Update 2: Mike Huckabee has resigned from the CMA Foundation after backlash from members. In a statement, the CMA said, “The CMA Foundation has accepted former Governor Mike Huckabee’s resignation from its Board of Directors, effective immediately.”
Update: after learning that the CMA Foundation appointed Mike Huckabee to its board, Jason Owen of Sandbox Entertainment and Monument Records sent a letter to the CMA withdrawing his and his artists’ (Little Big Town, Faith HIll, Midland, Kacey Musgraves) support from the Foundation.
Sarah and Tiffany,
It is with a heavy heart that I must let you know moving forward, Sandbox and Monument will no longer support the CMA Foundation in any way (this includes everyone we represent collectively) considering the heartbreaking news shared today regarding Mike Huckabee appointee/elected to the CMA Foundation. Further, we find it hard to support the organization as a whole as a result. As you may know I have a child and two on the way. This man has made it clear that my family is not welcome in his America. And the CMA has opened their arms to him, making him feel welcome and relevant. Huckabee speaks of the sort of things that would suggest my family is morally beneath his and uses language that has a profoundly negative impact upon young people all across this country. Not to mention how harmful and damaging his deep involvement with the NRA is. What a shameful choice. I will not participate in any organization that elevates people like this to positions that amplify their sick voices. This was a detrimentally poor choice by the CMA and it’s leaders.
I only wish the best for you and I know how hard you work for the foundation but a grossly offensive decision like this only makes your job harder and diminishes the foundation’s purpose.
The CMA Foundation has elected former Governor of Arkansas and current Republican pundit Mike Huckabee to their board of directors. Huckabee wrote an impassioned op-ed in the New York Times last year urging the President, to reconsider their drastic budget cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts. The President ignored his plea, but that doesn’t mean Huckabee isn’t still fighting for music education. With the CMA Foundation, he can now create the changes he hopes to see.
In his op-ed, Huckabee clearly stated who he was fighting for: “the kids in poverty for whom NEA programs may be their only chance to learn to play an instrument, test-drive their God-given creativity and develop a passion for those things that civilize and humanize us all.”
Without sponsored music education children in poor communities would suffer, he argued.
He went on to describe the benefits of music education– higher SAT scores, increased performance in mathematics, spatial reasoning, and an increased likelihood of completing high school.
“Creativity finds cures for diseases creates companies such as Apple and Microsoft and, above all, makes our culture more livable,” Huckabee added.
Alongside the philanthropic arm of the Country Music Association, Huckabee no longer has to wait for Congress or the President to act. He will be able to work to accomplish the CMA Foundation’s stated goals of “improving and sustaining music education programs” so that “every child has the opportunity to participate in music education.”