Category: Board News

NAEA September Member Portrait

The MAEA Board of Directors is excited to share that our very own Margaurita Spear is the September NAEA Member Portrait. Margaurita currently serves on the board in the role of Professional Development Committee Chair and Early Childhood Representative. Margaurita is also a visual arts educator in Beverly, Massachusetts. 

Why NAEA matters to Margaurita: As a member of NAEA, I benefit from automatic membership in my state organization. Through my state organization, I have amassed a supportive network of fellow teachers, my individual experience is valued, and I am provided with numerous opportunities for professional growth and involvement in that organization.

Margaurita’s tip for art education success: A growth mindset is vital for longevity as a visual arts educator. I believe education is a journey for both students and teachers. We must always be willing to learn, expand our perspectives, and consider new methodologies and ideas. I am always learning; my teaching has evolved because of that.

We’d love to see more MAEA members featured. If you are interested in being featured, take a few minutes to share your photo and insights with NAEA.

If you end up being selected as the NAEA Member Portrait, please let us know so we can be sure to share the good news!

Congratulations to Laura Marotta

“For the last 27 years, recipients of the Erskine award have proven, time and time again, just what women leaders are capable of,” stated Executive Director, Deborah Hall. “They’ve blazed trails, shattered glass ceilings, and laid the foundation for future generations of women and people of color to succeed.”

Laura is currently Executive Director and oversees all programming for Creative Hub Worcester, a non-profit focused on using art as a vehicle for healing and social change. Ms. Marotta was an art educator in several different school systems for over seven years. She previously worked at both Diamond Newman Fine Arts as well as Newbury Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts as a fine arts sales consultant. She is currently the Past-President of the Massachusetts Art Education Association, and is a practicing artist working mainly in watercolor and pen and ink. Currently Ms. Marotta oversees all programming for Creative Hub, including childcare, youth arts classes, adult workshops, gallery exhibitions, events, and more. She currently serves on the board for Love Your Labels, an LGBTQ+ youth focused advocacy organization.

Image credits: YWCA Central Massachusetts and Laura Marotta.

In Memoriam: Alicia Fine

Make a donation to support MassArt Youth Programs

Fleeting, light and fast
Hummingbird at my window
Alicia Fine

Alicia: Artist, friend, educator, sister, aunt, daughter, granddaughter, your mighty presence abounds. The hummingbird visits, reminds me of your energy, and I wonder, where are you?

I have known Alicia for over ten years since Ali began teaching in MassArt Youth Programs. Her dedication and caring attention to her students sparked many young people on their creative path.

Alicia turned many young artists on to the art of metalsmithing. In the hot summer months, on the 3rd floor of Collins, heat rising, with fans blowing, Alicia would keep students hydrated with popsicles. Always with an attentive smile, no detail was missed. At the end of each summer, one would always see Alicia moving a VERY LARGE display case to the gallery because carefully displaying and highlighting students beautiful work was essential.

Along with the work Alicia did at MassArt in Youth programs, I also know Ali from the Massachusetts Art Educators Association. We served together on the Awards Committee. One of the strengths Alicia had was her focused attention to details. Alicia helped to reframe the Awards Committee the year we served, so that the process was more transparent, and the nominations were judged externally. We enjoyed being able to honor Art Educators in this way.

Ali, Thank you for the many students you have touched, here is a story from one, Jessica: Ms. Fine, as I knew her, was and is a cherished part of my life and someone who I truly will never forget. I was a former student of hers…way back in 2002 (hard to believe that is almost 20 years ago)! She recently told me that I was her student her very first year of teaching which surprised me. I was your quintessential “damaged” adolescent who had lost all hope in adults at the age of 14/15 when I met her. She became, and remained, a guardian angel to me. It’s hard to put into words what she did for me. She took me under her wing and gave me hope in myself and in adults. She wrote letters to the court on my behalf when there was a custody case between my parents. She found spaces for me to eat lunch in the school when I didn’t want to be around other students. She helped me navigate friendships and encouraged me to join after-school activities. She helped me apply to colleges and stayed in touch every step of the way once I began college. After college, she guided me when I changed careers (to become an educator!) and attended my wedding. We would get together in person about once a year to catch up on things. 

When I visited her in May we spoke about how we first met in her painting class and how she didn’t give up on me like others had… she told me she went to the guidance office and asked the counselor for advice and the counselor had said “just keep showing up” and Ali sure did… and never stopped. No matter how old I got. It wasn’t just the small actions she did… it was that I knew she would always be there.

At my high school graduation. On the top of my cap, where most kids thank their parents or put a quote, I put “THX MS. FINE”. 

Thank you Alicia, Ali, Ms. Fine. You are missed.

Offered by Liz Reiser with permission from Jessica Delande to share her beautiful story.

If you have additional images you would like to share of Alicia Fine, please send them to

Make a donation to support MassArt Youth Programs

September MAEA Watch Party

The PD Committee has finalized details for the 2021-2022 Watch Party Discussion Series. The first session is Sep 8 at 6:00 pm ET.  Here you can find more info & register!
The MAEA Watch Party Discussion Series are ten companion discussions to the monthly NAEA webinars, facilitated by MAEA leaders, members, and selected guests who bring their unique experiences to each month’s topic. Watching the NAEA webinars is not a prerequisite, however doing so will enhance attendees’ general knowledge of the topic. For the 2021 – 2022 Watch Party series, MAEA facilitators will engage participants in open conversation, share helpful resources, and promote a supportive space for all to join in. These discussions will relate back to the theme of the NAEA webinars, but will include stand alone content so that they are not exactly the same.

