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Dandelion News - December 2015

2015 NH Arts Education Conference Photos:

NH teaching artist, poet and puppeteer Andrew Periale adds his creative words and ideas to the community weaving created by conference participants.

Portsmouth art educator Anna Nuttall (recipient
of the Governor's Award in Arts Education)
facilitates one of the NH Listens small
group conversations at the Fall 2015 Arts
Education Conference. 


Concord art & theatre arts educator John
Hatab drums with Sculptor and conference
keynote speaker, Jerome Meadows at
the conference.  








Greetings from the NH Arts Learning Network

Reflections on the Fall 2015 Arts Education Partnership Conference - Last month I had the opportunity to welcome conference participants to our statewide 2015 Fall Arts Education Partnership Conference, hosted annually by the NH State Council on the Arts. In the spirit of Thanksgiving and the holidays, a special thank you to those who presented, attended, and helped out!  With the theme, "The Art and Spirit of Leadership", the energy was humming through the day, from the keynote presentation with Jerome Meadows through the workshop on Storytelling for Advocacy with Gen Aichele, to the Advocacy presentation with Jeff Poulin from Americans for the Arts. The atmosphere was filled with the passion to advocate for arts learning across New Hampshire. Let's see how together we can continue weaving hope and art making into our work as we cultivate arts education in New Hampshire.Click here for the NH Listens Group Report, a slide show of conference photos, and other conference follow up resources.
-Catherine O’Brian, Arts Education Coordinator, NH State Council on the Arts


Congratulations to the NH Art Educators' Association's (NHAEA) most recent award recipients - given out at their Fall Conference. The 2015-2016 Outstanding Service Award went to Marcia McCaffrey, Arts Consultant at the state Department of Education. The NHAEA Art Educator of the Year Award for 2015-2016 went to Mary Beth Donovan-Olson, of Reeds Ferry Elementary School. More.

Congratulations to Calvin Herst, Director of Arts Education and Community Partnerships at Concord Community Music School and Anna Nuttall, a Portsmouth Middle School art educator, who were honored with the NH Governor's Arts Award for Arts Education on Oct. 21 at a ceremony in Manchester NH. More on Anna & on Calvin.

Congratulations to Matt Wilhelm - for the 2015 New Hampshire Social Venture Innovation Challenge at the University of New Hampshire. Matt Wilhelm, a UNH master’s student in public administration, won in the student track for his idea to create Old Sol Music Hall, a not-for-profit concert venue and community center in downtown Manchester committed to building social capital for young professionals. More.


President Signs  ESEA: Every Student Succeeds (ESSA) - The US House of Representatives and Senate both passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act conference report by strong votes -- 359 to 64 in the House, 85 to 12 in the Senate, and the President signed it into law Thursday, December 10. ESSA  is seen as a big win for arts education. Specifically, it:

• Defines the arts as a "well-rounded" education activity/subject.
• Explicitly allows Title I funding to be used for the arts and other well-rounded activities and subjects.
• Explicitly allows professional development funding under Title II of ESEA to be used to benefit arts teachers.
• Explicitly allows after school funding through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program to specifically be used for the arts.
• Ensures that the arts are an allowable use of funds under the new Student Support and Academic Enrichment State and local school district grant program.

A successful amendment to the conference report by Rep. Bonamici (D-OR) also allows states to integrate other subject areas, including the arts, into STEM programs. These additions make it more explicit that the $17 billion in Federal ESEA funding can be used to support the arts and provide arts education. While we will follow up in the comings days and weeks about what this means for your grantees, other nonprofits, and schools systems that you work with, this creates a significant opportunity to expand access and success with the arts through Federal education funding. Thank you for all your support in this work. More.

Calls for Entry & Proposals

The Innovation Collaborative - A multi-disciplinary coalition of arts, sciences, humanities, and education leaders is launching a research project designed to strengthen STEAM education in K-12 schools. The goal of the project is to promote effective teaching practices at the intersections of science, technology, engineering, the arts and design, math, and the humanities. Teachers are invited to submit STEAM lesson plans or model projects to the Innovation Collaborative for review by an expert panel. The top entries will be named Innovation Fellows, will be eligible for a stipend, and will be invited to present their work at national conferences. More.

The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards - publicly recognize specific teachers by spotlighting their extraordinary impact on the lives of students. Nominated by students they once taught, these former students' stories exemplify the power one teacher has to inspire others and transform lives. Deadline is December 13th. More.

