Arts Win in Indiana

Elizabeth Dale

On February 14, 2019, the Indiana State Legislature met and passed a resolution naming the day “Indiana Arts Education Day.” This groundbreaking initiative was spearheaded by former NAMM Chair and Paige’s Music President, Mark Goff, a passionate proponent of music education advocacy efforts in both the national and local arenas.

The resolution demonstrates the Indiana government’s understanding of the importance of music and arts education in the state school system by officially proclaiming that “Indiana students deserve a well-rounded education that includes music and the arts.” Hoping to utilize this victory to create a foundation for continued change in Indiana, Goff stated, “While the resolution was ceremonial, it provided us with a positive, memorable moment before the entire Indiana House and Senate! Those moments and connections add up.”

Goff, who besides his service on the NAMM Board has also served on the NAMM Executive Committee, the President of The National Association of School Music Dealers (NASMD) and is the chairman of the Indiana Arts Education Network (IAEN) Steering Committee, has been passionate about music education and its advocacy efforts for over 30 years. Goff’s philosophy is that all children deserve to have opportunities to reach their potential for music education and believes that this can only be achieved with a long-term advocacy strategy. He credits his relationship with NAMM as a key factor in his success stating, “While I served on NAMM’s Executive Committee, I received significant training that helped me understand how to become an effective advocate.”

As music advocates begin to gear up in preparation for the 2019 NAMM Music Education Advocacy D.C. Fly-In (May 20-23), it is a great time to reflect on the importance of our collective efforts nationally and at the state level. In December 2015, the U.S. government passed the Every Student Succeeds Act, which mandated music and arts as part of a well-rounded education. Goff utilizes this to “make a positive impact on arts education by becoming involved at the local and district level with our neighbors, school board members, and administrators” in Indiana. Now, with measurable success at the state level, Goff hopes to launch local advocacy groups throughout the state in every school district to effect even more meaningful change.

As a leader in music education advocacy, Goff believes with the support, any community can become successful champions for music and arts education. When asked for advice in how other communities could get involved, Goff had this to say, “Just get started! You’ll figure it out as you go, and you’ll have great support from all three organizations [NAMM, the NAMM Foundation and Americans for the Arts] when you need it."

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