The winners of the 2020 Advocacy in Action Awards were announced January 15.
Over forty school music programs across America have been recognized for their outstanding music advocacy initiatives as recipients of Music for All’s 2020 Advocacy in Action Awards. The Music for All Advocacy in Action Awards recognize music programs, schools, and communities across the United States that demonstrate outstanding achievement in local efforts to provide access to music education for all students. From community arts fairs to stellar recruitment videos to all-female jazz festivals, this year’s winning programs not only represent innovative and effective approaches to music advocacy nationwide, but also highlight the power of music education to address some of the most pressing issues in today’s headlines.
“For too long music advocacy has leaned mainly on research-based justifications,” says Eric Martin, President and CEO, Music for All. “Music for All’s Advocacy in Action Awards collect and share ideas so music programs and their supporters can get practical and inspire each other.”
One of the winning projects brings music education into a juvenile detention center in San Diego, using music to teach math, as well as encouraging pro-social behavior and healing. While participating in Project Confined Redefined, these young men are able to better regulate themselves and express their feelings through music. “No matter what the future holds for these students, they will always remember the magic of music making and will forever remember how music provided an outlet for their own frustrations, anger, remorse, and acknowledgement,” says James Stephens, Director of Advocacy and Educational Resources for Music for All.
Another winning project serves as a bridge between marginalized first generation and immigrant communities and the local community. INTEMPO provides a year-round music school, after school programming, and a summer camp, all providing choral and string education in Stamford, Connecticut. The programming is culturally conscious, using folkloric instruments and featuring composers and a repertoire that reflects students’ own diversity. They partner with local schools and community institutions, all while keeping the experiences affordable, accessible, and inclusive.
Thirty-nine other projects nationwide are also being hailed for the powerful impact on their own communities through Advocacy in Action. To qualify for the Advocacy in Action Award designation, each of these applicants submitted a detailed description of its music program and project entry in one of six categories: Community Engagement, Decision-Maker Interaction, Fundraising and Sponsorship, Marketing and Promotion, Parent and Booster Involvement, or Recruitment and Retention. Submissions were reviewed by a national panel of educators, administrators, and community and business leaders.
It is Music for All’s vision to be a catalyst to ensure every child across America has access and opportunity to participate in active music-making in his or her scholastic environment. In efforts to fulfill this vision, the Advocacy in Action Awards were designed to celebrate active music-making both inside and outside the traditional music classroom.
This year’s award winners are recognized online at advocacy.musicforall.org. The website curates the winning entries from each year as a resource for arts educators. By collecting, recognizing, and sharing outstanding examples of local advocacy efforts, Music for All ultimately hopes to inspire others across the nation to take action in their own communities.