Arts Education
Arts Education header image

The Maine Arts Commission supports all efforts to promote arts learning. Arts education is a major focus of the Maine Arts Commission and a nationwide movement aiming to provide all students with opportunities to learn in and through the arts (dance, music, theater, visual arts and creative writing). Methods for reaching this goal include providing discipline-specific, sequential learning opportunities; integrating the arts into all curricular content areas; programs in institutions and detention centers; programs in child care centers; and after-school programs.

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Arts Education Programs

Learn more about Arts Education Programs, including the Teaching Artist Program, Maine Excellence in Arts Education, Poetry Out Loud, the Congressional Art Competition, the Maine Arts Education Partners in Leadership, and Arts Education Grants.


PK-12 Teaching Artist Roster

The Maine Arts Commission offers a free online teaching artist roster featuring Maine-based professional artists, with skills and experience teaching learners of various ages, including grades PK-12. The Teaching Artists are available to conduct high-quality learning opportunities for students in school settings and community organizations that offer arts education. We encourage educators and those responsible for arts education to utilize the roster by communicating directly with the Teaching Artists. View the current PK-12 Teaching Artist Roster here. 

What is a Teaching Artist?

Teaching Artists are professional artists who are dedicated to lifelong learning and arts education, have made it an integral part of their professional practice, and who have cultivated skills as educators in concert with their skills as artists.

Maine Excellence in Arts Education

The Maine Arts Commission honors arts education by curating an annual student art exhibit featured throughout the Maine State House Complex. Maine Excellence in Arts Education recognizes the high quality of visual and performing arts by hosting a celebration that includes a reception for students and teachers alike.  

Please consider submitting your students' artwork. The exhibition guidelines are located here. If you are interested in displaying artwork, please contact Director of Arts Education Martha Piscuskas at martha.piscuskas@maine.gov

Exhibit the Excellence in Arts Education 2018 

Congratulations to the 160 students from SeDoMoCha (Dover-Foxcroft) and Marshwood (Eliot) Middle Schools, and the 36 students and their art teachers representing nine Maine schools honored at the Maine State House Hall of Flags on December 11, 2018.

MAINE'S 2021-2022 POETRY OUT LOUD PROGRAM

The Maine Arts Commission is proud to partner once again with the National Endowment for the Arts to give Maine schools the opportunity to participate in Poetry Out Loud in 2021-2022. Register your school for the 2021-2022 Poetry Out Loud program here: https://forms.gle/EUaoNjTqJqBPqLcp8 

About Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high school students across the country. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Poetry Out Loud is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation.

2021 Congressional Art Award Winners

The Maine Arts Commission is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 Congressional Art Competition: 

This year's top finishers by district include: 

1st District Winner: Elwen Benard of Baxter Academy. First Runner Up: Fiona Jason of Baxter Academy, Second Runner Up: Kaitlyn Sawicki of Freeport High School. Honorable Mention: Della Huntley of Baxter Academy. Honorable Mention: Alexis Milem of Thornton Academy. Honorable Mention: Kaylee Demers of Falmouth High School.

2nd District: Winner: Whitney Perkins. First Runner Up: Sophia Carson of Edward Little High School, Second Runner Up: Ella Shaffer of Rangeley Lakes Regional School. Honorable Mention: Lexi Bachelder. Rangeley Lakes Regional School. Honorable Mention: Ruoxuan Zhang of Lee Academy, Honorable Mention: Addaline Hemmingway of Rangeley Lakes Regional School.

The Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition every year to recognize and encourage artistic talent in each congressional district. Since this competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated, according to the U.S. House of Representatives website.

Both first place students will have their artwork on display at the U.S. Capitol for one year and will be offered respective scholarships to attend Maine College of Art in Portland. All recognized artwork will be on exhibit at the Maine State House in Augusta during the spring of 2020.

 --The Required Match for all grants in the FY22 grant cycle is waived--

However, applicants are encouraged to make a match if they are able.

Grants for educators are offered to support projects that have a central focus around learning. Funding supports schools and organizations for innovative PK-12 programs and for lifelong learning projects. The Maine Arts Commission supports all efforts to promote arts learning. Arts education is a major focus of the Maine Arts Commission and a nationwide movement aiming to provide all students with opportunities to learn in and through the arts (dance, music, theater, visual arts and creative writing). Methods for reaching this goal include providing discipline-specific, sequential learning opportunities; integrating the arts into all curricular content areas; programs in institutions and detention centers; programs in child care centers; and after-school programs.

Applications for Arts Education grants must be applied for by either a non-profit organization or, if school-based, through a school district office.  All paperwork must be conducted through the Superintendent’s offices. Communications and funds will go directly to the district to then be delivered to the applying school. The Maine Arts Commission will not contract directly with individual schools. It is recommended that applicants be familiar with the following information prior to applying:

Deadline: April 01 and October 14, 2021
Maximum Award: $1,000.
Required Match: 1 to 1 (in-kind or cash match) (Match waived for FY22)
Award Cycle: July 1 to June 30
APPLY NOW

Artists and organizations seeking relief funding for the COVID-19 emergency should visit the agency COVID-19 Resource Page. It has information about Maine Arts Commission support as well as support options from other organizations. 

The Creative Aging grant supports the collaboration between artists and organizations in developing high-quality, participatory, arts programs for older adults. Funds are available to support the hiring of teaching artists from the Maine Arts Commission’s Creative Aging Teaching Artist Roster to work in community settings such as libraries, senior centers, arts organizations, and assisted- and independent-living centers. Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on the day of the deadline.

Deadline: Open/Rolling
Maximum Award: $500
Required Match: None
Award Cycle: July 1 June 30

APPLY NOW

Ticket to Ride provides funding to defray the cost of travel for Maine schools wishing to visit Maine arts venues and events as part of a well-rounded curriculum. The goals of the travel should support student learning and be aligned with the visual and/or performing arts standards. Applications are accepted throughout the year. Funding will be made available approximately one month after an application is submitted. Schools may apply more than once a year as long as they are applying to attend a different event, bringing a different student population, AND have not expended their eligible amount. Applications will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis with an open deadline.

Any PK-12 school in Maine with a documented free and reduced lunch student population between 30 and 49 percent is eligible to receive support of up to $300 each school year. Any PK-12 school population of 50 percent or greater is eligible to receive up to $500 per school year. Schools are welcome to use Ticket to Ride funds in combination with transportation funds that may be available from individual Maine arts venues and events or other sources.



Program Contact Information

For information about any of the Maine Arts Commission’s arts education funding opportunities or programs, please contact Martha Piscuskas, Director of Arts Education at vog.eniam@saksucsip.ahtram or 207/287-2750.

Ticket To Ride Staff Contact: 
Martha Piscuskas  207-287-2750
Arts Education Director