On September 1, 2011, your national professional association enters a new chapter in its long and distinguished history – the chapter in which we officially assume the name National Association for Music Education.
Our original name, Music Supervisors National Conference (assumed when we were founded in 1907), later became Music Educators National Conference, with the familiar acronym “MENC.” In 1998, our National Executive Board adopted the name National Association for Music Education, and we became known as “MENC: The National Association for Music Education.”
Well into the 21st century, we are now poised to take a leadership role among all arts organizations in shaping the education of our children and the place of music in the world of education and culture. To do this in a world moving ever more quickly, we must have an easily-recognizable and instantly-understood brand. When working with Congress, raising funds, recruiting new teachers, or partnering with celebrities to make our case, we can’t afford to repeatedly explain that a “conference” is an association or why “MENC” doesn’t match “National Association for Music Education.”
“National Association for Music Education” says exactly what we are and what we do: an organization for music education for everyone in our nation, an association that supports music teachers and the profession of music education.
Your Association will now, when appropriate, use the acronym “NAfME.” Why the inclusion of the lower case “f”? There are some practical reasons. A number of other national associations have the initials “N-A-M-E.” For the critical issue of our website identity, the address “name.org” is already taken, and we wanted our web address to match our acronym. Perhaps most important, inclusion of the “f” emphasizes our position “for” music education.
Our new logo is designed to further our brand and strengthen our identity. The wordmark “National Association for Music Education” is rendered in a bold, contemporary typeface, Dax, illustrating our movement into a new era of leading music education advocacy and advancement. The words are evenly weighted, reflecting the equal importance of both what we are, a national association, and what we are for, music education. The NAfME four-square icon (the “shield”) nods to our celebrated past and the “MENC” square logo used for nearly 30 years, but the new use of color and the more modern design unmistakably connote a new era. Musical insiders will recognize the lower case “f” in the icon as the musical “forte” symbol. This reference emphasizes, again, our position “for” music education and our loud, strong voice in support of our mission.
Please join me in celebrating the launch of our new name and identity. We are proud of our traditions and celebrate them every day. Now we must adapt to the changes demanded by a new century if we are to succeed in our mission -- to advance music education by encouraging the study and making of music by all.
Michael A. Butera