For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Catherina Hurlburt or 571-323-3395

Florida Music Education Association
Receives 2019 Excellence in Advocacy Award

RESTON, VA (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.

2019 Excellence in Advocacy Award to Florida Music Educators Association

Photo: Ashlee Wilcox Photography

“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.

2018 CMA Foundation advocacy grants

Photo: Ashlee Wilcox Photography |

FMEA has worked tirelessly to connect with other education stakeholders, building long-term relationships with the state superintendents’ association, the state school administrators’ association, and the state school boards’ association. FMEA attends and presents at their conferences and invites these stakeholders to their annual conference to showcase the power and strength of music education in the Sunshine State.

“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.”—Jeanne Reynolds, FMEA Government Relations/Advocacy Chair

“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.

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 2018 Excellence in Advocacy Award recipient was the Michigan Music Educators Association.


National Association for Music Education, among the world’s largest arts education organizations, is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. NAfME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers. The Association has supported music educators at all teaching levels for more than a century. With more than 60,000 members teaching millions of students nationwide, the organization is the national voice of music education in the United States.

Follow NAfME on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For additional information, contact Catherina Hurlburt at or 571-323-3395.

April 2024 Teaching Music

Published Date

July 24, 2019


  • Advocacy
  • Advocacy
  • State Advocacy & Public Policy


July 24, 2019. © National Association for Music Education (

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