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MSAD #51 Arts Alliance

posted Nov 16, 2012, 5:28 PM by Dawna Green   [ updated Jan 4, 2013, 11:16 AM ]
April 2012 Spotlight 

MSAD #51 Arts Alliance

Started in 2002 by a group of ten community members and two MSAD #51 music teachers, MSAD #51’s Arts Alliance is committed to celebrating and exploring the arts for the students of North Yarmouth and Cumberland. The group works to raise awareness of the arts both in the classroom and the community. In addition to working in conjunction with faculty, the Arts Alliance provides monthly MSAD #51 student art and music event information, and encourages community involvement through volunteer opportunities in the schools. The group provides two scholarships every year, one for art and one for music, to graduating seniors who will further their studies in the arts after graduation. The goal of the Arts Alliance is to be self-sustaining financially. The main source of funding for Arts Alliance activities is their student artwork and school year event calendar sold at the start of each school year. The Arts Alliance also sometimes benefits from grants from the PTO, Foundation 51 and the Greely Fund. All Arts Alliance activities are presented to students and the community at no cost.

The work of the Arts Alliance is most visible in March, when it coordinates Celebration of the Arts Month. During March, students, parents and community members are treated to, and engage in, presentations of music, drama and art. This year during the first week of March students from 4th - 12th grades performed in three different choral and band concerts. In the third week of March, both Greely Middle School and Greely High School put on plays for the school and public. Throughout the month, students at different grade levels enjoyed field trips and performances including a performance by the Golden Chinese Acrobats and also local musicians. In addition, all students in grades K-5 participated in the Art and Literacy Enrichment Program. Working with more than 40 parent volunteers, students worked on themed art projects. The pieces the students created were displayed in the month’s culminating event, Family Arts Night. Family Arts Night is a platform for artists and performers of all ages and genres, and an opportunity for the people in our community to engage with the arts. The evening included grades K-8 student artwork displayed throughout Greely Middle School, student dance and music performances, hands-on art activities and theater games led by community members and Greely High School students.

The MSAD #51 Arts Alliance is an exceptional example of parents partnering with the schools to enrich the lives of our students and our community. Former and current Arts Alliance chairwomen Joann Longo and Margo Harrington agree that among the group's greatest accomplishments is having become an integral part of the MSAD #51 community. As Longo describes: “We are the go-to organization if any art related event is scheduled. Most importantly we have raised the awareness of the importance of the arts both in the classroom and in the community on an ongoing basis.”

For more information about the Arts Alliance visit www.msad51arts.org . We are fortunate to have such dedicated volunteers contributing to the betterment of our schools, and MSAD #51 thanks the Arts Alliance for providing our students such enrichment.