NSF and NNI present: Generation Nano Challenge – A contest to promote early interest in STEM and nanotechnology for high school students. Provide a written entry explaining a superhero and nanotechnology-driven gear, with a 90-second video OR 1 page comic introducing the superhero and the student's nanotechnology-enabled gear. Win the opportunity to attend and present your entry at the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C., April 16-17, 2016 and compete for cash prizes. Deadline Feb. 2, 2016. More

Grants, Awards, Artist & Job Opportunities

The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts offers academic year 2016 – 2017 grants - to support quality Arts Learning experiences and develop the creative skills of youth, NH educators and NH schools. To learn more about arts in education grants and programs, contact: Catherine O’Brian, Arts Education Grants & Programs Coordinator, NH State Council on the Arts, 19 Pillsbury St., Concord, NH 03301, email, Phone: 603-271-0795

Artist Residency in Schools (AIR) Grants - Maximum Grant Request: $1,000 - $4,500. Postmark Deadline: Friday, April 8, 2016.  Project Dates: July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017. AIR grants provide matching funds to bring juried teaching artists into public schools and alternative education sites in support of creative learning and skills development in the arts.  AIR grants support partial costs for artist residencies in a variety of arts disciplines. Arts Disciplines may include dance, film, media arts, sculpture, murals, photography, poetry, book arts, eco arts, ceramics, puppetry, traditional arts and inter-disciplinary or integrated arts. To read grant guidelines or download our electronic grants visit: and click on “Grants”.

Youth Arts Project (YAP) Grants - Maximum Grant Request: $1,000 - $4,500. Postmark Deadline: Friday, April 15, 2016, Project Dates: August 1, 2016 – Sept. 30, 2017. YAP grants provide matching funds for high-quality arts and cultural education programs that encourage creativity, develop new arts skills and foster academic success in STEAM learning (STEM subjects + ARTS) for young people (K-12). The overall goal of this grant category is to provide young people opportunities to engage in the arts beyond the normal school day so they can develop creative problem solving skills and become more engaged in their communities. Activities may take place after regular school hours, in the summer or during school vacations. To read grant guidelines or download our electronic grants visit: and click on “Grants”.

New Hampshire Humanities is seeking new presenters and programs - to be included in their popular Humanities to Go catalog in 2016. Humanities to Go is New Hampshire Humanities easy-to-use speakers bureau, which funded 450 presentations - all free and open to the public - in 2015. Join presenters like Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti, Kevin Gardner, Ann McLellan and many other talented scholars who bring the humanities to the people of New Hampshire in communities in every corner of our state. The selection process begins on December 14 when the request for proposals and presenter application will be made available on the Humanities to Go program page. The deadline is February 1, 2016. Invitations to audition at our Humanities Fair in June will be sent in late February. For more information, please contact Humanities to Go Coordinator Cathy Kaplan. More.

Northeast Thespian Festival! - Attention theatre educators and professionals, if you would like to serve as an adjudicator, offer a workshop, and/or offer a table display, please contact Jennifer LaFrance, festival Coordinator and NH Thespians Director at January 22 & 23, 2016, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH. More. 

The New Hampshire Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Center Program - announces its 2016 competition for an anticipated $1.2 million in funding. The program’s purpose is to raise student academic achievement through the creation and expansion of community learning centers during out of school time hours that provide students with academic enrichment opportunities as well as additional activities designed to complement their regular academic program.  All schools with a minimum of 30% of the student population identified as recipients of the free/reduced lunch program by October 2015 are eligible to apply. For more information contact Suzanne Birdsall-Stone at (603) 520-6263, Suzanne.Birdsall-Stone@doe.nh.go

Outstanding Women of New Hampshire Awards - Presented by: Keene State College. Each March, as part of the campus celebration of Women's History Month, the President of Keene State College recognizes outstanding women. The theme for the 2016 National Women's HIstory Month is “Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government”.Deadline for nominations: February 15th, 2016.More

NH Department of Resources & Economic Development - Did you know that over $4.6 million in job training grants funds have been given out in New Hampshire in the last five years? Did you know that these funds are accessible to nonprofits as well? The funds allow private companies, including nonprofits, to partner with the state to train or retrain employees in a variety of areas. According to the state's agency that funnels these grants from the federal government, there are certain conditions that apply, including: the organization must pay into the federal unemployment trust fund and must present a 50% match. NH Job Training Fund. More.

2016 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards - Twelve award-winning programs this year will each receive $10,000 and an invitation to accept their award from the President's Committee's Honorary Chairman, First Lady Michelle Obama, at a ceremony at the White House. After-school and out-of-school time arts and humanities programs are encouraged to apply. Deadline: February 2, 2016 More.

Walmart Community Giving Grants - Deadline: December 31st The 2015. More.

LRNG Innovators Challenge - Deadline: January 13th. More.

Citizens Helping Citizens - Reviewed monthly Community Grants Program. More.

NH Charitable Foundation Express Grants - Deadline: February 12th. More.

