When the thousands of fans descend upon Nashville for the annual CMA Music Festival, what they may not realize is that the money raised for the week goes towards a very important cause. Organized by the Country Music Association, otherwise known as the CMA, proceeds from the nightly concert ticket sales benefits the CMA Foundation, which helps sustain music education programs nationwide.
Since 2006, CMA and the CMA Foundation have invested more than $21 million thanks to the fans that attend CMA Fest each and every year.
Because of that, artists like Kane Brown have seen just how impactful the donations are when it comes to keeping music education in schools.
“Growing up, I didn’t know I wanted to be in music. My little brother was the music person. KISS posters all over his wall and stuff like that. Played guitar. Played drums. We could never afford the instruments, so he would get them for birthday, from a friend or something,” explained Brown while backstage at this year’s CMA Fest. “So, just to be able to go to a school and then be able to give kids instruments to learn … I feel like it means the world to the kids that want to learn, and they get to put their craft into music and get to help people, and hopefully get to follow their dreams and do what we’re doing today and help people on this platform.”
To help the donations go even further, each of the artists performing during the nightly shows donate their time to the cause. Knowing how important it is to give kids a creative outlet is what drives someone like Keith Urban to return each and every year.
“I just love the work that all the CMA board and all the foundation do,” he shared. “They’ve been very good to me over the years and I try [to come back].”
Brown and Urban are among the artists slated to take part in the ABC television special, CMA Fest, scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 8 at 8/7c. For more information about the CMA Foundation, visit cmaworld.com/foundation.