worth to every student. I believe that everyone has the “skill” to create art. One just requires the interest and the tools to begin. Workshops can be structured to create permanent collaborative artwork for your facility or focused on creating individual works of art.
Grade-level Preference: 2-12
Years Taught: 35
Geographic Availability: Have Clay & Paint, will Travel!
Fee: Basic Daily Fee is $295. Per class $100. Plus mileage fee more than 25 miles from Camden.
P.O. Box 774
Camden, ME 04843
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Gayle Fitzpatrick

Discipline(s): Papermaking, Printmaking, Drawing, Painting

Teaching Philosophy: I'm a craftsperson and an artist because it's my method to understand, explore, and gain meaning from the world. In the same spirit that a very young child builds one block upon another; the joy of movement, repetition, the sense of anticipation and mastery, I create art and fine crafts. In teaching, I endeavor to elicit this state from each one of my students. The process of making visual art; learning new skills, focusing attention, making decisions in real time between mind, hand and eye, is a difficult and ultimately rewarding activity for students of all ages and abilities.

Grade-level Preference: No preference
Years Taught: 35
Geographic Availability: Within 50 miles of Kennebunk, ME
Fee: $50 per hour, or $300 per day, plus materials. Negotiable
PO Box 1362
Ogunquit, ME 03907


Kelly Holyoke Fitzpatrick

Discipline(s): Dance

Teaching Philosophy: I believe each child deserves to be respected and listened to in dance class, and that they should learn to do the same to others. I teach basic dance steps and let them know that dance can be fun, expressive, and joyous. It's important to have a sense of humor about it and the only expectation is that one tries their best. No individual child is judged or criticized. They are only encouraged to feel and move and enjoy. Embrace dance and life!

Grade-level Preference: 3-5
Years Taught: 35
Geographic Availability: Penobscot or Hancock County
Fee: Negotiable
123 Winkumpaugh Road 
Orland, ME 04472


Chrissy Fowler

Discipline(s): Dance

Teaching Philosophy: As an educator and dance leader, I am committed to building community. In Maine, traditional New England social dance, or contra dancing, can connect people across age and experience; it serves this same role in schools. When students and teachers join hands in dance, they are part of something greater than their individual selves – and they can relate to each other in new ways. Given the simple footwork, energetic movement, lively songs and fiddle tunes, and repetition of patterns, participants can enter the experience at many levels and even the greatest resisters find themselves smiling. It brings me great joy to facilitate such experiences in schools, both for the short term benefits for students and staff, but also because it can plant seeds for participants’ potential lifelong enjoyment of traditional participatory arts such as contra dancing.

Grade-level Preference: PK-12
Years Taught: 16
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: Negotiable
93 Kaler Road
Belfast, ME 04915


Judy S. Fricke

Discipline(s): Early Childhood Music

Teaching Philosophy: Music used in a variety of ways can be the key that opens the door to both music and literacy for preschoolers and teachers alike. During the session I will present groups of hands on activities which can encourage and empower the early childhood student and educator to engage in “music to literacy” activities regularly in their everyday classroom. Simple and enjoyable tools from pitch exploration, echo singing, and finger plays to simple folk dancing and rhythm games create a fun-filled time of sharing. Rhythm, intonation, volume and tempo are characteristics found in both music and emergent literacy. The importance of reading to children and exposing them to music at a young age cannot be over emphasized, nor can the role their first teachers play in those children’s lives.

Grade-level Preference: PK-1
Years Taught: 23
Geographic Availability: No Preference
Fee: $50.00 an Hour plus travel expenses
396 Hammond Street
Bangor, ME 04401
207-907-4069 or


Hio Ridge Dance

Cookie Harrist and Delaney McDonough

Discipline(s): Postmodern Dance

Teaching Philosophy: Cookie Harrist and Delaney McDonough utilize cutting edge and experimental dance practices as a way to actualize the body's place in education. Students, often trapped at desks, are invited to explore their range of motion, creative expression and community interaction through specific instructions for improvisation. Cookie and Delaney show students how to track the health of their bodies by focusing on internal sensation, as well as how to conduct respectful engagement with a body that is not their own. Cookie and Delaney collaborate with students of all ages and abilities to create new dance works out of these non-prescriptive movement practices. For more advanced dancers, Cookie and Delaney can offer preparation for college dance programs.

