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Responding to Drastic Cutbacks in Music Education, McNally Smith College of Music Foundation Established

Most state legislatures, including Minnesota, and the federal government have targeted K-12 music programs by slashing — or eliminating — music education budgets to the detriment of students — and their communities. More recently, McNally Smith College of Music has officially created a foundation to address directly the financial, social and cultural impacts of these cuts. Now with an effective Board of Directors and more than 20 community partners in place, The McNally Smith College of Music Foundation is actively at work.

“According to MENC, The National Association for Music Education, one of the world’s largest arts education organizations, congress this year has proposed drastic spending cuts that include over 70 education programs and all Arts in Education programming, specifically,“ notes Doug Smith, Founder and Chief Artistic Officer of McNally Smith and President of the Board of the new foundation. “All of us should be greatly concerned about what is happening at the federal, state and local levels with music education and that’s one reason why we have put the McNally Smith College of Music Foundation in place.”

“Music is good for the individual who plays it and for person who listens to it and it is good for communities,” adds Harry Chalmiers, President of McNally Smith. “Music inspires creativity and life skills like self-discipline, greater coordination, teamwork and collaboration, and it fosters intellectual curiosity and growth. Plus it is a wonderful window on the world, not only for those who learn to play music but also for those enjoy and appreciate it.”

“The foundation’s mission will be successful if for-profit and non-profit organizations from across the broader Twin Cities area and in greater Minnesota will join our programming, outreach and funding efforts,” Chalmiers continues. To date, organizations such as The City of St. Paul, Minnesota Public Radio, Springboard for the Arts, the MN Beatle Project based in Owatonna, The Minnesota State Bar Association and many others have signed on as Foundation Partners. Like-minded organizations, other foundations and individuals are also encouraged to join.

“McNally Smith is responding to the needs of the community by putting our resources where our mouth is,” says Chris Osgood, Executive Director of the McNally Smith College of Music Foundation and the music college’s Vice President of Community Relations. “In the future we will be looking to our Partners to assist the Foundation in supporting various causes in the metropolitan and outstate regions as a result of the cutbacks in the funding of music programs. And we are looking forward to finding creative and successful ways to bridge that gap by working together.”

About the McNally Smith College of Music Foundation

The foundation’s mission is centered on the following organizational tenets:

The McNally Smith College of Music Foundation recognizes the innate musical potential in everyone and supports the expression of that potential in connecting society and creating culture.

We support creativity through music by providing access to instruments, educators, collaborators, and technology.

We support the expression of American culture by musical artists, performers, and their creative partners through existing performance traditions and imaginative new directions.

We recognize the healing potential of music and support research in medicine, science, and health care to develop this potential.

We support finding new approaches to teaching music and redefining the role of music in general education and cognitive development.

Foundation partners are community organizations that receive our support through musical talent, sound re-enforcement, production talent, college facilities and volunteer or contract services.