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Florida Music Education Association Receives 2019 Excellence in Advocacy Award

Victoria Wasylak • News • July 24, 2019

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) has awarded the Florida Music Education Association (FMEA) the 2019 Excellence in Advocacy Award in recognition of their efforts advocating for music education.

FMEA president Dr. Steven Kelly, along with FMEA executive director Dr. Kathleen D. Sanz, FMEA Immediate past president Dr. Kenneth Williams, FMEA president-elect Dr. Shelby Chipman, FMEA past president Dr. John Southall, FMEA Government Relations/Advocacy Chair Jeanne Reynolds, and FMEA Collegiates Adaline Burwell, Dylan Heid, Mavel Morales, and David Ramos accepted the award on behalf of the Florida Music Education Association during the NAfME Hill Day activities on June 19, 2019.

“The Florida Music Education Association has a long track record of quality advocacy on behalf of music education,” said Lynn Tuttle, NAfME director of Public Policy, Research, and Professional Development. Tuttle cited FMEA’s “ongoing day-to-day advocacy work, including building relationships with policymakers, building long-term alliances with key education stakeholders, and building advocates for the future through their extensive collegiate advocacy programs and support.”

A recipient of a Country Music Association (CMA) Foundation state advocacy grant in 2018, FMEA used the funds to create videos speaking to the power of music education. These videos aim to help share the message of music education to a broader, more public audience, building on work the state is undertaking to increase its reach to parents and voters.

“We are so humbled that NAfME has recognized the FMEA’s long history of advocacy work,” says Jeanne Reynolds, FMEA government relations/advocacy chair. “This recognition honors and reaffirms our passionate commitment to FMEA’s mission of promoting quality, comprehensive music education in all Florida schools. Advocacy is not an event nor a topic to address periodically, but rather a way of work. As music educators, we need to tell our powerful stories and be part of decision-making at the school, district, state and national level each and every day,” she continues.

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