Yesterday, we notified you that we were nearing a conclusion related to the actions and comments made by Michael Butera. After a thorough review process, the National Executive Board of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and Michael Butera have agreed that he will not be returning to the association. We wish him well and thank him for his service to our purpose and mission.
Additionally, we are announcing that Michael Blakeslee will serve as the new Executive Director and Chief Executive Office for NAfME, effective immediately. Mr. Blakeslee’s experience and knowledge of our organization, fostered over nearly 30 years of dedicated service to NAfME and the music education profession, best position us to advocate for and provide opportunities to the greatest number of students and teachers.
Over the course of the last few days, it has become increasingly clear that there is a need for real, substantive conversation about providing access and opportunity to the millions of students that deserve a chance but are not afforded one. We believe that our organization can play an important role in convening and facilitating a dialogue to prompt action around ways to increase diversity, inclusion, and equity in music and the arts.
While not in the manner we would have preferred, we believe this incident granted an opportunity to address an issue facing too many students and educators. Moving forward, we will be reaching out to a number of organizations, members, and partners to continue the much-needed dialogue regarding diversity, inclusion, and equity in the music and arts. We are committed to upholding our mission, achieving real solutions, and bringing about substantive change that impacts the future of our work and provides access to music for all Americans.