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McNally Smith Establishes Foundation to Address Budget Cuts to Music Education

McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, Minn., has created a foundation to directly address the financial, social and cultural impacts of budget cuts to music education nationwide. Most state legislatures, including Minnesota’s, as well as the federal government, have targeted K-12 music programs by slashing—or eliminating—music education budgets to the detriment of students and their communities. With an effective Board of Directors and more than 20 community partners in place, the McNally Smith College of Music Foundation hopes to address some of the impacts of these cuts.

“According to MENC, the National Association for Music Education, one of the world’s largest arts education organizations, congress this year has proposed drastic spending cuts that include over 70 education programs and all Arts in Education programming, specifically,“ notes Doug Smith, founder and Chief Artistic Officer of McNally Smith, and president of the Board of the new foundation. “All of us should be greatly concerned about what is happening at the federal, state and local levels with music education and that’s one reason why we have put the McNally Smith College of Music Foundation in place.”

“Music is good for the individual who plays it and for person who listens to it and it is good for communities,” says McNally Smith President Harry Chalmiers. “Music inspires creativity and life skills like self-discipline, greater coordination, teamwork and collaboration, and it fosters intellectual curiosity and growth. Plus it is a wonderful window on the world, not only for those who learn to play music but also for those enjoy and appreciate it. The foundation’s mission will be successful if for-profit and non-profit organizations from across the broader Twin Cities area and in greater Minnesota will join our programming, outreach and funding efforts.”

McNally Smith reports that to date, organizations such as the City of St. Paul, Minnesota Public Radio, Springboard for the Arts, the Minnesota Beatle Project based in Owatonna, the Minnesota State Bar Association, and many others have signed on as foundation partners. Like-minded organizations, other foundations and individuals are also encouraged to join.

“McNally Smith is responding to the needs of the community by putting our resources where our mouth is,” says Chris Osgood, executive director of the McNally Smith College of Music Foundation and the music college’s vice president of Community Relations. “In the future we will be looking to our partners to assist the Foundation in supporting various causes in the metropolitan and out-state regions as a result of the cutbacks in the funding of music programs. And we are looking forward to finding creative and successful ways to bridge that gap by working together.”

Visit the McNally Smith College of Music Foundation at