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Haslam announces $1 million music and arts education initiative

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced a partnership with the Country Music Association (CMA) Foundation to launch a $1 million competitive grant opportunity focused on expanding students’ access to high-quality music and arts education.Tennessee: State of the Arts is a first of its kind public-private partnership to ensure more students across the state of Tennessee will have access to a quality arts and music education. School districts in Tennessee will have the opportunity to apply for funding to improve or develop their music education programs. The statewide initiative will kick-off with the 2018-19 school year.

“I am grateful to the CMA Foundation for this generous investment that builds upon Tennessee’s deep roots in music history by bolstering music and arts education programs across the state,” Haslam said. “Research shows that music and arts education enhances students’ overall academic performance and improves their attendance and engagement in school, building well-rounded students ready to compete in
tomorrow’s workforce.”

In its first year, State of the Arts grants will be awarded to as many as eight districts across the state. The three-year grants will be administered by the Tennessee Department of Education and may fund a range of strategies including, but not limited to:
• Professional development for music teachers;
• Additional arts and music supplies; or
• Materials and equipment used to address equity challenges, or expansion of local arts educational outreach programs.

“We understand the tremendous impact a quality music education can have on a student’s academic achievement and social development, yet we still hear that music programs are underfunded and educators do not have the resources they need to create a thriving program,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA CEO. “By partnering with the State of Tennessee and the Department of Education, we will be able to curate a model for a statewide arts initiative that will impact children across the state of Tennessee — ensuring they have access to a quality music education and a robust arts program. Our hope is that other states will someday be able to replicate this model as we work to bring music to children across the country.”

Trahern added, “To have five-time CMA Awards winner Martina McBride join us today is indicative of the support from our artist community.”
The CMA Foundation has invested more than $21 million across all 50 states. Grant applications will be made available by the Tennessee Department of Education in July 2018.