Grade-level Preference: 5-8
Years Taught: Combined 10 years
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: $100-200 workshop/class, $500-2000 residency (both are negotiable)
11 Beaver Pond Road
Denmark, ME 04022


Mark Horn

Discipline(s): Music

Teaching Philosophy: My teaching philosophy is based on the idea that music is an important part of everyday life in all cultures around the world. I use my banjo and voice to engage learners in singing and dancing while providing them with some music history.

Grade-level Preference: K-6
Years Taught: 10
Geographic Availability: Central/Mid Coast
Fee: $125 per class
40 Monroe Street, 
Apt. 1
Augusta, ME 04330




Discipline(s): Video Production: documentary, narrative, animation
Teaching Philosophy: My philosophy is “local is good.” By that, I mean the lives and heritage of the students and their community become the subjects of the movies. Students learn by doing using digital media tools to tell their stories. Participants are immersed in all aspects of moviemaking: scriptwriting, research, camera skills, animation, acting for the camera, interview technique, editing, soundtrack recording, and video magic. Movie production topics include local people, places, cultural heritage, folklore, local history, and original stories written by youth. I have developed lesson plans for the different grade levels based on research and years of working as a teaching artist.
Grade-level Preference: K-12
Years Taught: 35
Geographic Availability: Statewide, travel expenses for over 60 miles from Portland
Fee: $500/day - $300/half day. Long term residencies negotiable.
103 Montrose Avenue
Portland, ME 04103


Amanda Huotari

Discipline(s): Theater

Teaching Philosophy: My passion for creating theater began when I attended Celebration Barn Theater as an 8th grader. When I got to work alongside professional performers for the first time, a world of possibilities opened up to me. Now a professional artist, I get to share creative curiosity and adventure with students who may not have any previous exposure to theater. Making theater offers dynamic tools for empowering each student to communicate with confidence and clarity in a voice that is his or her own. As we practice listening to one another, being inspired by one another, playing together, turning ideas into action, storytelling, and problem-solving, we build skills for collaboration and invention that extend far beyond the classroom.
Grade-level Preference: 8-12
Years Taught: 15
Geographic Availability: Within 55 miles of Buckfield
Fee: Negotiable
319 Brock School Road
Buckfield, ME 04220


Namory Keita

Discipline(s): Traditional West African Drum and Dance

Teaching Philosophy: West African dance and drumming bring the learner through an experience that transcends the mind and brings one into the realm of joy. This is my mission - to inspire and to create experiences that are bigger than everyday life. In working with an ensemble of traditional drums – students learn that their part – however small – is valued and important. This type of group work creates an environment of cooperation, building the foundation for strong community participation, listening skills, hand eye coordination and certainly respect for ones self and others as well as for the people and arts of other cultures. Dancing and drumming opens many channels physically and emotionally that are often new and exciting for any learner, regardless of age.

Grade-level Preference: PK-12
Years Taught: 18
Geographic Availability: 3 Hour radius of Portland
Fee: $40/hour private class, $100-150/hour class, day program, negotiable
304 Brown Street
Westbrook, ME 04092


Katenia Keller

Discipline(s): Dance and Creative Movement

Teaching Philosophy: I believe that all humans are dancers, no matter what our physical limitations may be. Students start with simple body awareness exercises that are fun and that result in movement that is authentic to each individual. Students build phrases from the created movement and there is joy and pride in this accomplishment. Gradually we begin working as one large group and making decisions together. I enjoy sharing ways to open the door to each person’s individual movement and creative expression.

