to fulfilL our mission

MAAE’s work to achieve its mission “to promote and encourage education in all of the arts for all Maine students” includes providing educational programming that models promising practices in arts education.  In addition to providing engaging arts education experiences for stakeholders of all ages and experience levels in the classroom, MAAE continues to expand the scope of these projects to empower participants with knowledge, skills, and resources and be champions for arts education across Maine.

Building Community through The Arts

Building Community Through the Arts (BCTA) brings group creation in drama and dance into the non-arts high school classroom. 

Arts Integration

Arts Integration

The weaving of art-making strategies into the teaching of non-arts content areas of ELA, math, science and social studies has been shown to boost student engagement and student achievement. Find out more about the Eastport pilot program.

Student Leadership Group

Student Leadership Group

The Student Leadership Group is facilitating the formation of ABC Student Advocacy Teams at schools around the state. Within individual schools, these teams connect students engaged in different art forms. 


BCTA gets State and National Recognition!

Building Community Through the Arts (BCTA), which builds trust among students in Maine academic classrooms through creative theater and dance, has recently gotten the attention of the Maine Department of Education and Americans for the Arts in Washington DC. The Maine DOE has invited MAAE to aggregate its pre and post data so that it can promote BCTA as an “evidence-based program.” BCTA was developed as a response to the school shooting at Columbine High School in 1999, and in the reminder of that tragedy following the Parkland Florida and Texas school shootings, Americans for the Arts published the blog that MAAE sent in about this program.

Building Community Through the Arts (BCTA) brings group creation in drama and dance into the non-arts high school classroom. The two-week artist residency program engages entire high school or middle school classes – usually but not always English classes – in the development of an original dance or theater piece that expresses the group’s self-identified social issues and/or themes drawn from class curriculum. At a culminating regional performance “conference,” which is open to the public, the participating classes and schools gather to perform for each other and reflect on the experience. Initiated in response to the tragedy at Columbine more than a decade ago, the program’s collaborative process helps to break down social barriers among students even as its classroom setting directly impacts the atmosphere for learning.


The weaving of art-making strategies into the teaching of non-arts content areas of ELA, math, science and social studies has been shown to boost student engagement and student achievement. Low income and special needs students have been found to be helped more by arts-integrated classroom instruction in ELA and math than by traditional remedial programs. Arts integration is most effective when it is a school-wide practice, and the classroom teachers themselves are trained to integrate the arts, and can use them also to respond to unexpected opportunities and changing classroom needs, rather than relying only on pre-scheduled visits from teaching artists. For rural schools in low income and remote communities, the classroom teacher-centered model is also more practical and sustainable.

K 4-5 students demonstrate different weather conditions through movement

Grades 1 & 2 students show that the spring sun will revive the plants in the spring

The climate change dance by grade 7 & 8 begins with glacial ice rising high…

A group sculpture based on positive and negative space makes others want to join in!

Eastport Pilots School-wide Arts Integration

In partnership with the administration of AOS 77 in Eastport, and with the encouragement of the Maine Department of Education, MAAE has been piloting the state’s first model of schoolwide and classroom teacher-based arts integration in theater and dance. Designed by MAAE to be sustainable at schools in Maine’s many remote, low-income communities, the model piloted in Eastport offers a way for Maine schools to respond to the growing research showing the benefits of arts integrated instruction for student learning and engagement. The project began last year at the Eastport Elementary School, grades Pre-k through 8. This year MAAE has been expanding its pilot to grades 9-12 at Eastport’s Shead High School. Funding has come from the Maine Community Foundation’s Washington County Fund and the Davis Family Foundation.

Unlike the models adopted by large urban schools in other states, which rely more extensively on the local presence of theater and dance artists, the MAAE model provides classroom teachers themselves with flexible models of individual and group student creation in theater and movement and gives the teachers the training and professional support to adapt those activities throughout their curriculum. The Maine DOE is treating the pilot as a case study, whose results the Department can help us disseminate statewide. 

