About SupportMusic Coalition on Coalitions


The Coalition on Coalitions (CoCs) is a working group within the NAMM Foundation’s SupportMusic Coalition that supports NAMM members and their networks working on state-level music and arts education advocacy efforts. As a network of advocates, the CoCs provides tactics, resources and best practices to move and improve state-level policies, funding and advocacy for music and arts education. Toward this objective, NAMM has partnered with Americans for the Arts and the National Association for Music Education, to inform and connect NAMM Members with arts advocacy organizations in their states and to expand state and local advocacy effectiveness. 

2019 State Education and ESSA Implementation Information 

Downloadable information for your state: advocacy leader contacts; state legislative calendars; state budget deadlines; state board of education contacts; ESSA implementation details, contacts, timelines and more, HERE.  
Source: the National Association for Music Education. 

Arts Education Data Project

The Arts Education Data Project is collecting data and reporting on the status and condition of arts education in several states, providing a state-district-site view in an accessible dashboard format. The information also drills down to district and school building level music and arts education access data. To date, the project, funded in part by the NAMM Foundation, has completed in-depth assessments of arts programs listed below with plans underway for Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Texas.

Consolidated ArtsEd Data Website 

View the recorded Dec. 13, 2018, Arts Data Project Webinar here

For more information about the National Arts Education Data Project, contact Bob Morrison, CEO, Quadrant Research, Arts Education Data Project Director @ bobm@artsedresearch.org

2019 NAMM Show Coalition on Coalitions For Music Education Advocacy Forum 

Friday, January 25, 2019

In September 2018, Congress passed the fiscal year 2019 spending bill which provided $1.17 billion for Title IV-A SSAE grants. At our gathering moderated by Mary Luehrsen, (NAMM), special guests Jeff Poulin, (AFTA), Mike Blakeslee, (NAfME) and Steve Venz, (Orange County Department of Ed), provided NAMM advocates with state and national updates and opportunities to access these funds for music education. Link to the recording here

Save the Date

Coalition on Coalitions Advocacy Forum at the 2019 Summer NAMM

Music City Center - Summer NAMM
Friday, July 19, 2019 
12-1:30 pm 
Lunch Provided 

Get Involved

Interested in becoming more involved? Start by filling out this form.

Coalition on Coalitions NAMM Member Resources

Civic Action Field Guide for Music Education  Created by the National Association for Music Education to help education stakeholders better understand the processes behind how public education is governed and funded:


  • How is Public Education Governed? Pg. 3-5
  • How is Public Education Funded? Pg. 6-7
  • How Can I Learn about Candidates in an Upcoming Election? Pg. 8-9
  • How Should I Contact My Elected Officials and Candidates Running for Office? Pg. 11
  • What Can I Ask My Elected Officials and Candidates Running for Office? Pg. 10
  • What Do I Need to Know Before Meeting with an Elected Official or a Candidate for Office? Pg. 12
  • The Election is Over. Now What? Pg. 13-14
  • How Can I Continue to Keep My Elected Officials Involved in Music Education Advocacy? Pg. 15

Most of the governance and funding of public education occurs at the state and local levels. Therefore, grassroots advocacy efforts are critical to the preservation and growth of music education in our nation’s public schools. If you have any questions about the contents of the field guide, please visit nafme.org/advocacy or contact NAfME’s policy team at advocacy@nafme.org.

How to Access Title IV, Part A Federal Funds for Music Education The federal education law, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), includes an opportunity for school districts to apply for funds to meet the mandate of ESSA – that all public-school K-12 students have access to a “well-rounded” education. Music and arts are designated as “well-rounded subjects” within ESSA. This document outlines the steps you can take in collaboration with your school or school district to access federal funds available via Title IV, Part A to advance music education in the curriculum.

Title IV, Part A FAQ  National Association for Music Education Back to School, Title IV Frequently Asked Questions. Access it here.

ESSA Accountability Tracking Tool, ESSA provided an opportunity for states to rethink their accountability systems and redesign them to emphasize multiple measures of school quality and student success. While states took different approaches, all have provided details about the structure, components, and weighting of their accountability systems as required by ESSA.To view the accountability indicators included in your state’s plan, access the tool here

Coalition on Coalitions Dashboard, The CoCs dashboard on NAMM.org, serves as a nexus of information regarding specific state-focused music education advocacy efforts.  The dashboard features a thumbnail summary of action alerts, status updates, NAMM Member contacts, and state-specific resources for active state coalitions in various stages of network.

Coalition on Coalition State Advocacy Knowledge Sharing Webinar, This webinar held on February 27, 2017, featured updates and information from our national advocacy partners, National Association for Music Education and Americans for the Arts as well as peer-to-peer knowledge-sharing from NAMM Members engaged in organized advocacy efforts in 7 states.  Listen and view the recorded webinar here

Advocacy and Issue Training, Live and recorded webinars are available to connect, assist and advise NAMM members about current opportunities and ongoing state-specific efforts.  Read more, here.

