Rutherford County Schools to Receive New Arts Education Grant


Rutherford County Schools

Rutherford County Schools was among eight school districts selected to receive grant funding as part of Tennessee’s ‘State of the Arts’ music grants in partnership with the CMA Foundation.

This competitive grant opportunity is focused on expanding students’ access to high-quality music and arts education statewide and was made possible by a $1 million investment from the CMA Foundation, according to an announcement made by Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn.

The newly created ‘State of the Arts’ music grant program will fund initiatives and strategies that will expand students’ access to high-quality music education. The focus for the $124,000 grant given to Rutherford County will be the implementation of an innovative repair, replace, and maintenance program to address musical instrument and equipment quality, as well as music teacher professional development programs.

“We are extremely excited and honored to be among the school districts selected for the State of the Arts grant program,” said Lindsay Halford, fine arts specialist for Rutherford County Schools. “These funds will be used to increase student access to high-quality musical instruments and equipment across our school district as well as provide RCS music teachers with relevant, music-specific professional development opportunities. We look forward to kicking off our grant implementation in the Fall of 2019 by inviting the community to take part in this work by way of an instrument drive.”

Community involvement was central to the design of the grant proposal, Halford said, and some local business partners have signed on to assist with the project. Steinway & Sons of Nashville has offered to perform a free analysis of all the county’s pianos as part of the comprehensive inventory analysis. And the Music Stop of Murfreesboro has signed on to assess and repair instruments that come in through the instrument drive.

“The Music Stop has been serving the Murfreesboro and Middle Tennessee area for 19 years. We look forward to continuing this tradition of great customer service with our partnership with Rutherford County Schools,” said Allen Haynes, owner of The Music Stop.

Greene, Sevier, Bradley, Warren, Coffee, Gibson and Shelby County Schools were also awarded grants ranging from $96,000 to $124,000. Only one district was selected from each of the eight core regions of the state.

Grants will be paid over the next three years.

‘State of the Arts’ music grant recipients were selected through a rigorous and competitive application and interview process.