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CMA donates $1M for music education

Tuesday, December 8, 2009 – CMA is donating more than $1 million to benefit music education programs for Nashville's 75,000 public school students from 2009 CMA Music Festival through the "Keep the Music Playing" campaign.

With Tuesday's announcement of a gift of $1,066,632, to date, CMA has now donated $3,312,053 in support of music education in public schools. This money has been used to build music labs and purchase more than 2,500 instruments, and supplies in Metro Nashville Public Schools through a partnership with the Nashville Alliance for Public Education.

The total also includes an endowment gift for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's "Words and Music" program, which assists language arts and music teachers with classroom instruction in the basics of songwriting. The amount includes a donation in July to cover travel costs for 40 students from W.O. Smith/Nashville Community School of Music to attend a Country-themed music event at the White House, hosted by President Obama and the First Lady.

Kellie Pickler was on hand to make the check presentation and introduce some of the student performers. "I'm so thrilled to be part of a community that gives back and being able to help put instruments in the schools is so important," she said. "And it's extra special that we're doing this at Christmas time, so the kids in Whoville can ring their jing tinglers, blow their floo floobas, and whack their Who wonkers or play whatever they most enjoy playing here in Music City."

"CMA Music Festival is for the kids," said Steve Moore, Chairman Elect of CMA's volunteer Board of Directors. "Every artist I have ever worked with started their career with a dream. Many Nashville students have dreams of their own and it's our responsibility to nurture these young performers and provide them with the resources and opportunities so that one day, they may be head lining concerts halls on their own."

Artists perform at CMA Music Festival for free. To show its appreciation for their dedication and time, CMA donates half the net proceeds from the Festival to charity on their behalf. When the program began in 2001, it was known as CMA's "Cause for Celebration!" From 2001-2005 CMA contributed more than $800,000 to more than 100 worthy causes. In 2006, the CMA Artist Relations Committee led by Kix Brooks of Brooks & Dunn, decided to channel those financial resources into a single cause: music education. Music makes a difference. Last year, Metro public schools' performing arts students had a 98 percent graduation rate.

"Every penny donated by CMA Music Festival directly impacts Nashville area public school students whether through the instruments provided or the enhancement of music education programs such as 'Words & Music'," said Moore.

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