Georgia Music Educators Association
Recognized with 2022 Excellence in Advocacy Award
RESTON, VA (July 14, 2022)—The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) honored the Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA) with the 2022 Excellence in Advocacy Award in recognition of their efforts advocating for music education. NAfME President and Board Chair Scott R. Sheehan presented the award during “Building Belonging Beyond the Pandemic: A National Celebration of Advocacy for Music Education” during the NAfME National Assembly, conducted virtually in June.
“The Georgia Music Educators Association has expanded its state’s reach in education policy for music education in a strategic way, inviting in more music educators to amplify their voices for the cause,” said Scott R. Sheehan, NAfME President and Board Chair. “Their tireless work will provide more opportunities for students for years to come. We at NAfME celebrate our educators who ardently advocate for music education. Congratulations to our 2022 Excellence in Advocacy Award winner.”
“The Georgia Music Educators Association has expanded its state’s reach in education policy for music education in a strategic way, inviting in more music educators to amplify their voices for the cause.”
Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA) started its first advocacy committee and expanded advocacy training/participation to any interested member through the creation of the Georgia Music Advocacy Corp (GMAC). Thirty-four members participate in GMAC representing each GMEA district.
The GMAC kickoff event included of NAfME Advocacy and Policy staff and Casey Hall, Fine Arts Specialist for Georgia Department of Education presenting advocacy sessions and music education advocacy opportunities. Through funds provided by the CMA Foundation, the GMEA Advocacy Committee was able to collaborate with a local theater to provide advocacy sessions that help conference attendees craft their advocacy storytelling abilities.
In March 2022, Dr. Sara Womack, GMEA Advocacy Chair and NAfME Advocacy Leadership Force Representative, worked with state contacts to organize GMEA Hill Day, culminating in the Georgia Senate passing a Music In Our Schools Month® (MIOSM®) resolution.
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 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.
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 50,000 members teaching millions of students nationwide, the organization is the national voice of music education in the United States.