At a demonstration at Eastport Elementary School last May by the EES teachers and students of every grade level parents and community members got to see exciting examples of the results at the elementary and middle school level. Those included grade 1/2 showing through movement the life cycle of plants, grade 5/6 enacting its exploration of missing scenes in a Harry Potter novel, and grade 7/8 performing the powerful dance they had created showing the apocalyptic impact of climate change. In the demonstration’s finale the 7/8 class invited the other students – and the adults too! – to join them in forming a group shape based on positive and negative space. One by one the students – even pre k four-year olds! – added themselves eagerly into the shape, and several adults joined in as well. It was quite a day! See below for photos. To see the write-up in the local newspaper, The Quoddy Tides, click here.

MAAE Expands its Eastport Integration Pilot to English Teachers County-wide 

The schoolwide teacher-based arts integration pilot in AOS #77 schools in Eastport that MAAE has been developing since 2018 in collaboration with the Department of Education will be expanded to teachers county-wide beginning this August.  With the support of the Washington County Consortium of Superintendents, the expansion of the pilot will continue its focus since last year on training English teachers at the secondary school level to integrate theater into their teaching.
English teachers county-wide of middle and high school grades are being invited to attend a training on August 19th and 20th at Eastport’s Shead High School.  The pilot’s training will give the teachers flexible, hands-on strategies that they can weave into their teaching of any text and adapt to any middle or high school grade level. The enjoyable, theater-based group activities require no special acting talent or even interest in theater. Most importantly, they are intended to engage and deepen students’ connection with curriculum texts, while the creative group interaction itself can foster a new level of social comfort among the students.
That same experience of connection both to the texts and to each other is the outcome MAAE hopes to achieve at the August two-day group “intensive” at Shead High School, which will be led by professional Maine theater integration trainer Dana Legawiec, (herself a former English major).  The teachers will interact together both in the theater activities themselves and in large and small group discussions about how best to apply them to texts they teach in common. They’ll also be given complimentary meals together, welcoming receptions hosted by Eastport arts organizations, and overnight local housing at a reduced price if they need it.
And the project won’t be over in August.  A private social media platform will be provided to the teachers for the teachers’ continued idea sharing and communication when they return to school and try out the strategies with their students.  And two group “reunion” sessions will be scheduled next year (one in the fall and one in the spring), as well as virtual meetings TBD by the group. Certificates of contact hours toward recertification will be available for all the training sessions.
The training is free but registration by August 9 is required. Please click here to register. Stay tuned for more information within the next few weeks, including about participant stipends and recertification credits.  For more information contact Susan Potters at



The Student Leadership Group (SLG) of the Arts are Basic Coalition (pictured above) is facilitating the formation of ABC Student Advocacy Teams at schools around the state. Within individual schools, these teams will serve to connect students engaged in different art forms. The teams will also form a larger network of young arts advocates from all corners of Maine, learning from each other and supporting each other. One of the signature activities of the teams will be to participate each year in Arts Education Advocacy Day, advocating directly with their state senators and representatives at meetings which will be organized and conducted by the teams themselves.  With ongoing training and support from the ABC Student Leadership Group (SLG), the teams will also begin to organize advocacy initiatives in their local school communities. We hope you will join us in this work as well. Please reach out to us if you’d like to learn more about how an ABC student advocacy team can be formed at your local high school or middle school.


Brewer HS

Calais HS

Edward Little HS

Freeport HS

Greely HS

Hall Dale HS

Hampden Academy

Hermon HS

Lake Region HS

Lewiston HS

Marshwood HS

Massabesic HS

Mt. Ararat Middle School

Narraguagus Jr/Sr HS

North Yarmouth Academy

Poland Regional HS

Shead HS

Waterville HS

Wiscasset HS

Yarmouth HS




Want to Help Maine Students Get Involved with the Arts?

There are many ways you can get involved.  We are always looking for teaching artists and for those who wish to fund programs which enrich curriculum and expand our students horizons. Reach out to us.  We'd love to hear from you.