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A Brief History

The Roots N Blues Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, positively impacts the lives of children by celebrating the rich cultural heritage of American music through local educational programs. The Roots N Blues Foundation has brought joy and music education to thousands of children by providing the Blues in the Schools program. Students have the opportunity to write and perform with award-winning guest musicians and internationally recognized music educators in their classrooms.

Starting in 2007 with just one elementary school, BITS has expanded to every elementary school in Columbia. BITS does so much more than celebrate music–it incorporates the visual arts, history, literature and social studies into a celebration.

MEET THE BOARD MEMBERS

Jamie Varvaro

Jamie Varvaro, President

President at AdVentures Advertising Consultants

Mary Wilkerson

Mary Wilkerson, Treasurer

SVP of Marketing, Central Bank of Boone County

Shay Jasper

Shay Jasper, Secretary

Assistant Festival Director, Thumper Entertainment

Kelley Burns

Kelley Burns, Executive Director

Roots N Blues Foundation

Michelle Baumstark

Michelle Baumstark

Community Relations Director, Columbia Public Schools

Kenneth Greene

Kenneth Greene

Custom Designer Monarch Jeweler

Julie King

Julie King

Festival Director, Thumper Entertainment

Richard King

Richard King

Partner Thumper Entertainment

Nate White

Nate White

Palen Music Center

Alicia Minor

Alicia Minor

CPA Howe & Associates, PC

Anne Kelly Moore

Anne Kelly Moore

President D & M Sound

Preston Bass

Preston Bass

Retired CPD and Coordinator of Safety & Security CPS

Chris Slusher

Chris Slusher

Attorney at Law, Holder l Susan l Slusher l Oxenhandler

Tom Smith

Tom Smith

President Flat Branch Pub & Brewing

Joe Moseley

Joe Moseley

Retired Vice-President Public Affairs Shelter Insurance

QUOTES

Former First Lady, Michelle Obama

The arts are not just a nice thing to have or do if there is free time or if one can afford it… Paintings and poetry, music and design… they all define who we are as a people.

- Former First Lady, Michelle Obama

Gerald Ford, former President, United States of America

Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music.

- Gerald Ford, former President, United States of America

The Well-Rounded Curriculum, Secretary Arne Duncan’s Remarks at the Arts Education Partnership National Forum, Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC, April 9, 2010

First, the arts significantly boost student achievement, reduce discipline problems, and increase the odds that students will go on to graduate from college. Second, arts education is essential to stimulating the creativity and innovation that will prove critical to young Americans competing in a global economy. And last, but not least, the arts are valuable for their own sake, and they empower students to create and appreciate aesthetic works.

 

- The Well-Rounded Curriculum, Secretary Arne Duncan’s Remarks at the Arts Education Partnership National Forum, Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC, April 9, 2010

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