Russell Dickerson Joins The CMA Foundation’s Artist Ambassador Program In Support Of Music Students And Educators

Dickerson Slated for Grand Ole Opry Performance Saturday, May 8 with Donations Benefitting the CMA Foundation’s Equitable Music Education Initiatives

CMA’s philanthropic arm, the CMA Foundation, has tapped multi-platinum recording artist Russell Dickerson as the latest CMA Foundation Artist Ambassador to stand up for equitable music education initiatives across the U.S. Growing up with both parents active in the arts—his mom is a music teacher and his dad is a choir director—Dickerson has experienced first-hand the meaningful effects music education has on a young person’s life.

“As a child, Russell was surrounded by family who strongly believed in music education,” says Tiffany Kerns, CMA Foundation Executive Director. “He can speak to how music instills confidence, teamwork and why it positively influences many other areas of life. We thank Russell for joining us to raise our voices in support of equity in music education and helping further drive our mission forward with making sure all students across the U.S. have access to participate in quality music programs.”

“I’ve never not been a student of music, and started out in children’s choir at church” says Dickerson. “My mom was my 4th grade music teacher, and I was in band from 6th grade to senior year. I look back on my school years and get choked up sometimes thinking about some of my incredible teachers. They’re making a huge impact on the lives of their students whether they see it or not. Music education is the foundation and backbone of everything I am today.”

As a CMA Artist Ambassador, Dickerson will take the stage from the Grand Ole Opry Saturday, May 8 in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, which takes place beginning May 3, 2021. The show will benefit the CMA Foundation, which supports music education across the U.S. and will be livestreamed on Circle TV’s Opry Live and various other platforms. Viewers will be invited to donate to the CMA Foundation by texting TEACHERS to 707070. Dickerson will be joined by Jamey Johnson & Randy Houser, Chris Lane and Steve Wariner. The CMA Foundation is programming various other activities featuring Dickerson in the upcoming weeks and months to inspire students and teachers through the healing power of music. One of his Artist Ambassador engagements will be visiting with band students at his former high school, Centennial High School in Franklin, TN.

Dickerson joins the CMA Foundation’s Artist Ambassador collective alongside Jimmie Allen, Lindsay Ell, Maddie & Tae and Ashley McBryde, who are all advocating for music education in ways that are personal to them. Allen took part in a virtual meeting with a third-grade music class at Snowden Elementary in Memphis, TN to share his story and discuss music and songwriting with the students. He also participated in the CMA Foundation’s Teaching Artist Webinar Series to discuss culturally relevant teaching, music discovery and parenting in a pandemic. Ell shared the healing power of music with Nashville’s Mt. View Elementary students during a virtual songwriting session last month, as well as teaching student guitarists how to restring and tune a guitar. Maddie & Tae are in the midst of virtual meetings with high school choir students and female band directors. McBryde served as the inaugural Artist Ambassador, meeting virtually with music teachers last year to discuss the obstacles faced while teaching amid the pandemic and sharing how music education led to her career in Country Music. She created a music lesson on building the major scale for teachers and students to use in both their in-person and virtual classrooms.

Since its inception in 2011, the CMA Foundation has been committed to improving and sustaining music programs throughout the U.S. so all students have equitable opportunity to participate in a high-quality music education. The CMA Foundation believes music and the arts are part of a well-rounded education, investing $27 million to support these efforts over the last 10 years. During this time, the CMA Foundation has observed why music programs are not thriving, seeing first-hand the challenges educators are facing and, most importantly, the systemic issues that must be addressed in order for every child to have access to music. Committed to its vision, the CMA Foundation is working directly with school districts to identify needs, understand their challenges, build community support and develop local and national resources from partners as part of the non-profit’s systems change model.

The CMA Foundation will continue to provide unique opportunities and support for music teachers and students as more Artist Ambassadors are announced throughout the year.


About the CMA Foundation

Established in 2011 as the philanthropic arm of the Country Music Association (CMA), the CMA Foundation is committed to improving and sustaining high-quality music education programs across the United States, working to ensure every child has the opportunity to participate in music. Through strategic partnerships, professional development and grant distribution, the CMA Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), invests various resources across the national public school system, after school programs, summer camps and community outreach organizations.

About Russell Dickerson

Multi-platinum Nashville-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Russell Dickerson has established himself a prolific songwriter and powerhouse showman through memorable high-energy performances and eloquent songcraft spiked with spirit. His gold-certified full-length debut album, Yours, bowed at #5 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart and #1 on the Emerging Artists Chart. Ultimately, it yielded three consecutive #1 smashes, including the double-platinum “Yours” (christened “one of the hottest wedding songs of the year” by The Knot), platinum “Blue Tacoma,” and platinum “Every Little Thing.” Nominations piled in from the Academy of Country Music Awards, CMT Music Awards, and iHeartRadio Music Awards. Among his 2020 highlights, he received an ACM nod in the category of “Best New Male Artist of the Year.” He has electrified audiences on tour with Thomas Rhett, Florida Georgia Line, Darius Rucker, Lady A and Kane Brown, in addition to headlining sold out venues everywhere. Sustaining a fervent following on social media (fondly referred to as his RD Fam), he launched his YouTube show, “This Is Russ, taking fans deeper into his world. In 2020, he released his second full-length album, Southern Symphony [Triple Tigers], a long-awaited masterful compilation, layered with hummable country anthems and pop flare. Led by the platinum-certified #1 single “Love You Like I Used To,” which spent a record-breaking 21 weeks on Billboard Country Airplay’s Top 10, his sophomore release tells his story like never before. The record’s eloquent songcraft and airtight playing showcases all sides of his beloved personality and the evolution of Russell Dickerson— doting husband, self-proclaimed “regular dude, rad dad, and bonafide country music superstar.

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Russell Dickerson joins the CMA Foundation Artist Ambassador program.
Photo Credit: Spencer Combs