New ED&I Director-Elect & President-Elect

The MAEA Board of Directors is pleased to welcome two new board members. Please join the MAEA Board of Directors in welcoming Emily Moran as our first ever ED&I Director-Elect and Maureen Creegan-Quinquis to the role of President-Elect.
Emily will be leading our ED&I Committee in the important work of ensuring that our organization honors and includes people from all communities, especially those who have been historically excluded. If you are interested in getting involved in our ED&I Committee, please email Emily at
Maureen is stepping into a short term as President-Elect and will be taking over as President come January, 2021. If you are interested in connecting with Maureen, please contact her at
We are so excited to welcome these two new board members and look forward to continuing this important work.

ESSER Funding & Advocating for your Art Program

Earlier this summer, MAEAs Advocacy Liaison, Alice Gentili attended an important advocacy webinar organized by NAEA. This Town Hall webinar focused on the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funding (ESSER) and Visual Arts, Design, and Media Arts Education.
If you haven’t already, the MAEA Board suggests you first start by reading Alice’s article in the most recent edition of the MAEA News (Vol. 7–No. 1 Summer Edition 2021). Her article can be found on page 26. There you will find more information about harnessing ESSER funding, as well as additional links to resources. Then we suggest you check out the slide deck from the NAEA Town Hall and the webinar, if you have time.
Additionally, if you have any questions or ideas for how MAEA can support your advocacy efforts, please reach out to Alice at

August Art Education Zoom Series

We are happy to share we will be offering an August session for practitioners and educators in higher education, supervision, and pre & in-service educators who are involved in the Visual Arts teacher preparation on August 19 from 6:30 – 7:30 pm. This session will be facilitated by Jane McNeil-McKeag and Sohee Koo. The group will share critical reflection and strategies for online and in-person supervision and assessments in Visual Arts. The topic for this session is Art Teacher Assessments in MA: Reflections on CAP & Other Teacher Preparation Frameworks. Learn more and register.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Task Force Update

The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Task Force is happy to share that we have completed the work of drafting our ED&I Task Force recommendations. These recommendations were approved by the MAEA Board of Directors at the July board meeting.

The ED&I Task Force based these recommendations on the recommendations shared by NAEA and revised to fit the needs of MAEA. We would like to note that the ED&I Task Force considers this list of recommendations a living document that will evolve as the ED&I Committee works to execute on these recommendations, under the leadership of our new ED&I Director-Elect, Emily Moran.

Join the Board – Open Positions

MAEA is looking to fill the positions of Retired Representative, Preservice Division Director, Awards Committee Chair, Exhibitions Committee Chair, and Webmaster.

Board membership is on a voluntary basis and members are appointed to a two-year term. This working board meets monthly. Minimal time is required outside of the regular meetings to execute specific tasks as delegated during board meetings, or to participate in extra initiatives around program development, community engagement, and strategic planning. 

Interested candidates should submit their resume or CV/letter of intent to

Retired Representative and Preservice Division Director
Candidate must be able to perform the following:

  • Act as a point person for elected division and relay issues and pertinent information using the MAEA procedure for emailing.
  • Attend (virtually or in-person) monthly board meetings and annual retreats.
  • Submit reports as needed to the shared Google Drive folder at least eight days prior to the scheduled Board meeting.
  • Review the reports in the shared Google Drive folder prior to the scheduled Board meeting.
  • Attend MAEA sponsored events, conferences, exhibitions, and/or activities.
  • Author or solicit at least three articles per year for the MAEA News (digital publication).
  • Chair or actively participate in at least one MAEA committee.
  • Review policy and procedures, and make recommendations for inclusion in the Policy Manual as in the best interest of the Association and its members.

Awards Committee Chair and Exhibitions Committee Chair
Candidate must be able to perform the following:

  • Act as a point person for the committee and relay pertinent information to the board.
  • Attend monthly board meetings either virtually or in person, if unable to attend notify the secretary as soon as possible.
  • Hold committee meetings, and document work via committee meeting template. Monthly meetings are suggested.
  • Submit a report via report template with highlighted action items as needed to the secretary at least eight days prior to the scheduled meeting. In addition to action items, reports should include committee accomplishments and future plans. 
  • Work with committee to reference, review, and update Policy Manual including procedures, timelines, and guidelines. Any changes to procedures and policies must be brought to the board for approval prior to implementation. These plans and actions must be in conformance with the overall strategic plans formulated by the Board of Directors.
  • With the assistance of the committee, submit an annual projected budget for approval by November for the following fiscal year (January 1).
  • Author or solicit from at least one article per year for the MAEA Newsletter.
  • Work toward advancing the mission of the Association.

Candidate must be able to perform the following:

  • Work with MAEA Board of Directors to maintain MAEA website. 
  • Review and correct links that aren’t working and pictures that aren’t appearing properly.
  • Examine and analyze site traffic.
  • Regulate and manage access rights of different MAEA website users.
  • Work with the PR committee to solicit content from the board, and support the board in updating that content. 
  • Update membership emails/contacts in Constant Contact and email.
  • Submit reports as needed to the Secretary at least eight days prior to the scheduled meeting.
  • Work toward advancing the mission of the Association.
  • Chair or actively participate in the Public Relations Committee. 
  • Review policy and procedures, and make recommendations for inclusion in the Policy Manual as in the best interest of the Association and its members.
Interested in becoming more involved, but aren’t ready to take the plunge into an official board position? Consider joining one of our active committees like awardsconference, youth art monthpublic relationsstudent recognitionsexhibitions, or professional development. Committees typically meet monthly via Zoom.