PMEAThe Coalition on Coalitions (CoCs) supports NAMM members and their networks working on state-level music and arts education advocacy efforts. The Pennsylvania network provides tactics, resources and best practices to move and improve state-level policies, funding and advocacy for music and arts education.

State Profile

To customize your state profile to reflect the current education advocacy partnerships in your state, please contact Jessica Cortez.

Update: February 2019

  • PMEA Title IV Funding Tool Kit

One area that PMEA has emphasized in the past year is the federal Title IV funding stream available for well-rounded subject areas - which includes music. Through the tremendous help of their members, PMEA has compiled Title IV success stories from around Pennsylvania. In fact, they've made it easier than ever by creating the PMEA TItle IV Toolkita one-stop shop for your Title IV work (See quick links below).  All are encouraged to review this material with your colleagues. As you'll see by the examples, you'll be able to easily make a case in your own district. If you have any questions or your own TItle IV success story, please e-mail Mark Despotakis.

PMEA Title IV Tool Kit Quick Links: 

  • 2019 PMEA Music Education Advocacy Day

PA advocates, mark your calendars for PMEA Music Education Advocacy Day on April 29, 2019 in Harrisburg! They've moved Advocacy Day to late April from the usual March spot to allow even more impact. More details will be available soon including all the information you will need to schedule meetings with your representatives and more importantly - what you'll talk to them about. Stay tuned!

  • Pennsylvania Budget Update

One of the topics on Advocacy Day will be the Pennsylvania state budget as it relates to education. Governor Tom Wolf delivered his budget address last week. The address and his proposed budget will serve as a framework for budget discussions over the coming months. The budget was met with support from both sides of the aisle - but the devil will be in the details.

Governor Wolf's budget proposals related to education:

  • Increases spending through the state's main bank account to $34.1 billion. Including nearly $500 million for the current fiscal year, Wolf is seeking authorization for another $1.9 billion in new spending, or nearly 6 percent of this year's enacted budget of $32.7 billion.
  • Projects a nearly 3 percent increase in tax collections to $35.3 billion, before refunds. Does not increase tax rates on sales or income, the state's two biggest sources of revenue.
  • Increases aid for general public-school operations and instruction by $200 million, or 3 percent, to $6.3 billion.
  • Increases early-childhood education funding by $50 million, or 20 percent, to $301 million.
  • Increases special education funding by $50 million, or 4 percent, to $1.2 billion.
  • Increases aid to Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education by $7 million, or 1.5 percent, to $475 million.
  • Seeks $45 million for school safety grants, as a successor to a first-time school safety program of $60 million.
  • Seeks $8 million to give community college students who remain in Pennsylvania a $2,500 grant to offset tuition or pay down student debt.


PMEA will provide a more detailed analysis in the coming weeks and more information as the budget relates to our Advocacy Day activities. Please feel free to reach out to PMEA Advocacy Council Chair, Mark Despotakis, with any PA advocacy or policy-related issues and questions.

NAMM Member Contacts

Mark Despotakis
Progressive Music

State Music & Arts Organizations 

Pennsylvania Music Educators Association

Citizens for the Arts in PA 

Pennsylvania Council on the Arts

Pennsylvania Arts Education Network


Coalition on Coalitions NAMM Member Resources

Coalition on Coalitions Dashboard, The CoCs dashboard on, 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.

Advocacy and Issue TrainingLive and recorded webinars are available to connect, assist and advise NAMM members about current opportunities and ongoing state-specific efforts. 

State Advocacy Opportunities, Regularly updated information regarding needed state-advocacy action.  As an example: State education associations are holding “listening tours” across the U.S. in town hall-style meetings and/or they are accepting input by email or via web-based surveys. Action is needed now to ensure that every student in your state benefits from new opportunities in music education.

State Coalition Bootcamp at The 2017 NAMM Show, This half-day workshop was held on Tuesday January 17 and provided state coalition teams with hands-on advocacy training. Listen to audio files here: 

  • State Level Advocacy: What’s Happening and What’s Next. Jeff Poulin, Americans for the Arts. Audio recording.
  • ESSA Update. Lynn Tuttle, NAfME. Audio Recording. Audio Recording.
  • Advocacy at the Grassroots. Laurie Schell, Music Makes Us Nashville. Audio Recording.

Coalition on Coalitions Forum at The 2017 NAMM Show, This meeting was held on Friday, January 20 and provided an overview of current policy opportunities and updates on state activity featuring updates from NAMM Member state coalition leaders. Listen to audio files here: 

  • AFTA Resources and How to Advance Arts-friendly Policies in Education. Jeff Poulin, Americans for the Arts. Audio Recording.
  • Federal Education Policy and ESSA. Lynn Tuttle, NAfME. Audio Recording.
  • Policy Work at the Local Level. Laurie Schell, Music Makes Us Nashville. Audio Recording.
  • Arts Education Partnership: Tools and Resources . Jane Best, Arts Education Partnership. Audio Recording.

Coalition on Coalitions at 2017 Summer NAMM, This meeting was held on Friday, July 14 and featured a panel discussion, national updates, and state team reports. Listen to audio files here:

Coalition on Coalitions Forum at The 2018 NAMM Show, This meeting will be held on Friday January 26 and will provide an overview of current policy opportunities and updates on state activity featuring updates from NAMM Member state coalition leaders. Open to all NAMM Show attendees. RSVP link coming soon.

NAMM Advocacy Resources

National Partner Resources

American's for the ArtsArts Services Directory for Pennsylvania