The organization formerly known as MENC is now NAfME, the National Association for Music Education. Founded in 1907, the Music Supervisors National Conference later became the Music Educators National Conference (MENC). In 1998 the name changed to “MENC: National Association for Music Education.”
“We just found, at this point, it took too much time to explain what MENC as an acronym in front of our name meant,” says Elizabeth Lasko, assistant executive director of NAfME’s Center for Members and Constituency Relations. “When you go to see a senator, congressman, sponsor or celebrity, you don’t want to spend a lot of time explaining why your name doesn’t make any sense.”
NAfME was chosen to reflect the organization’s 100-year history and because NAME is already used by a number of organizations. The new logo incorporates the “f” as a forte music symbol.
“Most people are very positive—it’s not anything that should have been done frivolously, and it definitely wasn’t,” Lasko says. “It was a decision made by the members, not staff.”
The name change officially went into effect on Sept. 1, 2011. “We’re in the midst of a year-long transition,” Lasko says. “We have extensive communication with our state affiliates, and many of them have taken the steps to transform. They’re moving full speed ahead.”