STATE OF THE ARTS

Launching in October 2021, the CMA Foundation’s expanded initiative, State of the Arts Study, in partnership with the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation and the Tennessee Department of Education, will offer needs assessments and solutions to every single public school district within the state that would like to participate, to truly understand the causes of inequities in arts education throughout Tennessee. The assessment is voluntary, and the cost is FREE to participating school districts.

To participate and join the State of the Arts: Arts Education Network:

visit TDOE’s website

To continue with enrolling your school district in the State of the Arts Study:

begin the district questionnaire

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. 

ARTS EDUCATION DATA PROJECT

A partnership between the Tennessee Department of Education and Quadrant Research funded by CMAF and the Tennessee Arts Commission. The statewide project collects and reports arts education data from the State Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) annually and creates a user-friendly dashboard visualizing, access to and participation in school arts programs. Tennessee policy requires schools to provide music and visual arts in grades K-8 and each student must have at least one fine arts credit in HS.

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MR. HOLLAND'S OPUS FOUNDATION AND MEDSS

In 2019, CMAF funded the Music Education District Support Services (MEDSS) through the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation in Metro Nashville Public Schools. The assessment identified areas of improvement district-wide and provided recommendations addressing specific factors creating challenges for each school site. The report also provided a clear and comprehensive inventory of all music education offerings and equipment.

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