The Strategy: Make Students' Imagination Visible
Celebrate students’ imaginations by making their work visible in schools and community venues.

Located in the heart of one of Maine’s most beautiful coastal regions, Blue Hill is also home of an equally great regional wonder: the local public-private high school, George Stevens Academy (GSA). Its imagination-rich curricula and facilities are open to all young people in the community, providing students in this small school with a wide range of opportunities to develop their imaginations.

For instance, GSA:

Offers many courses in the arts to supplement those taught by GSA faculty, such as Haystack Studio Based Learning and its follow-up mentorship opportunities, LINC mentorships (Learning in Community - Arts), WERU Internships, Cooperative Education, classes at New Surry Theatre and Peninsula Metamorphic, programs at Kneisel Hall and master classes offered through the Blue Hill Concert Association.

Implements school-wide projects. Even winter break is an occasion for art-making: last year students throughout the school used that one short week to send watercolor or pen and ink postcards to randomly-selected GSA alumni from every state, 9 countries, and two branches of the military to remind them of what the arts contribute to high school learning.

logoHosts a week-long arts festival—a high point for imaginative activity that makes the creative work of young and their mentors visible. The festival includes more than 90 workshops ranging from stage combat to tango and taught by classroom teachers, GSA alumni, community artists, and parents.

Offers Independent Study [insert  photo of Acrylic Painting Independent Study] and Internship Program (ISIP) creates an opportunity for 11th and 12th grade students to spend two weeks exploring an academic, vocational or career interest outside of the classroom. Students design a project and submit a detailed proposal. The goal of the ISIP project must be educational and the students must be able to explain their educational aims in the ISIP proposal. Students work with a project mentor and a faculty advisor.


A permanent collection of student art work, purchased by George Stevens Academy and handsomely displayed at school

Exhibitions of student art throughout the community, such as Student scrolls done in Drawing Class using "Square Word" at the invitation of the Blue Hill Concert Association

Student-painted murals designed and executed by students to brighten the walls of a local nursing home

Free concerts and performances that include dance, theater, and music, such as the two steel drum ensembles that enroll student and adults.

Listen to audio clips by the George Stevens Academy Jazzband & Combos Album and (Bach Gavotte and Musette) and Planet Pan Steel Band (Band From Space)
mp3    mp3

It was amazing to get up in the early morning and see the students all dressing the trees to create the "lawn forest" – a stand of "trees" right on the main street – all decked out in beautiful banners. I kept thinking how amazed a casual traveler would be. – Catherine Ring, IIC site visitor to George Stevens Academy


I am truly touched by our community. This application process has made me ever more aware of how a truly good school can benefit form that important interchange. We have a consortium that I am proud to be a member of and I am thankful for the chance that this process has given to our school to renew that appreciation.  – Katie Greene, GSA art teacher and Blue Hill Site Coordinator

George Stevens Academy, Blue Hill

Kneisel Hall, Blue Hill

Blue Hill Concert Association, Blue Hill

Peninsula Pan, Inc.

Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle

Maine Alliance for Arts Education, LINC (Learning in Community) Arts Program

The Bay School

blue hill

werump3Listen to an audio clip from the student radio program at WERU.

independent study

To think about:
Performances occur on makeshift stages that are re-assembled as the occasion demands. How does a small community raise money for a performing arts center? Could a facility be shared by schools and the community?

Peninsula Metamorphic Arts and Learning, Blue Hill

The Bagaduce Music Lending Library, Blue Hill

The Atlantic Challenge, Rockland

New Surry Theater and Performing Arts Center, Surry

The Blue Hill Library

WERU Community Radio, Blue Hill