WVMEA’s ALF team is recruiting new members! 

What is the ALF team?

The ALF team is WVMEA’s “Advocacy Leadership Force.” We are a volunteer group of music educators located across the state of West Virginia, who work together to advocate for music education across our wonderful state. 

What does the commitment look like as a member?

As a team, we have one monthly zoom meeting to discuss areas of opportunity and concern occurring within the state. The advocacy chair will send important information through an ALF-specific email to keep the group informed, and there is potential for an in-person meeting at the yearly conference. Our goal is to span our group so that the workload feels minimal, but the work you would be doing would be impactful to your area and the state.

Examples of Advocacy: 

Previous work done by the group includes: contacting federal, state, and local officials through a variety of channels to emphasize the importance and need for the arts, sending testimonials about the impact of the arts to officials and other important groups, assisting music educators in county-specific concerns, worked to bring more music education opportunities to our communities, and created many relationships to help network to build our music community. 

Who can join?

Anyone who is interested in joining should fill out the link provided and can email Genesis Mihalko, the current advocacy chair, with any questions they may have. We are happy to have as many music educators across the state that would like to join. College students are also encouraged to join to begin learning and practicing arts education advocacy before they enter the classroom! If interested, please complete the link below before January 1st, 2023. 

Registration Link: 

Contact information: Genesis Mihalko:

We look forward to hearing from you, and we can’t wait to grow our ALF team!

2019 Advocacy Leadership Force - As one of only five recipients of the Country Music Association’s Advocacy Grant, advocacy chair Andi Hasley hosted WVMEA’s first state-based Advocacy Leadership Force (ALF).

What’s an Advocacy Leadership Force?  Based on the National Association for Music Education’s model, this group will discuss issues affecting music education at the local and state level and learn where to focus necessary advocacy efforts.

Seven applicants were chosen as members of our ALF.  Each member has been assigned either specific state senatorial districts or a specific category of focus.  The inaugural WVMEA ALF team members are:



Bethany | Districts 1, 2
Chris | Districts 3, 4, 5
Allen | Districts 6, 7
• Kim | Districts 9, 10
Heidi | Districts 2, 13, 14
• Andi | Districts 15, 16
• Jane | Districts 11, 12
Ray Lowther | -- | Districts 8, 17
• Genesis | Collegiate
• Michael Ibrahim (ex-officio) | | Higher Education

 Special thanks for donating their time to our weekend training goes out to:

  • Randall Reid-Smith from the Department of Arts, Culture and History
  • Chiho Feindler from VH1 Save the Music
  • Michael Kamphuis from Conn-Selmer
  • Matt Barusch from NAfME
  • Jazzmone Sutton from North Carolina MEA

Should you have any advocacy-related questions, feel free to e-mail Stay tuned to future issues of Etude for more updates from your WVMEA Advocacy Leadership Force!

Thanks to CMA Foundation our new WVMEA Advocacy Leadership Force held their first meeting on October 18, 2019.  Special thanks to West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, VH1 Save The Music Foundation, Conn-Selmer Education, NCMEA, and National Association for Music Education for presenting.

North Carolina Music Educators Association president Jazzmone Sutton starts day 2 of our advocacy leadership training. Thanks CMA Foundation for helping WVMEA make this possible.

Andi Hasley, WVMEA Advocacy Chair and Immediate Past President and North Carolina Music Educators Association president Jazzmone Sutton.