Professional Development: Conferences, Workshops, Meetings & Webinars

Educational Theatre Collaborative 21st Annual Integrated Arts Conference - I’m A Believer: Engaging All Learners Through the Power of the Arts. Presented by Plymouth State University and the NH Department of Education, Friday, January 22, 2016. This one-day event offers professional development and continuing education workshops. Arts educators and artists learn how to integrate visual art, music, drama and writing into their curriculum, based on the theme of this year’s production, ”Shrek The Musical!” The day concludes with optional admission to the evening performance of Shrek, Silver Center for the Arts, Plymouth State University. More

Exploring Class and Classism in New Hampshire and Building Unity in our Community - In these interactive workshops Class Action will reveal how exploring class can transform our lives, our work and our communities in New Hampshire. Class Action has spent 11 years developing creative ways of asking questions, sharing personal experiences and helping people to engage with issues of class in a meaningful way. Friday, December 11: Manchester, NH. Hosted by Investing in Communities, NH Citizens Alliance and New Futures. Saturday, December 12: Pittsfield, NH Hosted by Pittsfield Listens All workshops are on a sliding scale, $75 – $20. Scholarships available. To inquire, please send us an e-mail< .More.

Register Now for "Me, My Friends & Family" Arts in Early Learning Conferences: The Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire and VSA New Hampshire offer their annual Arts in Early Learning Conference at Plymouth Elementary School Saturday, January 16, and at Preschool in the Village in Amherst on Saturday, February 6. The conferences, for early-childhood educators (pre-K to grade 2), preschool and child-care administrators and care providers, will provide multiple creative ways to help young children express and explore their experiences and begin to understand their similarities and differences. Particular attention will be paid to ways that each child, each group of friends and each family is unique and special. The conferences, offered under a contract with the John F. Kennedy Center, will also  focus on introducing children to the different learning and living needs of those with disabilities and differences - including their peers, family and community members.  More

Registration for CAST's 2nd Annual UDL Symposium is Now Open - Building UDL Community and Practice around Engagement, August 8 - 10, 2016, Harvard Law School Campus Cambridge, MA. Join CAST as we explore the latest research and UDL strategies for motivating learners and helping them become more purposeful in high-level learning. The 23rd Annual Higher Order Thinking (HOT) Schools Summer Institute - will be held the week of July 11–15, 2016 in Hartford, Connecticut. The theme of the Institute is Storytelling ~ an Artful Journey. Stories and curriculum will be seamlessly woven in, about and through all of the arts and will provide all who attend with actionable skills and strategies for their teaching practice. Registration will open in January. More.

The Higher Order Thinking (HOT) Schools Program - will be offering, as part of our "Third Wednesday of the Month Professional Development Series", a HOT Orientation Leadershop explaining how arts integrated teaching practice impacts student engagement and achievement while creating an arts energized school culture and community. Wednesday December 16th, from 9:00AM - 3:30PM at Worthington Hooker School, 691 Whitney Avenue, New Haven, CT. More.

STEMD = STEM plus Design - The Design Lab School in Newark, Delaware - will be hosting two conferences this year about using Design Thinking processes to rethink high schools: Friday, January 29, 2016 - Design Aware Delaware.And Friday and Saturday, June 24-25, 2016 - the 4th annual national conference. More.

Visioneer Design Challenge -  The Design Lab School in Newark, Delaware would like to help you set up a Visioneer Design Challenge in your state similar to the one that has been successfully run for 10 years in Wisconsin. Students from your state can then participate in the National Visioneer Design Challenge coming to Washington D.C. in 2018. More.

Granite State Conversation with Dr. Robert Putnam -  “The Opportunity Gap and the Future of Our American Democracy” Please join the Community College System of NH, Early Learning NH and event partners for a “Granite State Conversation” featuring Dr. Robert Putnam, author of Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis and Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. Robert D. Putnam is the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard, where he teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses. The event will also feature a panel of experts who will discuss and respond. Manchester Community College, Manchester, NH, Thursday, January 7, 2016, 5-7pm. More.

Opportunities, Activities and Scholarships for Students

Vacation Theater Improv Mini-Camp: Students ages 9-15 at all levels of theater experience are invited to a half-day camp Tuesday, December 29, from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm at the Littleton Opera House. Jocelyn Duford, theater performer, educator and improviser, offers three hours of games and exercises to help develop improvisational skills. Please pre-register with the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire. More.

Join us for the 10th annual Northeast Thespian Festival! - Hosted by: New Hampshire Thespians, January 22 & 23, 2016, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH. Open to ALL high school theater students, theater professionals and educators and offers featured Main Stage Performances, Northeast Showcase, No-Lo Freestyle Theatre, Student-Written Playworks, Improv Frenzy, College/Vendor Displays, Workshop Sessions in theatre performance and production, Tech Challenge, and Individual Events. This two-day festival will culminate in a “Best of Fest” Showcase of students’ performances. More.

