by Marcus K. Dowling
On April 6, The National Museum of African American Music and Country Music Association announced the launch of a program that will bring Black singer-songwriters to Nashville classrooms to discuss the impact of African-American artists in country music that will culminate in a June contest where classes write a song influenced by Black musicians, artists, and activists.
Breland, Willie Jones, and CMT’s 2021 Next Women of Country spotlighted artists Reyna Roberts and Tiera will work with roughly 200 Nashville public school students by “sharing their histories and answering questions about the industry,” notes a press release.
In a statement, NMAAM Director of Education and Public Programs Tamar Smithers added, “NMAAM and the CMA Foundation have long shared the same mission of supporting Nashville schools through extensive music education and programs, so this partnership was a natural fit…We hope this is just the beginning of our work with the CMA Foundation to share our message across the city.”
As well, CMA Foundation Executive Director Tiffany Kerns added, “We have seen time and time again that music unlocks the creative capacity of our students. Having African American artists shaping country music share insights about the business and the art of songwriting allows students to imagine what is possible.”
For Jones, this is continuing his NMAAM partnerships. On January 18th, Jones announced launched his #IHaveAnAmericanDream initiative, calling people to share their hopes for change in America. Alongside NMAAM, it finds Jones asking an important question — “What is your dream for change in America?”