Local arts educator receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Aug 09, 2019
Argy Nestor, left, accepts the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative.

Hope — A celebration of the lifetime achievements of Argy Nestor took place at the Sweetland Center in Hope on June 22. Colleagues in the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative presented her with the Carol Trimble Award “For Exemplary Service to Arts Education.” Carol Trimble is the former Executive Director of the Maine Alliance for Arts Education and was a statewide advocate for arts education for many years.

Nestor was a middle school visual art teacher for 30 years. In 1995, she was chosen as the Maine Teacher of the Year and in 2006 she accepted the position of Visual and Performing Arts Specialist with the Maine Department of Education. In the ensuing years, Nestor visited more than 400 classrooms, providing her support and encouragement to visual art, music, dance and theater teachers. In 2011, she launched the collaborative Maine Arts Leadership Initiative, which enlisted arts teachers to become leaders and provide quality professional development to visual and performing arts educators in schools in all corners of the state.

Rob Westerberg, choral director at York High School, said that Nestor took an entire branch of the Maine Department of Education and reimagined not only what role it could play in the development of Visual and Performing Arts programs, but also the role that teachers themselves could play in the process.

In 2013, Nestor accepted the position of Director of Arts Education at the Maine Arts Commission and continued the MALI Program there. The Initiative grew to include over 100 educators of visual art, music, dance and theater. Nestor expanded the initiative by inviting teaching artists to be leaders. Most recently she traveled to Finland as an Ambassador to the HundrED Innovation Summit and Malawi, Africa, where she has taught teachers how to integrate the arts into their curriculum.

Lindsay Pinchbeck, director of Sweet Tree Arts in Hope, said Nestor had continued to encourage her to ask great questions, to never stop searching for solutions, and to always focus on the positive in order to achieve her professional goals.

 

 

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