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For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Catherina Hurlburt or 703-860-4000

Rhode Island Music Education Association Recognized with 2024 NAfME Excellence in Advocacy Award

HERNDON, VA (June 17, 2024)—The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) honored the Rhode Island Music Education Association (RIMEA) with the 2024 NAfME Excellence in Advocacy Award in recognition of their efforts advocating for music education. NAfME President and Board Chair Deb Confredo presented the award during the “Ideas into Practice” NAfME National Assembly gathering in Washington, DC, in June.

“On behalf of the NAfME National Executive Board, we offer our deepest congratulations and thanks to the Rhode Island Music Education Association for their tireless work in advancing music education this past year in Rhode Island,” said NAfME President Deb Confredo.

RIMEA leaders worked directly with State Representative Jon Brien (District 49) and State Senator Pamela Lauria (District 32) to introduce the Transparency in Arts Education Access and Proficiency Act (H. 7020, S.2042). To bring this bill to fruition, RIMEA collaborated with other arts education partners in Rhode Island to garner support for the bill. They collected state data on arts access and compared it to neighboring states to bolster their advocacy position and presented written and spoken testimony to both state House and Senate Education committees, which included participation from RIMEA members and music education advocates.

2024 Excellence in Advocacy Award RI speech

Left to right: RIMEA Executive Director Mark Colozzi and RIMEA 2022–2024 President Karen Anghinetti.
Photo by © Ashlee Wilcox Photography, LLC.

The NAfME 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 with elected officials in state legislatures, and engaging affected parties in advocating for music education.

The 2023 Excellence in Advocacy Award recipient was the New Mexico Music Educators Association. The 2022 Excellence in Advocacy Award recipient was the Georgia Music Educators Association. The 2021 Excellence in Advocacy Award recipients were Louisiana, Ohio, and Vermont Music Educators Associations; the 2020 Excellence in Advocacy Award recipient was the Wisconsin Music Educators Association; 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.


The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) is a collaborative community that supports music educators and advocates for equitable access to music education. The only association that addresses all aspects of music education, NAfME, together with its affiliated state music education associations, advocates at the national, state, and local levels and provides resources and opportunities for teachers, students, parents, and administrators. Founded in 1907 and representing more than 57,000 members teaching millions of students, NAfME advances the music education profession and promotes lifelong experiences in music.

Follow NAfME on Facebook (, Instagram (, and Twitter ( For additional information, contact Catherina Hurlburt at or 703-860-4000.

April 2024 Teaching Music

Published Date

June 17, 2024


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June 17, 2024. © National Association for Music Education (

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