Signatures from Big Sky is published by Montana Association of Gifted and Talented Education (AGATE)

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Purpose and Goals
            We seek to nurture a community of young Montana artists K-12 and provide them with opportunities to strengthen and share their talents in art and writing. Publication requires editing excellence in preparing a paper or artwork, concern with the audience you are trying to reach (primarily Montana students, but also teachers, parents and communities),and understanding the genre.  Publication gives to other students models of excellence to follow.
              Secondly, we seek to nurture the arts in Montana public school classrooms. Rather than a contest, we promote SIGNATURES as a process whereby teachers and students can work together to achieve work worthy of sharing because of its originality, correct form, student perspective and emotional content. Teachers are offered sectionals at MEA/MFT and AGATE conferences on evaluating art and writing, sharing ideas from around the state. The SIGNATURES Board meetings are sharing sessions as well, as the members come from all parts of the state and different grade level teaching positions. Some schools have used SIGNATURES as a model for creating their own literary/art publications. And teachers can and do use the magazine as a model for specific lessons in their classrooms (i.e. on metaphor, story writing, line and form, etc.)
             Third, we seek to nurture more interest in arts in the schools by Montana communities. SIGNATURES provides a showcase to the communities across Montana who want to see what their students are doing and the work they can create. Local artists/writers are often members of the regional Selection Committees. Pride in their students helps parents and other community members build better relationships with the schools. Submitting teachers whoses students have been published are encouraged to note the achievement in their school and local papers.


Original artwork by Ivana Stmadova
  Signatures from Big Sky is published by Montana Association of Gifted and Talented Education (AGATE), Montana Association of Teachers of English/Language Arts, Montana Art Education Association, Montana Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
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