Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) has announced “Vote Arts and Minds Sessions.” The month-long digital concert series will feature nearly three dozen artists in support of Vote Arts & Minds, an initiative to educate, drive awareness and advocacy for a California statewide ballot measure increasing support for arts and music education annually. Starting March 1 and timed to Music in Our Schools Month, popular artists across a variety of musical genres will perform hit songs and deliver personal anecdotes about the importance of arts education while discussing the impact those creative programs had on their career.
Music has been a leading inspiration to all of the artists involved and those who received instruction from teachers or mentors were provided with the foundation to gain the skills needed to succeed in their careers. As they look onto the next generation of performers, these artists have chosen to dedicate their time to raising awareness for a ballot measure that will provide all students across California, regardless of income, with the same benefits. To view the digital concert series, fans and supporters can tune in at Fender’s and Flood Magazine’s YouTube channels. Palaye Royale is kicking off the digital concert today and their performance can be viewed on both channels.
“We know first-hand the power that access to music and arts has to change lives,” said Evan Jones, Chief Marketing Officer, at Fender and Co-President of the Fender Play Foundation. “Our support for this initiative is fully aligned with our Fender Play Foundation commitment to equip, educate and inspire the next generation. We are extremely grateful for the artists within the FMIC family lending their voice, sharing their talent and drawing attention to the impact this measure can have on California’s youth for generations to come. ”
California depends on arts and music educators in public schools to inspire a diverse and creative group of future talent. Yet, California has dramatically underfunded music and arts in schools, ranking far behind the national average. The Vote Arts & Minds ballot measure is designed to fix this problem by permanently dedicating additional funding to Music & Arts education in California schools – without raising taxes.
The measure provides for a new funding stream dedicated to arts and music education equivalent to 1% of the state’s existing K-12 annual investment – generating nearly $900 million in additional annual funding. This measure would provide additional funding for schools beyond Prop. 98 and is specifically designed to protect existing public education funding, including Prop. 98 dollars. Every PreK-12 Public School will receive funding, and the measure provides for an additional allocation to schools that serve low-income students to address the lack of equitable access to arts and music education. This new funding will increase the number of arts and music educators in the classroom by more than 50% as well as increase allocation to schools that serve low-income students, which will help create more equitable and inclusive access to Music & Arts education. The “Vote Arts and Minds Sessions” concert aims to help raise awareness for the ballot measure and collect the additional 623,000 valid signatures needed to qualify the initiative for the November 2022 CA State Ballot.
‘The Arts and Music in Schools – Funding Guarantee and Accountability Act’ (also known as ‘Vote Arts & Minds’)– which was put together by former LAUSD Superintendent, Austin Beutner, has already gained traction from educators, parents, and high-profile talent and industry executives in entertainment and music including Dr. Dre, Issa Rae, wil.i.am and Jimmy Iovine.
“The effort will improve the lives of more than 6 million students in public schools across California by making sure they have access to Arts and Music education at school,” said Austin Beutner, Chairman of Californians for Arts and Music in Public Schools and proponent of the ballot initiative. “We’re grateful for the commitment and support from Fender along with all of the artists who are joining in the effort.”
Along with playing hit songs, each day during the“Vote Arts and Minds Sessions,” a different artist or band will provide personal testimonials about their experience in arts and music education, explain how the ballot will benefit the youth of today and tomorrow, and encourage registered California voters to support the initiative by signing the ballot’s petition on VoteArtsandMinds.org.
Kicking off with Palaye Royale on March 1, the digital concert series boasts an all-star lineup and includes performances from Orville Peck, Mereba, 5 Seconds of Summer, Local Natives, Duff McKagan, Jeremy Renner, and more. Follow Fender’s and Flood Magazine’s social media channels to view upcoming schedules every week.
“I grew up in a public school system in Seattle that was fortified by having music and arts programs,” said Duff McKagan, bassist for Guns N’ Roses. “Whether it was in band class or in the rehearsal spaces where I jammed with friends and practiced rock and roll, those programs created a community that I couldn’t get anywhere else.”
“A well-funded music and arts program provides the opportunity of an endless amount of self-expression,” said “Riverdale” actor and Motherlover singer-guitarist, Hart Denton. “Access to music and arts education for students is extremely important and I’m thankful for the steps Fender is taking to make that possibility a reality for so many incredible expression-hungry kids.”
“Students need an outlet to explore and expand their creativity without limits, and music and arts programs are the best space to do that,” said singer-songwriter, Claud. “Being taught an art form gives those who wish to pursue it, professionally, a huge advantage. Everyone should have an equal opportunity to learn and grow their passions.”
The artists chosen to participate in the “Vote Arts and Minds Sessions” possess a large, diverse, and passionate fanbase; participating artists will be asking each and every one of their fans to show their support for the initiative.
To learn more about how you can support “The Arts and Music in Schools – Funding Guarantee and Accountability Act,” visit VoteArtsandMinds.org.