NAMM co-hosted arts events at the 2012 national political conventions in partnership with Americans for the Arts, The Recording Academy, The United States Conference of Mayors and the local arts councils. The events, including a policy conversation and a concert, were designed to highlight the important role of arts and arts education in public policy. An afternoon session called ARTSSpeak brought artists and elected officials together for a conversation on the role of arts and music education in the U.S. Attendees were invited to celebrate the arts with ARTSJam, an intimate concert featuring performances by major recording artists.
The Republican National Convention in Tampa FL featured the ARTSSpeak panel on August 28 at the Tampa Theatre. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee highlighted the event as lead moderator. Speakers included Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn; Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert L. Lynch; Mesa AZ Mayor Scott Smith, Vice President of The United States Conference of Mayors; and former New York Yankee and Latin Grammy Award-nominated artist Bernie Williams. Williams is a passionate advocate for music education in schools.
At the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte NC on September 4, ARTSSpeak took place at the Mint Museum. ARTSSpeak was moderated by NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond. Panelists and featured speakers included former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright; Governor Pat Quinn, Illinois; Mayor Mitch Landrieu, New Orleans LA; North Carolina Secretary of Cultural Resources Linda Carlisle; Mayor Michael Nutter, Philadelphia PA and President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors: Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley; Lynch; and Williams.