Nashville

The annual Country Music Association (CMA) Fest takes place in Nashville, Tennessee. 

In less than a week, CMA Fest will be in full swing as country artists descend on Nashville, donating their time and talent to help fund music education.

The CMA Foundation’s mission, according to a news release from the CMA Foundation, is to help provide students with access to quality music education and resources to create thriving music programs for students.

“Thanks to the generosity and support from our Country Music community and fans, the CMA Foundation is able to provide opportunity and access to high-quality music programs to kids across the country in an ongoing effort to shape our next generation to be leaders and positive forces within their communities,” Tiffany Kerns, executive director of the CMA Foundation, said in the news release.

“Because of the funds raised each year at CMA Fest and through events and partners, we can continue to leverage more opportunities to strengthen the music education ecosystem and ultimately impact more and more children with the power of music,” Kerns added.

Reese Witherspoon’s Nashville retail store, Draper James, will host a summer kick-off event on Monday, June 3 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The event will feature artist performances from Sarah Darling, Stephanie Quayle and Rachel Wammack.

Those attending will also be able to do make-up touchups, get their hair braided at the braid bar. Food and complimentary cocktails will also be served during the event.The store will donate 15% of its proceeds from the event to CMA Foundation for their mission.

Beyond just music, CMA Foundation and U.S. Bank partnered with artists from Nashville’s WHAT. Creative Group to design and paint murals on four old, worn pianos from within Metro Nashville Public Schools. These pianos will be located throughout downtown Nashville during the festival, along with donation bins, so attendees can show off their talents and donate directly to CMA Foundation. CMA Foundation will also provide replacement pianos in the schools following CMA Fest.

Attendees could also be featured on CMA’s social media through using the hashtags, #itstartswithME and #MusicMadePossible, and receive a free printed photo.

Adding to the creative vibe of art, Colorado-based muralist Kelsey Montague painted an original interactive mural for the foundation that will be on display at the Xfininity Fan Fair X at the CMA Fan Experience. Montague is best known for her Taylor Swift ME! Mural in Nashville. The mural’s goal is to encourage fans to “life their voice for music education,” by sharing photos and contributing to music education.

In addition, Nashville-based Friendly Arctic Printing & Design created a custom CMA Fest poster that will be sold at Xfininity Fan Fair X and their website, with a portion of the proceeds going towards the mission of quality music education.

As a way to continue to support music education, students from Nashville-area music programs will also be performing at CMA Fest according to the news release. Attendees will have the chance to hear two student groups from the Nashville School of Arts, directed by choral director Trey Jacobs, sing at the Chevy Riverfront stage and Nissan Stadium on Thursday. The first group will begin the day singing the National Anthem, while the second group will perform that evening at Nissan Stadium.

Students from Andrew Jackson Elementary School, under the direction of music specialist Franklin Willis, will perform their cover of Carrie Underwood’s “The Champion” on Sunday evening at Nissan Stadium.

Both Jacobs and Willis are multi-year recipients of the CMA Foundation’s Music Teachers of Excellence Award, which honors music educators from across the country for their exemplary work and provides each a $5,000 grant to be used both in the classroom and for personal needs.

Thomas Rhett, two-time CMA Award-winning artist, has invited fans to an up-close event on Saturday, June 8 at noon at Bridgestone Arena to celebrate his new album “Center Point Road.”

A portion of the proceeds with benefit the CMA Foundation and fans will hear the behind the scene stories about the new songs. Rhett has also invited students from Brentwood, Tennessee’s Ravenwood High School marching band to the event. This will be the band’s second time playing with Rhett, which they previously performed “Life Changes” with the singer at the CMA Awards last November.

Celebrity trainer and fitness expert Erin Oprea will host a free body-sculpting workout class at Bridgestone Arena Plaza on Saturday, June 8 with special guests Country Music start Carly Pearce, radio personality Amy Brown and DJ Grant. Currently, free registration for the event is full, but Oprea encourages fans to donate.

Florida Georgia Line’s music publishing company, Tree Vibez Music, will bring it’s tour bus to fans at Xfinity Fan Fair X. Along with the tour bus, some of the company’s songwriting friends and family including Corey Crowder, Cale Dodds, Ernest, Baylee Littrell, LOCASH, RaeLynn, Jordan Schmidt and Canaan Smith will come by for meet-and-greets and autograph some limited edition Tree Vibez Music t-shirts, donated by Richards Southern, with all the proceeds going to the Foundation.

HanesBrands had partnered with the CMA Foundation to help support local schools. The brand is supporting music education at the festival with their booth on Broadway where attendees can stop by and purchase a custom print graphic tee.

The CMA Foundation will also introduce a new way for attendees to donate through a text-to-donate feature and the Official CMA Fest App.

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