  • SupportMusic Coalition on Coalitions for Music Education Advocacy Forum at The 2018 NAMM Show, gathered NAMM members and music education colleagues working on state and local advocacy efforts. This group reviewed ways Title I and Title IV funds are supporting music and arts education opportunities under year one of ESSA implementation. 

NAMM Advocacy Resources

SupportMusic Coalition, The NAMM Foundation’s SupportMusic Coalition is a public service initiative that supports music education in local communities in the U.S. This advocacy effort now unites national, state and local organizations comprised of parents, business and community leaders, and educators seeking to improve access and opportunity in music and arts learning. To learn more or to join the coalition, please visit the NAMM Foundation website's Get Involved page.

A Parent’s Guide to ESSA, A brochure that outlines how parents can advocate for expanding music and arts education opportunities as the new federal education law is implemented in each state and impacts local school districts. 

Tips for Producing Your Own Music Advocacy Booklet, elements to consider when developing a music education advocacy booklet or gathering testimonials to share at state advocacy events. 

Why Learn to Play Music, A brochure available in English and Spanish features up-to-date research and statistics highlighting the many benefits of music education. Available as a download for e-distribution.

Striking a ChordNAMM Foundation Study finds that strong majorities of teachers and parents say music education is very important and should continue to be funded, and offered as part of the curriculum and the school day. A large majority of Parents and Teachers believe that children should have opportunities to learn to play musical instruments as early as elementary school and that music and arts education are “extremely” or “very important.” Download today.

Talking Up Music Education Podcast, A podcast produced by The NAMM Foundation about music education. Host Mary Luehrsen chats with teachers, parents, students and community leaders who share stories about what they are doing to create music learning opportunities and the profound value that music education has brought to their lives.  Subscribe today.

Research Briefs: Did You Know? Advocacy resources in a database of cited facts and quotes to help make your case for supporting music education in schools. Download here.


National Partner Resources

Americans For The Arts (AFTA)

  • State Policy Pilot Program
  • State Arts Advocacy Database, A comprehensive list of state arts agencies, advocacy organizations, relevant news and expert advice.
  • Advocate Hub, Stimulating Local, State and Federal Advocacy for the Arts
  • Advocacy Toolkit, As a local arts organization, your organization can make a difference in conveying the impact of the arts and arts education in your communities to members of Congress.  This site provides resources, links and best practice advice.
  • AFTA Arts Services Directory 
  • Arts Education Studies, a special report by Americans for the Arts. View here.
  • The Status of Arts Standards Revision in the United States since 2014, a special report by the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards. View here.

National Association for Music Education (NAfME)

  • New Year, New Rules for ESSA: What States Must Do in the New Year to Create Their Accountability System and Plan for ESSA Implementation
  • Everything ESSA, Toolkits and implementation guides on how to navigate and understand ESSA, comprehensive legislative analysis of the bill, and regulatory and implementation policy involving the U.S. Department of Education and States. 
  • BroaderMinded Blog, Features the latest developments in music education advocacy news; the latest in music education policy (legislative and regulatory), as well as around the clock election and campaign updates for 2016.
  • NAfME Grassroots Action Center, Visit NAfME’s Grassroots Action Center and find how you can Support Music Education in Federal Education Policy, be involved with the legislative process, and engage your members in congress.
  • ESSA State Plan Template.
  • State advocacy contacts: Advocacy Leadership Force.

Arts Education Partnership (AEP)

  • ESSA Resources, Most current information from national organizations, research institutes and think tanks regarding ESSA policy and resources.
  • ArtScan, A searchable clearinghouse of the latest state policies supporting education in and through the arts from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. This site includes not only policy language excerpted directly from each state’s education policies but also information on state-level surveys of arts education and a set of descriptive education indicators.
  • ArtsEdSearch, The nation’s first research and policy database focused entirely on student and educator outcomes associated with in-school and out-of-school arts education and implications for policy based on existing research.
  • ESSA: Mapping Opportunities for the Arts
  • Navigating the Changing Political Landscape, a special report by the Education Commission for the States. View here.

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

  • Increasing Access to Arts Education in Rural Communities, a PPT created by the National Endowment for the Arts. View here.

Regular blog posts address common issues in arts education advocacy, such as knowledge sharing, capacity building, funding, and communications:


  • 7/20: Focusing on Gaps In Access to Arts Education

    By Valerie Norville, 'State Innovations', National Association of State Boards of Education. Vol. 23, No.1, July 2018

    The current Federal Education Law, ESSA, names instruction in the arts as an essential part of a well-rounded education and provides several opportunities for states to enhance participation in arts education. Read about how projects in New Jersey, California, Kentucky and Illinois are making arts education data available for advocates and administrators.