Currier Museum of Art Tours - There are many wonderful opportunities for you and your students at the museum this school year! Now is a great time to schedule your Currier Museum experience. 2015-2016 exhibitions include: Maxfield Parrish: The Power of the Print. October 9, 2015- January 10, 2016. Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe. February 6, 2016- May 15, 2016. First Folio: The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare. April 9, 2016- May 1, 2016. To book your tour, contact Megan McIntyre, Tour & Volunteer Manager at or 603.669.6144 x113

Winter Artist Residencies: The Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire brings inspiring artists to northern and central New Hampshire schools and community sites, working with partners to offer customized programming and reducing costs through grants and block-booking. Upcoming artists in residence include comics artist Marek Bennett in January; pioneering hip-hop dance duo The Wondertwins in February; all-female world-music ensemble Zili Misik in March; and theater artist Michael Zerphy (available throughout the school year). More.  

Join the 2016 JASON Argonaut Team! - JASON Learning is seeking a diverse, creative, and adventurous group of students and educators to venture into the field to conduct research with JASON scientists and engineers. As a JASON Argonaut you will embark on a life-changing journey, working side-by-side with scientists and engineers in the field. Student and Teacher Argonauts will spend anywhere from 3-10 days in the field during the summer or fall of 2016, depending on the expedition they are selected to participate in. Argonauts serve as ambassadors and role models for the JASON community, and may participate in speaking events related to the program before and after their field experience. JASON Learning, with generous support from the Argonaut Program's sponsors, covers expenses for all related lodging, food, programming, and equipment costs related to the Argonaut experience. Applications are due by January 15, 2016. More

Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute -  will launch the first season of NYO2 in the Summer of 2016, a two-week, intensive summer training program for outstanding young American instrumentalists ages 14–17 from communities that are underserved by and underrepresented in the classical orchestral field. NYO2 is free for all participants, including room and board and all rehearsal, teaching, and performance activities. There is no fee to apply. A formal nomination is required as part of the application. More.

Resources and Articles for Students, Teachers and Parents

Building Collaboration From the Inside Out! - This publication focuses on the internal conditions and environments that enable successful projects and gives you a different lens with which to look at collaborative work to pinpoint the likely causes for when things go right - or for when things go wrong. Learn more by downloading Building Collaboration From the Inside Out today! More.

Tearful Eiffel Tower helps French schoolchildren absorb Paris attacks - Cartoon leaflet aimed at helping primary school-age children understand and discuss the Paris terror attacks. Written in simple and direct language, the leaflet provides a brief outline of the various attacks, mentioning that at least 129 people died at the hands of “men filled with hate”. There are several cartoons, including a figure of the Eiffel Tower shedding a tear as it holds hands with a group of children. More.

Researchers link arts and crafts in childhood to financial success in adulthood. - A new study from Michigan State University found that childhood participation in arts and crafts leads to innovation, patents, and increases the odds of starting a business as an adult. The researchers found that people who own businesses or patents received up to eight times more exposure to the arts as children than the general public. More.

Can I Be an Effective Teacher and an Effective Leader? - Within the last decade, administrative roles within many schools have been restructured to provide teachers with leadership roles that bear the professional authority of a principal or department chair. These newly formed hybrid roles are known as teacher-leaders and allow teachers to continue to teach full or part time, while also occupying a leadership role. More.

Put the Spotlight on Your Local Music Program - The NAMM Foundation invites school districts and schools across the country to participate in its 17th annual Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) survey. This national award program recognizes commitment to music education and efforts to assure that comprehensive music education is part of the core curriculum for every child. The survey is open now through January 30. More.

The Turnaround Arts initiative - is a whole-school initiative aimed at reforming the lowest-performing schools through intensive integration of arts and culture into classroom instruction and school life. Administered by Americans for the Arts and overseen by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities (PCAH), an arm of the federal government, the initiative was implemented in eight schools around the country beginning in 2012 following a PCAH review of opportunities and challenges in the arts education field. More.

Using Creativity to Boost Young Children’s Mathematical Thinking - In the same way that kids create their own stories or make up songs, says one education professor, “kids will invent their own methods for solving mathematics problems, even problems that are sometimes very complex.” More.

Four Pillars of Self Leadership - The harsh reality of leadership is that people choose who to follow, despite hierarchy and formal authority. Therefore, follow-worthy leaders have earned the right to lead others by first showing strength in the daily leadership of themselves. Doing so allows them to offer their very best while leading everyone to success.Tell us about the best leader you have had, and how they aligned with these pillars! More.


Copyright 2014 NH Arts Learning Network