The SupportMusic Award Winner: West Music in Coralville, Iowa

:( Sorry! Your browser cannot play this video either because javascript is disabled or your browser is not HTML5 compatible. Try Chrome or Firefox.

<p><strong>Music Advocacy in Action</strong></p> <p>On the School Music front, arts advocacy is active in the state through the support of the Iowa Alliance for Arts Education. Robin Walenta, President of West Music is the current Treasurer for the Alliance. The Executive Team at West Music consistently delivers the message to legislators and decision-makers the importance of the arts in the education of the whole child. Likewise, Steve West, Chairman at West Music is a founding and current member of the Music Achievement Council (MAC). It is through their efforts that materials such as &ldquo;Recruiting and Retention&rdquo; and the &ldquo;Tips for Success&rdquo; have been created.</p> <p>These resource materials have been invaluable to educators across the country. Besides their partnership with the Iowa Alliance and MAC, West Music is very active at the grassroots level with each of thier school districts. They continue to use the SupportMusic materials, sponsor passionate people like Marcia Neel to present the MAC materials at state conferences and partner with local organizations to assure music performances in their communities. Their new venture is a renewed commitment to the PTSO and Booster organizations. With school budgets under attack, they felt it necessary to help booster organizations find additional funding resources in preparation for the budget shortfalls. They started with a simple survey in an effort to find out what types of organizations are out there and what needs they may have. What they discovered was a real mixed bag, everything from very active and organized clubs to many districts without any parent support. This exercise helped them to understand a real need for communication and collaboration.</p> <p>With only 3 million people in their state, they must work very hard at not only getting people playing but keeping them playing and having them play more than one instrument. Music participation is their mission: &ldquo;To Enrich People&rsquo;s lives Through the Participation in Music&rdquo; It starts with the commitment to have quality education programs available that encourage people of all ages and abilities to participate. Recently, West Music added a full time position to its staff directed at expanding and supporting their presence in the communities in which they service. This full time associate partners with schools, libraries, children&rsquo;s museums and local festivals, assuring that music education, participation, and performance activities are very visible.</p> <p>Watch the video to see more!</p>