CMA Foundation

Each year, hundreds of Country artists perform at CMA Music Festival for free, and to show its appreciation for their dedication and time, CMA donates half the net proceeds from the event to benefit music education programs on behalf of the artists and celebrities as part of the Foundation’s Keep the Music Playing initiative.

The origins of the program began in 2001, when CMA Music Festival, then known as Fan Fair, moved to downtown Nashville for the first time. From 2001-2005, participating artists could select individual charities for donations and CMA contributed more than $800,000 to hundreds of worthy causes.

In 2006, the CMA Artist Relations Committee, led by Kix Brooks formerly of Brooks & Dunn, decided to channel those financial resources into a single cause – music education – through CMA’s “Keep the Music Playing” campaign to have a more meaningful impact in an area of importance to the entire music community.

Through the generosity of the Country artist community, CMA has been able to donate $9 million to programs furthering music education nationwide. This includes:

    • 6,600 instruments in 144 Metro Nashville Public Schools
    • Tennessee Performing Arts afterschool Disney in Schools program
    • Notes for Notes recording studios at the Boys & Girls Club
    • Two music classrooms at NYC’s Hector Fontanez Public School 103
    • Music Summer Camp at W.O. Smith School
    • Country Music Hall of Fame Words & Music program


Grant Recipients

VH1 Save The Music Foundation

The benefits of music education are astounding, and studies have consistently exposed the tremendously positive effect music education has on a child’s academic performance, sense of community, self­-expression and self­-esteem. But as schools across the nation increasingly face budget cuts and pressures, music is often one of the first subject areas to be cut.

At VH1 Save The Music Foundation, we develop strategic partnerships with school districts to build sustainable instrumental music programs by providing grants of brand­-new musical instruments to public elementary and middle schools. Our goal? To give every child in this country access to a musical instrument.


Education Through Music

ETM’s primary activity is forming long-term partnerships with New York City schools to help principals establish and sustain school-wide music education programs that reach every student.

Music education makes a difference. Each year, ETM helps thousands of children to learn skills, gain self-esteem and become excited about school. But for the long term, we are helping our partner schools establish strategic plans to hire their own music teachers and sustain music education beyond the existence of ETM.


Click here to read the press release.


The Music Education Program at Rocketown exists to engage youth in the development of multimedia projects that guide them to find their voice, tell their stories, develop skills and be empowered to affect positive change in their lives and communities.


Click here to read the press release.


The Foundation’s priority is music education. And, we’ve only just begun.

What is Keep the Music Playing?

Artist visits to schools

“Keep the Music Playing” also brings music into schools by connecting Country artists and students during in-school visits. To date, Country stars Kix Brooks, Laura Bell Bundy, Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts, Sara Evans, Troy Gentry of Montgomery Gentry, and Kellie Pickler have shared their love of music with the next generation of artists.

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