Since the OMEA Cleveland conference in February, 2015, the Ohio Foundation for Music Education (OFME) has set forth on an introspective review of our progress in fulfillment of our mission originally established by you, our parent organization.
OFME was formed as an independent Foundation to “ensure the future of music education in Ohio”. That’s it. This is a tall order painted in a single broad stroke that challenges our Board of Trustees to develop a sustainable solution in support of two million students in Ohio’ schools, from Pre-K to college.
In the spirit of this football season, we can confirm that we are gaining yardage but we’ve not yet scored. We have not reached the critical mass, either in terms of our endowment or public awareness, for who we are and what we do, necessary for serious advocacy. We are simply not there yet. As a Board, however, we have realized that our message must resonate well beyond our personal and vocational borders; it must penetrate the homes and businesses – and most importantly – the corporate board rooms, where the benefits of music education resonate the most.
From quality of life to measurable workplace productivity (and profit), we know that music education adds enormous value. As we go forward as a Foundation, our message will play out in a storyline that confirms such value, from business and politics to research, discovery and life in general. If music is the common language, we will speak it more clearly and we will turn up the volume. We will confirm your value as music educators.
This is plain talk. Together, we will keep music education alive in the classroom. There is no Plan B, and there is no alternative.
President, Ohio Foundation for Music Education