Sign up for our updates. No spam.

Let's Make Great Music Together


Thanks! You've been subscribed to the newsletter.

Under construction


CMA Foundation Announces 2017 Music Education Grant Recipients on Global Day of Giving

Nov. 29, 2016




Record $3.1 Million to be Awarded to 44 Programs

NASHVILLE – Thanks to the generosity of Country artists and fans who attend CMA Music Festival, the CMA Foundation announced its annual donation for music education as well as grant recipients for 2017 with 44 charitable groups receiving a record $3.1 million.

The grants bring CMA’s total contributions since 2006 to more than $17.5 million for this important cause. The announcement was made via a video celebrating Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving.

“If it weren’t for the artists, who all perform for free during CMA Music Festival, and the thousands of fans who support the event each year, these donations would not be possible,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “The CMA Foundation donates to causes that are important to our community, but every dollar is given on behalf of the artists and fans that support Music Fest each June.”

Programs were announced today by CMA staff in a “Mannequin Challenge” video with visiting artist Cam, which was shared to CMA’s social pages. “Mannequin Challenge” videos have been a viral hit the past few weeks including videos published by sports teams, celebrities, TV show casts including “Saturday Night Live,” and even one featuring First Lady Michelle Obama at The White House.

Facebook: <<TBD link to CMA’s page>>

Twitter: <<TBD link to CMA’s page>>

Programs benefiting from the CMA Foundation in 2016 include:

Austin Ed Fund

Austin Independent School District (AISD) is among the largest urban school districts in Texas serving nearly 84,000 students across 130 campuses. Over the past several years, AISD has prioritized arts education as an integral part of ensuring all students are prepared for college, career, and life. In doing so, AISD committed in 2012 to make all district schools “arts-rich” by 2023, which includes nine components such as sequential fine arts instruction, community arts partnerships, after-school opportunities, and professional development.

Bay Area Children’s Theatre (BACT)

Bay Area Children’s Theatre’s mission is to inspire young audiences by introducing children to the excitement of live theater. Beginning in the fall of 2017 and continuing through spring 2018, Bay Area Children’s Theatre will present the third year of the Disney Musicals in Schools (DMIS) program, which provides musical theater access to low-income schools in Oakland and Richmond, Calif.

Camp Southern Ground

The vision for Camp Southern Ground in Peachtree City, Ga. is that of CMA Award-winning artist Zac Brown. Inspired by his experience as a camp counselor, Brown has created a state-of-the-art facility that will serve children ages 7-17 with both typical and special needs. Camp Southern Ground is a place for children and their families to learn healthy life skills through an advanced program involving superior nutrition, physical exercise, music and arts, technology, and embracing the outdoors. Camp Southern Ground will have activities to challenge, educate, and inspire children with diverse abilities, and from all socioeconomic backgrounds, races, and religions.

Charlie Worsham/Follow Your Heart Arts Program

Charlie Worsham’s Follow Your Heart Arts Program exists to enrich and empower the lives of young people living in Grenada County, Miss. through music education. The program provides the opportunity for young people from Worsham’s hometown to learn, play, create, and share music in collaboration with Delta State University professors and students alongside individuals from the Grenada Public Schools system. Follow Your Heart places instruments in the hands of students and then connects them with teachers.

Country Music Foundation, Inc./Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum

The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum collects, preserves, and interprets the evolving history and traditions of Country Music. Words & Music is their curriculum-based program that creates in-school educational opportunities that address Common Core standards in language arts and music for 9,000 Middle Tennessee students. The program also provides out-of-school programs to at-risk youth; trains more than 100 classroom teachers in the curriculum; and connects students and teachers with professional songwriters.

Education Through Music

Education Through Music (ETM) partners with inner-city schools to provide all students with music as a core subject and to create school communities that value the arts. ETM’s mission is to promote the use of music in schools as a means of enhancing students’ academic performance and general development. The ETM model is anticipated to serve nearly 29,000 children at 50 elementary, middle, and K–8 schools in the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island.

Education Through Music LA

Education Through Music-Los Angeles (ETM-LA) is committed to providing and promoting the integration of music into the curricula of disadvantaged schools in order to enhance students’ academic performance and creative and general development. The partnership with the CMA Foundation will allow ETM-LA to further strengthen long-term partnerships with elementary and middle schools throughout Los Angeles County who would otherwise be unable to afford comprehensive music instruction in schools. By working closely with each principal, ETM-LA will address the critical needs of the school through an individualized, long-term plan for sustainability. ETM-LA will be serving approximately 12,500 children at 25 partner schools.

Girls Rock Santa Barbara

Girls Rock Santa Barbara (GRSB) is a non-profit organization that empowers female-identified youth and fosters self-confidence, creativity, and teamwork by using music and female mentorship as tools for social change. GRSB brings girls together from diverse backgrounds and gives them the opportunity to expand their cultural awareness, develop life skills, and tell their unique group story. It is less about playing an instrument and more about finding one’s voice through music. GRSB is driven by one simple motto: love the music you make, and love yourself for making it.

Guitars in the Classroom

Guitars in the Classroom (GITC) is dedicated to improving the quality of education for all students by expanding the role of learning through music in every kind of classroom. GITC improves musical access in public education through ongoing teacher training, mentoring, and in-classroom coaching, as well as access to musical and instrumental resources. GITC teachers learn to lead hands-on music integrated with English language arts, math, science, social studies, character development, and special education. GITC’s work promotes teacher effectiveness, student literacy, and academic success in K-12 by boosting student engagement, communication skills, critical thinking, and the capacity for creative collaboration.

Harmony Project

Harmony Project offers music instruction to Los Angeles children with the greatest needs and the fewest resources. Founded in 2001 with only 36 students, Harmony Project now commits to more than 2,000 students for their entire childhood to ensure they receive the support necessary to graduate high school and continue to college. Their mission promotes the healthy growth and development of children through the study, practice, and performance of music; builds healthier communities by investing in the positive development of children through music; and develops children as musical ambassadors of peace, hope, and understanding amongst people of diverse cultures, backgrounds, and beliefs.

Indiana Music Education Association Foundation

The mission of IMEA is to advance music education in Indiana by advocating for the best musical interests of all students by providing quality programs, professional development, and services. The funding includes support for six specialized workshops throughout the state for music educators working in various disciplines and diverse geographic settings. In addition, IMEA’s annual Professional Development Conference each January serves more than 1,000 music teachers.

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Turnaround Arts at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts leverages the unique power of the arts in education to accelerate transformations in the nation’s most underserved public schools: chronically struggling schools at the elementary and middle school level that are ranked among the lowest five percent in their state. Through ambitious and strategic arts investments, Turnaround Arts empowers whole-school transformation.


To Read Full Press Release and For more information, visit

Keep up to date with the latest CMA news by following us on Twitter at and request to join the CMA Press Facebook group at

Press Contact: Wendy Pearl (CMA) (615) 244-2840

Courtney Beebe (CMA) (615) 244-2840