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 is a new arts education coalition formed in January 2017, with members from several major arts education associations in Tennessee.

ArtsEd Tennessee seeks to become a statewide leader in ensuring that every Tennessee student has access to a high quality arts education, provided during the school day as a part of the core curriculum. Our group has already 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, Nashville Metro Schools and KHS America, representing the state’s NAMM members.

July, 2017: In the seven months the group has been in existence, we have accomplished much:

  • We are developing a working 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.
  • We have developed a database of over 100 music booster groups and arts educators from across the state.  Currently, our database has over 7,000 names, and our goal is to develop grassroots support and arts education advocates in every legislative district in the state.
  • In the last legislative session we successfully blocked 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.

Next steps for ArtsEd Tennessee is to enlarge our membership to include all groups and organizations that are either directly or indirectly impacted by quality arts education in the schools, such as the Country Music Association, state NAMM members and other arts retailers, and representatives from the state’s professional orchestras, operas, ballet companies, and other arts professionals.

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