CMA Foundation Announces $1.6 Million in Grants for Music Education in 2015

CMA Foundation Announces $1.6 Million in Grants for Music Education in 2015

NASHVILLE – Thanks to the generosity of Country artists and fans at CMA Music Festival, the CMA Foundation announced its annual donation for music education as well as grant recipients for 2015 with 13 charitable groups receiving $1.66 million.

The grants bring CMA’s total contributions since 2006 to more than $11 million for this important cause.

“If it weren’t for our artists, who all perform for free during CMA Music Festival, and the thousands of fans who support the event each year, these donations would not be possible,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “The CMA Foundation donates to causes that are important to our community, but every dollar is given on behalf of the artists and fans that support Music Fest each June.”

Tickets to the Nightly Concerts at LP Field sold out in November. Across the river from the stadium, there are countless free and low-cost entertainment options for fans around downtown Nashville as part of the CMA Music Festival. Seven free entertainment stages give fans the opportunity to choose their musical adventure, including the hugely popular Chevrolet Riverfront Park Stage, which consistently fills the Cumberland riverbank each of the four days.

AT&T U-verse Fan Fair X at Music City Center moves the CMA Music Festival party inside, with musical performances on three stages, artist interactions, meet-and-greets, shopping and other unique fan experiences. Tickets to AT&T U-verse Fan Fair X are available now at CMAfest.com (AT&T U-verse Fan Fair X admission is included in four-day CMA Music Festival tickets). AT&T U-verse Fan Fair X tickets are $10 per day or $25 for a four-day pass. For upcoming talent announcements and all other info stay connected with CMA on Facebook.com/CMA, Twitter.com/CountryMusicInstagram.com/CMA, and sign up for CMA Exclusive, CMA’s e-newsletter.

“CMA Music Festival began in 1972 as a way for the artists to give back to the fans who support their careers throughout the year, but it has become so much more,” Trahern said. “The money generated by the Festival benefits music education programs across the U.S. and globally. CMA Foundation grants change lives for the better — which makes everyone involved in the Festival extremely proud.”

Programs benefiting from the CMA Foundation in 2015 include:

Education Through Music: Education Through Music (ETM) partners with inner-city schools to provide all students with music as a core subject, and to create school communities that value the arts. ETM’s mission is to promote the use of music in schools as a means of enhancing students’ academic performance and general development. In the current school year, ETM serves 20,000 students and 40 teachers in 37 inner-city schools in New York City, and their model reaches another 8,000 children through the work of their licensed affiliate organization in Los Angeles.

Students from Education Through Music partner schools perform during a press conference to announce the final nominees for "The 48th Annual CMA Awards" Sept. 3, 2014 at the Best Buy Theater in New York City. Photo Credit: Kevin Yatarola / CMA
Students from Education Through Music partner schools perform during a press conference to announce the final nominees for “The 48th Annual CMA Awards” Sept. 3, 2014 at the Best Buy Theater in New York City. Photo Credit: Kevin Yatarola / CMA

 

Harmony Project: Harmony Project is a tuition free, after-school and weekend music program in Los Angeles that targets 2,000 at-risk students ages 6-18. The program follows students from elementary to high school to ensure they receive the support and guidance they need to graduate on time and continue on to college. Combining rigorous music instruction and enrichment activities, mentoring, family support services, and college scholarships, the program guides vulnerable youth through life’s challenges while building critical life skills that will serve them into adulthood. CMA Foundation will fund student instruments, which are provided for free.

Little Kids Rock (LKR): Little Kids Rock is a national nonprofit that provides an innovative music education program called Modern Band to more than 170,000 students in 29 cities, including Dallas, where more than 13,000 students in 120 Dallas Independent School District schools are enrolled. Little Kids Rock leverages the shared cultural capital of students (and their teachers) by connecting learning to the musical styles that kids already know and love, including rock, pop, hip hop, and Country. Little Kids Rock provides instruments, curriculum, teacher training and ongoing support; giving teachers the skills and resources they need to ensure all students have the opportunity to unlock their inner music makers.

