The WMEA Advocacy Committee is made up of educators, parents, business people, and other community members who believe all children deserve a well-rounded education that includes music and the arts. Thank you for your support of music education – and for helping decision-makers understand that “Music Makes The Difference.”
Additional information related to the WMEA Advocacy Committee can be found on the WMEA Facebook (@WMEAMusic) and Twitter (@WMEAmusic) pages. Be sure to follow these pages for all-things WMEA, including advocacy and so much more!
Thanks for sharing with others who may be interested in music advocacy!
New Advocacy Resources and Materials
The WMEA Advocacy Committee changed names as of July 2019 (previously Wisconsin Advocates for Music Education). Since then, committee members have been updating the website and generating new advocacy materials related to music education.
Two important pages have been recently added to the site. We invite you to explore these pages – and share with others who may benefit from holistic ideas related to advocacy.
- Advocacy Resources – this page contains an ever-growing variety of advocacy guidelines, position statements, COVID-19 resources, web links, and more.
- WMEA Advocacy Assistance Request Form
- COVID-19 Mitigation Updates – this page serves as a central hub for COVID-19 information and resources
Please keep in mind that this advocacy page is an evolving work in progress. We hope to include resources for these rapidly changing times by updating online resources, advocacy toolkits, and more in the months ahead. Be sure to check back regularly for updates!
Advocacy Events and Initiatives
The WMEA Advocacy Committee organizes and presents several annual events. These include the February Drive-In Day to meet with our state legislators, and the Aspiring Music Majors program, offered annually during the Wisconsin State Music Conference.
2023 Wisconsin Drive-In Day
Virtual: February 7-9, 2023
Zoom Meetings – Educators/Legislators
Every February since 2017, the WMEA Advocacy Committee has hosted the Wisconsin Drive-In Day. At this annual event, participants meet with Wisconsin legislators to advocate for a specific ASK regarding music education. The ASKs are written and distributed shortly before the Drive-In date to ensure the issue is topical and timely.
The WMEA Advocacy Committee requests strong participation at each Wisconsin Drive-In Day.
The goal is to field WMEA representatives from all districts in which state legislators serve on the WI Committees on Education. In the past, the WMEA Drive-In Day has resulted in significant support for music education from our legislators – it is a valuable endeavor to take part in.
Please plan ahead to join us virtually via Zoom in 2023 – we need your voice at this important event!
- Wisconsin Drive-In Day 2023 – Save the Date Flyer (see example below)
- Drive-In Day Registration Link – https://bit.ly/WMEADriveInDay2023
Advocacy Success Stories
Governor Tony Evers Signs Act 85 into Law
The WMEA Advocacy Committee presented an ASK in 2018 requesting the inclusion of enrollment data for music, visual art, theater and dance the annual school district accountability report cards. In February of 2019, WMEA was informed that Rep. Joel Kitchens and Sen. Dale Kooyenga had co-authored bills that closely mirrored WMEA’s requested language. Over the next year, WMEA and the Advocacy Committee monitored the bill’s progress, individual teachers and community members testified at two committee hearings, and WMEA leadership clarified the bill’s intent for legislators with questions. On February 5, 2020 Governor Tony Evers signed Act 85 into law:
This bill requires the Department of Public Instruction to include in the annual school district and school accountability report, commonly referred to as school and school district report cards, the percentage of pupils participating in music, dance, drama, and visual arts. Under the bill, DPI must include this information for each high school and school district and must also include the statewide percentage of pupils participating in each subject. The bill specifies that this information may not be used to evaluate a school’s performance or school district’s improvement.
The transparency that Act 85 will offer will encourage communities to better understand (and support) what their schools are offering. Data will first be collected for the 2020-21 school year and be published in the fall of 2021. WMEA plans to collaborate with DPI on how the data will appear.
NAfME 2020 Excellence in Advocacy Award
Wisconsin was the recipient of the NAfME 2020 Excellence in Advocacy Award, including recognition of the efforts that led to passage of Act 85, the Milwaukee Public Schools success story, proactive advocacy efforts related to COVID-19 (COVID Action Plan Meetings, WMEA Online Teaching Project, Advocacy Resources, etc), and more. This award was presented at the NAfME 2020 National Assembly. Congrats to all connected to the WMEA Advocacy Committee!