Join the National Music Council on Capitol Hill as arts advocates from across the country convene in Washington, D.C. Arts Advocacy Day brings together a broad cross section of America’s cultural and civic organizations, along with more than 500 grassroots advocates from across the country, to underscore the importance of developing strong public policies and appropriating increased public funding for the arts.
NATIONAL MUSIC COUNCIL LETTER TO CONGRESS FOR ARTS ADVOCACY DAY 2018
The members of the National Music Council, who together represent some one million individuals, are unified in a commitment to support music education. We know how much a balanced, sequential education that includes music can bring to the development of our young people. We have all, individually and collectively, seen the impact that music education has on the social, physical, and intellectual growth of students. We have all watched with growing interest the explosion of research that backs up our long-held belief in the essential importance of music education.
Sadly, we have also seen the growth of forces that stand in the way of every child receiving the benefits of music education. Sometimes these forces are political; sometimes they are budgetary; and sometimes they are simply administrative. In all cases, however, they can be easily overcome with a simple commitment (reflected in legislation and in funding) to providing our children with the benefits of music education.
In light of this, we ask your commitment for the following legislative recommendations:
- Eliminate sequestration caps to improve the federal investment on education and allocate robust funding to key education initiatives from ESSA, including all “Well- Rounded Education” programs.
- Fully fund all aspects of ESSA through the appropriations process for both FY18 and FY19, including Title IV, Part A. In this funding and in all aspects of ESSA, maintain a focus on equity and access for every child in our diverse student populations to ensure that they receive a full and well-rounded education.
- Include grants and loan forgiveness provisions for teachers in any Higher Education Act reauthorization, and better align the law with ESSA’s commitment to a well-rounded education.
- Fund the Fast Response Survey System (FRSS) in music and arts education for the 2019-2020 school year. FRSS is the best tracking of student access and participation to music and arts education at the national level.
- Preserve and support the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency that provides supplemental funding in support of high quality arts programming, including programming that complements in- school music education provided by our nation’s music educators.
We will all benefit from these measures: the music industry, which contributes significantly to our national economy; professional performers, who add immeasurably to our communities; composers, arrangers, and publishers, who bring the riches of creation to our national life; and most of all, our children. We thank you for your consideration of these important goals, which will benefit not only our children, but will ultimately increase the creative output of American composers and musicians to the betterment of not only the social fabric of the United States, but also the economy.
Founded in 1940 and chartered by the 84th Congress in 1956, the National Music Council is in a unique position to assist in these matters. We offer our collective expertise in providing you with any documentation or information that might serve you, and our gratitude for your support.
NEW YORK, NY ― October 5, 2017 ― The BMI Foundation announced today that it is now accepting online applications for its 2018 scholarship season, open to young musicians and songwriters attending colleges and universities nationwide. The Foundation will administer seven distinct scholarship competitions aided by panelists of international musical acclaim. These annual programs include the BMI Future Jazz Master Scholarship, BMI Student Composer Awards, John Lennon Scholarships, peermusic Latin Scholarship, Woody Guthrie Fellowship, Nashville Songwriting Scholarship and BMI Founders Award for Radio Broadcasting.
“We are delighted to once again have the opportunity to introduce the world to young, talented artists on the cusp of exciting careers in music,” said BMI Foundation President Deirdre Chadwick. “These scholarships are essential for continued musical education and development, and last year we were thrilled to receive a record number of applications.”
Program applications must be completed online no later than Thursday, February 1, 2018. For complete details and to apply, please visit bmifoundation.org/programs. Below is a complete list of BMI Foundation 2018 scholarship season opportunities.
