A week ago today, I found myself happily in the mix of buzzing teachers at the Portland Museum of Art for the first annual Side x Side Summer Arts Institute. Side x Side is an arts organization whose mission is bringing arts integration into public schools in Maine. They were awarded an Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination (AEMDD) grant of $1.9 million from the U.S. Department of Education, marking the significance of collaborative work between educators and their creative communities.
Side x Side was formed in 2013 by Beth Wilbur Van Mierlo and Annette Kraus, and partners with the University of Southern Maine and local visiting artists to bring critical thinking, creativity, and innovation back into the classroom. At the invitation of Kelly Hrenko, Director of Professional Development for Side x Side as well as the Art Education Program Coordinator at USM, I joined a stellar team of teaching artists for two days of connectivity with elementary teachers from Reiche, East End, Ocean Avenue, and Riverton schools. Here’s my epic report, but in short: it was a BLAST.
> read more of this blog post by Jamie Hogan at its original location