The Country Music Association donated $655,624 to Nashville public schools on Thursday (Oct. 4) as part of its Keep the Music Playing program. The funds will help build music labs and purchase instruments and supplies. Artists are not paid for their appearances at the annual CMA Music Festival. To show its appreciation for their work, the CMA donates half of the festival’s net proceeds to charity on behalf of the performers. Rascal Flatts member Jay DeMarcus and Nashville Mayor Karl Dean attended the donation ceremony.