Skip to Main Content

About State of the Arts

Tennessee: State of the Arts was developed as a public- private partnership between the Country Music Association (CMA) Foundation and the State of Tennessee. This initiative seeks to leverage Tennessee’s rich history in the arts to launch a statewide program focused on expanding students’ access to high-quality music and arts education.

The Partnership

State of the Arts

After a commitment of $1 million in funding over three years, State of the Arts will leverage the expertise of the CMA Foundation to help develop a statewide initiative that aims to create a cohesive model for arts and music education in Tennessee. The CMA Foundation has invested over $20 million across all 50 states working to ensure every child has access to a quality music education.

Download the State of the Arts Info Brief

The Implementation

In 2018, State of the Arts launched a new, competitive grant opportunity with the Tennessee Department of Education to award eight three-year grants to districts across the state. The music grant is focused on the goal of expanding access to music education and funds a range of strategies including professional development for music teachers; additional music supplies, materials, and equipment to address equity challenges; and expansion of local music education outreach programs, etc.

The Importance of Arts Education

Research shows that the impact of expanding arts education stretches far beyond growth in arts and musical ability into a student’s overall academic performance, their attendance and engagement at school, and their likelihood of graduating.1

Tennessee has devoted the last several years to improving standards and instruction in other core content areas and the goal of State of the Arts is to bolster the attention placed on music and arts education to support all content areas and ensure that we are building well-rounded students ready to compete in tomorrow’s workforce.

1Eason, B.J.A., & Johnson, C.M. (2013). Prelude: Music Makes Us baseline research report. Nashville, TN: Metro Nashville Public Schools.