NAMM, the International Music Products Association, recently created the Wanna Play Fund to provide monetary support to organizations that expand access to music. Former Governor of Arkansas and 2008 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee helped launch the program by announcing it on Sept. 29, 2009, during his self-titled commentary show on the FOX News Channel.
“Simply put, the Wanna Play Fund really will allow NAMM to help people make music who might not have the access and opportunity to do so otherwise,” says Scott Robertson, director of marketing and communications at NAMM.
NAMM collects donations through the Wanna Play Fund and redistributes them to not-for-profit, community and educational organizations through grants and musical instruments. In the past, the NAMM Foundation has worked with organizations such as the VH1 Save the Music Foundation and the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation.
“NAMM believes that people of all ages and all skill levels should have the opportunity to take advantage of the proven benefits of playing music,” Robertson says. “A specific example would be the Raising the Blues Foundation, an organization that brings music to kids in hospitals and gives them the opportunity to not just hear music but also to get the benefits of playing a musical instrument.”
The Wanna Play Fund is an extension of the Wanna Play Campaign, which aims to educate people about the benefits of playing a musical instrument and to inspire more people—from children to seniors—to become active players.” Huckabee is a long-time supporter of the campaign and a bass player.
“He’s such a passionate advocate for music making,” Robertson says. “When we started talking about the fund, he sort of raised his hand and said, ‘I’d like to participate because of what music has given me; I’d like to give back.’”
For more information on the Wanna Play Fund or to donate, visit www.wannaplaymusic.com.