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Cultural Arts for Education (CAFE), May 28, 2015

CAFE 2015: Power Up Your Head and Your Heart will be held Thursday, May 28, 2015 at Towson University's Center for the Arts. CAFE 2015 will give you thought-provoking opportunities to nurture your own creativity and network with other innovative individuals. The opening session will include a keynote address, Where and When do Science and Art Intersect? by Dr. Solomon Snyder, Distinguished Service Professor of Neuroscience, Pharmacology, and Psychiatry from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Following his keynote, there will be responses from two other leaders in the field, Dr. Martha Bridge Denckla and Susan Magsamen.

To continue the discussion around our themes of education, creativity, and innovation, there will be two rounds of sessions presented by experts in their fields. Interaction time for the participants will be part of each session. In between the two sessions, an afternoon presentation will take place with awards, recognitions, and student performances.

Honoring the memory of Jay Tucker, retired Coordinator of Fine Arts at the Maryland State Department of Education, who passed away in January, the annual AEMS award will be renamed The Jay Tucker Award for Outstanding Leadership in Arts Education in Maryland. As part of the award presentation, remarks will be given in memory of his work.

Click here to download the CAFE 2015 flyer. Registration is now open. Click here to register and learn more about CAFE. For inquiries, please contact Alexa Milroy, Program and Development Director at AEMS,

The Imagination Tool Box Conference: A Road to Creativity for Entrepreneurs and Educators

June 25, 2015, 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM, The Walters Art Museum

Keynote Speaker: Liz Lerman, Writer, Educator, Choreographer, Performer

Participate in an interactive, exciting, and hands-on conference sponsored by the Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Curriculum, Assessment and Accountability, The Walters Art Museum and Arts Education in Maryland Schools Alliance.

Think speed dating, as you participate in The Toolbox Slam, short presentations by educators, museum educators and businesses on how the arts develop creativity habits. Discover behaviors embraced by fellow colleagues as they describe how they encourage creativity in the workplace whether it is a business or an educational setting. Share opportunities you; your fellow workers or students have to engage in the creative process. Listen to the travels of colleagues as they go down the road to creativity. After the presentations, you will engage in lively conversations with other participants and the presenters.

Be ready for a creative challenge! Use creative habits as you work individually and with a team to solve an artistic problem, then determine how the skills translate into the classroom and the workplace.

Network and communicate with other professionals. Network with educators and business personnel to explore and discuss how the arts support creativity are fundamental to education and the workplace. A light breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Interested in Presenting?

Seeking participants to share their imaginative, creative and innovative ideas in education and Business using a timed slide presentation. Tell your story! What behaviors do you embrace to encourage creativity in your workplace whether it is a business or an educational setting? What opportunities do you, your fellow workers or students have for engaging in the creative process? How do you travel the road to creativity? Proposals are due May 14.

More information and registration details can be found here.

Questions: Shelley S. Johnson,


Governor Martin O’Malley’s P-20 Leadership Council Unanimously Approves Task Force Report on Arts Education

Tuesday, September 16, Governor O’Malley’s Leadership Council voted unanimously to accept the recommendations from his task force on arts education. These ten recommendations are based on the principles of equity and quality of arts education. The Governor, winner of both state and national awards in leadership in the arts, has expressed his strong support of students having access to the arts in their PK-12 education by stating, “The arts give our children the skills and diverse knowledge they need to become the leaders and innovators of tomorrow.”

The recommendations are on policy, curriculum and instruction, resource allocation, and professional development. Mary Ann Mears, co chair of the task force and founder of Arts Education in Maryland Schools (AEMS), stated in her remarks to the council that the arts “connect our whole being because they speak to our emotions, our reasoning, and our creativity.” Her co chair, Dr. Jack Smith, Chief Academic Officer at MSDE, stated that “students need a complete education.” All council members expressed their support by voting yes; there were no abstentions.

The full tast force report can be downloaded here: Task Force Final Report

An executive summary of the task force report can be downloaded here: Task Force Executive Summary of Final Report

The Review of the Literature and Bibliography can be downloaded here: Task Force Appendix C: Review of the Literature and Bibliography

STEM + Art: A Brilliant Combination by John Ceschini

John Ceschini, former AEMS Executive Director, wrote STEM + Art: A Brilliant Combination which was published in the December 3rd Edition of Education Week. His article investigates the power of integrating the arts into other subject areas, especially STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects. As an educational leader, John is able to see firsthand the value of arts-integrated learning..

The full article can be found here.

