The Save The Music (STM) team joined Artist Corps New Orleans (AC NOLA) and the New Orleans Arts Education Alliance (NOAEA) in hosting a Music Education Convening on May 11 and 12, 2022. The gathering marked the first gathering since 2018, and included:

– K-12 public school educators and teaching artists

– Local community music programs

– Foundations and national funders

– District and school leaders

– Cultural institutions

– Arts service organizations

The events, designed to celebrate educators, school and community music programs, included a site visit at a school that received emergency funding during Covid, networking receptions, and community conversations facilitated by Artist Corps New Orleans.

Building off our 2018 Convening, with leadership funding from ELMA Philanthropies, the CMA Foundation, and Baptist Community Ministries, along with local and national supporters, Save The Music, Artist Corps New Orleans and the New Orleans Arts Education Alliance teamed up. To date, we have worked to successfully deliver over 2,000 instruments, technology and equipment to the first 19 schools identified as having insufficient resources, based on clear data and key recommendations from AC NOLA and NOAEA, securing commitments from 17 Charter Management Organizations to provide qualified music teachers to teach standards-based in-school music education, reaching over eleven thousand students. With additive emergency assistance from ELMA and national partners, we also distributed over 1,300 units of music making PPE; and AC NOLA and NOAEA increased our direct support for music teachers and school leaders by providing access to the latest professional development and policy recommendations.

Check out highlights from our time below

Film Shoot at Sophie B. Wright High School

We spent time at Sophie B. Wright High School, one of our emergency fund grant recipients. The program, led by Desmian Barnes, was one of 11 schools that received instruments that were crucially needed to bring back the band activities after the Global pandemic and Hurricane Ida as well as the protective performance equipment to ensure student safety while playing instruments.

Students from Sophie B. Wright High School, an emergency fund grantee

Students from Sophie B. Wright High School, an emergency fund grantee

Music Education Celebration – Reception

Foundations, programs, teachers, schools, and artists gathered informally around the common goal of strengthening music education in the New Orleans community.

Students from the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) school performing at Jazz Market during the Music Education Happy Hour

Educators and community leaders gathered to discuss the state of music education in New Orleans

Local Music Educators Network at the Breakfast and Convening

Save The Music staff and board joined community leaders in New Orleans to learn more about the current state of music education, and provided updates about the grants that have been provided from 2018-2022.

The session included a powerful performance by Kei Slaughter, music therapy professor from Loyola University and New Orleans Native, who centered their session around the importance of music as a meditative, healing force.

Strategic conversations were facilitated amongst the group, and points were gathered to visit for the Fall convening.

Thank you to everyone who participated and helped put this event together. We’re looking forward to seeing you at the next one in the fall!