Metro Nashville Public Schools: Since 2006, CMA and the CMA Foundation have donated more than $7.5 million to support an unprecedented effort to strengthen and improve music education in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. Thanks to the grants, the school system is able to dramatically enhance instrumental instruction in all middle and high schools. The funds have been used to purchase instruments and music equipment and build and equip an instrument repair shop. Through this unique partnership with Metro Schools and the Nashville Public Education Foundation, CMA has provided thousands of instruments, enabling the city to accelerate access to quality music education for more students.

Students from the Hillsboro High School choral group gather after their performance at the CMA Awards radio remotes Nov. 2 in Nashville with (beginning back row, third from left) CMA Foundation Board member Lon Helton; CMA Senior Director of Membership and Balloting Brandi Simms; CMA Board member Chris Young; CMA Community Outreach Manager Tiffany Kerns; and CMA Board member Rob Beckham. Photo Credit: Scott Hunter / CMA
Students from the Hillsboro High School choral group gather after their performance at the CMA Awards radio remotes Nov. 2 in Nashville with (beginning back row, third from left) CMA Foundation Board member Lon Helton; CMA Senior Director of Membership and Balloting Brandi Simms; CMA Board member Chris Young; CMA Community Outreach Manager Tiffany Kerns; and CMA Board member Rob Beckham. Photo Credit: Scott Hunter / CMA

 

Musician’s Corner: The Conservancy’s Kidsville program provides free music education for youth in grades Pre-K-12 through “Musical Meet & Greets” that take place at Musicians Corner events in Nashville’s Centennial Park. Through hands-on learning activities, sessions conducted by music business professionals, and partnerships with community organizations, Kidsville will provide free educational programming to 6,000 youth in 2015 in Centennial Park and The Parthenon and through community outreach at Metro Community Centers and local nonprofits. CMA Foundation funding will strengthen Kidsville’s educational activities, including “Musical Meet & Greets.”

Nashville Children’s Theater: The CMA Foundation is supporting the Arts Access Program at the Nashville Children’s Theater; specifically “Jack’s Tale – A Mythic Mountain Musical,” which was written by the Theater’s Scot Copeland and composer Paul Carrol Binkley. The production is based on Appalachian folklore and accompanied by original music. NCT’s Arts Access program serves a growing number of children and families facing financial barriers for participation in the arts, including school field trip discounts to low-income schools; in-class drama workshops offered at no cost to low-income schools; a Family Access membership (FAM) program providing need-based discounted tickets and drama class scholarships; and after school arts education programs with students from some of Nashville’s most under-served communities.

Notes for Notes: Notes for Notes funds the construction of music studios in Boys and Girls Club facilities across the U.S. The CMA Foundation made an initial donation to the Nashville Notes for Notes chapter in 2014 and has committed additional funds to expand the program in 2015 to chapters in Atlanta, Austin, Brooklyn, Detroit, and San Francisco.

The Quest Center: The Quest Center is a music education and resource center located in Dickson, Tenn., a largely rural community with limited access to music programs. The Center makes music education accessible to all members of the community, including individuals with disabilities, while providing leadership and a positive, affordable, and safe environment for students. The CMA Foundation is funding afterschool and out-of-school instructional classes and music discovery workshops, typically serving students grades 3-12 in partnership with the Dickson County Board of Education.

Ryan’s Guitar Project: Funds will be used to establish music programs in Ramallah and Gaza.  Based on Greek Orthodox parochial schools educating more than 95 percent Muslim students, the music education program has broad community support and will be the first of its kind in a war-torn region – giving children a positive way to express themselves. Funds will be used to purchase and transport Taylor Peacock GS mini guitars, music equipment, and other material to the region.

The Salvation Army: The Foundation grant will be used to re-structure programming for the existing Red Shield Kids Club in Nashville by expanding the level of services to include performing arts.  A specialized instructor will teach youth of underserved areas how to play music and engage them in theater and private music lessons. In addition to serving as academic mentors for their required coursework in English, math, and science, participating children will have performing arts curriculum two times a week.

