North Carolina Music Educators Association Named NAfME’s 2017 Excellence in Advocacy Award Winner

For Immediate Release
Contact: Catherina Hurlburt at NAfME or (703) 860-4000

North Carolina Music Educators Association Named
NAfME’s 2017 Excellence in Advocacy Award Winner


RESTON, VA (July 19, 2017)—This past June 29, 2017, the North Carolina Music Educators Association (NCMEA), a federated music education association (MEA) of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), received the 2017 Excellence in Advocacy Award for their work in advocating for music education in North Carolina. NCMEA President James Daugherty and Executive Director Pat Hall, along with NCMEA Immediate Past President Richard Holmes and NCMEA President-Elect Jazzmone Sutton, accepted the award for NCMEA.

Each year at NAfME’s National Leadership Assembly NAfME recognizes a federated MEA for its accomplishments in music education advocacy. The advocacy work includes meeting with State Boards of Education, lobbying state legislatures, and working to increase public funding for music education. The 2016 Excellence in Advocacy Award winner was Rhode Island Music Education Association.

L to R: NCMEA Immediate Past President Richard Holmes, NCMEA President James Daugherty, NCMEA President-Elect Jazzmone Sutton. Ashlee Wilcox Photography / Documentary Associates LLC


“Over the past year NCMEA has been deeply engaged in meaningful advocacy,” said Lynn Tuttle, NAfME Director of Public Policy and Professional Development. “Beginning in June of 2016, NCMEA worked hard to influence North Carolina’s implementation plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). NCMEA members were involved in regional stakeholder meetings across the state, and at every meeting a North Carolina Department of Public Instruction representative confirmed the voices of music educators had been heard very clearly. As a result of these meetings, North Carolina is planning to include arts education as part of the state’s Report Card beginning in Fall of 2018.”

In August of 2016, NCMEA advocated against a provision in the state budget set to go into effect in the 2017-18 academic year that would cause local districts to lose flexibility they had used for many years to fund their elementary music, art, physical education, and world language teachers because of a mandated class size reduction in grades K-2.

As NCMEA began intensive work on this advocacy issue in September 2016, it was clear additional support was needed. At the board meeting this past January, NCMEA secured the help of a lobbyist to work more effectively with the state legislature, as well as developed clear and concise position statements regarding the K-8 funding issue. With the lobbyist’s help, NCMEA has been very strategic in its work with the state legislature, building relationships as well as working toward a solution to the funding issue. NCMEA also built several ongoing communication and marketing strategies to support music education, including working with country music star and “American Idol” winner Scott McCreery and 2016 GRAMMYTM Music Educator of the Year Phillip Riggs for an interview called “Dream Big in Music: How Music Education Inspires Scotty McCreery.”



NAfME congratulates NCMEA for their exemplary work in music education advocacy and dedication to the work of promoting the understanding and making of music by all.


NAfME President Denese Odegaard (far left) and NAfME Public Policy Advisor Ronny Lau present NCMEA the 2017 Excellence in Advocacy Award. Photo: Ashlee Wilcox Photography / Documentary Associates LLC



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 orchestrates success for millions of students nationwide and has supported music educators at all teaching levels for more than a century. With more than 60,000 members, the organization is the national voice of music education in the United States.

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For additional information, contact Catherina Hurlburt at or 703-860-4000, ext. 216.