WHERE IT ALL STARTED
State of the Arts (SOTA) is a public private partnership between the Country Music Association (CMA) Foundation and the State of Tennessee. The initiative launched in 2018-2019 following an investment of $1 million across 8 school districts in Tennessee over a three-year period. Funds were made available to the districts beginning in May of 2019 – covering professional development for music teachers, additional music supplies, materials and equipment to address equity challenges and expansions of local music education outreach programs.
Common threads emerged when looking at the last few years of progress: need for high-quality instructional materials and curriculum, educator development, equipment and instructional supply needs, student intervention, remediation and enrichment and innovative programming. We learned that the variety and quality of arts education programming differs either from district-to-district and/or school-to-school. The more we worked with the districts, the more questions we had about the barriers affecting the quality of arts education – funding, staffing, scheduling, equipment, etc.
This led to us investing in the Arts Education Data Project.