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Fender hosts event advocating for proposed ‘Arts & Minds’ ballot initiative

'Anthrax' guitarist Scott Ian performing during Fender Guitars special event to promote the Arts and Minds ballot initiative.
Jonathan Linden
91.9 KVCR
'Anthrax' guitarist Scott Ian performing during Fender Guitars special event to promote the Arts and Minds ballot initiative.

Earlier this week, Fender hosted a mini-concert event at its Corona facility to raise awareness for a proposed ballot measure.

They're calling it the Vote Arts and Minds ballot measure, with the initiative's primary goal being to allocate more funds towards K through 12 arts and music education.

Austin Beutner is the former Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent and created the proposed measure. "The way the state funds schools, there's an effective cap on school funding. This goes beyond that cap and puts additional money into schools with ongoing money," said Beutner.

Beutner says the measure would not raise taxes but rather would make the state allocate .4% of its budget towards arts and music education. "So this will expand, almost double the programs in schools, and the school gets to decide. So, the families in the school, the teachers, the school principals get together and say, we've got an orchestra, let's add choir, we've got a choir, let's add dance. So, it's up to the school to decide what they think best serves the needs of the students in that community," said Beutner

Beutner says the measure would raise nearly an additional $900 million for the school programs.

Andy Mooney is the CEO of Fender, who is one of the leading financial supporters of the measure. "Music and arts education is fundamentally good for kids in terms of their academic development and their social development, but it's also good for the future of our industry that we love and our company," said Mooney.

The measure is still pending and needs around 600,000 more signatures to make it onto the November ballot.

Jonathan Linden was a reporter at 91.9 KVCR in San Bernardino, California. He joined KVCR in July 2021 and served with the station till October 2022.