The Texas Legislature approved House Bill #2582 supporting the Texas Music Project. The bill, introduced by State Representative Elizabeth Ames Jones and Senator Jeff Wentworth, will help ensure long-term support for TMP's efforts to restore music education in Texas schools. Governor Perry signed the Bill into law in July 2003. The bill provides no funding at this time.
TMP secured a 20-year exclusive licensing agreement from the Texas Department of Transportation to use "Don't Mess with Texas Music" as our proprietary campaign in support of music education in Texas schools. Shortly after the signing of the TMP bill into law, TMP launched its education program by the same name. Our advocacy efforts have not generated an estimated $1.5 million in publicity value for music education and our supporters from newspaper and broadcast news stories had been generated throughout the state. A partial archive of the press coverage can be found in Press/Media.
Four "Don't Mess with Texas"TM compilation CDs benefiting TMP and music education have been released to great reviews and fanfare. In September 2003 the first in the series was released featuring founding honorary chair, Willie Nelson and an all-star cast of established and emerging Texas artists/bands. The CD quickly became the best-selling Texas compilation in history.
Two additional CDs were released in 2004. The first, "Don't Mess with la Musica de Tejas" was released in July and celebrates Latino culture in Texas. The CD features honorary chair and five-time Grammy winner, Flaco Jimenez. Vol Two of "Don't Mess with Texas Music" was released in September. It features honorary chairs and Houston natives, Beyonce and Clint Black. The CD features special appearances from guest artists, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, and Bobby "Blue" Bland, all of whom demonstrate their strong Texas music influences and support for music education.
In September 2005, Volume Three was released featuring songs that celebrate the people, places and great state of Texas.
To date, over 80 all-start artists--along with their bands, labels and publishers have showed their support for music in Texas schools by contributing cost-free songs to our CDs. All of our CDs are available thru our website store.
To date, TMP has distributed grants for music education to teachers, schools and communities projected to benefit 700,000 students in Texas public schools. We are extremely proud to have have touched this many students in such a short period of time. This extraordinary success can only be attributed to the huge and critical need of schools regarding music education, and that TMP's unique, meaningful approach is resonating with educators and the public. TMP is extremely appreciative of this support.
TMP initiated what we believe to be a landmark research project with the University of Texas at Austin in the Fall of 2004. This project is intended to shed light on the question of whether students in Texas public schools have equal access to music education. The project is entering the final year of its two-year timeline. Results are expected to be released to the public in early 2007.
From 2003-2005, TMP has on average applied approximately 90% of all revenue to our music programs, including our advocacy, grants, community and research programs. Again, we are very proud to have used the funds with which we have been entrusted so effectively.