Grade-level Preference: 4-12
Years Taught: 32
Geographic Availability: Prefer mid-coast but will consider other locations
Fee: $300 per day, negotiable
137 High Street
Belfast, ME  04915


Devon Kelley-Yurdin

Discipline(s): Graphic design, Illustration, Drawing, Cut-paper

Teaching Philosophy: In both my teaching philosophy and my personal art practice I believe in using the arts as an avenue to learn new technical skills, discover ways of thinking or looking, explore ideas of place and community, learn histories, and find ways of connecting with others. Humor, cultural appreciation, accessibility, and the constant quest for new skills and information drive both my work and my life experience, and I encourage that from others as well.

Grade-level Preference: 4-12
Years Taught: 4
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: $300/day, fees negotiable for larger/smaller workshops
Portland, ME


Marita Kennedy-Castro

Discipline(s): West African Dance and Drumming, Cultural exposure and appreciation

Teaching Philosophy: The ritual of sharing in dance and music with community, improves wellbeing to body, mind and spirit. I am passionate about making dance accessible for all learners, and sharing my nearly 20 years of study in Guinea style West African Dance. Students will learn basic technique as well as the cultural contexts of the dances and rhythms they are taught. These traditions celebrate interconnection with community and with nature through life's cycles and seasons. I am happy to offer classes, workshops, presentations and/or performances.

Grade-level Preference: 3-12
Years Taught: 12
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: $100-150/workshop, depending upon travel; fee negotiable for multiple classes within a day/series.
131 Leland Street
Portland, ME  04103




Carin Lee

Discipline(s): Writing

Teaching Philosophy: Artists learn by doing. So my students write lots, read each other’s work and give feedback. We read the work of published writers and excellent student pieces I have collected. We immerse ourselves in words. I teach risk-taking, experimenting with words and give permissions to do lots of drafting until a written selection includes only the best words. I alert students to be aware of words used well everywhere – at the dinner table, on TV, radio and on the Web. I teach mutual respect and have high expectations, which the students reach. The writing evolves into Art.

Grade-level Preference: 1-12
Years Taught: 16
Geographic Availability: Prefer lower third of the state
Fee: Per day, negotiable
19 Young Street
South Berwick, ME 03908


Catherine J. S. Lee

Discipline(s): Fiction, Haiku, Haiga (image+haiku), Desktop Publishing

Teaching Philosophy: In words and images, I try to capture significant moments of life and find that it is often the tiniest ones that reveal the most. For me, they are the ones from which art is made. In whatever subject I’m teaching, I do my best to provide students with two things: enthusiasm and content knowledge. This is my obligation and passion. In the context of making art, I teach the skills students need for expressing their ideas and fulfilling their creative potential. I work to create the excitement that will lead them to continue a life-long artistic journey.

Grade-level Preference: 7-12
Years Taught: 25+
Geographic Availability: Negotiable, no preference
Fee: Negotiable hourly rate plus travel
PO Drawer J
Eastport, ME 04631


Elly Lovin

Discipline(s): Dance, Creative Movement, Yoga

Teaching Philosophy: My mission in teaching creative movement to young children is to foster creativity, confidence, and a positive attitude around physicality and motion. A foundation in mind-body awareness sparked during early development can last through childhood and adolescence to create strong, healthy individuals. In moving, breathing and playing together, we are connected in our humanity through the somatic experience. The elements of my classes are flexible to intuitively respond to the group’s needs and energy levels, but they always include elements of coming together in a circle, breathing, connecting our movement, warming up, playful movement games, technique, guided improvisational movement, sharing our created shapes and movement, cooling down, resting, and a moment for sharing and reflection. I draw inspiration for my teaching from ballet, modern dance, kids’ yoga, music, literature and visual arts.

