Dear Friends,
 
The past several days have been a difficult time for your leadership in CMEA and those who have been tuned into the recent events at our national level.  
 
In consultation with the CMEA Executive Board, and under directives from NAfME, we have remained silent for several days to allow the statements officially put out by NAfME to provide some answers.  I realize that many of you want more, and I stand with you in that desire for information.  
 
One person does not make or break any organization.  None of us is that powerful or indispensable.  It is the organization itself, with it's Vision, Mission Statement, values, policies, and procedures that is the ongoing entity.  We exist within an organization as the stewards of those values for only a designated period of time.  And then others follow to fill our places.  In this current issue, CMEA and NAfME will survive and become stronger as we continue to address the issues of Inclusion and Diversity.  
 
We live in a democracy where everyone is innocent until proven guilty by an official source.  Public opinion should never be the ultimate judge, and we need to trust our leadership to do a thorough job in investigating and reporting back to us. 
 
CMEA is a tremendous organization, with a rich history and a bright future.  Out of this adversity will come dialogue and new directions. Diversity and greater inclusion for all students has been in the discussions among your state leaders for quite some time, and when you see the announcement of our new CMEA State Council, later this month, you will notice several new positions that relate directly to our need to reach out and be a much more important entity in the lives of our colleagues and the students they teach.  
 
A greater inclusion of all has been at the core of my wish for CMEA and has been my driving force in pursuing leadership within our organization for the past fourteen years.
 
Thank you for your understanding, your patience, and your professionalism in the recent days.  I look forward to our discussions and future directions within the CMEA family.
 
Sincerely,

Scott Hedgecock
CMEA President
 
 
A Message From The NAfME National Executive Board:
 
Last week, the National Executive Board (NEB) and leadership team were made aware that Michael Butera, CEO of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), made disparaging remarks during a meeting convened by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). His remarks and behavior as reported are in direct contrast with the values, commitment, and mission of our organization. We began a review of this incident immediately upon notification, and the investigation is concluded. Michael has been placed on administrative leave pending final board discussion.

As part of this process, we reached out to participants in last week’s meeting, including Keryl McCord of Alternate ROOTS, to fully understand what happened and assess the situation. During those conversations, our national leadership affirmed NAfME’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity in music and the arts, as well as our desire to foster a meaningful dialogue that leads to an increase of diversity in our field.

As leaders of this organization, we want you to know that we take this matter very seriously. Our promise to you is that the review is timely, comprehensive, professional, and one of integrity and high ethical standards.

We will continue this important dialogue regarding diversity, inclusion, and equity in music and the arts. The National Executive Board has been in intensive meetings, and will follow up tomorrow.