'Glee' Puts Up Guaranteed $1-Million Donation For Music Programs
It's about time life got a little nudge toward imitating art in the most positive possible sense.
With the third season of Fox's "Glee" just around the bend, creator Ryan Murphy, Fox and the National Association for Music Education have an impressive idea for giving back to what one must consider not just the show's core fanbase, but the very young people that inspired it in the first place.
Enter the "Glee Give A Note" contest. With both state and federal public education budgets often stretched thread-bare - and in my lifetime, when haven't they been? - it's tragically still too common that music and art programs often suffer the very first cuts.
It's absolutely the harshest nugget of truth behind "Glee": don't forget, Mr. Schuster was originally told that if he wanted his precious glee club so badly, $60 a month would come from somebody's pocket, and it damn sure wouldn't be from the school district's.
Between now and Oct. 10, any school submitting a two-minute-max video explaining how its at-risk music programs enrich students lives and better their futures will be eligible to receive one of 73 awards totaling up to $50,000 - a total $1-million guaranteed donation to programs across America.
Every student under 18 years old must obtain signed parental consent before they can appear in the video, and submissions must be made by a school principal via this link. Videos will be voted on by fans between Oct. 11 and Nov. 7.
Via this link, parents, students, teachers, principals or anybody else sharing concerns about what students will miss out on without music programs can learn more about the NAfME Give A Note Foundation, how they can make their voices heard demanding better funding for music programs or even simply how to make a Give A Note Foundation donation.
"Glee" can be a polarizing animal. Some don't so much love the show, as revere it. One can't deny there have been few - if any - shows quite like it that combine heart, quirky humor and pop-culture kitsch. Pulling off a fun musical episode is one thing; but a whole series? Well, pre-"Glee," let's put it this way . . .
Still, I've found that the ones who don't dig it, either just aren't as into the kitsch factor, or (just a touch unfairly) think that just because it's heart is obviously in song-and-dance and touches on young gay relationships, it's forcing certain morals unfairly down America's throats.
Whichever the camp, there's nothing one can hate about this contest. Music programs need help, at least in part because when budget-cut times do arise, it's a tough sell arguing against how important certain other funds are to education more than anyone necessarily saying music is unnecessary or detrimental.
Go get 'em, Gleeks.