On Wednesday, May 11, after a tumultuous few days which had set the blogosphere/social media a-flutter (due to comments made by NAfME leader Michael Butera in April that many deemed to suggest racial bias), the organization released the following statement:
After a thorough review process, the National Executive Board of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and Michael Butera have agreed that he will not be returning to the association. We wish him well and thank him for his service to our purpose and mission.
Additionally, we are announcing that Michael Blakeslee will serve as the new Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer for NAfME, effective immediately. Mr. Blakeslee’s vast experience and knowledge of our organization, fostered over nearly 30 years of dedicated service to NAfME and the music education profession, best position us to move forward and advocate for and provide opportunities to students and teachers.
These last few days highlight the need for real, substantive conversation about what must be done to provide access and opportunity to all students no matter where they live. This is an ongoing journey and we are ready to play an increasingly important role in convening and facilitating a dialogue and prompting action around how all of us can increase diversity, inclusion, and equity in music and the arts