Grade-level Preference: PK-6
Years Taught: 8
Geographic Availability: Portland Area, negotiable
Fee: Negotiable


Susan MacNichol

Discipline(s): Elementary Art Education

Teaching Philosophy: All children have something to say. As a teacher it is my job to help them find a way to say it. The more ways one has of self-expression, the richer one’s experience of life. In any discipline learning the fundamentals gives confidence, a willingness to take risks and push through the tough parts to solve problems inherent in the creative process. I especially like working on group projects.
Grade-level Preference: K-8
Years Taught: 5
Geographic Availability: Eastern Maine
Fee: Negotiable
23 Capen Avenue
Eastport, ME 04631


Beverly Mann

Discipline(s): Theatre, Mask Theatre and Mask Making

Teaching Philosophy: My approach in the classroom is an integration of playfulness, technique and collaboration. I value the participant’s ideas and their creative process. I integrate theatre exercises, which foster a sense of the ensemble and self-confidence; mask theatre techniques, which help the students to identify how to bring the mask to life through their body language and voice; theatre improvisation, which allows a sense of freedom, spontaneity and movement; and mask-making techniques, which enable students to create from their imagination.

Grade-level Preference: 3-12
Years Taught: 25
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: $65 - $90 per hour - prices vary according to each workshop or residency and can be adapted to your specific needs. Materials and miles not included. Fees negotiable.
10 Mayo Street
Belfast, ME 04915


Libby Marcus

Discipline(s): Theater, Creative drama, Theater Arts, Puppetry and Masks

Teaching Philosophy: My goal is to guide students of all ages to explore the creative process through one or more of the following: drama, story theater, puppetry, and masks. Students in my classes and workshops develop practical skills of each art form plus grow confidence in their own creative potential in a supportive and fun environment. I especially love using drama, story theater, puppetry, and masks to make interdisciplinary connections and promote cultural awareness. I have experience working with populations of wide-ranging ages, learning styles, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds.

Grade-level Preference: 4-12
Years Taught: 30
Geographic Availability: Prefer Southern, Mid-coast & Central Maine, other areas negotiable
Fee: $50 per hour, negotiable
40 Seeley Avenue
Portland, ME 04103


Stevie McGary

Discipline(s): Dance

Teaching Philosophy: Initially, all children are engaged in movement; it is keeping them engaged in creating art that is the challenge in a teaching artist residency. I keep children engaged by continuously adding, enhancing, augmenting, and varying the movements and dance concepts they are familiar with while teaching some new material each class. Pacing in my classes is essential – the children do not have much down time and spend much of the class moving which also keeps children engaged and focused. I have developed many different exercises and games that allow the children to feel that they are simply playing a game but, in reality, they are practicing and refining their dance steps. I also allow time in every class for children to be creative which engages their minds and bodies on different levels.
Grade-level Preference: 2-5
Years Taught: 12
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: $50/class full day or extended workshop, negotiable
51 Deer Path Drive
Dedham, ME 04429
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Heléna Melone

Discipline(s): Dance

Teaching Philosophy: Dance is a nexus, a meeting place of ourselves and the world. When I am teaching flamenco dancing and flamenco culture to a Spanish class, and not one student has ever heard of it, the experience becomes a collaboration because they have a reaction to my performing. When we learn a cultural dance, we learn the values inherent in that culture because they are expressed through the body. Whether teaching about Flamenco or a Maine ecosystem, I employ a mixture of demonstration, storytelling, lecture/discussion, group movement activities and dance instruction, encouraging the students to bring their own stories -- whether in words or movement -- to explore new territory.

Grade-level Preference: 2-12
Years Taught: 20
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: $100/class; $300/day, not including travel; negotiable
75 Purple Heart Highway
Brooks, ME 04921


Karen Montanaro

Discipline(s): Dance, Mime

Teaching Philosophy:   I believe that children are endowed with natural resources such as volcanic amounts of physical energy, active imaginations and the ability to focus their attention at will. One of the best ways for young people to mobilize these resources, is through movement. In my workshops, students MOVE energetically, intelligently, musically, rhythmically, expressively and exuberantly. When children are allowed to do what they do best, they are allowed to be themselves, to know themselves, to feel good about themselves and to apply themselves to whatever they do.
Grade-level Preference: K-12
Years Taught: 20
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: Negotiable
5 Riggs Road
Casco, ME 04015


Amy-Jane F. Mooney

Discipline(s): Theater, Dance

Teaching Philosophy: I believe passionately about nurturing children's self-expression in part by teaching them to trust themselves. I encourage children to take chances and do their very best. I lead by example. Singing, dancing and acting all at the same time can be very challenging. I believe in nurturing their ability to individually shine and feel confident no matter their skill level. I am well suited to work with kids because I have high energy, I am creative and I like to play.