BMI Founders Award for Radio Broadcasting
The third annual BMI Founders Award competition is open to radio broadcasting students age 17 – 24 nationwide. A $5,000 scholarship will be awarded for the best original essay response entry. The program was established in 2015 to recognize future innovators of broadcast radio, and commemorates the group of radio industry leaders who founded Broadcast Music, Inc. in 1939. bmifoundation.org/broadcast
BMI Future Jazz Master Scholarship
The fourth annual BMI Future Jazz Master Scholarship will award $5,000 to a rising jazz star pursuing a graduate degree in Jazz Studies, Jazz Performance, or related majors. The award was established in 2015 in honor of the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship, a lifetime achievement recognition program of the National Endowment for the Arts. bmifoundation.org/jazzmaster
BMI Student Composer Awards
The 66th annual BMI Student Composer Awards will award $20,000 in prizes to young composers engaged in the study of classical music. Co-sponsored by BMI and the BMI Foundation, the competition is open to all composers studying classical music who are age 27 or younger and citizens of the Western Hemisphere. Classical music luminaries such as John Adams, Aaron Jay Kernis and Augusta Read Thomas received their earliest recognition through this program. bmifoundation.org/sca
John Lennon Scholarships
The 21st annual John Lennon Scholarships will award three prizes totaling $20,000 to U.S. college-student songwriters (age 17 to 24) for the best original songs submitted to the competition. Established in 1997 by Yoko Ono in conjunction with the BMI Foundation, this scholarship program honors the memory of one of the preeminent songwriters of the 20th century, John Lennon, and has become one of the nation’s most esteemed accolades for emerging artists. bmifoundation.org/lennon
Nashville Songwriting Scholarship
The third annual Nashville Songwriting Scholarship will award $5,000 for the best original song in any of the following genres: Americana, blues, bluegrass, contemporary Christian, country, folk, and roots. The contest is open to students between the ages of 17 and 24, who are enrolled in any college or university located in the United States. GRAMMY-winning recording artist and BMI songwriter Kacey Musgraves endorses the competition and serves as a final judge. bmifoundation.org/nashville
peermusic Latin Scholarship
Established by music publisher Ralph Peer II and generously funded by peermusic, the 15th annual peermusic Latin Scholarship competition will award a $5,000 scholarship for the best original song or instrumental composition in any Latin genre. The contest is open to students between the ages of 17 and 24, who are enrolled in any college or university located in the United States and Puerto Rico. Multi-platinum Latin artist and BMI songwriter Prince Royce serves as honorary spokesperson for the competition. bmifoundation.org/peer
Woody Guthrie Fellowship
The 13th annual Woody Guthrie Fellowship will award up to $5,000 for scholarly research at the extensive Woody Guthrie Archives, a paper-based research repository located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Applicants must have a research project that leads to the creation of an original scholarly publication or product and requires a minimum of two weeks of research at the Archives. Established in 2005 in cooperation with the Woody Guthrie Center, the Woody Guthrie Fellowship seeks to encourage unique exploration into the life and legacy of one of the most influential folk musicians in American history, Woody Guthrie. bmifoundation.org/guthrie
About the BMI Foundation
The BMI Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 1985 to encourage the creation, performance, and study of American music. The Foundation’s programs include competitive scholarships for songwriters and composers, operating grants for nonprofit arts presenters, and support for innovative music education initiatives in schools and communities across the country. For more information about the work of the Foundation, please visit www.bmifoundation.org. For exclusive news and content, follow @bmifoundation on Instagram and Twitter, and like “BMI Foundation” on Facebook at facebook.com/bmifoundation.
Crystal Gayle accepts her 2017 American Eagle Award and speaks about the importance of Music Education for children.
Harry Shearer accepts his 2017 American Eagle Award and speaks about the importance of Creator’s Rights.
Patti Smith accepts her 2017 American Eagle Award and speaks about the 5 Music Rights set forth by the International Music Council.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The National Music Council presented its prestigious American Eagle Award to music industry icons Crystal Gayle, Harry Shearer, and Patti Smith on July 13 at The Summer NAMM Show in Nashville, TN. National Music Council Director, David Sanders, hosted the awards ceremony along with presenters Paul Shaffer, Richard Leigh and John Ingrassia.
The honorees and presenters collaborated for an unforgettable finale performance of the song “People Have The Power,” written by Patti Smith and her late husband Fred “Sonic” Smith. The awards are presented each year to call attention to the importance of music education and respect of creator’s rights, with proceeds going to support the National Music Council’s advocacy efforts throughout the year. The Nashville event received support from The NAMM Foundation, which also works to advance active participation in music making across the lifespan through scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs.
Photos from the event can be found here.
About The National Music Council
The National Music Council is celebrating its 77th year as a forum for the free discussion of this country’s national music affairs and challenges. Founded in 1940 to act as a clearinghouse for the joint opinion and decision of its members and to work to strengthen the importance of music in our lives and culture, the Council’s initial membership of 13 has grown to almost 50 national music organizations, encompassing every important form of professional and commercial musical activity. Through the cooperative work of its member organizations, the National Music Council promotes and supports music and music education as an integral part of the curricula in the schools of our nation, and in the lives of its citizens. The Council provides for the exchange of information and coordination of efforts among its member organizations and speaks with one voice for the music community whenever an authoritative expression of opinion is desirable. www.musiccouncil.org.
About The NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a non-profit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its 10,300 members around the world. The NAMM Foundation works to advance active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs. For more information about The NAMM Foundation, please visit nammfoundation.org.
Nashville, TN – The National Music Council has announced that country music legend Crystal Gayle, singer, songwriter and poet Patti Smith, and comic, actor, writer, musician and creators’ rights activist Harry Shearer will be honored at the organization’s 34th annual American Eagle Awards on Thursday, July 13 at the Summer NAMM Show in Nashville. The highly prestigious Awards are presented each year in recognition of long-term contribution to American musical culture and heritage, the importance of music education for all children, and the need to protect creators’ rights both locally and internationally.
