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The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) has awarded the Wisconsin Music Educators Association (WMEA) the 2020 Excellence in Advocacy Award in recognition of their efforts advocating for music education.

NAfME president and Board Chair Dr. Mackie V. Spradley presented the award during the NAfME National Leadership Assembly, conducted virtually in June.

“We are exceptionally proud of the work that the Wisconsin MEA is doing in their state,” said Dr. Spradley. “They are leaders who consistently seek ways to ensure that every student has access and the opportunity to participate in the study and making of music. More than ever, the importance of their individual and collective voice is critical. I am most impressed with the MEA’s focus on the future of music educators as evident in events such as ‘Aspiring Music Majors’ and ‘Dynamic Futures’. Such efforts are tremendously helpful to sustain music education in our schools. The national leadership of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) salutes WMEA!”

“We are honored that the Wisconsin Music Educators Association was selected as recipient of the NAfME 2020 Excellence in Advocacy Award,” said Paul J. Budde, WMEA president. “The WMEA Advocacy Committee is proud to engage in multifaceted advocacy initiatives centered around the belief that all children deserve equal access to a credible and well-rounded education that includes high-quality study of music and the arts.”

Recent efforts WMEA has undertaken include the development of advocacy statements and guidelines for music educators/supporters across the state, purposeful dialogue with national and state decision makers as part of NAfME Hill Day and Wisconsin Drive-In Day events, and efforts to recruit future music educators through events such as “Aspiring Music Majors” and “Dynamic Futures.”

“Given the ask that WMEA presented to state legislators at the 2018 Wisconsin Drive-In Day,” continued Budde, “we are particularly excited for the implementation of Act 85, which was signed into law this past February and will require the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to include the percentage of students participating in music, dance, drama, and visual arts on annual school district and school accountability reports. We look forward to opportunities to continue our advocacy efforts in the years to come.”

The Excellence in Advocacy award, presented annually at the NAfME National Leadership Assembly, recognizes a state music education association (MEA) for outstanding accomplishments in music education advocacy. State MEAs around the country are advocating by meeting with State Boards of Education, advocating to state legislatures, and engaging stakeholders. The 2019 Excellence in Advocacy Award recipient was the Florida Music Education Association, and the 2018 Excellence in Advocacy Award recipient was the Michigan Music Educators Association.

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