During Capitol Hill meetings, Despotakis makes case for legislation that would ensure all children have access to music education
McKeesport, PA (May 29, 2015) –McKeesport business leader, Mark Despotakis, along with 76 other music industry leaders and artists made up a delegation of advocates making the case for school music education programs during the National Association of Music Merchants’ (NAMM) Music Education Advocacy Fly-In, May 18-20, 2015. The three-day advocacy effort works to shore up congressional support that would protect access to music education for all kids.
Despotakis met with the offices of Senator Pat Toomey and Representatives Mike Doyle, Tim Murphy, Keith Rothfus, Tom Marino and Glenn Thompson about the importance of music education and the support needed to insure that each student has the opportunity to learn music in school. He also joined NAMM Foundation in awarding the SupportMusic Award to Congressman John Lewis (GA) and former NY Yankee and Latin GRAMMY-nominee Bernie Williams for their outstanding commitment to music education. The week began with a day of service, where Despotakis helped students at D.C.’s Bancroft Elementary School learn to play drums, ukulele and guitar.
“Our business model is based on the value of music education,” noted Mark Despotakis, Progressive Music Director of Market Development. “It is absolutely essential that we actively participate in public policy discussion as they relate to education issues – especially music and arts education issues.”
To prepare for his efforts on Capitol Hill, Despotakis participated in advocacy training at the Kennedy Center, during which he and fellow music industry leaders were apprised of current issues facing public school music programs and briefed on a new NAMM Foundation study, ‘Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K-12 Music Education in the U.S. 2015.’ This year’s trip to Washington, DC took on extra significance as Congress has begun debate on the Elementary and Secondary Education (ESEA) Act. ESEA is our nation’s largest education law and implications as the federal level impact every school district in the country.
Progressive Music is already active on the state education advocacy level. Despotakis currently chairs the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) statewide advocacy and public policy council and Progressive Music works with the Pennsylvania Arts Education Network to ensure all students access to a quality music and arts education.
About Progressive Music
Progressive Music is a business with a mission to enrich the quality of life serving as a cultural and community center for all who make music for a living or personal enjoyment, regardless of age of ability. Progressive Music is the link between the public and suppliers of quality musical merchandise. The Progressive Music staff are professionals whose expertise assist, guide, and motivate people in the selection of music industry products as well present music education to the public through lessons, seminars and advocacy. Progressive Music is committed to their products with an experienced and knowledgeable service center. To learn more, visit www.progressivemusiccompany.com or visit Progressive Music on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.
The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is the not-for-profit association with a mission to strengthen the $17 billion music products industry. NAMM is comprised of approximately 9,900 member companies located in 100 countries. NAMM events and members fund The NAMM Foundation‘s efforts to promote the pleasures and benefits of music, and advance active participation in music making across the lifespan. For more information about NAMM, please visit www.namm.org, call 800.767.NAMM (6266) or follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.