Grade-level Preference: 3-6
Years Taught: 12
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: $50 per hour
58 Surrey Lane
Hampden, ME 04444
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John Morris

Discipline(s): Dance

Teaching Philosophy: I am passionate about creative exploration. I begin with students exactly where they are in terms of their skills and confidence level with movement, and engage them in simple creative movement explorations that build over time in the level of complexity. I encourage student input so that they set the pace and tone of exploration, and can feel pride in ownership of the work.


Grade-level Preference: K-12
Years Taught: 33
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: Negotiable
36 George Street
South Portland, ME 04106


Rijah Newell

Discipline(s): Theater, Dance

Teaching Philosophy: My preference to facilitate student led activities empowers and supports creativity while building a foundation of self-directed learning and respect. I offer freedom to move and create from a place that challenges the parameters of theater and performance while providing a safe atmosphere for exploration and learning. I lead by example, opening a framework of creativity that comes from within and beams out.

Grade-level Preference: K-8
Years Taught: 8
Geographic Availability: Southern and Western Maine (negotiable with travel fees applicable)
Fee: $50 per hour
Portland, ME 04102


Dee Peppe

Discipline(s): Visual Art, Photography

Teaching Philosophy: In my teaching, I guide the students to visually explore their environment and to expand their vision and awareness of the world around them. I help them to visually translate a 3-dimensional world into a 2-dimensional format through the skills and techniques of photography. My goal is to maintain the magic while uncovering some of the mysteries. I strive to keep a balance between delivering the information and initiating the students to make their own discoveries. Interdisciplinary connections are made to help broaden the scope of the students' understandings, as well as, to uncover and encourage the presence of art in everyday life. Programs can be structured to fit the goals and needs of individual schools.

Grade-level Preference: 2-12
Years Taught: 26
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: $300 per day, negotiable, plus travel and expenses
407 Main Street
Rockland, ME 04841


Jeri Pitcher

Discipline(s): Theater

Teaching Philosophy: The improvisational exercises that I use with students are based on the work of Viola Spolin and her work as theater director of the Chicago WPA Recreational Projects, as well as the work of Augusto Boal and his "Theater of the Oppressed."  Both directors sought to break down the barriers between audience and performer and to create organic and spontaneous theater that is relevant, engaging, and authentic. I use sequential improvisational exercises, brainstorming activities, and critical discussion in the workshops. We create as a group, on our feet, pushing the desks aside. Each exercise has a specific objective from: creating focus, to team building, to creating original story material. Creating original theater pieces as a group allows us to connect with others and bond through common experience.

Grade-level Preference: 5-12
Years Taught: 25+
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: Negotiable
P.O. Box 634

Readfield, ME 04355

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Brigid Rankowski

Discipline(s): Mixed Media, Movement/Flow Arts, Film

Teaching Philosophy: Within every child is a unique world of creativity. My life’s passion is the reinvention of artistic expression and creativity in everyday life. I work in the emerging field of Flow and Circus Arts, using this as a way to reimagine daily life skills through a new and exciting creative outlet. Combined with my background as a disability advocate, I have the potential to reach an unparalleled number of students. Children thrive with support and a variety of opportunities to explore their own developing perspectives. My diverse creative talents allow me to address the individual strengths and learning styles of each child in a one-of-a-kind classroom environment.

Grade-level Preference: No preference
Years Taught: 3
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: $50 per hour, $300 per day. Rate negotiable.


