A couple of different thought strands come together for me with yesterday’s election of Jon Corzine to be Governor of New Jersey.
First, Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has been outspoken in his comments that “ a seat in the state house is worth 100 people on the steps.” The idea here is that we need to elect music and arts education friendly people to office to help advance the goals of the arts education community.
Secondly, I am reminded of the comment President Clinton made, in speeches and his biography, he would not have been President if it were not for his school music program.
Governor-Elect Corzine (I LOVE typing that) spoke of his limited artistic ability but great support for the arts during the campaign. His perceived limit on talent did not keep him from studying the piano or playing the clarinet. Interestingly enough, he was elected president of the band in high school… much like president Clinton was a leader in his.
My point to all of this is we have been fortunate to have some great political leaders emerge for the arts and arts education. This has been more as a result of luck than by planning. I would forward the argument that we should increase our odds for success by identifying other elected officials or potential candidates to take up our issues or run for office.
We need more music and arts education supporters with “a seat in the state house” to make the long term changes we need to expand access to music and arts education programs for our children. If this is going to happen… we need to make it happen.

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