The Coalition on Coalitions (CoCs) supports NAMM members and their networks working on state-level music and arts education advocacy efforts. The Tennessee 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.


ArtsEd Tennessee, the state’s leading music and arts education advocacy organization, is working to keep arts education professionals and arts education advocates informed prior to the upcoming elections in November.  Our coalition has prepared a brief candidate survey asking about their background in the arts, and how they would support music and arts education if elected.  Our survey was sent to every candidate for state office in Tennessee, and the results of this survey, which will be completed in early October, will be disseminated to the entire ArtsEd Tennessee network of arts educators, arts advocates, and arts-related businesses. 

ArtsEd Tennessee sees an additional benefit of this survey beyond the information that we will gather and share with our coalition members.  By directly contacting the candidates, we remind them that those who support arts education are active politically, and that we have a strong network of support. 

Background on ArtsEd Tennessee: 

ArtsEd Tennessee is a music and arts education coalition formed in January 2017, with a membership that includes all of the major arts education associations in Tennessee; arts education advocates; arts professionals; and retail businesses who serve the arts education community. Our coalition seeks to become a statewide leader in ensuring that every Tennessee student has access to a sequential high-quality arts education, provided during the school day as a part of the core curriculum by a certified arts education professional. Since its creation, ArtsEd Tennessee has proven to be a leading advocate for music and the arts in the state legislature. 

The initial steering committee set up the coalition structure and developed the vision statement, purpose and mission statement, and a three-year plan of outcomes. This initial steering committee was made up of representatives from the Tennessee Music Education Association, the Country Music Association, the Tennessee Arts Academy Foundation, Nashville Metro Schools, and KHS America, representing the state’s NAMM members. 

ArtsEd Tennessee has developed a cooperative relationship with state education policy-makers, including members of the Tennessee General Assembly, the Department of Education, and the State Board of Education, with the goal of monitoring and influencing decisions that will directly impact arts education. Currently, our database has over 7,000 names from across the state, including over 100 parent booster groups, as well as music and arts education professionals. Our goal is to develop grassroots support and arts education advocates in every legislative district in the state. 

Our coalition successfully lobbied against an attempt to increase the state graduation requirements from 22 credits to 23; most schools in Tennessee have the possibility of a maximum of 24 credits during high school.  This legislative victory helped ensure that students are able to take up to four years of arts courses if they so desire. 

Moving forward, ArtsEd Tennessee plans to enlarge our coalition to be inclusive of all who value quality arts education in the schools, such as the state’s music and arts retailers, arts and culture nonprofits, and arts professionals, including classical and genre specific musicians and ensembles, dance and theatre artists and companies, visual artists, galleries and museums, parents, and business and community leaders. 


NAMM Member Contact

Tabor Stamper
CEO, KHS America

Rick Dejonge
Artist and Education Relations Manager, KHS America

State Music & Arts Organizations 

Tennessee Music Education Association

Tennessee Art Education Association

Educational Theatre Association, Tennessee chapter

Tennessee Association of Dance

Tennessee Bandmasters Association

Tennessee Arts Academy


Coalition on Coalitions NAMM Member Resources

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.

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 at the 2017 NAMM Show 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 at the 2017 NAMM Show 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 Summer NAMM, This meeting was held at 2017 Summer NAMM and featured a panel discussion, national updates, and state team reports. Listen to audio files here:

Coalition on Coalitions Forum at The NAMM Show, This meeting will be held at the 2018 NAMM Show 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

Americans for the Arts, Arts Services Directory for Tennessee