(Emily Bean, BCTA Bangor Community Committee Chair; Betsy Webb, Superintendent of Bangor Schools; Susan Potters, MAAE Director)

MAAE’s Building Community Through the Arts (BCTA) program and Bangor High School’s new Visual and Performing Arts Academy were celebrated together on May 28th when MAAE joined forces with the Bangor School Department to raise community awareness about the arts programs at Bangor High School. The late afternoon event, held in the barn of John Rohman, a member of MAAE’s advisory board, was a joint effort by the BCTA Bangor Community Committee and the arts educators at Bangor High School, and included a student art exhibit and student jazz and string ensembles. The party’s shared focus was the high school’s new Visual and Performing Arts Academy, which offers students a full program in their chosen arts field, and the school’s annual two-week dance residencies as part of MAAE’s Building Community Through the Arts program, now in its fifteenth year.


(Betsy Webb, Superintendent, and BHS arts educators: Kal Elmore, art, George Redman, chorus, Eric Hutchins, art, William Bell, orchestra. Seated: Scott Burditt, band.) 

Betsy Webb, Superintendent of Bangor Schools, spoke about the second pathway of in-depth learning offered by the addition of the Visual and Performing Arts Academy to the academy initiative begun by the school’s STEM Academy in 2012.  Kal Elmore Bangor High School visual art educator and William Bell, Bangor High School music educator, spoke about the Academy’s visual and performing arts offerings in more detail. As director of MAAE, Susan Potters spoke about the opportunity offered to students by the BCTA residency program to explore academic concepts in English and science classes through dance.

BHS English teachers Angela Domina and Stephanie Hendrix, and science teacher Michele Benoit, who had hosted BCTA dance residencies with teaching artist Katenia Keller, showed photo and video examples of the interpretive pieces created by their classes and described the impact on the students of the collaborative creative process itself.

(BHS English teacher Angela Domina. Also pictured: Betsy Webb and
English teacher Stephanie Hendrix)

The event was in part intended to raise community support for the dance residency program. BCTA Bangor Community Chair Emily Bean, who has been organizing the annual support for the program at Bangor HS, helped to organize the party and the host committee  – Lizabeth Schley, Susan Carlysle, Katie Schaffer, Sandy Johnson and Margaret Baillie – that provided the refreshments.

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(Photo credit: Michele Benoit)