Arts Are Basic Coalition (ABC)








ABC’s Mission and History:

The Arts are Basic Coalition (ABC), led by the MAAE, is an advocacy partnership made up of representatives of Maine’s professional teachers’ associations in art, music, theater and dance (see individual members and contact information below). ABC’s mission is “to advocate with a common strong voice for the visual and performing arts for all students in Maine.” ABC was created when the Maine Arts Commission and the Maine Alliance for Arts Education in the summer of 2000 convened a large group of Maine arts education organizations and supporters to investigate ways in which we could collaborate for the cause of “arts every day for every child.” Out of that meeting grew ABC.

Until recently ABC limited its advocacy to state legislation, successfully advocating to keep the arts in the Maine Learning Results, restore the Visual and Performing Arts staff position at the Department of Education, and ensure a one-credit arts requirement for high school graduation. Last spring ABC expanded the scope of its work to include advocating to stakeholders in schools and communities around the state. Each of the partnering organizations also designated a special advocacy delegate to represent that organization in ABC’s expanded work. (See the names and contact info below.) ABC showed off its new logo at Arts and Culture Day at the capitol in April and will be playing a larger role in organizing MAAE’s semi-annual Arts Education Advocacy Day at the Statehouse.

A critical part of ABC’s expansion has been its creation in 2019 of a new student contingent, the ABC Student Leadership Group (SLG). This group of exemplary arts students from around the state was created to help ABC advocate for arts education and to increase student voice in that advocacy. For all the news and more information about the group see News on the left.


MMEA’s mission is to promote and advance Music Education by providing a voice and venue for advocacy and advancement of Music Education in Maine.


To work for all the Maine Music Educators and for all Music Education.

To develop and promote the adoption of practices, policies, and standards which align with both the Maine Learning Results and the National Standards for Music Education.

To unify and strengthen the music-teaching profession and to secure and maintain through advocacy the existence of school music programs within the school day in the State of Maine.

To provide members with a forum and voice on matters pertaining to the music teaching profession and to present their individual and common interests before the Maine State Board of Education, their designees and other legal authorities when appropriate and necessary.

Advocacy contact: Melissa Birkhold –



MAEA is a statewide professional organization whose members are committed to excellence in visual arts education.


To encourage best practices in standards-based and learner-centered visual arts classrooms in all Maine schools

To foster high quality teaching in visual arts and provide professional opportunities in curriculum, instruction and assessment, as well as in current issues and artistic practice

To provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and support collaboration among educators and other arts agencies to ensure quality programs for all learners

Advocacy contact: Cory Bucknam –



Maine EdTA’s mission is shaping lives through theatre education by: honoring student achievement in theatre and enriching their theatre education experience; supporting teachers by providing professional development, networking opportunities, resources, and recognition; and influencing public opinion that theatre education is essential and builds life skills.

Advocacy contact: Rick Osann –



Advocacy contact: Emma Campbell – 

Legislators’ Contact Info:

Senator Susan Collins

(202) 224-2523

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Senator Angus King, Jr.

(202) 224-5344

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Representative Jared Golden, 2nd District

(202) 225-6306

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Representative Chellie Pingree, 1st District

(202) 225-6116

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