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2020 Collegiate Advocacy Day at the Capitol

Florida Seal of Fine Arts Legislation Update

Like last year, FMEA facilitated the drafting and sponsoring of the Florida Seal of Fine Arts Program legislation, Senate Bill 1740 by Florida State Senator Darryl Rouson, and its identical companion bill in the house, House Bill 1375  by Representative Ben Diamond. As in 2020, the Senate bill passed through two of its three committees of reference. The House version was, unfortunately, not heard in any of its House committees. The 2021 Legislative Session ended on April 30. While this is disappointing, legislation often takes several years before ultimately passing.

This legislation would have recognized high school graduates who have met exemplary benchmarks in fine arts coursework with a seal on their diploma. Both bills required completion of three (3) year-long courses in sequential fine arts courses with a grade of “A” in each course. The legislation also required meeting at least two of the following five requirements:

  • Successfully complete a fine arts International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, Dual Enrollment, or honors course in the subjects listed in paragraph (a) with a grade of “B" or higher.
  • Participate in a district or statewide organization juried event as a selected student participant for two or more years.
  • Record at least 25 volunteer hours of arts-related community service in his or her community and present a comprehensive presentation on his or her experiences.
  • Meet the requirements of a portfolio-based program identifying the student as an exemplary practitioner of the fine arts.
  • Receive district, state, or national recognition for the creation and submission of an original work of art or performance. For purposes of this paragraph, the term "work of art" means a musical or theatrical composition, visual art work,  or choreographed routine or performance

Thank you to Senator Darryl Rouson and Representative Ben Diamond for sponsoring these bills and supporting arts education in Florida. And thank you to those FMEA members who contacted the bill sponsors, House and Senate leaders, and relevant committee chairs to advocate for this important legislation.

FMEA is developing strategies to improve the chances of the Florida Seal of Fine Arts passing next year. We will be calling on our members to help advocate for this legislation during the January-March 2022 Florida Legislative Session.


FMEA Wins NAfME Excellence in Advocacy Award

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) has awarded FMEA the 2019 Excellence in Advocacy Award in recognition of their efforts advocating for music education. FMEA President Dr. Steven Kelly, Executive Director Dr. Kathleen D. Sanz, Immediate Past-President Dr. Kenneth Williams, President-Elect Dr. Shelby Chipman, Past President Dr. John Southall, Government Relations/Advocacy Chair Jeanne Reynolds, and FMEA Collegiates accepted the award during NAfME's June 19 Hill Day activities.


Fine-Arts-Related Instruction's Influence on Academic Success

A Comparison of Cohort Data from 2007-2008 to 2010-2011 and 2013-2014

Florida DOE Fine Arts Enrollment Data 2013-2018