Introducing the New National Core Arts Standards

On Wednesday, June 4, 2014, the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) launched the new National Core Art Standards and interactive website. The new preK-12 standards for dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts are now available. The standards were written by and for arts educators to support quality teaching and learning. They were shaped with the input of more than 6,000 educators, teaching artists, parents, students, and focus groups. The standards integrate the four artistic processes — creating, performing, responding, and connecting — with the skills and knowledge, sample assessments, and criteria necessary for successful arts learning. The new, interactive NCAS website can be found here.

Four Maryland Principals Named Outstanding Leaders in Arts Education

Arts Education in Maryland Schools (AEMS) Alliance announced the 2014 Alvin and Louise Myerberg Arts Leadership Recognition Awards on March 13th at a luncheon held at The Walters Art Museum. The winning principals were John Ceschini, principal of Seven Oaks Elementary in Anne Arundel County, Barbara Liess, principal of Kensington Parkwood Elementary in Montgomery County, Regina Rando, principal of Willards Elementary in Wicomico County, and Dr. Sharon Robbins, principal of Sudbrook Magnet Middle School in Baltimore County.

There were fifteen nominees who were recognized at the luncheon, and they represented nine counties in the state. All of the nominees received Certificates of Acknowledgement for establishing arts-rich environments in their schools. The four winners received a trophy and a monetary gift to support their arts programs. School system leaders and teachers attended the luncheon to show support for their principals. Lyn Frankel, Chair of the AEMS Board of Trustees, Mary Cary, Executive Director of AEMS, and Dr. Jack Smith, Chief Academic Officer at the Maryland State Department of Education, gave remarks and congratulated all of the principals. Wendy Jachman, AEMS trustee, spoke of her parents in whose honor the awards are given.

For more information about the winners and nominees, click here.

Governor Martin O'Malley's P-20 Leadership Council Creates a Task Force on Arts Education in Maryland

On Monday, September 16, 2013, Governor Martin O’Malley’s P-20 Leadership Council voted unanimously to have a statewide task force on arts education in Maryland schools. Dr. William E. (Brit) Kirwan, Chancellor of the University System of Maryland, made the initial motion to endorse and commented on the power of the arts in his life and the importance of the arts for all students. Co chairing the task force will be nationally known sculptor and founder of Arts Education in Maryland Schools (AEMS) Alliance, Mary Ann Mears, and Dr. Jack Smith, Deputy Superintendent at the Maryland State Department of Education. Governor O’Malley’s commitment to arts education is longstanding, and he has been recognized nationally with the prestigious Public Leadership in Arts Award. To continue Maryland’s standing as a national leader in education, the Governor wants to ensure that all students have access to a quality education which includes the arts. Council members commented on the critical importance of creativity and innovation in the workforce and the need for students to have a creative edge in order to be globally competitive. The P-20 Task Force on Arts Education will present the final report to the Governor and the Council in September 2014.

Task Force Press Release

Task Force Charge

ArtsEdSearch – new resource from Arts Education Partnership (AEP)

"ArtsEdSearch is the nation's first online research and policy clearinghouse focused entirely on student and educator outcomes associated with arts learning in and out of school. Featuring user-friendly summaries of high-quality research, and overviews of current research examined through different lenses, ArtsEdSearch provides reliable and objective information about the academic, cognitive, personal, social and professional outcomes of an arts education. ArtsEdSearch also identifies gaps in research and serves as a valuable roadmap for researchers and funders looking to tackle the most pressing education issues of our time." – from Arts Education Partnership website

AEMS Alliance Announces New Executive Director

Arts Education in Maryland Schools Alliance (AEMS) is pleased to announce the appointment of an inspiring new Executive Director, Mary Cary, with an official start date of January 15, 2013. Nationally recognized in the education field, Mary has most recently worked at the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) where she has served for thirteen and a half years as an educational leader for our state, most recently as the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. She has played a critical part in securing and implementing Maryland’s Race to the Top grant from the US Department of Education. Mary is a nationally recognized leader in arts education as well as in education overall. She was the founder and creator of the Carver Center for Arts and Technology in Baltimore County, one of the premiere public arts high Schools in the United States.


Bates Middle School featured on Edutopia's "Schools that Work"

Edutopia's Schools That Work series profiles K-12 schools, districts, and programs that are dramatically improving the way students learn. Wiley H. Bates Middle School, in Annapolis, MD, was chosen as a School that Works because of their strong arts integrated classrooms.

To see the video and find out more...

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