SupportMusic State Coalition Forms to Advance Arts Education in Indiana

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Newly formed Indiana Arts Education Network (IAEN) seeks to advance and accelerate ESSA at the state level

Last Thursday in Indianapolis, a new statewide network of arts leaders and advocates met to help insure student access to music and arts education in Indiana. Led by a steering committee made up of NAMM Chairman Mark Goff of Paige’s Music, Mike Kamphius, managing director, division of education services at Conn-Selmer, John Wittmann, manager of education and artist relations for Yamaha, Lane Velayo, executive director of the Indiana Music Educators Association and Matt Carter, vice president of destination development for Visit Indy, the newly formed Indiana Arts Education Network (IAEN) seeks to aid in the organization of arts advocacy efforts in the state.

Newly formed Indiana Arts Education Network (IAEN) seeks to advance and accelerate ESSA at the state level

In a workshop led by facilitators, Jeff Poulin, arts education program manager at Americans for the Arts (AFTA); Lynn Tuttle, director of content and policy at National Association for Music Education (NAfME); and Mary Luehrsen, director of public affairs and government relations at NAMM, the network met with the intent to insure that every Indiana student has reliable access to a well-rounded education that includes music and the arts and to discuss the long-term vision for music and arts education as mandated by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA); a law signed by President Obama in 2015 which defines music and arts as part of a “well-rounded” education. The group also developed a set of objectives that focused on unifying arts leaders, educators and advocates and in maintaining an effective state-level music and arts education advocacy organization that offers training, information to serve a statewide advocacy plan aimed at engaging lawmakers, officials and stakeholders at the local and state levels of government.

Over the next few months, individual members of the group will continue the advocacy work by meeting with Indiana Department of Education representatives at a series of townhalls and meetings. As part of its vision for arts education, representatives from the group will request that the state strengthens and expands policies to assure access to music and arts education as part of a “well-rounded” education for all Indiana children, and that music and arts education be included as part of its state accountability formulas and systems being developed to meet the ESSA requirements.  Along with this, the group will emphasize the role of music and arts education in meeting school goals for parent and family engagement, and encourage expansion of programs to engage parents and families.

In addition to Goff, Kamphius and Wittmann, other participating NAMM members included Bob Bailey (Sweetwater Music), Craig Gigax (Meridian Music), Sharon Knepp (Gemeinhardt), NAMM Boardmember John Musselman (American Way Marketing), John Shaffer (Quinlan & Fabish), Jennifer Stricker (Maxwell's House of Music) and John Yehling (JW Pepper).  Other participating organizations included Americans for the Arts, Butler Arts Center/Clowes Memorial Hall, DePauw University, Horizon Education Alliance, Indiana Band Masters Association, Indiana Music Educators Association, Indiana Repertory Theater, Indiana State School Music Association, Music for All, Purdue University, Strategic National Arts Alumni Project and others.

The IAEN will reconvene on November 10 in Indianapolis. NAMM Members interested in joining or leading advocacy efforts in their state can contact Eric Ebel of NAMM via email at

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