Grammy nominee Kenny Lattimore, Heroes star Masi Oka and Sesame Workshop SVP Rosemarie Truglio will be part of a town-hall discussion for VH1’s Save The Music Foundation, scheduled to be live-streamed from New York’s Paley Center on Thursday, May 7, at 7 p.m. ET.
The discussion will focus on breaking down the merits of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education (versus the more standard STEM) for parents, educators and community leaders, who can watch the stream at VH1SaveTheMusic.org.
Other participants will include Gabriella Musacchia, research scholar at Stanford and Rutgers Universities and President of BabyRhythms; Kim Richards, co-founder and director at San Diego’s STEAMConnect, and Miguel Centeno, managing director – community relations & urban marketing at Aetna, Inc.
“STEAM education — that is injecting ‘arts’ into traditional educational curriculum — is incredibly important for the future of America’s kids,” says Paul Cothran, vice president and executive director of VH1 Save the Music Foundation. “Most often, the discourse on curriculum takes place between legislators and educators, leaving out the most important audience – the parents. At VH1 Save The Music’s first Keynote Assembly, we will bring together experts in STEAM, both in academia and in practice, to educate and empower parents in the arts education discussion. And through the livestream, parents and educators around the country can interact, engage in the dialogue and further the movement to bring STEAM-based education to all kids.”
Since its founding in 1997 by then-VH1 president John Sykes (now iHeartMedia’s president of entertainment enterprises), VH1 Save the Music has donated $51 million worth of new musical instruments to 1,900 public schools around the country. Citing recent research, Save the Music argues that STEAM curriculums can contribute a direct impact on improved cognitive development, math and reading skills, as well as self-expression and self-esteem. The foundation will release a more detailed STEAM toolkit for parents, educators and lawmakers in fall 2015.
VH1 Save the Music’s supporters include NAMM Foundation and the Mizzy Jonas Family Foundation, as well as Champion Circle partners B Productions, Jet Blue Foundation and StubHub Foundation, a corporate advised fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The foundation’s 2014 celebrity ambassadors are Britney Spears, Jason Derulo, Cher Lloyd, Hunter Hayes, Taye Diggs, Gloria Reuben and Diane Birch.