“Each year, the National Music Council carefully chooses a very small group of music creators, artists, educators and advocates to honor for their truly remarkable contributions to American and global musical culture,” said NMC Director David Sanders.. “Those whose careers we have celebrated in the past are among the giants of American music, and Ms. Gayle, Ms. Smith and Mr. Shearer are worthy additions to the list of those whose long-standing excellence continues to make the US music community the world’s leader in musical arts innovation.”
Recognized as one of music’s most influential stylists, Crystal Gale was born in Paintsville, KY and raised in nearby southern Indiana. Gale was a teenager when she decided to follow her older sister Loretta Lynn to Nashville where she quickly charted with the hit single, “I’ve Cried (The Blue Right Out Of My Eyes).” As a true artist, Gayle followed her own career path, becoming a two-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year, and a crossover sensation with such hits as “Half The Way” and “Talking In Your Sleep,” becoming the first female artist in country music history to achieve platinum record sales. Earlier this year, the singer was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry and celebrated the 40th anniversary of her signature hit, “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue.” Later this year, she will release a new album produced by her son, Am I That Easy to Forget.
Patti Smith is one of the most revered recording artists and songwriters of the past forty years, with the likes of Michael Stipe (R.E.M.), Morissey, U2, and others citing the impact of her music on their own. Born in Chicago, IL, she spent her formative years in Philadelphia before moving to New York City at the age of 21. There, she wrote several articles for Rolling Stone magazine before becoming a musical force on her own terms in the 1970s. Clive Davis signed her band, The Patti Smith Group, to Arista in 1975, and released the critically acclaimed album Horses, which blended punk rock and poetry. Her 1978 disc Easter contained one of her most popular titles, “Because The Night,” which she co-wrote with Bruce Springsteen. Smith spent much of the 1980s in semi-retirement, but re-emerged in 1996 with the landmark album Gone Again. She was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 and was the subject of the documentary film, Dream Of Life (2008).
LA-born Harry Shearer has carved out a successful acting career over the years, appearing on TV series such as Saturday Night Live and as a voice-over artist on the long-running FOX cartoon series, The Simpsons. Shearer co-wrote the film Real Life with Albert Brooks, and also wrote for Martin Mull’s successful Fernwood 2 Night. In 1984, Shearer would go on to co-create This Is Spinal Tap and star in the role of Derek Smalls alongside Michael McKean and Christopher Guest. The film, shot in twenty-five days, has become a cult classic. In 1989, he began his longest-running show business affiliation, voicing several characters on The Simpsons, including the villainous Mr. Burns and Dr. Marvin Monroe. He has also appeared in such television series as Miami Vice and Dawson’s Creek, and is an advocate for creators and artists.
As one of the highest achievements in the music industry, the three honorees will join a “who’s – who” list of past American Eagle Award recipients including cultural icons Stephen Sondheim, Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Clive Davis, Van Cliburn, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Morton Gould, Dave Brubeck, Marian Anderson, Max Roach, Lena Horne, Roy Clark, Elliott Carter, Ervin Drake, Theo Bikel, Roberta Peters, Odetta, Leonard Slatkin, Sesame Street, Hard Rock Café, and VH1’s Save the Music Foundation.
The honorees and Awards will be celebrated the evening of Thursday, July 13 at The Summer NAMM Show at Nashville’s Music City Center and open to industry members and Summer NAMM attendees. The Summer NAMM Show is the annual gathering of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) and its many members companies, representing the global music products industry. The awards are presented with support from The NAMM Foundation, a non-profit which works to advance active participation in music making across the lifespan through scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs.
Tickets to the awards are available to the general public and the event is open to Summer NAMM attendees. For more information on schedule, location details, tickets, and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.musiccouncil.org or contact NMC Director David Sanders at firstname.lastname@example.org. Proceeds from the event support the National Music Council’s music education advocacy efforts.
About The National Music Council:
The National Music Council is celebrating its 77th year as a forum for the free discussion of this country’s national music affairs and challenges. Founded in 1940 to act as a clearinghouse for the joint opinion and decision of its members and to work to strengthen the importance of music in our lives and culture, the Council’s initial membership of 13 has grown to almost 50 national music organizations, encompassing every important form of professional and commercial musical activity. Through the cooperative work of its member organizations, the National Music Council promotes and supports music and music education as an integral part of the curricula in the schools of our nation, and in the lives of its citizens. The Council provides for the exchange of information and coordination of efforts among its member organizations and speaks with one voice for the music community whenever an authoritative expression of opinion is desirable. www.musiccouncil.org
About The NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a non-profit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its 10,300 members around the world. The NAMM Foundation works to advance active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs. For more information about The NAMM Foundation, please visit http://www.nammfoundation.org.