Shirleyanne Ratajczak

Discipline(s): Visual Arts
Teaching Philosophy: As an educator and artist I believe that it is my responsibility to assist those who wish to learn with emphasis on the positive processes of change. Understanding the essence of change requires that students reach out beyond instant stimulation and gratification and also develop a clearer understanding of the unchanging nature of our world. A cultural and historic perspective is necessary for learners to develop this capacity and to make wiser choices among the products and events that affect their daily lives.
Grade-level Preference: 5-12
Years Taught: 45
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: Negotiable
Links: Facebook
8 Colonial Street
Waterville, ME 04901


Maureen L. Robinson

Discipline(s): Dance

Teaching Philosophy: I believe that dance can be a beneficial experience both physically and emotionally. Dance uses one’s whole body and mind. It can free one’s spirit while boosting self-confidence and self-esteem. It can aid in focus and memorization. It enables one to work as an individual and in a group helping with concentration and cooperation, as well as encouraging respect for others.
Grade-level Preference: 3-4
Years Taught: 16
Geographic Availability: Eastern (Bangor and outlying Areas) Downeast or Mid-Coast (Belfast, Camden, Rockport)
Fee: Negotiable
168 Chamberlain Street
Brewer, ME 04412


Nancy Salmon

Discipline(s): Dance

Teaching Philosophy: When we live comfortably and confidently in our bodies we can live confidently in the world. As a dancer I make meaning and often express joy through movement. As a dance teaching artist I applaud students’ abilities while helping them explore additional possibilities of expressing themselves through movement. With students of any age we start where we are and explore out from there through creative exercises and decision making to dance making. Everything moves. As we embrace movement through dance we develop skills of creating, organizing, editing, presenting.
Grade-level Preference: 4-Adult
Years Taught: 40
Geographic Availability: Statewide and beyond (not available Dec 20 - April 16)
Fee: $300/day plus travel beyond 70 miles round trip
PO Box 178
South Freeport, ME 04078
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Reba Short

Discipline(s): Theatre

Teaching Philosophy: I see theatre as an opportunity to present challenging material and give students an empathetic understanding of the world in which they live. Theatre offers a lens through which all curricula can be presented, interpreted, and evaluated. By focusing on the process of play creation rather than a final outcome, drama simulates a world where students can become experts, decision makers and problem solvers. My approach to literacy offers students a spatial relationship to words and opportunities to take ownership of original text. My work is inspired by Dorothy Heathcote’s Mantle of Experts, Process Drama of Jonothan Neelands, Augusto Boal, Ken Ludwig’s approach to Shakespeare and Anne Bogart’s Viewpoints. I teach to multiple intelligences, have experience with all developmental levels and offer opportunities for everyone to be engaged as an active participant in the creative process.

Grade-level Preference: PK-6
Years Taught: 13
Geographic Availability: Southern and Central Maine, but will consider all counties.
Fee: $400/day - $200/half day. Long term residencies and consulting fees negotiable.
Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine
142 Free Street
Portland, ME 04101
207-828-1234, x247


Putnam Smith

Discipline(s): Music

Teaching Philosophy: I believe that making art has the power to change and transform lives. I am interested in empowering students to find their own voices, and experience the artistic process by learning to write their own songs. Songwriting is so versatile, so universal, that it can be used as a creative means to explore just about anything: from the themes in The Catcher in the Rye, to issues of race and gender and social justice, to an elementary school science book on spiders. My philosophy is to give young people the tools to creatively respond to whatever they are wrestling with in their lives, academically or personally. Learning the skills to respond to life’s challenges with creativity and art-making, are skills that will serve young people for the rest of their lives.

Grade-level Preference: 2-12
Years Taught: 6
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: $450/day + travel expenses. $350 for each additional day. Fee negotiable.
100 Swamp Road
Durham, ME 04222


Martin Steingesser

Discipline(s): Poetry, Performance

Teaching Philosophy: Seeing with the Hearts Ear poetry workshops offer inspiration and opportunity for participants to be more aware, more conscious, while providing new tools, or new ways to use old ones, that serve consciousness in expressive ways. We will be looking for how wind soughing among spruce and hemlock, lap of waves, the migrating geese, conversation at dinner, shouts in the street and weather ruffle the heart’s fur, reflect and carry our stories. With our senses, "as with birds," Rainer Maria Rilke wrote, we "climb out of the oak into the windy heaven." The forms we experience with our senses make tangible invisible agencies, and "as we grow quiet, our love rises." (M.C. Richards) Starting there, we move through a range of writing strategies, using engaging, accessible poems to model them and for inspiration. We explore voice in writing and the pleasures of speaking and hearing poems. Eminently useable strategies are offered for dancing with non-writing time and starting new work.