Savannah Music Festival: CMA Foundation will support the implementation of Musical Explorers, a pilot program of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute adapted by the Savannah Music Festival to serve the students of greater Savannah. This custom curriculum incorporates music-based exercises and regional genres into literacy and social studies lessons. Musical Explorers is designed to teach children in grades K-2 about their local communities and indigenous musical traditions through lessons that integrate music into general classroom studies. More than 9,500 students at 59 schools are benefitting from the program.

Tennessee Performing Arts Center: Supporting TPAC’s Afterschool program Disney Musicals in Schools, which will engage students in 20 Metro Nashville Public Schools. Now in its fourth year, the local program was Disney’s first in-school outreach project outside of New York City and is the only city working with both elementary and middle schools. At the end of this academic year, 27% of Metro Nashville’s elementary schools will have produced a musical, engaging up to 1,200 students, 130 educators, 600 volunteers, and 12 teaching artists. At no cost to them, the schools receive a performance license for the Disney KIDS or JR. Musical of their choice, comprehensive resource materials, and in-school support from TPAC Teaching Artists.

W.O. Smith School: W.O. Smith School provides three summer camp opportunities to their low-income students each year: Resident Camp, Camp Backbeat, and Day Camp.  W.O. Smith music camps offer an affordable enrichment activity to many area children who could not otherwise afford to attend camp. It provides a positive musical and social experience in a nurturing environment and offers the chance for inner-city children of varied backgrounds to learn to live and play as a community. The summer camp sessions are offered each June in Nashville for children ages 8 to 18.

Studies show students who participate in the arts are more likely to graduate, have better attendance rates, and higher GPAs than students not enrolled in arts classes. The CMA Foundation recognizes the importance of music education in keeping kids engaged and in school as well as providing access to higher education through scholarships.

Notes for Notes students and executives gather with CMA and Chevrolet leadership on "The 48th Annual CMA Awards" Red Carpet Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014 in Nashville. (kneeling, l-r) Notes For Notes participants Will Flores and Cameron Cassel; (row 2, l-r) Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer; Joe Galante, CMA Foundation Board Chairman; Julian Lee, Notes For Notes Director of M.A.T.H; Jen Hodges and Mary-Grace Williams, Notes for Notes participating students; Damon Whiteside, CMA Senior Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships; Mike Weidman, Chevrolet National Promotions Manager. (back row, l-r) Jarrad James; Rod Hare, Co-Founder and Board Chairman of Notes For Notes; Jayda Carlton and Sentwuan Gooch, Notes For Notes; Phillip Gilley, Co-Founder and CEO of Notes For Notes; Mike Slay, Notes For Notes participating student. Photo Credit: Caitlin Harris / CMA
Notes for Notes students and executives gather with CMA and Chevrolet leadership on “The 48th Annual CMA Awards” Red Carpet Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014 in Nashville. (kneeling, l-r) Notes For Notes participants Will Flores and Cameron Cassel; (row 2, l-r) Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer; Joe Galante, CMA Foundation Board Chairman; Julian Lee, Notes For Notes Director of M.A.T.H; Jen Hodges and Mary-Grace Williams, Notes for Notes participating students; Damon Whiteside, CMA Senior Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships; Mike Weidman, Chevrolet National Promotions Manager. (back row, l-r) Jarrad James; Rod Hare, Co-Founder and Board Chairman of Notes For Notes; Jayda Carlton and Sentwuan Gooch, Notes For Notes; Phillip Gilley, Co-Founder and CEO of Notes For Notes; Mike Slay, Notes For Notes participating student. Photo Credit: Caitlin Harris / CMA

 

CMA created the nonprofit (501C3) CMA Foundation in 2011. Guided by the generosity of the Country Music community, the CMA Foundation focuses on improving and sustaining music education programs everywhere while supporting worthwhile causes important to the Country Music Association.

**Suggested Tweet** #CMAfoundation announces $1.6 million in grants to @NotesforNotes, @ETMonline, @TPAC, and more for 2015! {link URL}