Moab Music Festival board members gathered with local educators to distribute the festival's Education Initiative Awards on Monday, Jan. 23. Moab Music Festival board member Theresa King (left), is pictured with MMF board member Dr. Kathy Williams, Phyllis Reed of Helen M. Knight Elementary, BEACON Moab Strings Program Director Nanci Flesher, Casey Lawson, MMF board member Carol Stockham, Carolyn Stiles, Moab Charter School Director James Lewis, MMF board member Andrea Ward, Moab Charter School board member Sand Sheff, MMF board member Anne Wilson, and MMF Festival Coordinator Erin Groves. [Courtesy photo]

The Moab Music Festival held a casual reception at its box office on Monday, Jan. 23, to distribute funds to local Moab music educators.

The festival’s Education Initiative Awards funds are allocated based on applications local music educators submit to the Festival each fall. EIA funding assists teachers with music classroom projects.

For the 2016-17 school year, projects include new music curriculum for Helen M. Knight Elementary; xylophones for Moab Charter School; music stands and performance chairs for the Grand County Middle and High School Strings programs; a new xylophone stand for the Grand County Middle School Band; outdoor performance equipment for the Grand County High School Band; and general operating funds and teacher training assistance for the BEACON Afterschool Strings program.

During the reception, attendees discussed current challenges facing the music education system, on both the national and local scales. Educators reiterated that efforts to secure funding for staff and resource support are a constant struggle. Festival EIA funds are a part of the festival’s mission to support local music education in Grand County.