Grade-level Preference: 3-12, Teacher Workshops
Years Taught: 41
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: $200 for one class and $350 for two classes the same day. Classes are 1&1/2 hours each. Fees are negotiable.

PO Box 7575
Portland, ME 04112-7575


Martin Swinger

Discipline(s): Music

Teaching Philosophy: I introduce songwriting games which immediately engage students in creating their own simple songs. We write lyrics based on a familiar melody so all the students know how the song ‘goes’ as they brainstorm ways to fit their words and their ideas into the melody. We write songs together as a group. They learn positive peer evaluation and gain critical thinking skills as they compose songs together. And, at the end, the reward is singing their original song together for others! This never fails to excite them and improve self-esteem and group pride.

Grade-level Preference: K-12
Years Taught: 20
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: Negotiable
52 Green Street
Augusta, ME 04330


Ann L. Thompson

Discipline(s): Metalsmithing

Teaching Philosophy: Creating a positive experience for each student is at the heart of my teaching. My focus area is three-dimensional media, which necessitates understanding a wide variety of materials, their history in human use, their properties, how they can be transformed, and the best ways to combine them with each other. I study folk toys and encourage children to create adaptations with locally found recycled or natural materials, especially toys that have a kinetic potential. I have several units that are structured around themes rather than specific projects; these allow children to experiment and take risks leading to innovations. As a studio metalsmith I am able to offer Metal Arts classes for up to six students that include both tools and materials. I also enjoy collaborating with classroom teachers to customize a cross-disciplinary experience for students. I use many adaptive techniques for learners with disabilities and have strategies to help overcome inhibitions.

Grade-level Preference: 4-12
Years Taught: 12
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: $30/hour plus travel costs and in some cases additional cost for materials
31 Scadlock Mill Road
Biddeford, ME 04005


Malley Weber

Discipline(s): Ceramic Art

Teaching Philosophy: My teaching is as much a part of my artistic practice as my clay work.  My philosophy is that we learn, teach, explore, and research together. I find that most students are excited to work in clay. Clay work is a whole body experience and students crave the direct connection. It is deeply healing. To squish, mash, poke and create with clay is to deepen the learning process. I don't always advise having a 'product' as a goal because often the value of a lesson is in the discovery and mastery of materials. In our world of high technology educating with clay can bring an earthy physical element to the classroom. I often work with at-risk, behavioral and special needs students because clay is very grounding.

Grade-level Preference: 9-12
Years Taught: 25
Geographic Availability: No preference
Fee: $300 per day, $50 per hour, plus materials, firings, travel fees
6 Orchard Lane
Hallowell, ME  04347
207- 607-1011


Michael Wingfield

Discipline(s): African New World, Rhythm and Song

Teaching Philosophy:  The work I do utilizes the rhythm and song of the African New World in a manner that complements music, literature, social studies, and team building curricula. The residencies, concerts, lecture/demonstrations, and classroom workshops are but tools to engage the school community towards a greater cultural awareness. While delivering material within specific K-12 applications, I promise an experience that links the past with the present, the Afro-centric to the Euro-centric, and folkloric traditions to modern popular culture. Provided are conga drums, shekeres, agogo bells, claves and other accoutrements. In working together we move from cultural appreciation to cultural engagement.

Grade-level Preference: PK-12
Years Taught: 30
Geographic Availability: No preference, willing to travel statewide
Fee: $500/day and pro-rated/negotiable
168 Clark Street
Portland, ME 04102