Campus News

Upward Bound Instructor Ann Pierson '85 Honored for Arts Education

Story posted March 07, 2003

Ann Pierson, instructor in Bowdoin College's Upward Bound Bridge Program and a member of the Bowdoin Class of 1985, has been selected to receive a distinguished educator award from the Maine Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE).

Pierson is among those being honored by MAAE in an Arts Education Advocacy Day award ceremony in the Hall of Flags of the State Capitol Building in Augusta at noon Tuesday, March 11.

Pierson will receive the 2003 Bill Bonyun Artist/Educator Award, presented annually to a teacher, parent or community member who is making a positive impact on arts education. Governor John Baldacci will present the award.

The Artist/Educator award is given each year in honor of Bill Bonyun of Westport Island, Maine, whose career as a folklorist, storyteller, singer, writer, and educator spanned over half a century. In conferring the award on Ann Pierson, the Maine Alliance for Arts Education recognizes her achievement as an outstanding educator in the arts. She has developed a remarkable, interdisciplinary art history curriculum for the low-income, first generation college bound students in her program.

In nominating her, Upward Bound program director Bridget Mullen said, "Ann has an amazing gift for bringing the arts to Upward Bound students. She gives them ownership, engages their opinions, and ideas and stretches them to look more deeply."

Pierson graduated from Bowdoin magna cum laude with a degree in art history. She has taught art history during Upward Bound's six-week summer course since 1993. From 1969 to 1993 she was director of programs in teaching in Bowdoin's department of education, and from 1993-94 served as consultant to the College on teacher certification and student volunteerism. She received the 1991 Alumni Association Faculty and Staff Award.

Also being honored by MAAE is Jeff Keene, vice-principal of Marshwood Middle School in Eliot, who has been named Distinguished School Administrator in Arts Education. North Haven Community School, Merriconeag Waldorf School, and Maranacook Community Middle School will each be honored with the Creative Ticket Schools of Excellence Award for outstanding achievements in arts education.

The Maine Alliance for Arts Education is the only statewide organization whose mission is to encourage and strengthen educational excellence in all the arts: music, visual art, dance, theater, and writing. Its network of classroom teachers, arts specialists, school administrators, parents, artists and community supporters work in their local communities to ensure quality arts education experiences for all children.

The Maine Alliance for Arts Education is a member of the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network and is funded in part by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Additional funding comes from the Maine Arts Commission, MaineShare, Maine businesses, individuals and foundations, and its members.

For more information, contact the State Office at 207-667-7707, or visit the Alliance web site at

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